How Do I Use Instruments Effectively?

General discussion about tracking, help and support.
Gavzilla
Posts: 18
Joined: Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:06 pm

How Do I Use Instruments Effectively?

Postby Gavzilla » Mon Jun 08, 2015 10:45 pm

I've been using Famitracker on and off for about two years now, and I like to think I have decent grasp for the tracker, but the one thing I need to improve is my use and creation of instruments. (You can hear it in any cover / Famitracker I make) I understand the what, how, and why for them, but I don't really understand how to use them to create the sound I want, reduce clashing with different channels, etc. I'm decent at creating instruments for the noise channel, just drums, but that's pretty much it.

I've tried studying other instruments that people use for covers, originals, etc, but I find myself to sorta copy other people's instruments, which I don't want to do.

Any help / advice would be appreciated! :D

User avatar
Patashu
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed May 13, 2015 9:06 am
Location: Sydney, Australia
Contact:

Re: How Do I Use Instruments Effectively?

Postby Patashu » Wed Jun 10, 2015 12:12 am

I can help with 'reduce clashing with different channels'.

If two channels ever play the same note at once, at the start of the second channel, put the effect P7F. If three channels, the third gets P81, then P7E, then P82 and so on.

What this does: Why two channels playing the same note sounds so bad is because their waveforms are exactly identical, and they arbitrarily lock together and sound like just one bigger note to the ear. Pxx is the 'fine detune' effect in Famitracker - one channel's frequency is veerryy slightly offset, and the two channels now play frequencies just different enough that they pulse in and out.

This is a very commonly used effect in official NES games, by the way! For a lot of your basic instrument design, you can take inspiration from Konami and Tim Follin .nsfs.

User avatar
Stratelier
Posts: 378
Joined: Sun Apr 26, 2015 7:46 pm

Re: How Do I Use Instruments Effectively?

Postby Stratelier » Wed Jun 10, 2015 1:41 am

Patashu wrote:What this does: Why two channels playing the same note sounds so bad is because their waveforms are exactly identical, and they arbitrarily lock together and sound like just one bigger note to the ear.

Yup, and weird things can happen depending on their phase relationships. For example, I had one sequence (using a pair of 12.5% waves) where one channel was holding the same note while the other channel was playing an upwards scale, and when the secondary channel hit the same pitch as the first one their waveforms happened to be precisely out of phase with each other, causing the result to sound one octave higher than intended!

Whether to use a P7F or P81 (i.e. up vs. down) to detune a note is up to you -- unless you're playing notes on a very high octave, the change in tuning won't be that obvious anyway, precisely how it should be. (Sometimes I turn on the register state display and check whether the played note is above or below ideal pitch, and detune accordingly.)


Return to “General Talk”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest