Author Topic: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!  (Read 20757 times)

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Offline kawickboy

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #25 on: 09:54, 11 November 17 »
the demo track is awesome.

Offline villain

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #26 on: 11:16, 11 November 17 »
Any chance to get it working under "Raspbian Stretch"?

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #27 on: 13:30, 11 November 17 »
I suppose it could, but I have no idea :).


On a side-note: I didn't make advertisement of Arkos Tracker 2 on any other website, because I wanted to make sure the alpha was working fine. A few crashes have been reported, so I really want to correct them first before spreading the software at a bigger scale (Pouet, etc.). I also want to finish the generic player and have the players work for all hardware.


Of course if any of you want to make AT2 more known, be my guest :). But please do not add a Pouet entry on my behalf, thanks!
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Offline SuTeKH/Epyteor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #28 on: 13:47, 11 November 17 »
Pray that it does not bring us too many sterile transfers without originality or tons of adaptations "AY style".

I feel this community still needs to be more supportive of one another and less elitist & single-minded. If people want to write original tunes for the Amstrad, then great; they're always welcome! But, if people want to convert existing material, then more power to them too! No-one here has the right to dictate how other people enjoy their hobby. And that's all this really is... a hobby!

Offline beb

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #29 on: 05:13, 12 November 17 »
No-one dictate anything here...

I thought I was free to "pray" for what I wanted (for original material instead of making copy all the time)...
...obviously it's forbidden.
« Last Edit: 12:24, 12 November 17 by beb »
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Offline robcfg

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #30 on: 12:45, 12 November 17 »
Why do you take the comment at face value?


Nobody’s forbidding you anything. SuTeKH only said that it's great to have new tunes but it's also fine if people like to make versions or remixes.


Offline SuTeKH/Epyteor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #31 on: 13:11, 12 November 17 »
No-one dictate anything here...

I thought I was free to "pray" for what I wanted (for original material instead of making copy all the time)...
...obviously it's forbidden.
I apologise if you took offense from my comment. Our tiny community needs to be united, not divided!

Offline kawickboy

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #32 on: 10:06, 13 November 17 »
This tracker is a major product, and not even for CPC users. I don't understand how there can be bad comments written.




Just enjoy, it's for fun.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #33 on: 10:24, 13 November 17 »
All this is just a misunderstanding. Nothing else. Move along and track, people :).
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Offline PulkoMandy

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #34 on: 11:43, 13 November 17 »
Hi there,


Great work as usual :D


But I already have some complaints (sorry!)


- First, my display is "only" 1280x800. With everything visible in the main window, I have very few space left for patterns. Ok, I can resize the other views, but this is not very convenient and I have to scroll a lot. Would it be possible to "stack" more things (as tab views, I guess), and, even better, to easily switch between them with an easy keybaord shortcut as in StarKos? Or maybe detach things to a separate window, which I would then move to my second screen?
- The volume of the center channel seems very low here, but it may be a problem with my hardware. I'll check with different headphones and other machines.
- When a song is playing, tooltips will not stay visible, they will just flash and then disappear (tested on Windows)
- The MOD import only allows to drop a whole channel, or mix two channels together. It would be more useful to import all the patterns and then let me rearrange stuff in the linker to reduce to 3 channels (maybe there could be a 4th channel, which would not be replayed?). I can probably import as a dual-AY song and then work from theer, so that should be ok, still.
- No MIDI file import? That may be useful in some cases, too (but not very easy). Well, I guess I can convert to MOD from ModPlugTracker and then convert that...

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #35 on: 12:18, 13 November 17 »
Thanks for the remarks.


Quote
First, my display is "only" 1280x800. With everything visible in the main window, I have very few space left for patterns. Ok, I can resize the other views, but this is not very convenient and I have to scroll a lot. Would it be possible to "stack" more things (as tab views, I guess), and, even better, to easily switch between them with an easy keybaord shortcut as in StarKos? Or maybe detach things to a separate window, which I would then move to my second screen?
This is not in the pipeline, but I can add this to the TODO list (low priority though).


Quote
The volume of the center channel seems very low here, but it may be a problem with my hardware. I'll check with different headphones and other machines.


This is something to "improve": the volume ratio is targetted as on a real CPC using the speaker output (the center channel is softer). If listening to mono, all the channels should have the same volume, which is not done. I want to have add a "volume" page to chose that more conveniently, and why not, parameterize this. Some hardware may not handle the volume this way.


Quote
When a song is playing, tooltips will not stay visible, they will just flash and then disappear (tested on Windows)


Never quite noticed that, will check.


Quote
The MOD import only allows to drop a whole channel, or mix two channels together. It would be more useful to import all the patterns and then let me rearrange stuff in the linker to reduce to 3 channels
Just like you said, to me you have to import the 4 channels, having 2 AYs. Make your changes, then remove the second AY. I think it is more versatile this way.


Quote
No MIDI file import
Well, it's very tricky to do. Seeing how crappy can be the import, I believe it is simpler to convert the song by ear :) . But you can make me change my mind. I should check how Renoise or OpenMTP manage to do that.
« Last Edit: 12:20, 13 November 17 by Targhan »
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Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #36 on: 13:00, 13 November 17 »

As you wish, what is easier for you :) .

I see you use JUCE. :-)

I added 2 bug reports on your the forum part of your website. One of them (very minor) might be a pure JUCE bug.

Would you consider open-sourcing your productions? If no, why? Are you afraid of something?
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Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #37 on: 13:05, 13 November 17 »
> Any chance to get it working under "Raspbian Stretch"?

I suppose it could, but I have no idea :).

That's part of the magic of open-source. Publish source on github, bam! people make it work in other situations.

Sometimes they contact you with patch, or request for help, and then you know they are working on it.

http://www.smbc-comics.com/comic/2011-02-17
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Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #38 on: 13:52, 13 November 17 »
Thanks for the reports, saw them.


As for the open source, it will be at some point, but right now I want to do it "my way", without having to explain anything to anyone. But when I have done all I want, I will publish it as open-source. Thanks for your understanding :).
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Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #39 on: 14:03, 13 November 17 »
- Linux: it seems I have compiled for 64 bits, which is a mistake, it was intended for 32 bits, so I will make another build soon.

Short version: will you provide both 32 and 64bits? Please do!

Perhaps the details below are "preaching to the converted" as people say. If so, please just ignore.

64 bits is fine with modern OSes. There's a huge difference between Linux and Windows here.

On 64bit Windows many projects build only for 32bit target because windows ships with huge legacy binary support, and 64bit practically always runs into trouble one time or another (if not in your code, then in dependencies).

On 64bit Linux, major distributions install only 64bit libraries. This is one of the reasons why Linux is leaner and more performant in some areas.
If you distribute a binary needing 32bit libraries this implies a overhead of missing libraries, the user installing a 32bit subsystem, etc. This happened e.g. to Skype. Unless you distribute a big statically linked binary (which is another kind of bloat).

As a result, on Linux many software projects do not provide binaries, and those who do they provide both 32bit and 64bit.
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Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #40 on: 14:15, 13 November 17 »
I didn't know it was so important for linux. I'll first provide 32 bits, and will try to provide 64 bits as well.
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Offline Sykobee (Briggsy)

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #41 on: 14:30, 13 November 17 »
Great work! Great to see new tools that allow people to make good AY music easily. Brilliant that it is cross platform.


Sadly, I have the musical ability of a Bobbit Worm. But maybe it's the tools and not the person, and this will fix things! (I wish!)

Offline vtk

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #42 on: 15:20, 13 November 17 »
Hi Targhan just to report, i have the same issue as PulkoMandy, i am using a windows laptop with a resolution of 1366x768 which struggles to fit everything on the screen vertically






« Last Edit: 15:31, 13 November 17 by vtk »

Offline cpcitor

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Window handling broken in several aspects yields frustration
« Reply #43 on: 16:37, 13 November 17 »
Congratulations!

Congrats for what seems like a great prod, with nice step-by-step documentation!

Observations

The observations below apparently have a common cause and are probably easy to fix.

Basically, it looks like AT2 wants to do itself window management, something that is already handled by other software properly with all the complicated and platform-specific corner cases done right. Handling anything like this with custom code is likely to cause more work for little benefits and frustrate some users. Juce doesn't force this, does it?

Anyway, this causes 4 observations, none critical but degrading the user experience. From minor to annoying:

1 Window border and buttons mis-styled

* The window is drawn with custom border and minimize/maximize/close widgets that kind-of imitates Windows 10.
* User preferences are ignored: border width, color, style+size+position of buttons (not only minimize/maximize/close but some others like roll, pin to desktop).
* This looks alien/fad/gimmick on a Linux desktop where common wisdom for ages is that app just don't try to interfere with basic desktop functionality.

2 Resize: User Experience broken

* For years some desktop environment (XFCE which I use, KDE also IIRC) have allowed to alt-click anywhere in the window. Left click moves the window, right click resizes. Not with AT2. Left works, right not: it moves just like left.
* Actually, any external program I've tried to change window size just could not.
* For a moment I thought AT2 was like some old Windows apps that have fixed size window.  In practice it was.  [Added: apparently, it really is, kind-of.  See below.]

3 Maximize button does not do what's expected

* Then I tried the "maximize" button.  Broken also.
* Explanation: my laptop has a small screen and its desktop extends onto a big screen. Pressing the "maximize" button maximizes the window on the small screen even if I put it on the big screen first.
* Can I maximize it on the big screen simply? I guess not.  With any usual app, this just works.

4 The most annoying: Alt-Tab cannot switch to Arkos Tracker!

* The window just does not appear in the list of opened windows.
* It feels like the app disappeared, crashed or something.
* Actually, the app is indeed there, but can't be reached with alt-tab.

As a side note, be aware that Ubuntu Linux for years no longer has a "task bar" that lists window titles.

As a matter of fact, I don't use a task bar / app dock or anything like that would take room at the bottom of the screen.

I happen to switch between windows using SuperSwitcher.  That tool sees AT2 window, and shows it with default icon.

Those who don't use SuperSwitcher may have a more difficult time.

