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Old 08 January 2019, 23:29   #61
Gorf
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we are going in circles. sure: Paula needs data in RAM and some cpu or Copper action.
But nor C64 or Atari will play any sound, without the CPU telling the soundchip what to do.

It was already demonstrated what is possible with wavetable-like microsamples and modulation.... in the end of this process you can hear a synthesized sound
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Old 08 January 2019, 23:41   #62
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The biggest problem perhaps with C64-like synth sounds is that certain instruments do not sound good, like drums and bass, which are better done with samples. Combining synth sounds and samples gives the best results I think. And this works much better with Amiga, compared to C64 or Atari ST. The C64 remixes are also often better than originals, if done properly.
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Old 09 January 2019, 00:31   #63
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Well, I just gained an education, not from you guess but the internetz.

Anyway, each to their own, i prefer chip music and in particular, SID (Other synths are available), it's still relevant, it's still used as an art form and the classics still sound as good today as they did years ago.

[ Show youtube player ]

From the description:
- 4 channels of 8-bit samplerate, digi playback - 2 channels of SID synth sound - You can filter both SID channels AND SAMPLES! - And you have enough rastertime to not being forced to turn off the screen, and can actually do something with it

SID is still evolving what it can actually do, which is infinately more impressive to me than what Paula is capable of, but that's just me.

Anyway, back on topic, the ST soundchip is rubbish, but chip music is definately not always bettered by 4 sampled audio channels.

Yes drums sound shite on SID, but I think that's part of it's charm, it's not perfect, and can do way more than many thought it was capable of back in the 80's. It's a giver and a tryer, whats not to love seriously.

Last edited by Ian; 09 January 2019 at 00:36.
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Old 09 January 2019, 01:13   #64
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Originally Posted by coder76 View Post
While there were not many chiptunes made for Amiga, the quality of these can certainly be better than on Atari ST or c64. C64 sids actually sound boring in comparison to these.
Don't believe that. There are people with talent in all scenes.

[ Show youtube player ]
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Old 09 January 2019, 02:35   #65
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And look at one of our own rocking out with his Game Boy out.

[ Show youtube player ]

(Although he later made videos about DJing with an Amiga, the traitor )

[ Show youtube player ]

Bleeps and whistles at their finest.

PS, come back dude!!
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Old 09 January 2019, 02:50   #66
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AY can simulate the SID - it's been done. Unfortunately, there's no CPU time left over to actually do anything while it's running.
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Old 09 January 2019, 10:18   #67
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AY can simulate the SID - it's been done. Unfortunately, there's no CPU time left over to actually do anything while it's running.
Careful with the word simulation.

In order to "simulate" the SID, you need to take into account the full digital/analog hybrid signal path, with the digital part requiring cycle exact update frequency of 985 kHZ (the chip's native sample rate).

In that sense: SID can also "simulate" PAULA.

[ Show youtube player ]

Full 8-bit MOD playing routine running on a 985kHz 6510.

Btw, way too many people still associate C64 SID sound with 80's arpeggiated waveform style.

That is easy to do on the Amiga & (and the ST if we hog the CPU).

Luckily, the SID sound has much evolved since then

[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]
[ Show youtube player ]

Nowadays, SID can do full 8-bit samples filtered through an controllable analogue multi-mode filter.

But wait, we were talking about how the ST can simulate the SID...

Last edited by dmacon; 09 January 2019 at 10:31.
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Old 09 January 2019, 10:28   #68
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Yep, absolutely no comparison between an AY chip playing back SID tunes to a real C64/128 with a real SID. It's like saying a VHS can simulate a blu-ray.
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Old 09 January 2019, 10:31   #69
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
Honestly, Hewitson, I think you've highlighted the main disadvantage of Paula, and that it needs audio sample data to play back anything, whereas the ST chip doesn't necessarily need that at all. And nor does POKEY. Or SID.
And i think it's the main problem of those kind of synthetisers, as they are using very simple waveforms you're very limited in the panel of reproductible instruments,and they are pretty limited .
With paula a musician can do any style of music with "accuracy",others simply cannot.

