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Old 19 August 2008, 15:39   #21
StingRay
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Originally Posted by alexh View Post
Yeah right... not!
Such answer is incredibly useful. What's not correct then? He definitely WAS a coder and from what I know he made a lot of music in plain assembler!
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Old 19 August 2008, 15:46   #22
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Being a coder does not mean he hand edited music patterns in ASM.

Yes he wrote his own replay routines.
Yes he wrote his own custom module format.
Yes he wrote his own compression routines.
No he almost certainly won't have hand edited binary/hex patterns to input his music.

He will have coded his own system to input the music patterns. Perhaps even captured from MIDI devices such as a piano keyboard?

By 1990 it is possible that he didn't even use an Amiga to compose his work. It would have been a lot faster to use a 486 PC and cross assemble.
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Old 19 August 2008, 15:54   #23
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Being a coder does not mean he hand edited music patterns in ASM.
He definitely did just that, at least on the C64! Not sure if he did it on Amiga too but there WERE musicians who never used any tracker/editor and made all of their music in assembler! Suntronic (Felix Schmidt) being the most famous one I suppose!
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Old 19 August 2008, 15:56   #24
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By 1990 it is possible that he didn't even use an Amiga to compose his work. It would have been a lot faster to use a 486 PC and cross assemble.
Cross assembly for a games programmer yes, but not for a musician, most wrote the music on the target machine, after all, not likely that a piece of music will crash the machine, hence the purpose of cross assembly.
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Old 19 August 2008, 16:15   #25
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I still find it difficult to believe that by 1990 he hand created his music patterns as binary/hex using a text editor.

The time that would be eaten up by the edit-assemble-play-edit-assemble-play would be prohibitive.

Even if he had a program could take in the patterns without the assemble... creating loops etc. would be so time consuming compared to the music tools available.
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Old 19 August 2008, 16:35   #26
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I still find it difficult to believe that by 1990 he hand created his music patterns as binary/hex using a text editor.
Even nowadays there's still music created using the "type notes/effects as dc.b sequences in an assembler" approach, mainly used in 4k synths. And because a coder/musician knows his play routine very well he can easily create music EXACTLY the way he wants it, i.e. he can tweak the replayer if necessary and stuff. You might find it difficult to believe but it's more common than you think.
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Old 19 August 2008, 16:48   #27
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But surely these are hackers who are just producing the odd bit of music now and again for demo's and are too lazy to code a proper editor?

Someone who is composing music day in day out for a living would create tools over the years?

I personally know three commercial video game musicians (of the time), none as successful as DW, two created their own custom tools similar to a tracker and third used a commercial tracker. Perhaps they were the exception that proves the rule?

I will bow to your superior knowledge. Perhaps if you were ultra old skool (i.e. started in the 8-bit genre) and were a lot older then you get stuck in your ways. E.G. I still prefer to use notepad over frontpage/dreamweaver for my HTML, but then I only play at webpages.
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Old 26 August 2010, 10:03   #28
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But surely these are hackers who are just producing the odd bit of music now and again for demo's and are too lazy to code a proper editor?

Someone who is composing music day in day out for a living would create tools over the years?

I personally know three commercial video game musicians (of the time), none as successful as DW, two created their own custom tools similar to a tracker and third used a commercial tracker. Perhaps they were the exception that proves the rule?

I will bow to your superior knowledge. Perhaps if you were ultra old skool (i.e. started in the 8-bit genre) and were a lot older then you get stuck in your ways. E.G. I still prefer to use notepad over frontpage/dreamweaver for my HTML, but then I only play at webpages.
Coding a proper editor would most likely mean conforming to the limits of a specified module format unless the editor is from outer space and lets you tweak everything and add dsp-code willy nilly and then adjust the replayer accordingly.

The point of doing music in assembly language is just that. You can add or adjust dsp-effects, tweak the replayer and discard anything which is not used alltogether. And editing music in asm isn't that complicated as it may sound, it's actually pretty straight forward.

There's plenty of hand coded music on the amiga, even today as StingRay pointed out in 4k-intros and the likes.
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Old 26 August 2010, 11:19   #29
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Two years ago we weren't talking about whether it could be done. We were talking about whether David Whittaker, a professional video games musician composing hundreds of modules per year would have entered his music by hand using ASM in text form. Not saying it wasn't possible, but do you really think that was likely?

As for conforming to a module format;

1) it was most likely HIS format and HIS tools which he probably had the source for giving any flexibility he needed.
2) Most of his modules use the same replay routine which to me kinda hints that he didn't want this flexibility very often.
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Old 26 August 2010, 11:35   #30
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I don't have any clue as to how Mr Whittaker edited his music since I've never met or spoken to him. However hand coding music in asm (or any other language for that matter) isn't as awkward as you make it out to be and was pretty common back when, and as such I find StingRays assumption that DW hand coded his tunes to be pretty valid. It's also quite possible that he used a custom made editor, but like I said we won't know for sure until someone asks him.
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Old 26 August 2010, 11:39   #31
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Two years ago we weren't talking about whether it could be done. We were talking about whether David Whittaker, a professional video games musician composing hundreds of modules per year would have entered his music by hand using ASM in text form. Not saying it wasn't possible, but do you really think that was likely?

As for conforming to a module format;

1) it was most likely HIS format and HIS tools which he probably had the source for giving any flexibility he needed.
2) Most of his modules use the same replay routine which to me kinda hints that he didn't want this flexibility very often.
And since you edited your post: What does it matter that this was discussed two years ago? It's a subject I'm interrested in so I'm gonna jump in. You don't have to reply if you feel the thread is too old.
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Old 26 August 2010, 11:42   #32
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We were talking about whether David Whittaker, a professional video games musician composing hundreds of modules per year would have entered his music by hand using ASM in text form. Not saying it wasn't possible, but do you really think that was likely?
That's exactly how he made music for C64 games! So it is likely that he did the same on Amiga. But seeing that you think only lazy "hackers" do it that way makes any discussion pointless anyway.
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Old 26 August 2010, 11:44   #33
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It sounds to me that the lazy way is to make an editor anyway. (:
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Old 26 August 2010, 13:03   #34
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Anyways, nice discussion and would be cool to know the truth... But in the wiki also they say he just made it in assembly..


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_W..._game_composer)

Cool stuff for sure!!
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Old 23 January 2021, 18:55   #35
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Being a coder does not mean he hand edited music patterns in ASM.

Yes he wrote his own replay routines.
Yes he wrote his own custom module format.
Yes he wrote his own compression routines.
No he almost certainly won't have hand edited binary/hex patterns to input his music.

He will have coded his own system to input the music patterns. Perhaps even captured from MIDI devices such as a piano keyboard?

By 1990 it is possible that he didn't even use an Amiga to compose his work. It would have been a lot faster to use a 486 PC and cross assemble.
he was using midi even in the ZX Spectrum/C64 days so I assume it would be the same with Amiga format. Probably mix or some sort of midi sequencer with simple synth (aka Future Composer etc) and sample playback (pure speculation though). He was very good at writing his own stuff.
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Old 30 January 2021, 10:55   #36
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Writing your music in ASM makes sense in the C64 because no matter which tool you use you're directly programming the SID either way and even the most user friendly "tracker" requires you to know how this chip works.

It does not make that much sense in the Amiga. What is it exactly that you're going to do in assembler? You're not programming a sound chip, all Paula does is replay samples. You can make your own routine to generate waveforms and stuff like ML, AHX, and many others.

He probably made his own tracker like tool mimicking the c64 sounds. There's literally hundreds of those made in the 80s and early 90s. Even for a single tune, this would be more efficient.
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