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Old 16 July 2020, 15:45   #101
daxb
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That doesn't make much difference if the sample (WAV or whatever format) is played by 8 bit Paula. Playing it "through" 14 bit is different of course but still depends on the source. If you want to use 14 bit for music making you need mixing because usually you want to use some channels. Then you need CPU power. Start with 040, better 060 for this task.
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Old 16 July 2020, 15:55   #102
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daxb View Post
That doesn't make much difference if the sample (WAV or whatever format) is played by 8 bit Paula. Playing it "through" 14 bit is different of course but still depends on the source. If you want to use 14 bit for music making you need mixing because usually you want to use some channels. Then you need CPU power. Start with 040, better 060 for this task.
Nah
You could stream an ADPCM 16 bit stereo stream to 14bit Paula in a bare 020.
But yes, for multichannel mods (soft mixed) you really need a 030+.
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Old 16 July 2020, 16:06   #103
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Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy View Post
If you like 8-bit quantization noise/hiss, that is. Especially audible when there is little treble/mid content in the sample, like bass samples. Now imagine Paula with 8+ channels, extended period range (higher clock + 32-bit periods) and 16-bit sound for all channels.
There’s a massive amount of people, a subset of sound designers and composers, who LOVE LOVE LOVE those digital imperfections.

The use of Paula is similar in that sense to the Ensoniq Mirage, Casio SK1, a massive selection of LOFI/Bitcrush pedals and a whole circuit bending landscape.

I can’t wait to get Paula’s crustyness going through some of my modular analogue filters. Anything these days can do pristine 16/24/32 bit sound, and many composers are actively seeking a way to add crust and grime back into their productions. The early Akai 612 is mega money now!
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Old 16 July 2020, 16:15   #104
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I'm a bit different in how I approach the quality issue. To me, Paula is a great chip because of it's abilities on launch vs the abilities of competing systems at the time it was a relevant option. If you look at it like that, Paula is actually quite good - often sounding much better "in the real world" than competing hardware released years later.

Now it is true that 16 bit audio slowly became available on PC's and other devices from around 1992 - but even as late as 1993/1994 these options were rare, expensive and if we're going to be honest usually downright abysmal in audio quality (to be 100% clear, there are definitely some exceptions to this. Such as the Atari Falcon which did have great 16 bit audio out - but these exceptions tended to be even more rare or expensive).

Comparing Paula's 8 bit to 16+ bit PC output as achieved today is therefore IMHO rather unfair. In reality, the 16 bit PC sound cards of the early to mid 1990's were almost all absolutely terrible. Virtually all of them had very high and certainly very clearly audible levels of noise (which their spec sheets pretended didn't exist) and they often had issues with consistent crackle/interruption free playback. I personally never found PC audio to be all that remarkable in the 1990's, it usually sounded worse than my Amiga did.

So, I can't help it - I'm a fan of Paula. But I do understand that late 1990's onwards the PC (and other systems) definitely overtook it. But then, that was to be expected

BTW, I realize that the C64's SID chip can play back frankly pretty darned good PCM these days (and I love the SID so I'd never argue against it's inherent quality ), but the truth of the matter is that was not at all what we had at the time the Amiga was still "new" - C64 samples were terrible quality compared to the Amiga's until years and years later.
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Old 16 July 2020, 16:37   #105
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Recently I started looking into Face The Music tracker which I never touched before. I'm positively surprised about the quality of mixing engine it implements on A500. Unfortunately there is almost no good music created in it. Well... it's GUI is enough to explain why.

There are couple of techno tracks by ambien with samples not from ST-xx era.

[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]

Last edited by no9; 20 July 2020 at 12:05. Reason: links exachange
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Old 16 July 2020, 17:25   #106
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
There’s a massive amount of people, a subset of sound designers and composers, who LOVE LOVE LOVE those digital imperfections.

The use of Paula is similar in that sense to the Ensoniq Mirage, Casio SK1, a massive selection of LOFI/Bitcrush pedals and a whole circuit bending landscape.

[...]
Maybe, I just don't get it. For certain leads and stuff it might give a bit more character to have the quantization noise, but for bass it sounds like trash.