I think a good soundchip is a chip which has the booth of the 2 worlds like the neogeo chipset FM+PCM.

Paula + SID ??

Quote:
Yep, absolutely no comparison between an AY chip playing back SID tunes to a real C64/128 with a real SID. It's like saying a VHS can simulate a blu-ray.

Last edited by touko; 09 January 2019 at 10:37.
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Old 09 January 2019, 10:39   #70
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Originally Posted by Hewitson View Post
Yep, absolutely no comparison between an AY chip playing back SID tunes to a real C64/128 with a real SID. It's like saying a VHS can simulate a blu-ray.
The SID is quite a heavy design for it's time.

All the digital oscillators run at 985kHz sampling rate.

Each voice is connected to a dedicated 12-bit DAC.

The resulting analogue signal for each voice is amplified by a dedicated 8-bit multiplying DAC (with logarithmic ADSR approximation).

And then you can route each of the 3 voices through a multimode filter, supporting low-pass, band-pass and high-pass
filtering, with full 12-bit frequency cut-off and 4-bit resonance control resolution.

And then you get additional features like oscillator sync, ring-modulation, full 23-bit pseudo random noise (not the pathetic 1-bit "blow against tinfoil" noise like the AY), 12-bit pulse-width modulation resolution....

Plus enough "dirt" in the signal path to give the sound a nice character.

It was clearly designed with enough fidelity in mind to be used in professional synthesizers.

Last edited by dmacon; 09 January 2019 at 11:32.
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Old 09 January 2019, 10:55   #71
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Originally Posted by touko View Post
I think a good soundchip is a chip which has the booth of the 2 worlds like the neogeo chipset FM+PCM.

Paula + SID ??

Did you listen to the examples I posted?
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Old 09 January 2019, 12:13   #72
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Can we leave SID out of this, please?
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Old 09 January 2019, 14:13   #73
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Originally Posted by Foebane View Post
Can we leave SID out of this, please?
Sure, but since you apparently don't like synthesized music, I guess we have to close this topic anyway.

I would recommend not to judge a vast field of different musical styles by a single 80's pop hit & video.

So, what is left here to discuss then?
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Old 09 January 2019, 15:14   #74
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I absolutely adore the SID - heck I still listen to C64 music just because I love the sound, but I would point out that the holy grail of SID music for years and years was (and to a point still is as shown by the demonstrations above): playing back high quality samples. The same actually goes for almost all systems that use a synth-style sound chip (including Atari ST, Megadrive, etc). If synthesized music is all you need, why did everyone want samples so badly?

Right, because samples allow you to play back certain sounds that are really, really, really hard to synthesize well. And the Amiga's Paula chip allows you to do so out of the box - at qualities well above what the SID is doing in the examples given.

As for the Amiga and it's audio not moving forward much: well, that's logical isn't it - we already got 32+ channel 14 bit playback routines for Paula at playback frequencies approaching/exceeding the limits of the human ear (given a fast processor) and rather good synthesizer emulation for it if that is what you want - what more would actually be needed?

Don't take this to mean I feel synthesizer music is poor or useless (I don't - I love a good SID tune), but I do feel a certain lack of realism in this thread. If you properly sample a SID/Atari ST tune, you can play it back over Paula in such a way it would be hard to hear the difference. The reverse is clearly not true for all audio Paula can produce (even if the C64/Atari had the memory needed).

Edit:
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacon View Post
Careful with the word simulation.

In order to "simulate" the SID, you need to take into account the full digital/analog hybrid signal path, with the digital part requiring cycle exact update frequency of 985 kHZ (the chip's native sample rate).
Paula however, has an internal update frequency of 3.54MHz (you can push one word to it every DMA cycle the system has available if you want)... So it should in theory be able to cope with the digital parts given a fast enough processor driving it. Emulating the analogue filters/parts would however be a real challenge and I am indeed fairly sure no software solution exists for this problem that is adequate.

