A new soundchip?

Yes please! (7 votes) 11.1%
No, for reasons of support/content (11 votes) 17.5%
No, what we have is ok, but trackers must improve (40 votes) 63.5%
No, for reasons of retro (5 votes) 7.9%
Votes totaux : 63

Commentaires (42)

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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17-11-2008, 15:08

A little note on option 3: we shouldn't go for a new chip just because you can't seem to get any Micro Cabin quality results from Moonblaster, just to name something. We obviously need different software for that, not a new chip. And you can replace 'tracker' with anything else which is relevant of course, but I had a character limit of 50 on this poll option.. ^^

Par Meits

Scribe (6054)

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17-11-2008, 22:42

Ofcourse I'd buy a new soundchip... Just cuz it's fun...
It should have a lot more rom and quite some ram, but most of all some fx chips to make the sound sound like it should sound and not flat and dead like it is in moonsound.

Par evulopah

Hero (663)

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18-11-2008, 10:11

That means that one vote for Yez Pleaze is you Meits Smile

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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21-11-2008, 11:02

Some retro sound chip would be cool! Smile

Par Sander

Ambassador (1856)

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22-11-2008, 00:50

I once discussed the option to make an interface for the MOS chip with vortexion. Would be nice though. But I'm sure a lot of people disagree. BTW: what is a new soundchip? Old but never used? Or new as in new? X-Fi?

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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22-11-2008, 01:32

Could be anything. An FPGA implementation of some design, a 'ported' chip. The discussion is opened with the ever-returning vicious circle of acceptance, support and audience. It's all very complicated I think.. ^^

If you 'port' a SID chip to MSX then you're likely to get comments like 'Uhuh, that's a C64 chip! Buzz off!".

If you 'port' some relatively advanced EMU/Creative wavetable chip to MSX (Moonsound 2) then you're likely to get comments like: "Let's not turn an MSX into a PC", or: "dude, FFS, use the Moonsound".

If you design a new synth using FPGA in either the 1cM or an FPGA-based extension then you're likely to get comments like: "it's not really an MSX chip, it's only an implementation, there's no userbase, there's no software, oh and I don't have an 1cM" etc.

Sometimes MSX is like politics, so many parties who never agree on anything.. Big smile That's the disadvantage when there are so many extensions available, there's no De Facto MSX.

Par Leo

Paragon (1236)

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22-11-2008, 08:53

a cheap midi interface could help for developping music , it is not a new sound card but still a piece of hardware.
tracker could be running on PC's ...

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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22-11-2008, 11:46

I had the same idea already for months, but then using the upcoming Nowind instead of MIDI.

Par poke-1,170

Paragon (1761)

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23-11-2008, 06:58

midi could be cool yeah. or just a tracker that's more up to date, and doesn't dedicate all psg channels for drums Tongue

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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25-11-2008, 10:54

If you 'port' a SID chip to MSX then you're likely to get comments like 'Uhuh, that's a C64 chip! Buzz off!".

If someone "wastes" his time to 'port' SID chip to MSX, I surely will not give comment like "Uhuh, that´s a C64 chip! Buzz off!".

Instead of that, I´ll give a comment like "WOW!! THAT´S A C64 CHIP!! You are welcome to Buzz my doorbell to bring it to me!!" LOL!

It would be nice to get some BASIC command(s) to program our dear beloved SID! Smile See, I already talk about SID like it had always belonged to MSX standard! Big smile Wink

Just 'port' SID to MSX, arguing MSX(1,2,2+,R)ers don´t need anything else! Wink

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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25-11-2008, 22:12

If there's one difference between the C64 scene and the MSX scene then it's that all the C64 noses are pointing into the same direction, whereas ours are pointing into every direction possible. Tongue

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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27-11-2008, 12:18

If there's one difference between the C64 scene and the MSX scene then it's that all the C64 noses are pointing into the same direction, whereas ours are pointing into every direction possible.

Well... maybe that´s because there are no C642s, no C642+s and no C64Rs Tongue I think they do not think Amiga VS. C64 samelike like here people think MSX < MSX2. Wink

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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27-11-2008, 12:22

Just 'port' SID to MSX and after that EVERY MSX´er 1-2-2+-R nose is pointing at same direction:

at SID-MSX add-on!! Either they hate or love it, but every nose is surely pointing to brand new lovely SID-MSX anyway!!! Big smile Tongue

Par Moniz

Champion (358)

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27-11-2008, 22:03

Who would mind destroy a few C64's to make a cool new soundcard for MSX ?
I would love to get that C64 sound comming out of my MSX combined with a SCC or something....

