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Old 07 January 2008, 15:00   #1
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Question Chiptune

Well ... i didn't know where to post this but ....
what is a chiptune ?

It's something different from a normal mod file ?

Thanks in advance
 
Old 07 January 2008, 15:14   #2
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Definition of Chiptune.

Amiga does not have any sound chips so chiptunes are nothing more than normal modules. They constitute of very small instruments' (samples') files and are in overall quite small in size.
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Old 07 January 2008, 20:54   #3
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Thank you mailman

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Old 08 January 2008, 09:37   #4
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@mailman: Hmmm. That's interesting. I didn't realise that Amiga chiptunes were made with small soundsamples.

I'd always assumed that the sounds were generated by the chiptune player code doing something like defining sine, square, saw wave data etc. to then play as defined by the tune's data format which would select wave type to play, pitch, duration etc. meaning only a very small space taken by any sounds (the defined wave data in the code). I've never done any coding to do with sound on the Amiga so that's only my guess. Still, you live and learn.

Anyone ever written a chiptune player who can describe the method? I for one would be interested.
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Old 08 January 2008, 11:39   #5
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@pmc

I know that "samples" in chiptunes are not "sampled" but generated by some generator. In case of Amiga this generator is not hardware but software but in the end you get a module with those "sounds" as "samples/instruments".
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Old 08 January 2008, 11:43   #6
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What about music in Amiga Victory Road? Is it real chiptune or not?
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Old 08 January 2008, 12:32   #7
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@mailman: Fair enough, thanks for the clarification, that's my fault for misreading the context of 'samples' in your post. I see what you were saying now.

Out of interest, do you know of any tracker type apps that can be used to generate chiptunes, preferrably with some player code included? The only thing I've ever come across like this myself is one by Brian Postma (I think it's called Soundmon...?) but I've never been able to get it to work - it crashes whenever I've run it.
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Old 08 January 2008, 12:32   #8
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By the geekiest of definitions it's not a chiptune, by a more liberal definition (i.e. there is very little functional difference between soft and hard synths) then yes it is. Like Obi Wan Kenobi said "Many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view".

@pmc: There's loads of them for the Amiga (not so many for PeeCee) here's a few links to get you started.

Chiptunes.free.fr - Mucho good info for all chippy computers/consoles.
Microkit's Amiga Trackers - Sister site to the above, contains all publically available Amiga trackers that have synth support.
VORC - Chiptune news/link site.
GoatTracker - Cross-platform SID composer for modern hardware (also supports HardSID card).

Last edited by OddbOd; 08 January 2008 at 12:45.
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Old 08 January 2008, 16:30   #9
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Old 08 January 2008, 21:36   #10
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@ PMC

Octamed features it own internal synthesiser, so "non sample based" chiptunes could be composed using that alone.
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Old 09 January 2008, 11:16   #11
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@OddbOd & Hungry Horace: Nice one chaps, I'll check those out.
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Old 09 January 2008, 11:22   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mailman View Post
Definition of Chiptune.

Amiga does not have any sound chips so chiptunes are nothing more than normal modules. They constitute of very small instruments' (samples') files and are in overall quite small in size.
Amiga doesn't have any sound chips? It does and its called Paula.

Anything using Protracker/Noisetracker/Soundtracker isn't a REAL chip tune, its tightly looped small samples.

However, there are many other music programs that do and can use REAL chip noises/voices.

Delta, Sidmon, TFMX, plus others that I cannot remember the name of right now. Lots of the early chiptune cracktros used a combination of both.
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Old 09 January 2008, 11:27   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
Amiga doesn't have any sound chips? It does and its called Paula.
Yes, you are right. But can this chip work in the same way as eg. SID (can it synthethise sounds)? I think Paula just produces audio output.

I wrote this based on what Wikipedia says. I know about Paula but I was not sure (and still I am not) if this works exactly like eg. SID (only in that matter I wrote that it does not have sound chips. Reading between the lines I meant "dedicated with ability to synthethise sounds"). But I might/may be wrong.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Galahad/FLT View Post
However, there are many other music programs that do and can use REAL chip noises/voices.
Are these noises/voices generated within the chip or within the software which emulates the chip (and the chip itself is just producing audio output)?

I don't argue, just discuss because it becomes quite interesting thread.
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Old 09 January 2008, 13:31   #14
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There's no such thing as a "real" chip sound. The Amiga can only playback samples. It has no hardware waveform generators or extra audio circuitry, unlike the C64's SID which has a digital waveform generator/combiner and an analogue filter circuit. A waveform generator would simply generate sample data. Loading in a sine wave sample into Protracker would be exactly the same as having a program generate its own sine wave. Programs that synthesize their own sounds merely edit the tiny sample waveforms in real time. I had the idea of using single-cycle waveforms in Noisetracker when I did LastNinja2 because I had to get each tune under 40k. Because I was converting from the C64, I had a spare sound channel, so in some tunes I used the the same waveform in two channels with the pitch shifted up slightly in one channel to get a chorus effect.

The classic definition of what is taken to be a chiptune in Amiga terms, is one where there are single-cycle waveforms used as instruments. You can tell a single-cycle waveform by its total lack of modulation, or (in programs that do actually synthesize) by its rudimentary filter/modulation and lack of obvious loop point.

In Protracker, one of the 'E' commands can edit the waveform in realtime. I used it in Bill's Tomato Game (try the prehistoric levels). It slowly inverts the sample data as it plays back, which can be used to create the classic pulse-width-modulation (c64 sound) if the source sample is of a certain type, or can create more interesting sounds with more complex single-cycle waveforms. It doesn't quite work cleanly though as the inversion point is reset depending on when the command is called, causing the sample data to corrupt over time.
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Old 09 January 2008, 14:00   #15
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What about sounds which you can hear in basic Amos games (those high, loud beeps)?
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Old 09 January 2008, 14:09   #16
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the AMOS beep / bang commands?
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Old 09 January 2008, 14:19   #17
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I've not heard them, but I'd expect them to be a single-cycle square wave written into RAM and then played.
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Old 10 January 2008, 19:03   #18
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Future Composer makes sounds from a wavetable look up and/or samples.
Octamed and med have ways off making synth sounds, can't remember!
MusicLine Editor was probably the best overall though, also had 8 voice output
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Old 11 January 2008, 21:50   #19
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Found this:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=TxEjI04Dip4

At 01:42 and at 02:16 you can hear what I was talking about with the 'E' command in Protracker. It's the same inversion effect in both sounds, just with a slightly different source waveform. You can hear it modulating around, sounding like it's got some sort of phaser/flanger on there.

Do I bore you?
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Old 17 January 2008, 22:20   #20
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General question:
Was 4-mat of Anarchy the first who used this small samples on the Amiga?
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