(58 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Here is a fairly melancholic track that I made:



(58 replies, posted in General Discussion)

This is probably the saddest I've released: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oPvZk7PsylU

Or possibly this track from a one hour compo: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_002REXxz4s


(3 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

I am guessing the best source today is modland at ftp.modland.com/pub/modules/Protracker/ which still seems to be maintained.

It's all about taste, of course! I think it sounds good.

I wouldn't have come up with this kind of mixing since I try to follow some common guidelines. I'm not saying it would sound better since every track has it's own personality, but just for the sake of explaining the difference of what I'd have done as a standard approach:

Bass mono. Stereo bass take up a lot of energy from the speakers.
Harmony (chords/pads) stereo. Pads are the perfect candidate to create a stereo context by introducing a wide element.
Kick, snare mono, in general.

I'd be aiming for the track to sound OK in mono and not only in my stereo headphones. That being said I think your mixing brings the track some personality and atmosphere and wouldn't say it was "wrong" in anyway. Maybe go a bit easier with the bass level though.

I started tracking with CBT yesterday and I love it. It seems like the perfect software to get that oldschool sound, while still being able to pimp it a bit without loosing the right feeling. Very inspiring and easy to learn (if you have some tracking experience). After some hours of tracking with it, the only feature I'm still afraid of is the ringmod smile, especially since it seems to occupy one of the tracks (?)

I personally never became friends with AHX/hively et c, but CBT is perfect to me. Four tracks is all you need!

Have there been any new version released? I can't even enter a Cxx command (or any command) in my version when in edit mode. The instrument editor seems to work though.

Really hyped to get it working here!

I'm running on 0.937.

I'm making a script for Renoise and would just like to invite you to come with suggestions or feature requests on this project. It's relevant for the chip community since it will (for one thing) be capable of converting chords to arps in very customized manners. It will also encourage rapid prototyping when it comes to arps (or any representation of a chord) in terms of their rhythms and rules. For example, you could generate an arp track (with arps behaving in a very specified way) by combining a guiding chord track with a rhythm/trigger track. What I've generated so far with the prototypes sounded pretty awesome and would be stuff that you'd be reluctant trying to track by hand.

Have a look if you find this interesting and feel free to come with suggestions: https://github.com/snabeljoel/Chord-manipulation-model

Feel free to question whether it would be capable of doing X or Y since that could provoke me into implementing more features!



(37 replies, posted in Audio Production)

Add "gs" for ghost snare? I imagine some of the snares in funky beats should be ghost snares, basically a snare at a lower volume.

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(12 replies, posted in Software & Plug-ins)

nitro2k01 wrote:

Just chuck whatever basic features you want in there, but there's something that's perhaps more difficult to code, but highly desirable, namely bandlimited waveforms. This means that the waveform won't alias at higher frequencies/for higher frequency components. (The latter is often the case with some wonky waveforms some people like to use in hand drawn waveforms.) Another thing to consider, even though I'm not sure how to best do this for a non-tracker interface VST host, is pitch type commands like 1/2/3/5 in ProTracker/Fast Tracker style trackers and L/P in LSDj.

Nice ideas.

I think the waveforms should be at least 64 byte and possibly 16-bit. Style with fidelity. What is the practice when it comes to bandlimiting? Would it need a HP+LP filter at certain frequencies to sound better, and at what frequencies in that case?

Thanks a lot for the feedback guys.


(12 replies, posted in Software & Plug-ins)

SadPanda wrote:

all your described features are already in plogue chipsounds... but if you're planning for a free plugin, it could be a good alternative for people with no $$$. Some suggestions I have are the ability to save/load presets, adjustable portamento, and maybe a bitcrusher.

In Plogue I cannot even draw a waveform. Possibly a lo-fi one in the registered version, but I am not sure. Midi delay is available, but not with detuning. Step modulation I am not sure of, but I don't think it's there either. It seems very limited compared to the basic features that I am trying to achieve.

Portamendo, glide and bitcrusher are good ideas! Thanks.


(12 replies, posted in Software & Plug-ins)

What features would you want available in a VSTi aimed at producing sounds in the style of tracker chip music?