Quote:
Originally Posted by no9 View Post
Recently I started looking into Face The Music tracker which I never touched before. I'm positively surprised about the quality of mixing engine it implements on A500. Unfortunately there is almost no good music created in it. Well... it's GUI is enough to explain why.

There are couple of techno tracks by ambien with samples not from ST-xx era.

[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]
That sounds amazingly good. It sounds like it's mixing in higher precision and outputting in 14-bit. I don't think this song would play at these specs on an A500?!
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Old 16 July 2020, 18:02   #107
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I recorded it on WinUAE 4.4.0 with A500 speed setting, but A1200 filter.

Here another one just uploaded
[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 16 July 2020, 18:25   #108
daxb
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Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
There’s a massive amount of people, a subset of sound designers and composers, who LOVE LOVE LOVE those digital imperfections.
We are talking about two different things here. Using noise (in any form) to make music with it and having noise overall everything, the whole music. I used the first quit often and sometimes an asci file as sample what I would call pure noise. But I (and I think 8bitbubsy too) was talking about the second. You are using Paula as an instrument what is a valid option. Having a clean sound carpet and/or a some noisy sound is ok. I like to have a clean source and if I like add some noise.

Guessing: Some Amiga tracker musicians add some noise samples that try to hide the overall noise in the music playback. I'm sure I did it.

Especially music for games that is limited by memory usage (nearly everything) used samples around 8 and 16 kHz sampling frequency. What means you have an overall noise already. Maybe we are used to it too much. If you start (as a musician) to get better quality (higher frequency samples and so on) out of Paula you soon feel the pain. Some instruments can't be good with 8 bit.

Dynamic range is the next thing you have problems with 8 bit. You can notice this already when you record to 8 bit sample from a good music source. Some sound quite equal some or most quite different.
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Old 16 July 2020, 20:35   #109
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Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy View Post
Suit yourself, just know that there is absolutely nothing special about bass on Paula. What you hear is what is in the sample data, and at 8-bit the noise floor is really high and well audible.

Here's an example for you. First part is 29kHz 16-bits, second part is how it would sound at 29kHz on A1200, and third part is how it would sound at 29kHz on A500 (~4.421kHz low-pass):
http://16-bits.org/etc/8bit_test.wav

Here's the original sample in case you don't believe me. Try to convert it to 8-bits and play it on Amiga:
http://16-bits.org/etc/bass.wav

Paula bass is not cool.

EDIT: Paula can do 14-bit, which helps a lot, but you lose two channels and are left with only two. This means that to do anything sensible, you'd have to do software mixing at high frequency. I'd say that 8-bit is what most people used when making music with Paula.

8bit Bass-sounds can sound somewhat better if you process it and remove all the high content.
In this case I resampled it and removed all frequenties above 500 Hz.
Here is your example in 8bit without the noise.

http://members.home.nl/siekmanski/bass_8bit_1000Hz.wav
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Old 16 July 2020, 21:00   #110
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Cool, I didn't know that would help! Anyway, it will only sound usable if you have some upsampling+interpolation going on. When playing it rawly, like Paula, it's going to sound very bad.

Here it is played at 1kHz (period 3547) with Paula: https://16-bits.org/etc/bass_1khz_amiga.flac

EDIT: This trick might not even work at all... The reason it has no noise is probably because it does 16-bit+ interpolation + upsampling inside the .WAV player.

Last edited by 8bitbubsy; 16 July 2020 at 21:19.
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Old 16 July 2020, 22:12   #111
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SID couldn't do bass to save their lives.
Are you being serious? Or have just never actually listened to anything made on the SID?
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Old 16 July 2020, 22:22   #112
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Are you being serious? Or have just never actually listened to anything made on the SID?
I have listened to SID, and I never heard anything on it that sounded like the Amiga examples I provided above, except samples (see below).

I guess I just love Amiga audio above all else.

That "smack my bitch up" example I'd like to see for myself, rather than in a distorted sense from someone's hifi on a YouTube video. Maybe a Pouet link to the demo? Although, I should point out, if the sound chip in question is playing samples, of course it'll have more bass in it, as PCM does.

