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Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:11 pm
by MiniMacro
In that case, I think the closest you could get is Eurostyle. You can get a roughly PWM sounding lead with the duty cycle | 0 1 2 3 but that's probably as close as you could get.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:12 pm
by YobaHere
Make a little C64 tune to explain what do you want from NES.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:33 pm
by Xyz
Famitracker/demo songs/MMC5_moviemovies1-Rubicon.ftm

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:38 pm
by snowolf
Considering the 2A03 chip only have 3 different pulse width, you gonna have a hard time reproducing any C64 instrument.

A pulse bassline/kick/snare may be your best bet, you can also experiment with DPCM.

Here's my take on the subject.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 1:43 pm
by MovieMovies1
Xyz wrote:Famitracker/demo songs/MMC5_moviemovies1-Rubicon.ftm


Attachment relevant.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:01 pm
by Threxx
The problem in this thread is that what you are actually asking for is not "C64 style".

You want specific chiptune techniques that are used across various formats. The "hard beat" you refer to is achieved using triangle and noise drums combined. One can emulate the PWM effects from the 64 by cycling through duty cycles across pulse channels. Arpeggio is an effect used all across chiptune format and it isn't exclusive or inherent to any one format.*

(*Based on the previous thread you made, your sound engine does not seem to be capable of doing this. You may want to improve it to make PWM effects capable if you are serious about this "C64 styled" music)

This thread will remain stagnant as long as we continue to be hung up on this incorrect language. If you want an embellished and developed style, say that.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:04 pm
by PostApocolyptica
DRW wrote:But the thing is: Most European NES games don't sound like the C64 to me.

The stylistic elements of "Eurochip" include arpeggios where each note plays for roughly one tick at 60 Hz (the 0xy effect does this), strong percussion, making use of certain waveforms and noise combinations, and perhaps leads that use pulse-width modulation. The reason why NES games do not necessarily sound "like the Commodore 64" is because they use different sound chips.

The reason arpeggios saw a lot of usage in the C64 era was because developers were limited to three channels. This technique could simulate chords, which artificially added polyphony to a composition, whilst still leaving two channels for percussion, leads, etc. The Ricoh 2A03 chip has five channels, but DPCM was not always used because (as far as I am aware) samples were expensive to produce and took up a lot of space. Some European composers would adopt similar practices of arpeggios and percussion because that is what they were used to (these practices were even manifest in some Game Boy games). Other composers would simply compose within the 4/5-channel limit without using arpeggios.

You - or more specifically, your composer - will not achieve anything that sounds much like the Commodore 64 if one is limited to the 2A03. There are simply too many differences between the two systems. It seems like you draw attention most to the use of arpeggios in a composition, though arpeggios appear to be quite memory intensive.

DRW wrote:So far, different people have said different things abou [sic] what makes an NES song sound C64-like:
Somebody said it's the pulse-width changes/changing the duty cycle.

Not particularly. A 2A03 pulse width/duty cycle MML string of { 2 | 0 0 0 1 1 1 2 2 2 3 3 3 } could suffice - the initial { 2 } provides some attack whilst the looping sequence provides some variety to the lead. You will not achieve C64 levels of pulse-width modulation with four duty cycles.

DRW wrote:Then I've heard the C64-like songs have a chord on the weak beat and use the shuffle tempo.

This is a good example of that.

DRW wrote:You say it's triangle + noise drums.

Any such combination of fast downward slides with certain waveforms (triangle, sine, 50% duty cycle pulse) will work well with noise.

DRW wrote:I don't understand enough about music to judge for myself. All I know is that I want my composer to create a C64-sounding song on the NES. But he's not European and probably didn't grow up with the C64, so when I tell him what I need, it would be better to have some definite facts what makes an NES song sound like on the C64.

I don't think being European or growing up with the Commodore 64 necessarily gives way to arpeggiation and percussion being squeezed into three channels, but it might help.

If you can properly define "C64 style", that would a go a long way to determining whether it is feasible. Please realise that what you want may be different from what can be achieved. It should be noted that the likely memory intensive features of such compositions may result in some issues when trying to fit the music into your own engine with enough space left for the rest of the game.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 2:54 pm
by Mojitone
SID music can use sawtooth waveforms, uses filter settings more often than not, and has variable PWM which allows for smooth duty cycle changes. The 2A03/2A07 has none of that, it has only 2 square-wave channels with volume control and 4 pulse widths to work with so composers have to find workarounds.
The vast majority of SID music was made by european musicians on PAL C64's with a 50 Hz refresh rate. And because there are less events in one second than in NTSC devices, the effects (including duty cycle changes and arpeggios) are slightly slower on PAL machines and become that much richer.
This is precisely why I chose to make this cover of a Rob Hubbard tune on the 2A07 (the PAL counterpart of the 2A03).

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 3:53 pm
by DRW
YobaHere wrote:Make a little C64 tune to explain what do you want from NES.

I cannot make tunes myself.

But I linked some C64 soundtracks in the original post: "Giana Sisters", "Batman", "Double Dragon".

And on the NES itself: Shiru's songs "Danger Streets" and "After the Rain". The specific music of "Overlord" linked in the above video. And the first seven seconds of "Lethal Weapon", but not the rest of the song.

Xyz wrote:Famitracker/demo songs/MMC5_moviemovies1-Rubicon.ftm

It definitely has some of the C64 elements in it that I'm looking for, but not really in its entirety.

snowolf wrote:Considering the 2A03 chip only have 3 different pulse width, you gonna have a hard time reproducing any C64 instrument.

Sure, it won't be possible to reproduce it completely, but since there are a few songs that sound pretty C64-like, it is possible to do something like that.
Your example song sounds a bit too muffled. The songs from the above examples sound clearer, more "dominant" and more metallic, if that makes any sense.

MovieMovies1 wrote:Attachment relevant.

Yup, this already has a good feel of what I'm looking for.

Threxx wrote:The problem in this thread is that what you are actually asking for is not "C64 style".

You want specific chiptune techniques that are used across various formats.

Yeah, o.k., I'm not so experienced with the terms. I call it C64-style because that's where I heard this. I linked some C64 music that I like, so we could just as well say: I'd like to have NES music that sounds as close as possible to the style of these songs.

Threxx wrote:Based on the previous thread you made, your sound engine does not seem to be capable of doing this. You may want to improve it to make PWM effects capable if you are serious about this "C64 styled" music)

The information from that thread is obsolete. I don't write my own sound engine anymore. I use FamiTone for my game now.

Threxx wrote:This thread will remain stagnant as long as we continue to be hung up on this incorrect language. If you want an embellished and developed style, say that.

I want the style that is used in "Giana Sisters", "Double Dragon" and "Batman" on the NES. And I'm asking here exactly because I don't know the correct terms, so that my composer can read this and understand all the technical terms that you use to know what I want.

PostApocolyptica wrote:You - or more specifically, your composer - will not achieve anything that sounds much like the Commodore 64 if one is limited to the 2A03. There are simply too many differences between the two systems.

Well, it has been done with regular NES music. Shiru's two songs sound like it and the "Overlord" music. And some of the sample music in this thread. So it should be possible to create something like that with standard NES sound.

Re: FamiTracker songs that sound like the C64

Posted: Wed Nov 11, 2015 8:35 pm
by ImATrackMan
I think what we can gather from this thread is that PAL is fucking great for arps and shit at literally everything else.