FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby Threxx » Sat Nov 14, 2015 3:24 pm

DRW wrote:Thanks for the information.

Since I don't know much about FamiTracker, could you please show me an example of what this would sound like?
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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby DRW » Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:18 pm

Thanks for the sample.

one could have just copied the MML string into a new instrument,
in the duty cycle section, then placed some notes to see how
this sounded.

regardless...

Not everyone is a musician. I'm asking you guys because I want to know what I can ask my composer to do.
I neither know what an MML string is, nor do I know how to create a new instrument or what a duty cycle section is.

That's why I'm asking these questions: Because it is an easy task for you to create such a sample, but it would require hours for me to learn how to handle the FamiTracker.

So, please understand that you're not talking with a fellow musician, nor with someone who wants to learn creating music.
I just want to check out whether my general ideas would work before I tell my composer what kind of music he shall create.

If I programmed a game for someone else who created the graphics and he asked me if I can demonstrate what a bitmap with a transparent background on a window looks like, I wouldn't tell him:
"One could have just created a console or Windows application, added the SDL include and lib path to the path variables in the IDE and then use SDL_Surface to blit a bitmap file."
That guy would have no idea what I'm talking about. And he doesn't have to. Since he's not the programmer.

In my actual project, I'm the programmer (minus the sound engine, where I just use FamiTone) and general designer. But I'm not the composer who knows of the exact technical details of music. Learning the FamiTracker well enough so that I can create some melodies and instruments and duty cycles and frames, this would be a whole new topic.

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby MovieMovies1 » Sat Nov 14, 2015 4:43 pm

To put this bluntly, If SID music is what you seek, it would be a wiser decision to make your game for the C64 instead of the Famicom. The 2A03 wasn't designed with SID-style tones in mind, and trying to get them onto the 2A03 won't really work most of the time, even more so considering you want to use FamiTone as your sound driver, which cannot do duty cycling mid-instrument.
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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby HertzDevil » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:16 pm

What does this thread have to do with FamiTracker? FamiTracker is merely a realization of a NES/Famicom sound driver, and styles that FamiTracker modules may comprise do not affect what FamiTracker itself provides. If you are still asking how to achieve Commodore 64 sounds in FamiTracker as it is right now, some 90% of the users here will invariably use either N163 or VRC6. Why some existing NES song sounded more C64-like to you, or why your project cannot use expansion chips, are irrelevant to FamiTracker songs/modules that sound like the SID.

DRW wrote:I'm the programmer (minus the sound engine, where I just use FamiTone) and general designer. But I'm not the composer who knows of the exact technical details of music.
Excuse me?

MML sequences are not technical details, CSequenceHandler::UpdateSequenceRunning(int, const CSequence*) and instrument.s@ft_run_sequence are. Similarly, a pixel artist inquiring a game programmer, not the other way round, ought to have at least a basic understanding of how blitting works before demanding outright that e.g. the graphics obey sprite overlapping on the NES. It would make zero difference were you to get a FL Studio magical8bitplugin composer instead of a FamiTracker one if you are unwilling to learn even the basic terminologies in FamiTracker and try to shove that responsibility off. That kind of attitude will get your project nowhere.

I also believe you cannot distinguish between techniques/styles of composition and those of instrumentation. Neither fully describes the "C64 style" alone.

On topic, almost all the FTMs presented is this thread show neither the note cut occurring with every ADSR reset, due to the C64's gate timer, nor the loop structures present in a majority of SID files, due to even tighter space constraints than the NES, but the latter is not really easy to demonstrate on a tracker (except possibly klystrack).
Last edited by HertzDevil on Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby Threxx » Sat Nov 14, 2015 6:24 pm

DRW wrote:Thanks for the sample.

one could have just copied the MML string into a new instrument,
in the duty cycle section, then placed some notes to see how
this sounded.

regardless...

Not everyone is a musician. I'm asking you guys because I want to know what I can ask my composer to do.
I neither know what an MML string is, nor do I know how to create a new instrument or what a duty cycle section is.

That's why I'm asking these questions: Because it is an easy task for you to create such a sample, but it would require hours for me to learn how to handle the FamiTracker.

So, please understand that you're not talking with a fellow musician, nor with someone who wants to learn creating music.
I just want to check out whether my general ideas would work before I tell my composer what kind of music he shall create.

If I programmed a game for someone else who created the graphics and he asked me if I can demonstrate what a bitmap with a transparent background on a window looks like, I wouldn't tell him:
"One could have just created a console or Windows application, added the SDL include and lib path to the path variables in the IDE and then use SDL_Surface to blit a bitmap file."
That guy would have no idea what I'm talking about. And he doesn't have to. Since he's not the programmer.

In my actual project, I'm the programmer (minus the sound engine, where I just use FamiTone) and general designer. But I'm not the composer who knows of the exact technical details of music. Learning the FamiTracker well enough so that I can create some melodies and instruments and duty cycles and frames, this would be a whole new topic.


Why are you on the Famitracker support forums if you do not even want to attempt to learn how to use the tracker?

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby DRW » Sat Nov 14, 2015 9:55 pm

MovieMovies1 wrote:To put this bluntly, If SID music is what you seek, it would be a wiser decision to make your game for the C64 instead of the Famicom.

The SID-like music is just a little gimmick for the title screen music. Everything else is still typical for the NES. Also, where's the fun in composing SID music on the SID? The idea is that I use a distinct C64 sound on a system that's not the C64.

HertzDevil wrote:What does this thread have to do with FamiTracker?

My composer uses FamiTracker. That's why I ask my questions here to see what can and what cannot be done. When people here provide me example files and they sound the way I like it, I can show them to him and tell him to use a similar style.

HertzDevil wrote:MML sequences are not technical details, CSequenceHandler::UpdateSequenceRunning(int, const CSequence*) and instrument.s@ft_run_sequence are.

Of course they are. They are sound techniques, therefore technical.

HertzDevil wrote:Similarly, a pixel artist inquiring a game programmer, not the other way round, ought to have at least a basic understanding of how blitting works before demanding outright that e.g. the graphics obey sprite overlapping on the NES.

He only needs to know what a specific output would look like to the player. He doesn't have to know anything about a programming language or about bit masks or memcpy. He asks the programmer what he has in mind and the programmer tells him what is and what isn't possible. The graphics artist doesn't have to read a DirectX tutorial.

HertzDevil wrote:It would make zero difference were you to get a FL Studio magical8bitplugin composer instead of a FamiTracker one if you are unwilling to learn even the basic terminologies in FamiTracker and try to shove that responsibility off.

So? But one of them it has to be, right? Either FamiTracker or FL Studio magical8bitplugin. And my composer uses FamiTracker. Therefore, I ask my questions on the FamiTracker forum.

HertzDevil wrote:I also believe you cannot distinguish between techniques/styles of composition and those of instrumentation. Neither fully describes the "C64 style" alone.

That's right, I can't. That's why I show you examples of actual C64 music and hope that you might have NES music that sounds similar. If you provide an FTM or NSF file, I listen to it and say: "Yep, that already sounds pretty much like what I have in mind" or "No, that's not really the style I'm looking for." In the former case, I can show the file to my composer and tell him: "I'd like to have something like this." In the latter case, I can hope for another sample or accept the fact that this specific detail cannot be replicated on the NES.

Threxx wrote:Why are you on the Famitracker support forums if you do not even want to attempt to learn how to use the tracker?

Why do you hire an interior decorator for your apartment if you don't even want to attempt to study interior decoration?

What other forum should I ask my questions? If I choose a forum of program XYZ, the people there could just as well ask: "Why are you on the XYZ support forums if you do not even want to attempt to learn how to use XYZ?"

Also, I always find it interesting how people on the internet who know of a certain thing always have the attitude that whoever wants that thing has to learn it himself:

"Why do you ask musical questions if you don't want to learn music yourself?"
"Why do you seek help on a programmer's forum if you don't want to learn programming?"

Imagine if that was applied in real life situations:
"I need a plumber because there's some strange noise coming out of my water tap."
"O.k., if you are not willing to learn even the basics of plumbing and to learn what the technical term for that "strange noise" is, then I don't know why you bother to call a plumber in the first place."

So, let me summarize my situation:

I'm a programmer. I can write code. I can also design a game according to my own taste. And I know the graphical limitations of an NES and can therefore tell my graphics artist what is and what isn't possible on the NES.

However, I don't know shit about making music. I don't know what a duty cycle is or a sawtooth or a volume envelope.
And you know what? That's not bad at all. Not everybody needs to know everything about everything. I don't know how to assemble an NES cartridge either. And I don't have to. Because other people do this for me.

