Author Topic: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!  (Read 7225 times)

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Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #50 on: 19:16, 13 November 17 »
Since the loose jack was fixed, the center voice (2) is no longer near-silent but audible.  :)

I can't find a way to turn a sampled instrument into a FM instrument.

I can only "clear" it, then I have to manually discover all the parameters that have to be changed (first: set the cleared instrument to be a FM instrument), and change everything cell by cell.

I expected to be able to use the "create new instrument from template" dialog, simply additionally commanding to overwrite the one at a position I wish. Instead it always creates appending at the end.

Also, when porting some music from sample to FM, it would be nice to be able to switch at will between original sample and FM instrument (even while playing) to assert the fidelity of the conversion.

But perhaps there are already good ways to do, that I just haven't figured out?

Good job anyway, and excellent decision to write cross-platform!
Had a CPC since 1985, currently software dev professional, including embedded systems.

I made the first CPC cross-dev environment that auto-installs C compiler and tools: cpc-dev-tool-chain: a portable toolchain for C/ASM development targetting CPC.

Offline reidrac

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #51 on: 20:24, 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.

I've been using a 64-bit system for years. We can manage if you provide a 32-bit binary only, but 64-bit would be much appreciated!
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #52 on: 22:06, 13 November 17 »
Ok, I'll add Linux 32/64bits in my pipeline. God thank Jenkins :) .


Quote
can't find a way to turn a sampled instrument into a FM instrument

I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to achieve here. Could you be more specific please? Do you simply created a sample instrument and simply want to ditch it, to be replaced by a FM instrument?

Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #53 on: 22:35, 13 November 17 »
I'm sorry, I don't understand what you are trying to achieve here. Could you be more specific please? Do you simply created a sample instrument and simply want to ditch it, to be replaced by a FM instrument?

* The scenario is: loading an existing mod with sampled music, in the intent of converting it to FM-only to play with a regular CPC.
* In a song, each instrument is used many times, identified by a number.
* The aim here is: keep the number, the song sill still call the same instrument number but that should play a FM instrument instead of the sample instrument.
* Ideally, when user asks for this, user can choose the initial FM instrument behavior just like when user adds a new instrument with a new number: single beep, decreasing voume, etc.

Is that clearer?

(Bonus points it the change is reversible. For example if switching to FM does not destroy the sample reference immediately, just "hide" it. That is, if the data structures allow both FM and sample parameters to be present, the flag FM/sample only says which one is played and you can swicth at will to compare the FM instrument and the sample instrument at will while playing. But if all that part in parenthesis is not clear just ignore it.)
Had a CPC since 1985, currently software dev professional, including embedded systems.

I made the first CPC cross-dev environment that auto-installs C compiler and tools: cpc-dev-tool-chain: a portable toolchain for C/ASM development targetting CPC.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #54 on: 12:12, 14 November 17 »
Switching between sample/FM instrument by "hiding" the other is not possible, and won't be. However, you wanted to use the "template" pop-up to overwrite a Sample instrument.
Unless I'm wrong, you can create a *new* FM instrument and set its destination to the sample instrument you want to overwrite. Shouldn't this do the trick?

Offline cpcitor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #55 on: 22:37, 14 November 17 »
Switching between sample/FM instrument by "hiding" the other is not possible, and won't be. However, you wanted to use the "template" pop-up to overwrite a Sample instrument.
Unless I'm wrong, you can create a *new* FM instrument and set its destination to the sample instrument you want to overwrite. Shouldn't this do the trick?

Yes, completely.

In spite of the reported problems (non-core, non-critical, non-blocking), I confirm software is usable on Ubuntu 16.04 AMD-64. It seems to reflect comprehensively the features of our beloved AY-3-8912.

Not tested yet the output on a real Amstrad, but managed to adapt an existing short tune into a working file. Even the "emulate CPC internal speaker" feels faithful (only tried on good external speakers).

Congrats Targhan! Keep up the good work! 8)
Had a CPC since 1985, currently software dev professional, including embedded systems.

I made the first CPC cross-dev environment that auto-installs C compiler and tools: cpc-dev-tool-chain: a portable toolchain for C/ASM development targetting CPC.

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #56 on: 15:16, 20 November 17 »
Excellent software, very well presented too. 

Is it possible to import YM files to see how certain tunes were composed or is that impossible?
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #57 on: 15:26, 20 November 17 »
Thanks. You're not the first one to ask for an YM import, but it is almost impossible to do. YM is just a stream, it would require a lot of work to extract instruments and notes in a useful way. Anway, with a bit of experience, recreating a song from listening to an YM is rather easy, even if long and not especially fun.

Offline Carnivius

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #58 on: 15:51, 24 November 17 »
recreating a song from listening to an YM is rather easy,

Not when you have little to no musical talent. :P
But yeah ok if it's impossible that's fine.  Me just wishful there.  Great program :)
Favorite CPC games: SwitchBlade, Stryker in the Crypts of Trogan, Turrican II, UN Squadron, Oh Mummy

Offline Sice

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #59 on: 10:42, 29 November 17 »
Amazing job Targhan...I just registered on this forum to congratulate you. I'm really happy there is some activity on the CPC again, and seeing new tools like this available that I can use on my Mac motivates me to try writing songs again.


I have one question, does it have live sample playback in the player when programming a song? I loved Starkos tracker so much the only thing was it was not possible to hear sample playback live in the tracker (I'm sure you had your reasons and it was not easy to code that feature though!). If this is possible I think it could be quite inspirational when writing songs (I've not downloaded it yet or read the manual, but I will soon). How many samples can you have and can they be 'tuned' (in other words, playing a sample on another higher key will play that sample higher pitch?). I seem to remember this was not possible on CPC in other trackers.


I also just watched the CRTC3 demo from roudoudou...what an amazing demo and what a good song. Was that written using arkos tracker? I would like to know how he got the SId type effects and making the AY sound like it has different waveforms. I'm hoping that creating these kind of sounds is possible on the regular CPC, hopefully with Arkos tracker??

I'm hoping that it would be possible to have a SID effect on one channel and it not use too much CPU, or is that wishful thinking?





« Last Edit: 12:23, 29 November 17 by Sice »

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #60 on: 13:32, 29 November 17 »
Thanks!


About the samples, yes, you can either use them as digidrums in the Event column (like Starkos), and you will of course hear them, or you can use samples as instruments, just like any FM instrument. To check that quickly, simply import a MOD and press play :).


However, there is no player currently to play samples. A MOD player will come later. As for a dual FM/Sample player, I may do it, but not sure, because it's very specific and coders should code their own according to what they need. Maybe I'll do it if many people ask for it.


As for SID, it is only very low on my TODO list, because it will require a lot of thinking to satisfy all platforms. There may be several SIDs (ST-Sid, Sample Sid, etc.). SID is also very tricky to play depending on the hardware. A CPC+ player could be created easily, not a CPC Old.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #61 on: 13:35, 29 November 17 »
As for the music of Roudoudou's demo, no, it was not created with AT2, but with Zik's Soundtrakker DMA, a not-released-yet soundtracker specific to the CPC Plus. Asking Zik for it may accelerate its release, so have a try :).

Offline Gryzor

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #62 on: 19:21, 05 December 17 »

When you testes Alt-Tab,
 


tee-hee :D :D :D

Offline Sice

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #63 on: 01:13, 24 December 17 »
Hi Targhan,


That's great news SID will come eventually but no rush!

Could you tell me about the CPU usage if just using 1 SID effect on one channel? How about the CPU usage for songs on a regular CPC when using a few samples or converted MODs?


I'd like to write some original songs with samples...maybe 5 or 6 of them. I'm happy to use normal hardware envelopes, drums etc but would like to use samples for the main melody.


I was hoping perhaps the songs with samples wouldn't use more than about 15-20% CPU so they could still be used with some nice demo FX, or am I being overly optimistic?
Thanks,


Sice



« Last Edit: 01:15, 24 December 17 by Sice »

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #64 on: 01:47, 24 December 17 »
SIDs are definitely the most complex sound you can have. They will take at least 50% of your CPU, but you have to be NOP accurate, so it's like spending 100% of your CPU, with some waiting at every scanline. I won't be coding SIDs before the rest is coded, so it WILL take a long time. Plus I admit this is not my primary concern, I don't like SIDs :) .


There is currently no player to play both FM sounds and sample (I'm not talking about mere digidrums), but I will eventually do it. But first, I must do the MOD player, which is quite easy, I've done it many times before. It's in the pipeline, and will come probably just after the generic player on which I'm working on.


And Sampling WILL take a lot of CPU, much more than 15-20%. We're on a CPC, don't forget it :) . A CPC Plus player could make it faster, but I'm not the one who will do it.


Just look at the Landscape part of the Demoizart: that's about the best you can get (2 fm channels, 2 sample channels), but I can do better without the color handling and stuff. However, this is a very specialized player. Wait & see ! But wait first :) .

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #65 on: 02:27, 24 December 17 »
About SIDs and samples, you really have to understand that even if these effects don't require all the CPU, you have to play them a very accurate timing. This makes any other effect very very very hard to do. Have a look at Imperial Mahjong if you haven't already. There are samples during the game, and it was an absolute nightmare to code. So making the player is only actually one small part of the problem. Slicing the effect/game code during the "waiting" code is the hard part.

