I've written a program for easily writing music for the Atari 2600. Sort of.
It actually runs on the PC side and isn't "stand-alone" in that you have to also install MODPlug (if you want real-time preview), an emulator to test binaries and some additional asm libraries / compiler. The install instructions will be very clear but they will need to be followed with everything in the same directory. Once you've set this folder up, you can technically copy it to someone else and it will just work. (I just can't officially distrib everything in one folder!)
I'm still working on the tool at the moment. For instance it doesn't have a "load" and "save" feature at the moment because I'm still confirming what is in memory! It will be a single EXE file - no install required - around 40kb and run on Win 95, 98, XP,Vista and 7. Takes about 2 seconds to load on a Pentium 90mhz w/ 16MB RAM. Or 0.2 of a second to load on anything made after 2005. No Mac support but runs on Virtualbox fine.
At the moment I'm adding support for triplet time. This is the first thing I realized I wanted when I tried to make a tune run at an "in-between" tempo! I'm looking at releasing it in late May "as-is" on the logic that if it works for me, it should work for others. Every 3 months or so I might try to implement requested features. For those who have a Harmony cart, it has a "direct to SD" feature which means after previewing you can press a single button which compiles the BIN and pops it on an SD card for preview on the real hardware within seconds.
This is a tool for compiling binaries that run on real systems with real carts. It also supports 4kb EPROMs :-)
Plan for the long term:
- tune "memory optimizer" to allow longer songs (although you can do this yourself in the ASM window)
- support for putting graphics / logo on the screen (first instance will be 1-bit)
- bank switching support allowing up to 8 songs to be put on one cart with own artwork
- potentially add a live mode to hold patterns in a loop and move between sections with synthcart controller.
(all the long term stuff could be 2012ish. Depends when I release an Atari music cart to when I make the software!)
While it might look a little complex, it's actually piss easy to use. In fact, you don't have to touch a single setting if you don't want to - you can just put notes in, punch in an order and press "compile song".
Just letting you know it's coming soon!!
Last edited by cTrix (April 27, 2011 3:38 pm)