I know what kind of music I like, from a listener's perspective.
For most of the project, I let the composer do whatever he wants as long as the sound matches the game's mood, only giving some small suggestions like making the song a bit slower or a bit softer etc. And he does a pretty good job. So, believe me, my project is going well.

Now, I had a specific vision for the title screen: I wanted to do a song that sounds particularly C64-like. That's why I was asking on this forum in how far this would be possible. I showed you some C64 soundtracks and asked you: Is something like that possible on the NES? Or do you know existing sounds that already have that style?

This way, I found out that certain stuff is possible and certain stuff isn't.

For example, "Darkman" has an arpeggio that reminds me pretty much of the typical C64 arpeggio as seen in "Batman" or "Giana Sisters". So, I can tell my composer: Please include an arpeggio that sounds like the one in "Darkman".

Then I found out that this one metallic sound isn't really possible unless one uses the Namco sound chip. So, I know that I cannot use it and have to choose another C64-like musical style.

That's the reason why I was asking on this forum: To collect a bunch of sound samples or to get a bunch of NES game names, so that I can show my composer: "Here, this specific NES sound is pretty similar to that specific C64 sound. Please use this for our NES music. This way we can have a pretty close C64-like sound."

And for all these kinds of things, I don't have to learn how to use the FamiTracker.
Because music isn't a mundane issue. It's not like graphical limitations that can be summarized in a few words. (8 x 8 pixel tiles, one palette per 16 x 16 tile group, four palettes available, each with three colors + one global background color etc.)
Learning how to use the FamiTracker would require months of learning. And I neither have the time, nor the motivation to learn this. That's why I use a third party library for sound and I got a composer for the music.
For every music-related question, I ask on the forum. When they show me sample songs, I can forward them to my composer and he can then see: "Ah, o.k., that's what he wants."

I don't have to learn the musical terms for this, just like you don't have to learn the terms of interior decoration.
You simply tell your decorator what you want to have and he matches your description with the actual name.
If he doesn't know what you mean, you ask other decorators: "Do you know this one thing that I have seen once? It looks like this and that." Then one decorator might show you a picture and you say: "Yeah, that's it." And then you show it to your decorator and he says: "Ah, yes, he's talking about the XYZ style."
But he would never accuse you of not learning the basics of interior decoration yourself so that you could have told him the name "XYZ style" by yourself. Because he's the decorator, not you. You are only the end user who has a some general ideas.

That's why I really don't understand that whole "If you don't want to learn FamiTracker yourself, why do you even ask questions about FamiTracker on a FamiTracker forum?" attitude.
That's like saying I shouldn't ask the taxi driver to use a specific route unless I have a driver's license myself.

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby MrKyurem » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:03 pm

DRW wrote:Imagine if that was applied in real life situations:
"I need a plumber because there's some strange noise coming out of my water tap."
"O.k., if you are not willing to learn even the basics of plumbing and to learn what the technical term for that "strange noise" is, then I don't know why you bother to call a plumber in the first place."


The difference in these situations is that if you hire a plumber to fix your plumbing, you won't try and get involved, and work out how to do everything for him. He's the plumber - he knows what he's doing.

If you really need to figure out what styles you want your composer to use, find pre-existing tracks with the style you want. Don't get involved in his field of work, and get angry when you say you don't actually care about the field of work you're demanding answers from.

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby Threxx » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:12 pm

DRW wrote:overly long thing


Those situations are not neccisarily comparable to this one. If you were to hire a professional to do work for you, typically you would not go to their place of study and mingle with their peers in an attempt to understand their field of work. If you have come to the Famitracker support forums, it is not necessarily unfair that one should make an effort to learn even basic functions of the tracker.

You have come here, to these forums, to learn about techniques and tracking so you can have them applied to your own game. And yet, you do not recognize that it would be beneficial to know something about the basic usage of the program in question so you can have a better dialogue with your composer?

If I hired an interior decorator, I would not go to a school and study interior decorating. I would most certainly do my own research prior so I am somewhat versed in the topic and not entirely relying on the professional to provide terminology and assistance for me.

I would also recognize when something that I might have initially desired is overly difficult or unfeasible when repeatedly told so by the professional(s). For the umpteenth time in this thread, the C64 is not the NES. Ultimately I think you will be disappointed in whatever can be produced to emulate the system. You would be far better off allowing your composer to develop his or her own style rather than attempting to poorly impose this upon them.

