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Old 17 September 2015, 21:52   #1
rodland
 
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Is there directly coded Amiga music?

Some early C64 musicians coded their music directly by using assembly (instead of using any sort of music program). Are there similar cases in the Amiga domain?

I have heard a claim that TSM (Felix Schmidt) who wrote Paranoimia cracktro song coded his music directly but I'm not sure about that. Wonder how about David Whittaker who was one of those people who did exactly that on C64.
 
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Old 17 September 2015, 21:56   #2
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I would imagine there werent many but off the top of my head didn't Paul van der valk code his?
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Old 18 September 2015, 00:55   #3
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There are lots. Just head over to http://exotica.org.uk and look at all the custom formats. David Whittaker, Jochen Hipple and David "uncleArt" Lowe to name but a few.
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Old 18 September 2015, 11:27   #4
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I wrote a music compiler but never finished it because I needed too much runtime library code to implement the Protracker instruction set.
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Old 18 September 2015, 13:18   #5
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
There are lots. Just head over to http://exotica.org.uk and look at all the custom formats. David Whittaker, Jochen Hipple and David "uncleArt" Lowe to name but a few.
Custom format does not imply that music is directly coded without a music program. AFAIK it usually simply means that the format is rare and/or not meant for wider public. For example a custom format may be designed just for the purposes of one artist or scenegroup or game designing team.
 
Old 18 September 2015, 14:10   #6
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Can somebody explain what you mean by 'coded music'? I am a web developer and also make electronic music with Logic, and although I have no games programming knowledge, coding and music composition are two very different things.

Electronic music basically comes in two categories - synthesis, or samples. Do you mean the games trigger sampled pieces of music, either individual sounds or entire tracks? That's not really 'coded music.' Or do you mean some kind of synthesis using code? I don't really see how that's possible with based on my (admittedly not comprehensive) knowledge of object oriented programming, you cannot define a note or synth patch in code

Any examples would be appreciated.
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Old 18 September 2015, 15:05   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edd_jedi View Post
Can somebody explain what you mean by 'coded music'? I am a web developer and also make electronic music with Logic, and although I have no games programming knowledge, coding and music composition are two very different things.

Electronic music basically comes in two categories - synthesis, or samples. Do you mean the games trigger sampled pieces of music, either individual sounds or entire tracks? That's not really 'coded music.' Or do you mean some kind of synthesis using code? I don't really see how that's possible with based on my (admittedly not comprehensive) knowledge of object oriented programming, you cannot define a note or synth patch in code

Any examples would be appreciated.
Of course you can do that

In fact, old computer music almost always required you to define the notes. Both the C64 and Amiga documentation contains some tables which show you how to sounds having the right frequencies to create various notes.

It's still done today, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Software_synthesizer for some more info about using software to create sounds.

(note: the Amiga/C64 generally didn't use a software synthesizer to create sounds, but it is a good example of how to create sounds in pure software)
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Old 18 September 2015, 15:33   #8
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Thanks for the reply, so are you saying the Amiga SDK had its own built in synthesizers, or did the developers have to code their own within the games?
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Old 18 September 2015, 15:46   #9
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I may not have been clear: the Amiga does not have a software synthesizer in the SDK and most if not all Amiga games did not do actual software synthesis.

They usually just played samples at given frequencies (the frequency then becomes the 'note' of the sample - which you could look up in the documentation I mentioned). Thus, software needed to define notes for playback

Some games did have 'chiptunes', where the samples where replaced by really, really short ones that contained a basic waveform (or a pre-calculated synthesized waveform) such as a sawtooth or pulse wave. This sounds a lot like synthesized music.

There where software synthesizers for the Amiga though. The best known one is 'Say', which let you have voice synthesis on the Amiga. Full music synthesizers where also available, but those took a lot of CPU power and generaly where only used on 68030+ machines.

If games did use synthesis (I am not aware any did), they'd have probably just used it to precalculate the waveforms I described before for chip tunes.
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Old 18 September 2015, 16:26   #10
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Soprol, Beathoven Synthesizer.
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Old 18 September 2015, 16:43   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
I may not have been clear: the Amiga does not have a software synthesizer in the SDK and most if not all Amiga games did not do actual software synthesis.

They usually just played samples at given frequencies (the frequency then becomes the 'note' of the sample - which you could look up in the documentation I mentioned). Thus, software needed to define notes for playback

Some games did have 'chiptunes', where the samples where replaced by really, really short ones that contained a basic waveform (or a pre-calculated synthesized waveform) such as a sawtooth or pulse wave. This sounds a lot like synthesized music.

There where software synthesizers for the Amiga though. The best known one is 'Say', which let you have voice synthesis on the Amiga. Full music synthesizers where also available, but those took a lot of CPU power and generaly where only used on 68030+ machines.

If games did use synthesis (I am not aware any did), they'd have probably just used it to precalculate the waveforms I described before for chip tunes.
Unregistered version of Deluxe Galaga used voice synthesis instead of voice samples. AHX and HivelyTracker use chiptune style sound synthesis also.
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Old 18 September 2015, 16:49   #12
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Interesting... Turns out there is more music synthesis in Amiga games than I was aware of.