How to work around broken user experience

Since the maximize button can change the window size, the application can actually change size.  Good news!

I finally found that you can resize the application the old slow way that I've not used for years: aim for the window bottom right corner, left-click and drag.

Conclusion

No big deal, yet frustration for no good reason.

IMHO the best thing to do it just do like all apps: don't try to interfere with basic desktop functionality.

(1) Don't forbid the system to decorate the windows.  This just lets the window manager decorate the windows with the style that the user wished.
(2) Don't forbid the system to resize the window.  This just lets whatever platform-specific option you don't even know to just work.
(3) Don't declare the window as a special window (dependent window, tool window or whatever).  This is special cases for applications like Gimp where the user clearly wants one entry per image in Alt-Tab, and not one entry per each small tool window.  Not relevant for AT2 which has only one window.

Trying to do window management oneself only gets a setup that work on your platform and your habits but breaks for other people, causes more work, for what benefit?

Tech side

From the app behavior it looks like it tells the system that it is a fixed size app and just happens to have custom code that allows limited options to change position and size, with an incomplete maximize feature.  Is that right?

I think I remember the last apps that did something similar: the antique xmms player or xine - Wikipedia. Those were really fixed size, so the choice of forcing the platform and handling everything by itself caused not as much work as in your case and was less likely to frustrate users.  The popular VLC did not fall into this trap.

Probably, fixing those problems will just be a matter of just not forbiding desktop environment to do its job, in practice removing things / simplifying code and/or not enabling some Juce features that cause interference with basic desktop functionality.
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Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #44 on: 17:25, 13 November 17 »
Thanks for this big report. I indeed do "some stuff", but I don't always have complete control. All I do about the status bar is overriding some paint method. Juce has some flaws about it. I'll try to correct what I can. Alt-Tab works fine for me however, last time I checked.


As for the smaller screen problem, I'll see what I can do, but this might take some time, as the best solution might not be so obvious (to design and to code!).
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Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #45 on: 18:31, 13 November 17 »
- The volume of the center channel seems very low here, but it may be a problem with my hardware. I'll check with different headphones and other machines.

You're right. Same thing here. I thought it was just silent.
So low that whenever another voice it active, it's just like muted.

- The MOD import only allows to drop a whole channel, or mix two channels together. It would be more useful to import all the patterns and then let me rearrange stuff in the linker to reduce to 3 channels (maybe there could be a 4th channel, which would not be replayed?). I can probably import as a dual-AY song and then work from theer, so that should be ok, still.

Yes, same thing here.

- No MIDI file import? That may be useful in some cases, too (but not very easy). Well, I guess I can convert to MOD from ModPlugTracker and then convert that...

ModPlugTracker appears to be windows-only, yet thanks for sharing. :)
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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #46 on: 18:38, 13 November 17 »
Thanks for this big report. I indeed do "some stuff", but I don't always have complete control. All I do about the status bar is overriding some paint method. Juce has some flaws about it. I'll try to correct what I can. Alt-Tab works fine for me however, last time I checked.

Thank you for taking care!
When you tested Alt-Tab, what OS were you using? What desktop environment?

After failing with "we're the devils", "sleepwalk.mod"," CrytsalHammer", I could finally import some mods (Alphaville by Wild Copper, Phenomena demo soundtrack, Tranzx.mod).

The sampled instruments seem low quality. Is that representative of the CPC+ or a bug? (Just passing by, I'm targetting regular CPC at this point.)

Bug? All sound output is effectively mono (definitely, hearing using headphones). And if I check the "mono output" checkbox in the preference, I have no sound at all.

Exporting a WAV file yields exactly the same results (poor quality, mono), so it's probably not a matter of bad platform-dependent output, rather problem in waveform computation?

Also, the "made with Juce logo" that appears on bottom right when starting, is it mandatory ad because of Juce license constraint, or just something you added for fun?

Keep up the good work!
« Last Edit: 12:11, 06 December 17 by cpcitor »
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Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #47 on: 18:53, 13 November 17 »
About the MOD, a lot of old MOD don't work because they are 15 instruments, not 31 ones. There is a strange way to compute looping sample which I haven't fathom yet, so I just ignored it. Imports are "best efforts", but I will improve them as best as I can.


The quality is as heard on CPC. The volume of each sample should be increased by yourself, thanks to the "amplification" knob inside each sample. This is normal. Don't expect MOD to sound great right from the start, unless the samples are all saturated. Saturation is the key on CPC!


As for the almost silent middle channel, it is strange but I don't know what is happening for now.
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Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #48 on: 18:54, 13 November 17 »
I suspect there is a problem with your stereo though. I of course tested on all platforms, and stereo/mono works fine.


As for the JUCE logo, it is mandatory because the project is closed source.
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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #49 on: 19:09, 13 November 17 »
I suspect there is a problem with your stereo though. I of course tested on all platforms, and stereo/mono works fine.

You can move on peacefully regarding stereo. There was a loose jack at the moment I tested. Sound indeed is stereo, and mono mode works as expected.

Thank you for the explanation about sample quality.

As for the JUCE logo, it is mandatory because the project is closed source.

Thanks for the explanation.
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