I have thought about the following features, some of which I've already made in synthedit:

1) Basic waveforms (sin/saw/pul/tri/etc) and freeform high resolution wave editing.
2) Pulsewidth LFO (speed/depth/offset), including step modulation (with randomization) meaning that the width only changes on note retrig.
3) Basic ADSR volume envelope and ability to draw freeform volume envelopes.
4) Vibrato including delay and attack parameters.
5) Pitch envelope
6) Multiple voices (maybe 4), for the ability of stereodetuning, detuned delays and pads+arps in the same instrument.
7) Per note compressor.
8) Arpeggiator including custom arps (for ostinatos et c).

Am i missing something?

I am aiming at chipsounds in the style of PC trackers rather than Gameboy, C64 or FM synthesis.


How are things going?

Are you still developing and using synthedit? I am thinking about getting it to make a chip synth mimicing the capabilities of XM instruments + some other modulation features. Not sure if it's still being developed though, and if the modules i would need are available. I'd love to have a small chat with you if you're ever on esper.net.

Below are paramount factors that I have pinpointed (but they might differ depending on your genre and taste). I often find myself stalled on one of these points, making it difficult finnishing a track. So, these are just some of my personal ideas that might possibly give some input on identifying your weak spots when it comes to composing. This is quickly posted so let me know if something should be more clear or if you have any questions.

A) Song structure
This is all about maintaining the listeners interest while evoking emotions/attitudes. This includes dynamics over time, meaning that the "energy" of the song evolves (often according to a norm/scheme). It also includes both variation and repetition/familiarity, and if your track is based on chord progressions the ever so difficult art of modulation (key change) will be an efficient way of maintaining interest, variation and energy.

One of the the most basic tricks is to start by making a patterns were you go "all in" arrangement wise, and then strip this arrangement for use in the earlier parts of the song. This requires confidence and will probably make you perfect the stripped down version of the arrangement, chord and rhythm wise, which might also be beneficial for use in the versions with higher energy.

B) Chord progression
Depending on your genre, this is more or less important, although there are very few genres that won't benefit from an interesting chord progression imo. I recommend using a conventional instrument like guitar or piano for making chord progressions. My personal opinion is that an interesting chord progression will at least include any of these: 1) bass inversion, 2) exotic chord(s), 3) colored chords, suspensions or chords with more than 3 voices. Making a melodic song with only in-key triads and root as bass would probally require a really great arrangement or rhythm to be percieved as an interesting song. I think this is often a common obstacle when it comes to music formats with very few channels, but it is possible to overcome by using various techniques.

C) Arrangement
This is an important aspect. To me, the best songs have an efficient arrangement. Simply put there are two extreme paths to choose from: symphonic or rhythmic. The latter will often make it easier to achieve a better mix (get a powerful sound). By switching between different arrangements thru out the song you will bring variation and possibly trick the ear into exaggerating the different qualities of the different arrangements (e g, you can really lift a part by intentionally making a minimal or even worse part before. The ear will percieve the different parts by contrasts, mainly).
To make a good arrangement, it is important to have a repertoir of different song elements depending on your genre, and different ways of implementing them. What type of bass line to use in dub step, and what to use for funk? How to use an ostinato to make a cheesy part even cheesier?

Other than these factors, your song should have an identity (main idea, or at least a distinguishable vibe).  Also, small hooks never fail.

If you want your track to sound louder, it's better to use a multiband compressor imo. If you want to make it easy for yourself, try out some mastering plugins like psp vintagewarmer2 and izotope ozone. The former can boost your track quite much in a natural way, and the latter is capable of doing extra mastering tricks like multiband excitement et c.

When you are normalizing your master you want to get rid of unwanted peaks. The track will normalize itself to the highest peak in the track, so it's probably a good idea to put a hard compressor (or limiter) last in the mastering chain.

I just got a pair of Adam P11A.

Before this I only used my headphones (sennheiser HD-650 and akg 271 mk2) and these new monitors are helping me a lot, although I'm still early in the process of learning mixing.