Last edited by roondar; 09 January 2019 at 15:41. Reason: Spelling, grammar and a bit of tidying up
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Old 09 January 2019, 19:44   #75
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The early ST computers had no chance against Amiga and its superior sound. The later Atari's certainly did. As for the C64 and SID, there is no faulting this computer.

The real shame is that Commodore never allowed funding for further sound development on Amiga. Hence why the 8364 was never altered.
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Old 09 January 2019, 20:08   #76
dmacon
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Originally Posted by roondar View Post
If synthesized music is all you need, why did everyone want samples so badly?
Nobody here said that sythesized music is all you need.

I personally am a huge advocate of variety, so I am quite curious about the multitude of different possibilities regarding the creation of electronic sounds.

Concerning ths SID, the recent discoveries how to play samples through the filter add many additional creative possibilities to the already existing palette.

So for me, it is samples, classic analogue-style waveforms, FM, software synth.... you name it.

The musical end result is what is counting.

Quote:
And the Amiga's Paula chip allows you to do so out of the box - at qualities well above what the SID is doing in the examples given.
From sample rate POV, obviously (since the C64 also has severe memory limitations).

On the other hand, with the SID, you can dynamically alter the timbre of the samples by using the multi-mode filter.

This is one of the features the Amiga is lacking, but which exists in sample-based synthesizers of the 80's.

Quote:
Don't take this to mean I feel synthesizer music is poor or useless (I don't - I love a good SID tune), but I do feel a certain lack of realism in this thread.
Not sure what you mean by "realism".

If you go by that definition, there is no need to use an Amiga, C64 or Atari ST at all.

But since I am a deluded Amiga and retro computing fan in general, I choose to celebrate my hobby. And by doing that, maintain a sense for the exciting history / roots of our digital information culture.

Quote:
If you properly sample a SID/Atari ST tune, you can play it back over Paula in such a way it would be hard to hear the difference.
We already experienced this. Or is youtube somehow establishing a direct analogue connection to a real C64 for the examples I posted.

Quote:
The reverse is clearly not true for all audio Paula can produce (even if the C64/Atari had the memory needed).
Careful. There are more methods to play back samples on the C64.

Here is an example for a 44.1kHz 8-bit playback sample routine on the SID.

[ Show youtube player ]

(watch at 1:27)

Given enough memory, I think it is possibile to (subjectively) match the quality of Paula (at least for 1 single mono channel, since the SID can not do stereo).

The biggest memory expansion for the C64 is 32MB. Should be enough to fit a complete song....

Btw, another cool example how the triangle waveform can be used to compress samples:

[ Show youtube player ]

It is the limitations, which bring out the best in humans.

Quote:
Paula however, has an internal update frequency of 3.54MHz (you can push one word to it every DMA cycle the system has available if you want)... So it should in theory be able to cope with the digital parts given a fast enough processor driving it.
My point was more that you need a much higher degree of emulation accuracy to correcly model the SID.

Effects like oscillator sync or the combined waveforms sound simply terrible on non-accurate emulation models.

But an accurate software models sounds quite great, even when re-sampled from 985kHz down to 44.1 kHz.

So, I think there is no need to violate the AUDxDAT registers, and turn off all existing DMA in the Amiga to free DMA slots for actually being able to update the chip-ram at this rate.

Quote:
Emulating the analogue filters/parts would however be a real challenge and I am indeed fairly sure no software solution exists for this problem that is adequate.
SID filter distortion emulation models exist, and they have become quite sophisticated.

But for that, no existing 68k Amiga is fast enough to run this modified reSid engine.

But why would I want to do this? I like Amiga chip music.

Last edited by dmacon; 09 January 2019 at 20:34.
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Old 10 January 2019, 01:03   #77
roondar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmacon View Post
Nobody here said that sythesized music is all you need.