Let your composer do their job rather than poorly attempting to force this out of them. You admit that this is not your line of work, so stop trying to force yourself upon it.

DRW wrote:
MovieMovies1 wrote:To put this bluntly, If SID music is what you seek, it would be a wiser decision to make your game for the C64 instead of the Famicom.

The SID-like music is just a little gimmick for the title screen music. Everything else is still typical for the NES. Also, where's the fun in composing SID music on the SID? The idea is that I use a distinct C64 sound on a system that's not the C64.


Where is the logic in demanding two completely different soundchips to magically sound similar?

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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby PostApocolyptica » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:33 pm

DRW wrote:My composer uses FamiTracker. That's why I ask my questions here to see what can and what cannot be done. When people here provide me example files and they sound the way I like it, I can show them to him and tell him to use a similar style.

Let the composer do the research themselves, then let them tell you if they can do what you want.

DRW wrote:Why do you hire an interior decorator for your apartment if you don't even want to attempt to study interior decoration?

It is their job to determine whether the work you want is feasible, not yours.

DRW wrote:What other forum should I ask my questions? If I choose a forum of program XYZ, the people there could just as well ask: "Why are you on the XYZ support forums if you do not even want to attempt to learn how to use XYZ?"

You are not the one using FamiTracker. Get your composer - who is using FamiTracker - to ask these questions!

DRW wrote:Also, I always find it interesting how people on the internet who know of a certain thing always have the attitude that whoever wants that thing has to learn it himself:

Asking help from a support forum is fine, as long as you intend to use the advice yourself. Sometimes learning things yourself is the only way.

DRW wrote:"Why do you ask musical questions if you don't want to learn music yourself?"
"Why do you seek help on a programmer's forum if you don't want to learn programming?"


The answers of "musical questions" would not affect you. They would affect the composer. Why are you asking questions when you know that you are not the one that will use that information?

DRW wrote:I'm a programmer. I can write code. I can also design a game according to my own taste. And I know the graphical limitations of an NES and can therefore tell my graphics artist what is and what isn't possible on the NES.

If you make a public announcement that you require a graphics artist capable of producing graphics that adhere to NES limitations, then your applicant(s) should already be aware of those limitations before they apply.

DRW wrote:However, I don't know shit about making music. I don't know what a duty cycle is or a sawtooth or a volume envelope.

And you will never use them yourself, so there is no point to ask about things that don't concern you.

DRW wrote:And you know what? That's not bad at all. Not everybody needs to know everything about everything. I don't know how to assemble an NES cartridge either. And I don't have to. Because other people do this for me.

I emboldened that part myself. Is it your responsibility to create music for your game? No. Is it your composer's responsibility to produce music for your game? Yes. Let the people in their own departments focus on those departments, and you can focus on your own.

DRW wrote:I know what kind of music I like, from a listener's perspective.

That should just be outlined to your composer in a requirements brief; from that point, let them get on with it.

DRW wrote:For most of the project, I let the composer do whatever he wants as long as the sound matches the game's mood, only giving some small suggestions like making the song a bit slower or a bit softer etc.

Are you sure?

DRW wrote:I showed you some C64 soundtracks and asked you: Is something like that possible on the NES? Or do you know existing sounds that already have that style?

This is by now beating a dead horse, but no, and no, not while you conflate instrumentation style and compositional style.

DRW wrote:This way, I found out that certain stuff is possible and certain stuff isn't.

Yet you still ask these questions.

DRW wrote:For example, "Darkman" has an arpeggio that reminds me pretty much of the typical C64 arpeggio as seen in "Batman" or "Giana Sisters". So, I can tell my composer: Please include an arpeggio that sounds like the one in "Darkman".

Perhaps this is an overly-specific instruction, but perhaps not. The composer can decide that.

DRW wrote:Then I found out that this one metallic sound isn't really possible unless one uses the Namco sound chip. So, I know that I cannot use it and have to choose another C64-like musical style.

I still have no idea how you define "C64 style".

DRW wrote:That's the reason why I was asking on this forum: To collect a bunch of sound samples or to get a bunch of NES game names, so that I can show my composer: "Here, this specific NES sound is pretty similar to that specific C64 sound. Please use this for our NES music. This way we can have a pretty close C64-like sound."

That is not in itself a bad idea, but it has very little to do with FamiTracker.

DRW wrote:And for all these kinds of things, I don't have to learn how to use the FamiTracker.