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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28-11-2008, 01:28

What's so great / special about the C64 sound?

I actually played a lot of games on that... thing, I admit. But I never liked the sound in particular.
The sample Hz seemed to be better allright (compare Activision's "Ghostbusters" ), but that doesn't make the sound IMHO.

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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28-11-2008, 13:16

Well, from today's perspective it's not super-special or something, back then it was a rather advanced chip though. While it has some underground stuff like filters, ringmods 'n such I don't think it has much to bring in against DS6, Space Manbow, Illusion City or Xak TToG. Tongue

Par poke-1,170

Paragon (1761)

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28-11-2008, 19:00

oh msx fm, that preset plastic crap sound Tongue

Par Huey

Prophet (2657)

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28-11-2008, 21:18

I'm with poke.

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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01-12-2008, 10:44

Who would mind destroy a few C64's to make a cool new soundcard for MSX ?

I was thinking that maybe some freak wants to construct sid -CLONE- from scratch. Smile

I don´t like the idea of hardsid, or anything else, which needs destroying of old machine.

Well it´s surely a matter of taste, but I love the sound of SID. Have always loved and will love eternally. Just hear "Pitfall II" on Commodore 64 on example.... and many more... Wink

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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01-12-2008, 11:49

Sid seems to be particularly good at creating lively and 'wavely' sounds, you know what I mean. Then again I've yet to hear a crisp and clear tone come from it, which is the strength of the PSG. Compare the purity of MoG's Demeter tune for example.
I'm positive that if we want more lively and less 'flat' music on PSG, that's very much possible when good coding and composer skills are combined. Currently everybody who wants to create better music seems to jump to more advanced soundchips that were made for the MSX.

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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01-12-2008, 14:32

Well, having a more 'serious' music editor matters a LOT.

Par Huey

Prophet (2657)

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01-12-2008, 16:06

Indeed. But also one with good replayer (small fast) and producing datafiles that are modest in their datasize when exported.

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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01-12-2008, 16:40

Huey: as unnatural as it may sound, your practical replayer issues (cpu load, mem size) are exactly what shouldn't be the primary goal for a new tracker. For one thing: it's not the coder of a tracker (or any other music tool) who should decide how heavy your format should or should not be, it's the composer and the coder of a game/demo who should decide. The best tracker/tool is one which allows everything there possibly is. You want 9 instrument-changes, volume-changes and frequency-changes on one line? You shall have it. Whether your replayer can cope with it is verse 2, and whether your product is a cpu-friendly musicdisk or a heavy game/demo is another verse. It could be that this means that the format is quite complex and mem-heavy. Again this is or should be the choice of the ones who're going to use the music in a production. A coder could tell a musician: "max 20 events per int" or "max 32 'cpu-load' per int" when events differ in cpu-load. Whether that musician then applies all these 20 events on the first 5 channels, or spread across the whole line is up to the composer. It should at least technically be possible. If the format is like .mod, then you get columns for notes, instruments, volume and effects. That's like 4 or 5 events per step, whereas Moonblaster/wave/fm (and other trackers as well) have only 1 event per step. So, Moonblaster may be more efficient, but 1) it offers far and far less flexibility, and 2) all events are put on 1 channel, whereas .mod style columns are separated from eachother. It could very well be that individual columns are easier to RLE because of the uninterrupted repetition of events.

MJTT uses exactly this mod format btw, although we convert our whole channels to an event-stream, kinda like MIDI.

But.. let's await NoWind in 2009.. I somewhat had the idea of making a tracker on PC which controls the MSX via NoWind. The only thing I need to do is upload events to the MSX, where it'll be put in memory, and a replayer on MSX will playback what's in mem (upon sending start/stop events). The advantage of having an editor on PC is the much larger resolution and the greater ease to make an interface. In my case the advantage would be that this interface would be made by a composer, rather than a coder Tongue)

Par Huey

Prophet (2657)

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01-12-2008, 20:59

@wolf: Yes, I look at it from a another perspective. I was looking at it from a whole (composer, coder and pixeler). I was thinking in terms of Vortex tracker II. Which is in my opinion very composer friendly. But again if you make a whole production its all about compromises. Even for a composer Wink

Par Edwin

Paragon (1182)

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01-12-2008, 21:35

But you don't always need compromises. For instance for an intro demo with little animation, a title screen, etc. can soup up much of the cpu in the replayer. In fact, all of MJTT didn't need the cpu time for anything else either (otherwise we'd have been screwed Wink ). Probably only tightly timed high performance action games need to be really conservative.