I personally am a huge advocate of variety, so I am quite curious about the multitude of different possibilities regarding the creation of electronic sounds.

Concerning ths SID, the recent discoveries how to play samples through the filter add many additional creative possibilities to the already existing palette.

So for me, it is samples, classic analogue-style waveforms, FM, software synth.... you name it.

The musical end result is what is counting.
But if that's how you feel, your point doesn't make much sense to me. You say the SID is enriched by having additional options and I agree. But somehow you seem to feel that Amiga software that offers similar techniques or sounds (i.e. software synths whether emulating FM or otherwise/using really big samples that contain synth sounds) don't count for the same.

Am I misreading what you mean?

Because to me it's very simple: SID/AY are synth chips that have had better and better sample playback added over the years and everyone agrees this is good and enriches these platforms. Amiga with Paula has had both better and better sample playback added over the years and more and more innovative software synthesizer options. Yet somehow people in this thread seem to think that only one has had meaningful improvements. How is this a fair reading of what happened?

Because reading this thread it seems to me that the argument is that adding sample abilities to synth chips = and adding synth abilities to sample chips = . And that feels like a really strange point of view to me.

Note I'm not singling out you per se here, you're just the guy who responded to me and your reply was on point for what I mean here

Quote:
From sample rate POV, obviously (since the C64 also has severe memory limitations).

On the other hand, with the SID, you can dynamically alter the timbre of the samples by using the multi-mode filter.

This is one of the features the Amiga is lacking, but which exists in sample-based synthesizers of the 80's.
True, but then again as I understand it, Paula's modulation technique is not available to the SID. Furthermore, if you really want that sound, there is nothing stopping you from creating a sample that includes said timbre alterations and filters. Nor are you stopped from creating a software solution (or tracker feature if you like) that allows these dynamic alterations if you can spare the resources to make it happen.

So it's clearly not as simple as saying "Paula can only play back samples, the SID can alter them".

Quote:
Not sure what you mean by "realism".

If you go by that definition, there is no need to use an Amiga, C64 or Atari ST at all.

But since I am a deluded Amiga and retro computing fan in general, I choose to celebrate my hobby. And by doing that, maintain a sense for the exciting history / roots of our digital information culture.
What I mean by realism is what I tried to point out above. The synth chips are being placed on a pedestal of uberness, while fairly good emulation of these features by Paula is being disregarded as de-facto pointless or at least not good enough. I disagree with that assessment.

Quote:
We already experienced this. Or is youtube somehow establishing a direct analogue connection to a real C64 for the examples I posted.
Right, so you agree with me then that a sampler based system is not limited in what types of sounds it can reproduce (given it's specs) and that it therefore can reproduce synth-like sounds as well?

Quote:
Careful. There are more methods to play back samples on the C64.

Here is an example for a 44.1kHz 8-bit playback sample routine on the SID.

[ Show youtube player ]

(watch at 1:27)

Given enough memory, I think it is possibile to (subjectively) match the quality of Paula (at least for 1 single mono channel, since the SID can not do stereo).

The biggest memory expansion for the C64 is 32MB. Should be enough to fit a complete song....

Btw, another cool example how the triangle waveform can be used to compress samples:

[ Show youtube player ]

It is the limitations, which bring out the best in humans.
Oh I know about those SID playback routines. I think they're pretty cool. Like I said, I love the SID so do know a bit about what is done with it. I've heard some Amiga mods being played through the C64 SID using a similar player and it does sound nice. I'm not sure it sounds as nice as the real thing, but that could just be me.

On the point of the 44.1KHz playback via SID, surely you know that Paula can do better than one channel 44.1KHz@8 bits? We know this because a) it's been done (I'm pretty sure I had a 14 bit playback player on my A1200 back in the late 1990's playing back 32 channel modules at that rate) and b) Paula is not actually limited to audio DMA rates.