What I mean by lack of bass in 8-bit sound chips is non-PCM samples, or samples of any kind, just the tone generators of the chips themselves. Then again, I did consider POKEY sound to have good bass in the low frequencies, so maybe I'm wrong.
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Old 16 July 2020, 22:33   #113
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Originally Posted by 8bitbubsy View Post
Cool, I didn't know that would help! Anyway, it will only sound usable if you have some upsampling+interpolation going on. When playing it rawly, like Paula, it's going to sound very bad.

Here it is played at 1kHz (period 3547) with Paula: https://16-bits.org/etc/bass_1khz_amiga.flac

EDIT: This trick might not even work at all... The reason it has no noise is probably because it does 16-bit+ interpolation + upsampling inside the .WAV player.
You might be right, I'll have to study that if I have time.
Probably resampling the original to C-2 period 428 ( 8287 Hz ) and get rid of the frequency content above 500 Hz will have some improvement?
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Old 16 July 2020, 22:55   #114
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I have listened to SID, and I never heard anything on it that sounded like the Amiga examples I provided above, except samples (see below).

I guess I just love Amiga audio above all else.

That "smack my bitch up" example I'd like to see for myself, rather than in a distorted sense from someone's hifi on a YouTube video. Maybe a Pouet link to the demo? Although, I should point out, if the sound chip in question is playing samples, of course it'll have more bass in it, as PCM does.

What I mean by lack of bass in 8-bit sound chips is non-PCM samples, or samples of any kind, just the tone generators of the chips themselves. Then again, I did consider POKEY sound to have good bass in the low frequencies, so maybe I'm wrong.
You're making zero sense, so let's not continue
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Old 16 July 2020, 23:09   #115
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You're making zero sense, so let's not continue
Don't wish to offend, but maybe I do need to hear more SID. It's been a while.

Last edited by Foebane; 17 July 2020 at 06:58.
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Old 16 July 2020, 23:24   #116
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SID can actually do some decent bass, especially when using the low-pass filters it has.
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Old 16 July 2020, 23:25   #117
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
That "smack my bitch up" example I'd like to see for myself, rather than in a distorted sense from someone's hifi on a YouTube video. Maybe a Pouet link to the demo? Although, I should point out, if the sound chip in question is playing samples, of course it'll have more bass in it, as PCM does.

What's the difference if it does or doesn't? If there is an inbalance in a source of audio signal frequency response then you just make use of such device like equalizer to adjust it to suit your taste. If you love big boomy bass sound then you boost them. Exactly same way as you do that with brightness or contrast on your display.

I did always boost bass and treble's since 8-bit to 32-bit times, including Amiga and later SB Live! sitting in PC and it wasn't big deal for me. And there is nothing magic in PCM sound.
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Old 16 July 2020, 23:59   #118
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Well, in a way sampling is a bit "magical"* in that it's supremely interesting you can quantize sound like that and end up with a workable result. But compared to other electronic audio it indeed isn't magic. Then again, neither is synthesis of sounds

When talking about retro computer samples vs synths, each has their pro's and con's, just pick which works best for you!

*) As in it's a bit surprising to me how well it works even with low bit depths and sample rates, not as in actual magic :P
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Old 17 July 2020, 00:10   #119
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I think I've stepped beyond my knowledge concerning the bass post, haven't I? So many things can sound bassier with equalisers, as you mentioned, no9 - I totally forgot about those. Not to mention subwoofers and more powerful speakers in general. Some sound chips are more capable of such things than others, but they can be ENHANCED by the audio equipment used, so such comparison is pointless. I've experienced it myself.

Apologies.
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Old 17 July 2020, 09:22   #120
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To be honest the biggest factor in the bass response of a particukar computer isn't the sound chip, it's the size of the AC coupling capacitors on the audio output.

The characteristic cruncyy 8bit output might be pleasant to some ears but it was be produced artificially by filtering a higher resolution signal, while the opposite's usually not true (14bit wizardry not withstanding!)
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