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Using Multiple Expansion Chips at Once

Posted: Sun Jan 29, 2017 11:11 pm
by CS2612
Hello, all. My name is Chris and i recently started making a few covers in FamiTracker. My latest ambition, the Final FIght theme from Sonic 3D Blast, was to be my next full attempt at a song, but i decided i'd need some extra power to do so in the form of using multiple expansion chips at once: in this case, the VRC6, VRC7, and N163 chips.

I found an article on the "old" FamiTracker forums that seemingly allows me to do this through the use of what i call "base files", which have certain expansion chips loaded and ready to go upon opening the .ftm file. However, V0.3.7 seems to be the only version of FamiTracker that can open these files successfully, as V0.4.6 refuses to open some of them. Now i could just do all my work in V0.3.7, but as some of you may know, V0.3.7 cannot save songs using the N163 chip, so i'm stuck in a rut here. I also tested V0.4.0, since it's the build right after V0.3.7, but it seems to function the same as V0.4.6 when it comes to these files.

So here's what it comes down to: is there any reason that i wouldn't be able to open certain base files in V0.4.6, when V0.3.7 can open them just fine?

Also, since the files i've referenced aren't mine, here's a link to the forum post where you can download them:

What's interesting is that certain combinations do work in V0.4.6, but the VRC6-VRC7-N163 combination doesn't work, among others. Certain ones, such as the MMC5-FDS combination, and the VRC6-MMC5-FDS combination, however, load up fine in V0.4.6. After some testing, i thought it may have been a specific chip causing it, but both the VRC7 & N163 chips load up fine in other base files, so i can't seem to figure out exactly what's wrong.

If anyone has any insight on this issue, i'd be more than glad to hear it. I'd love to be able to use FamiTracker to the best extent of its ability.

Re: Using Multiple Expansion Chips at Once

Posted: Mon Jan 30, 2017 1:11 am
by HertzDevil
The VRC6+VRC7+8-N163 module will actually crash the tracker because there is a mismatch between the channel count (13) and the chip configuration (22). It is corrupted, and may stay that way even if the module is saved again. There are other ways to get these chips working together without leading to unexpected behaviour.

Since I made that thread, I could provide a bit more commentary:

  • #32125: With 5B support there are a total of 57 multichip configurations. There was a second pack that contained all possible N163 channel counts as well; they were targeted for 0.4.2, but there really isn't a reason to use premade FTMs anymore.
  • #32128: An overhaul, not a rewrite. Already more than half of the multichip entries from the previous Famicompo Pico were made possible due to this overhaul.
  • #32138, #32356: He never made any progress towards supporting it (5B is bound to happen regardless of whether multichip export is planned), but it does not require a file format change anyway, as 0CC-FT shows.
  • #32274: These GUI improvements are my main focus now, since in the future FamiTracker's interface may have to support even more than 28 tracks, just not for the NES.
  • #32289, #32290: Multiple persons have been able to use all 6 hardware expansion chips simultaneously nowadays. Someone else such as IaTM may have the details.
  • #32471: I eventually did edit FamiTracker because things such as N163 taking up VRC7 and 5B channels to maximize its channel count will never be addressed in the vanilla branch unless there is real consideration to support multichip modules there. It is rather hacky as the source code is not as organized as some people tend to think (which is why I now maintain two forks instead of one).
  • #35299, #35301: While VGM files cannot be immediately played on hardware, they do support dual 2A03/FDS/5B, but this is useful only in theory because these files probably require extensive hardware modification to allow writing to two sound chips from one source.
  • #35323: Not related, but that also happened a while ago.
  • #48335: An explanation of why some combinations are invalid in the vanilla builds, including the latest beta.

CS2612 wrote:I'd love to be able to use FamiTracker to the best extent of its ability.

You don't, since they are not "supported" by the vanilla branch yet. Technically speaking they are unofficial modules and ought to be disallowed in the forums, but exactly what counts as an unofficial module has already stirred up a fair amount of controversy at the old forum, so people still post these here without getting caught.

Re: Using Multiple Expansion Chips at Once

Posted: Tue Feb 21, 2017 3:08 am
by CS2612
Hm...thanks for the input HertzDevil.

Actually, shortly after this, i found a list of .txt files that work just fine when imported, so i used those for a while. A bit later on, i also found out about and 0CC-Famitracker, which allows multiple expansion chips without needing to import an already-edited file, and i've used that for the last week or so.

That brings up another two other questions...the first being that does this forum also account for the existence of 0CC-Famitraker? Second, you mentioned that multiple expansion chips are taboo, in a sense...does that also make 0CC-Famitracker taboo here since it allows for multiple expansion chips at once?

Re: Using Multiple Expansion Chips at Once

Posted: Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:43 pm
by HertzDevil
This forum does not acknowledge 0CC-FamiTracker, although that does not matter much since most 0CC-FamiTracker users no longer acknowledge this forum either.