There's a bunch of YouTube videos easily locatable where a guy streams songs (some of them really rather long) over Paula @44.1KHz/14bits/calibrated output. To my perhaps defective ears, the audio quality seems really very good (especially for a 1985 chip). It may just be my lack of imagination, but I can't see the synth chips discussed here (the Atari ST one/the SID) do the same at the same fidelity given the hardware involved.

I'd argue that the only real reason we're not seeing a bunch of Paula playback routines exceeding 44KHz is that it doesn't add all much compared to the amount of resources it would take to do this and that cheap hardware solutions that allow for this already exist, not because it's not possible - the hardware allows for much more than what audio DMA defaults to.

Quote:
My point was more that you need a much higher degree of emulation accuracy to correcly model the SID.

Effects like oscillator sync or the combined waveforms sound simply terrible on non-accurate emulation models.

But an accurate software models sounds quite great, even when re-sampled from 985kHz down to 44.1 kHz.

So, I think there is no need to violate the AUDxDAT registers, and turn off all existing DMA in the Amiga to free DMA slots for actually being able to update the chip-ram at this rate.
My point was purely that the notion that the chip itself (Paula) can't do something because the SID runs at 985KHz is not valid by itself because Paula runs at a much faster rate.

Not that this was necessarily useful in the real world, merely an observation. Just like how the 985KHz digital elements in the SID don't translate to a useful 985KHz output signal and thus it's a bit of a red herring to discuss them as such.

Quote:
But why would I want to do this? I like Amiga chip music.
It may not have been you, but that's not the vibe I got from this thread. It reads much more like "let's bash Paula because it doesn't do synth in hardware" and "let's all talk about how poor samples sound compared to synths".

I freely admit this can be merely my reading of it though.

Last edited by roondar; 10 January 2019 at 01:28.
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Old 10 January 2019, 02:56   #78
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What a bizarre thread... Atari (ST) had chance to deliver decent audio chip - it was called "AMY 1" and can do something like IFFT (additive synthesis) - but from some reason Atari didn't try to use this chip in Atari ST, instead AMY 1 Atari decided to use AY clone (YM2149). Paula easily can simulate AY chip but see no point in this... AY is almost same level primitivism as POKEY.
Paula can do any form of synthesis supported by CSound http://eab.abime.net/showthread.php?t=70053, newer CSound for Mac classic is also possible http://www.anthonykozar.net/csound-macos/ - this is privilege of sampling technology.
Comparing incomparable is weird and bizarre...
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Old 10 January 2019, 07:44   #79
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Pandy71, POKEY is NOTHING like the ST chip. POKEY is a Jay Miner creation, therefore, unique. And it generally sounds better.
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Old 10 January 2019, 09:30   #80
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hewitson View Post
I am talking about the YM range in general, not just the one used in the ST...
Off topic.

Quote:
(which isn't even a Yamaha design, anyway).
The YM2149 was an enhancement of the AY-3-8910 PSG (Programmable Sound Generator). The YMZ294 and YMZ284 shrunk it into 18 and 16 pin packages respectively, with a different bus interface and no GPIO ports. The YMZ285 added 1 channel of PCM sound on a separate output, in a 28 pin package. The YM2203 had full PSG features plus a 'new' 3 channel FM synthesizer. The YM2608 had full PSG plus 6 channel FM synthesis and 1 ADPCM channel. The YMF288 dropped the PSG and ADPCM channels, leaving just FM synthesis.

Other 'YM' chips also had varying capabilities. The YM2413 for example only had 2 FM waveforms and could only play one user-defined instrument at a time, while the YMF701 incorporated OPL3 and OPL3-L, 16-bit stereo CODEC, MIDI interface, game port, Plug and Play ISA bus interface, Windows Sound System and Sound Blaster Pro compatibility.

So the category 'YM range in general' is too broad to be useful, especially when the topic is Amiga (Paula) vs Atari ST (Yamaha AY)!
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