I always thought the CPU load for that would be rather large. Does anyone know how much rastertime these synthesizers used? It can't have been that much then?
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Old 18 September 2015, 17:36   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by roondar View Post
Interesting... Turns out there is more music synthesis in Amiga games than I was aware of.

I always thought the CPU load for that would be rather large. Does anyone know how much rastertime these synthesizers used? It can't have been that much then?
The Say command in WB 1.3 and earlier ran an on a flat 68000. The voice synthesis in Deluxe Galaga only announced the type of level: "get ready", "meteor storm", and during a warp malfunction: "warning, warning, warning". It didn't speak during the actual gameplay. (Besides that, the registered version used speech samples instead so it didn't sound like a robot.)
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Old 18 September 2015, 19:18   #14
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Originally Posted by roondar View Post
Electronic music basically comes in two categories - synthesis, or samples. Do you mean the games trigger sampled pieces of music, either individual sounds or entire tracks? That's not really 'coded music.' Or do you mean some kind of synthesis using code? I don't really see how that's possible with based on my (admittedly not comprehensive) knowledge of object oriented programming, you cannot define a note or synth patch in code
I assumed that most of "directly coded music" would be rather software synth -like instead of being sample based. Famous "Paranoimia crack intro" is claimed to be directly programmed (though I'm not sure!) and it sounds like a simple software synth thing, or what do you think?
[ Show youtube player ]

However, I think also samples could have been used in "directly coded music". AFAIK Rob Hubbard used samples on C64 while directly coding his songs.

As other ppl already said, it is possible to define all the properties of sound in code (at least when dealing with PCM sound chip like Paula which does not set any limitations for waveforms etc.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Samurai_Crow View Post
Unregistered version of Deluxe Galaga used voice synthesis instead of voice samples. AHX and HivelyTracker use chiptune style sound synthesis also.
OctaMED was there before AHX. It supports both "synth sounds" and samples.

Hear OctaMED synth sound here (an example song by the author, most of lead and tom drums are "synth", while background chords are samples):
http://208.70.31.85/OAKVALLEY/soamc/...g2_T01_MIX.mp3
 
Old 18 September 2015, 19:23   #15
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You can go ahead and "code music in" on a C64 because it has a synth chip inside and if you pokedata to registers in the memory map, they make sounds. If you get used to it, you can make a pretty good job at it (Jeroen Tel). Even if you are not a programmer, if you know the right registers and how to use them and in which order, you can make a tune this way.

I am pretty sure that is not how the Amiga works, since it's DAC based. You'd have to add code to generate synth sounds or samples and it becomes a lot less trivial. LEt's not forget you can add data to the C64 memory right away through its inbuilt BASIC interpreter, and this just doesn't happen with the Amiga. Far easier, if you know how to code, to build an editor/tracker, and that's what some people did.

On another note, "Softsynth" software of note for the Amiga was Aegis Sonix, and some trackers synthesized their own samples to work with (AHX, SIDtrackr, Musicline, some versions of Octamed and more).

So in brief, although doing this on the C64 and other computers was a relatively "easy" way to get to do music for the computer, on the Amiga it wouldn't be as easy and I wouldn't see anyone doing it in its timeframe for practical reasons.
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Old 18 September 2015, 20:17   #16
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I remember a few players that were purely source back in the day, they either generated waveforms on the fly and sent them to the DAC or had the waveform samples in the source. (basically like chipmods did it) One that did the rounds quite a lot back then played a cover of the "Storm" music. (originally by David Whittaker, don't know who did the driver version) It was used in a few cracktros so I'm sure it'll turn up, can't remember what the CUST. version is called.
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Old 18 September 2015, 20:51   #17
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I remember a few players that were purely source back in the day, they either generated waveforms on the fly and sent them to the DAC or had the waveform samples in the source. (basically like chipmods did it) One that did the rounds quite a lot back then played a cover of the "Storm" music. (originally by David Whittaker, don't know who did the driver version) It was used in a few cracktros so I'm sure it'll turn up, can't remember what the CUST. version is called.
That Storm remix used in 1987 cracktros is credited to a German scener Thomas Lopatic (Dr.Nobody/HQC) who also wrote the "Beathoven Synthesizer" format.

http://www.exotica.org.uk/wiki/Beathoven_Synthesizer
 
Old 19 September 2015, 01:48   #18
Mrs Beanbag
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how about the programs that generated music algorithmically, would they count?
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Old 19 September 2015, 02:10   #19
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I seem to remember a "Kaktus & Mahoney" musicdisk that claimed it synthesized sounds. If that was just your usual scrollertalk or for real I don't know.
(Mind you, Mahoney coded his own tracker so one should not be suprised that the knowledge could be there.)

Last edited by NorthWay; 19 September 2015 at 21:21. Reason: typo
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Old 19 September 2015, 06:44   #20
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Mahoney is a computer audio god, I wouldn't be surprised of anything coming from him, have you heard the things he made the C64 do recently?
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