Not for giving ideas as you just suggested, and especially not for asking questions that don't affect you.

DRW"Learning how to use the FamiTracker would require months of learning. And I neither have the time, nor the motivation to learn this. That's why I use a third party library for sound and I got a composer for the music.[/quote]
So you at least admit your composer is not necessarily related to you; they are an individual member of the project. In that case, give them a brief of what you want, but let them do their own work.

[quote="DRW wrote:
For every music-related question, I ask on the forum. When they show me sample songs, I can forward them to my composer and he can then see: "Ah, o.k., that's what he wants."

"FamiTracker 'songs'" are not necessarily "a bunch of NES game names"; why did you not just ask for the latter in the Off-topic discussion section?

DRW wrote:I don't have to learn the musical terms for this, just like you don't have to learn the terms of interior decoration.

Because it wouldn't be my job.

DRW wrote:But he would never accuse you of not learning the basics of interior decoration yourself so that you could have told him the name "XYZ style" by yourself. Because he's the decorator, not you. You are only the end user who has a some general ideas.

Yes. You let your composer/decorator do the work and work out if they can do it, because that is their job

DRW wrote:That's why I really don't understand that whole "If you don't want to learn FamiTracker yourself, why do you even ask questions about FamiTracker on a FamiTracker forum?" attitude.

Are you familiar with the concept of cluttering boards by asking questions where the answers don't actually affect you?

DRW wrote:That's like saying I shouldn't ask the taxi driver to use a specific route unless I have a driver's license myself.

No. You would ask the driver, "Can you take me here?" If their answer is "Yes", they will drive you; if their answer is "No", you find another driver. You do not need to ask specific questions about how one drives around certain locations, remembers local streets, or the exact number of degrees that they turn the steering wheel, because the answers do not affect you.
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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Postby HertzDevil » Sat Nov 14, 2015 10:48 pm

DRW wrote:where's the fun in composing SID music on the SID?

That which is sufficient for the SID scene to rise, perhaps?

DRW wrote:My composer uses FamiTracker. That's why I ask my questions here to see what can and what cannot be done. When people here provide me example files and they sound the way I like it, I can show them to him and tell him to use a similar style.

So you are requiring that the composer not show up at the forum and ask about the style themself?

DRW wrote:Of course they are. They are sound techniques, therefore technical.

MML sequences are not sound techniques. Calling these techniques is as fallacious as calling the alphabet glyphs the techniques of English writing.

DRW wrote:He only needs to know what a specific output would look like to the player.

For this he has to learn how sprite scanlines in NES work, how sprite objects display tiles, how palette changing works in real-time, etc, rather than memcpy, because memcpy is not present in the NES. (Most later systems have DMA components though.)

DRW wrote:He asks the programmer what he has in mind and the programmer tells him what is and what isn't possible. The graphics artist doesn't have to read a DirectX tutorial.

One who cannot find a single description of blitting without the mention of DirectX probably does not know how to find information at all. Furthermore, you are working with a composer who already uses FamiTracker, one who could ask directly at this forum, instead of ordering you to redirect those questions and answers; in our scenario the graphics artist does not have to read a DirectX tutorial because they can already program in DirectX and find an appropriate place to ask what is possible and what is not by themself.

DRW wrote:So?

So you are deliberately shutting off any way to communicate with the composer effectively by refusing to learn.

DRW wrote:And my composer uses FamiTracker. Therefore, I ask my questions on the FamiTracker forum.

Therefore, your composer, i.e. one who already knows some FamiTracker terms and is unable to pretend that they know anything they do not, rephrases your questions accordingly and then asks them on the FamiTracker forum.

DRW wrote:Why do you hire an interior decorator for your apartment if you don't even want to attempt to study interior decoration?

Because you show zero effort to monitor the progress of the interior decorator, and assume that the interior decorator necessarily understands your requests even if you are unable to describe any decorative style properly.

DRW wrote:What other forum should I ask my questions?

Tigsource, NeoGAF, any forum about cc65, etc.

DRW wrote:That's like saying I shouldn't ask the taxi driver to use a specific route unless I have a driver's license myself.

You should not ask the taxi driver to use a specific route unless you know the brief geometry of the streets near the route, possibly aided with a map; analogously, you should not ask questions about FamiTracker if several posts in this thread alone suggest your insistence to not learn basic concepts of NES chiptune, not even when resources like the FamiTracker wiki and tutorial videos are available.
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