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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06-12-2008, 12:51

Currently everybody who wants to create better music seems to jump to more advanced soundchips that were made for the MSX.

Personally, I just like the idea of having SID inserted in my MSX´s cartridge port. Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

And Personally 2: I still like to hear MORE AND MORE PSG GAME MUSIC which takes PSG to it´s limits! Smile

I still like PSG, but I like SID also! Smile

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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06-12-2008, 13:52

Do you like SID or do you like the music that SID happens to produce?

If the latter (and I'm sure many people agree) that's currently a challenge for musicians using the PSG, regardless of whether we port SID to MSX. Take themes such as Masters of the Universe or Skate Air. I think these are quite good examples for musicians who want to create SID-like music for MSX.

Par poke-1,170

Paragon (1761)

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15-12-2008, 04:00

hmmm, interesting info wolf_.... A lot of current trackers for old platforms don't take any games or demos in mind,
but are there purely for composing. Would a lot of msx trackers have suffered from CPU compromises ?

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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15-12-2008, 12:08

Dunno, there are a few things to keep in mind tho. When I look at the -what I think- most successful MSX trackers:
- FST family
- ProTracker
- Moonblaster classic

  • Then what these have in common are that all channels of a pattern are on a single screen. MOD-style formats usually need scrolling, as MBFM and MBWave do. Perhaps it was a choice back then to try to have everything on a single screen. This would exclude extra channels unless people would choose to have hidden channels one could toggle.
  • Memory was an issue. More songdata = more memory.
  • All these programs are fairly old by now, mid-90's at most. That's like 15 years ago, surely the programmers back then may not always have been as superskilled as they possibly are today.
  • Tracker-programmers from this era were typically game/democoders, and creating an interface for a creative tool, thinking about functionality and workflow is clearly something differently.
  • Tracker-programmers from this era may have been influenced by the composers of their group, which may be good or bad. Fact is that us MSX'ians have basically started with structural composing since FST, and only for a few years when the last-ever trackers emerged. Not everyone had an alternative system (like an Amiga) standing next to the MSX, so any knowledge about -for instance- mod-style composing was probably non-existent.
  • And yes, the scene was about demos and games, so there was probably a situation where music had to be as cheap as possible.

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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16-12-2008, 10:13

Do you like SID or do you like the music that SID happens to produce?

If the latter (and I'm sure many people agree) that's currently a challenge for musicians using the PSG, regardless of whether we port SID to MSX. Take themes such as Masters of the Universe or Skate Air. I think these are quite good examples for musicians who want to create SID-like music for MSX.

Hmmm... it feels a bit same to me as if someone asks me, "Do you like V8 or do like the sound that V8 happens to produce?". Wink Tongue I surely will answer, that I like BOTH! LOL! I like the music that SID happens to produce so I like SID, and Commodore 64 too. Smile

But I still like the idea of having SID-clone in MSX cartridge! Wink

And I surely support all MSX composers who want to make PSG sound like SID. Or should I say, I surely support all MSX composers who want to make PSG sound GOOD! Wink

By the way, I still remember that LONG time ago, *I* Tongue managed to get SID like sounds with "just" my very simple and short BASIC program. Wink So it can´t be too hard for good composers with good trackers, I guess. Wink

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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16-12-2008, 15:43

Cool. Do you happen to still have some code hanging around? Especially as Basic is as far as my knowledge goes Smile

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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16-12-2008, 16:43

When making music in MSX BASIC's MML (Micro Music Language), try using the "S" & "M" commands, for instance:

PLAY "T255 V15 L4 O4 S6 M1000 C D E"

S = type of waveform

M = intensity / depth

Play with that and you'll be able to produce cool PSG sounds! Smile

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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16-12-2008, 16:47

Oh yeah, and you can use the SOUND command to include noise.

