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Old 15 April 2010, 14:26   #1
phx
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Fasttracker XM to 4-channel protracker mod format

Does anybody know of a way to automize the conversion of a (>4 channels) XM mod into a 4-channel protracker mod?

I'm currently evaluating the possibility to port a game to 68k classic Amigas, which leaves me no cycles for expensive sound-mixing. Still I want to keep the nice XM music in it.
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Old 15 April 2010, 14:29   #2
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Does anybody know of a way to automize the conversion of a (>4 channels) XM mod into a 4-channel protracker mod?
There isn't. XM has 2 effect columns whereas mod only has one. XM supports more octaves than normal mod etc pp. Automatic conversion is not possible. You need to ask a (good) musician to convert the track to 4ch PT format.
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Old 15 April 2010, 15:34   #3
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*Sigh*
I knew there must be a reason that I found nothing on the net.
It would mean a lot of work (ca. 10 mods?), even for a good musician.
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Old 15 April 2010, 15:40   #4
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Depends on the mods of course If there are tight memory restrictions it'll take even longer.
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Old 15 April 2010, 15:54   #5
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For that matter - are there any trackers or players on the amiga that can actually render an XM correctly?

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Old 15 April 2010, 16:04   #6
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DigiboosterPro can load and play XM mods. Almost every multiformat mod player can handle XM. How correct they are I don`t know.

Convert a XM (>4ch) to mod is time intensive and a pain work but that depands on the XM itself, of course.
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Old 15 April 2010, 16:04   #7
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For that matter - are there any trackers or players on the amiga that can actually render an XM correctly?

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DigiBoosterPro handles XM well.
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Old 15 April 2010, 17:42   #8
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in work but that depands on the XM itself, of course.
Yes.
Even if you maintain the 4 channel structure, use only 1 effect column and you use 8-bit samples at the correct Hz ratio, you still need to:

- Avoid using certain effects
- Maintain a 64 steps per pattern structure

and maybe some otehr things.
I was trying to make a MOD with FastTracker to use with THCM's 8-bit sample routine for the C64, but I started wrong, and converting it is a pain in the ass. It gets worse if your XM is more complex, as said.

It can be done, but it's a work. Perhaps you want help from a tracker artist.
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Old 15 April 2010, 17:46   #9
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and maybe some otehr things.
Like Sting said, only use PT compatible octaves. That can be a real pain in the behind If the XM uses more than 8 channels you will most likely need to save bits of the song as a sample to bring it down to 4 channels.
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Old 15 April 2010, 18:10   #10
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Like Sting said, only use PT compatible octaves. That can be a real pain in the behind If the XM uses more than 8 channels you will most likely need to save bits of the song as a sample to bring it down to 4 channels.
Oh yeah man I forgot about that, the frequency response.

Saving parts as samples means a huge filesize. I bet it wouldn't work out for a game.
The best bet is to make a music conversion having all the limitations in mind and starting from zero, I think.
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Old 15 April 2010, 18:17   #11
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Saving parts as samples means a huge filesize. I bet it wouldn't work out for a game.
Yep.

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The best bet is to make a music conversion having all the limitations in mind and starting from zero, I think.
Would also say that's the better way. Reuse the samples and start from scratch in PT. That'll surely take some time
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Old 15 April 2010, 19:01   #12
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If you have a little budget some trackermus will make it I bet.
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Old 16 April 2010, 04:19   #13
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Remember that XM has also got instruments (Envelopes etc)... And it supports 16 bits samples!

So if you were to write a converter, you'd have to:
- Clamp the rows below 64 (if >64) (or make a new pattern with pattern break)
- Clamp the number of patterns (orderlist) below 127 (if >127)
- If number of samples > 31, then don't process any more samples. MODs can't contain more than 31 samples.
- Convert 16 bit samples (if any) to 8 bit signed PCM and clamp their data length below 0xFFFF (65535 bytes)
- Read the instrument note table (if any) and fetch samp. number for C-3, assign as the number X sample
- Convert the notes to periods (and clamp above 28, below 1712)
IF you want to convert the column effects too:
- Convert volume column command (e.g. v63) to Cxx (MOD set volume command)
- Convert volume slides to Axx
- Ignore panning (e.g. p31), or convert to 8xx (FastTracker MOD only, not ProTracker)
-- If you do this effect column conversion stuff, make sure the current MOD column doesn't have any effect in it... This is kind of frustrating, and probably best to skip.

Not recommended for weak souls
The "best" solution is to open the .XM in a multi-format tracker, then save as .MOD.. Then you can tweak it yourself to make it as best as possible. But always remember: If you didn't make the tune yourself, you need to respect the author's work. Don't change/limitate it too much (which probably is impossible if you want to convert it).

Last edited by 8bitbubsy; 16 April 2010 at 04:40.
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:06   #14
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The "best" solution is to open the .XM in a multi-format tracker, then save as .MOD..
Sorry, but that's kinda bullshit You'll loose all the extra channels, effects and notes that aren't within the supported octaves (been there, done that ). Either open it, work a long time on merging channels, applying all the changes you mentioned and then saving it as a mod file (and pray that you have only forgot 5-10% of the things that aren't PT compatible) or grab the samples, maybe some pattern data and start 'clean' in PT.
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:13   #15
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Quote:
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The "best" solution <snip>
Quote:
Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy
<snip> Then you can tweak it yourself to make it as best as possible <snip>
By tweaking I meant spending a good time merging channels and all that stuff.
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:22   #16
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Ah okay. The order of the 'thens' wasn't 100% then
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:33   #17
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please don't make/save 4 ch in Fastracker. Use the Amiga Protracker 2.3 or something. you'd make my live easier. ;-)

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Old 16 April 2010, 08:47   #18
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But it would make the tracker's life harder Just kidding, ProTracker is very user friendly for being such an old dated tracker. The other trackers were usually text mode on other machines back then!
FastTracker II is kind of more user friendly... It's more or less a matter of personal taste and habits
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:54   #19
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It's more or less a matter of personal taste and habits
Not really. Saving as a mod in FT2 and using it in PT can have side effects. I bet that mld knows what he talks about here
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Old 16 April 2010, 08:58   #20
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Yes, but I meant in general. If you were to make 4 channel tunes (XM). He mentioned FastTracker II first!

Also, the MOD loader in FT2 is pretty good, but it might save the MODs (4 channel mode) with the tag "4CHN" or "FLT4", instead of "M.K."... Making it unplayable with ProTracker. Not 100% sure about this, though.

And about the "tweak MOD" thing I wrote earlier: You're right, something was wrong there. What I meant was: If the tracker can handle >4 ch MODs (Open ModPlug Tracker can do this), then you can open a XM, convert to MOD, *then* merge the channels to 4 and stuff
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