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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16-12-2008, 16:50

S and M are not 100% perfect. For a consistent sound the M value usually needs to be in sync (frequency-wise) with the freq of the psg tone, which is not always possible, iirc.

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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17-12-2008, 08:21

And it may be my complete noobness, but when trying to make music in Basic I get the effect that the three channels go out of sync. As in: various tones of certain length do not add up to the exact same duration as I would expect mathematically. That alone takes away all joy in trying to create tunes. No, I do not need another soundchip or tracker, I need a Basic PLAY statement that works! Crazy

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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17-12-2008, 10:42

I know exactly what you mean.
Don't worry; it functions perfectly.
It's only that MML tone/rest duration notation works differently than you might expect.

-----

O = 4 counts = C1

..|
O = 2 counts = C2

..|
@ = 1 count = C4

..._
..|
@ = 1/2 count = C8

...=
..|
@ = 1/4 count = C16

etc. etc.

Do you see?

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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17-12-2008, 11:59

I never even learned to read those musical symbols LOL!
But what I meant was that I expect one channel only using x8 notes will stay in sync perfectly with another channel using only x2 and x4 notes (but apparently with 2 or 4 times as many tones). Unfortunately the two channels will drift away and start mismatching. That surely shouldn't happen?

Par wolf_

Ambassador_ (9826)

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17-12-2008, 12:20

Well, it *is* BASIC, which is as slow as a Hippo in a pool o' peanutbutter. After each string has been processed, a new string must be parsed. Long strings may take longer to parse or manage. I'm not sure, but I think it's something like that.

At times I've thought it to be wiser to update music at fixed intervals (like rows in trackers) and read out a new row from data statements. Essentially you'd be using the sound command then instead of the play command.

More wise would be to use a PSG tracker/tool to compose, and use some BASIC-replayer for playback in BASIC.

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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17-12-2008, 12:31

Nah, if the problem would be the BASIC slowness, then there would be a lag between new parts to ensue playing, and not between channels within the same part.

I've seen and heard (Japanese) perfectly flowing MML songs using all 9 FM-Pac + 3 PSG channels, using strings and not DATA lines.

I think the problem here simply is:
Discrepancy in tempo between channels.
Make sure all channels have the same tempo, else you'll indeed get some avantgarde stuff! Wink

You know how to set tempo, right?

BTW when you add a point "." after a tone/rest, you'll get the 1,5 rate, don't forget.

Lastly, wolf_ is right, better use a tracker!
Unless you really want to do it in MML, hey, it's your party! Smile

Ever considered using Musica, then?

Par Hrothgar

Champion (479)

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17-12-2008, 12:59

I'll try to find a sample where it failed, and recheck that it indeed set the tempo equally. But I'm sure I already checked that.
I was flabbergasted that the flaw appeared exactly the same across emulators.

The speed discrepancy progressed quite regularly as the tune went on, it wasn't a particular tone or . that made it fail.

Par JohnHassink

Ambassador (5471)

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17-12-2008, 13:18

So the discrepancy gets bigger and bigger?

Then it's a tempo problem, 100%. Smile

If the music (program) seems to "wait" before continuing, well in that case one of the strings is simply too long.

[EDIT]

If the problem persists you could send the file to me and I'll look at it.

[EDIT 2]

One more thing: be absolutely sure that you have performed the correct way of stating tone length value. Wink

Par MäSäXi

Paragon (1884)

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18-12-2008, 11:34

Hrothgar, sorry I don´t have that BASIC listing around, I am pretty sure I didn´t SAVE it, as I was just experimenting for fun, but if you are lucky, some ideas may have been "saved" to my paper "archives", different thing is, do I find it from that "archive". Tongue

It´s sure, that you can make really cool effects using play-command´s S and M. Smile But also, it usually is very irritating to found out, that when you make ABSOLUTELY COOL background sound/music with play command, and compose melody in your head for that absolutely cool background sound/music, and then you write that melody into BASIC and put play command to play them both at the same time, that melody and absolutely cool background sound/music, and result is.... ****hear fanfares now**** horrible garbage!!!!!! Somehow they destroy each other, but when you play them separately, all is fine again.... damn play command!!!!!!!!!!!! Crazy But despite that darned thing, it is possible to make SID like sounds with just plain MSX-BASIC! Smile Just start experimenting, like I did! Smile