Offline Sice

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #66 on: 00:40, 04 January 18 »
That's OK...I may write a regular song - I have already created some nice Sid-type arpeggios using the regular sounds. Then I might duplicate the same song but have some sounds as samples...

I have to say - great job with this tool. I hope it will be the start of some nice original tunes for our good old CPC. I have started writing a song and have enjoyed using it so far.

I know it is alpha so there are some small bugs that you may already be aware of, such as saving of samples from some .mod files. The menu becomes greyed out and you are not able to save samples (I'm on a Mac). The only way to save them is to change a pattern or something in the file, then hit the 'X' and try and save (the dialog will appear). It will crash but still save your song. Then you can open it again and save samples. However, I'm unsure how to import these into my own song properly. I tried to select an existing track and import the sample but it doesn't seem to want to import it (unless I am missing something?)

It would also be great if you could import / export Arpeggios that you have made. The same goes for cells in the Linker - what if you could select a cell (pattern for 1 channel) and export. That way if you have a little idea from another song, you could save it and import it into the cell of another song and you wouldn't have to recreate it! Maybe in the pattern editor it would be possible to highlight some notes and select the copy option to then paste. Even more amazing would be if you had a pattern, and you had a transpose option. So if you had a pattern that you were able to import from another song but it is not in the correct key, you could simply transpose it up or down!

For even faster use, maybe there could also be a right click that would also have the same options as the icons (for people that don't want to hover over the menu icons on some icons where they can't remember what the option is for)

Lastly this is just an idea for fun...how cool would it be to have a ‘random’ button in the instrument editor…for fun and inspiration to maybe generate some different and original sounds?

Apologies if some of the above is in the manual somewhere but I didn't read it yet - I have found Arkos Tracker 2 to be very easy to use so have not even looked at it!

Brilliant work though Targhan for such a nice tool, I hope that new songs will inspire some nice new demos too in the future!

P.S - I wish the AY could handle more than 1 hardware envelope at a time without making screeching noises on a normal CPC! I guess the reason why I like SID-type sounds is that that the hardware waveform seems more 'controlled' when using this type of sound - we don't have the usual effects of the hardware envelope only sounding OK if the note is related in key when we go up a scale (I read your article on the new Memory Full website by the way with interest!)

:-)

Sice



« Last Edit: 01:36, 04 January 18 by Sice »

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #67 on: 03:20, 04 January 18 »
Hi,


Thanks for all your remarks.


Quote
I know it is alpha so there are some small bugs that you may already be aware of, such as saving of samples from some .mod files. The menu becomes greyed out and you are not able to save samples (I'm on a Mac). The only way to save them is to change a pattern or something in the file, then hit the 'X' and try and save (the dialog will appear). It will crash but still save your song. Then you can open it again and save samples. However, I'm unsure how to import these into my own song properly. I tried to select an existing track and import the sample but it doesn't seem to want to import it (unless I am missing something?)


Funny thing about the "greyed out" menus, I'll look into that, I never quite reproduced it, but you're not the first one to encounter it so it is a serious flaw I should correct.
About the MOD, I'm not aware you can save samples yet :), so I don't what you are trying to achieve! Nothing should crash, even in this alpha version, so please can you give me what actions you are doing?


As for the samples, the next-next version will hopefully have all that is needed to export the samples in a way the future MOD player - or any player - can play them. This will be also useful for digidrum playing. But since you have the MOD you are importing in AT2, it is easier to extract the samples from them using a tool like OpenMPT! Any MOD player on CPC will require 8 or 4 bits samples, saves them in a RAW format. But I don't know what player you will use... There are none except the Digitracker from Prodatron (the Protracker from Crown doesn't have any player, to my knowledge).


Not a bad idea for Arp/Pitch export, I'll consider it.


As for the cell export, the future copy/paste option may be enough?


As for the transposition/random option, there will also be an option in a future "toolbox". But don't forget that you can transpose on the fly and in a non-destructive way via the Linker, using the Transpositions!


Thanks for your support!

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #68 on: 05:49, 05 January 18 »
Oh, do you mean you saved the instrument containing the sample? It saves under a zipped XML format, which itself contains the sample in base-64, so there is no interest for you, indeed. But please tell me how the crash occurred (either PM or on the "bug report" section of the AT2 forum). Thanks!

Offline Sice

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #69 on: 00:38, 09 January 18 »
Sorry I have been away, I will reply properly soon with the details :-)


Yes I meant when saving samples...I thought perhaps I could save sample instruments from another song, then load that sampled instrument into the song I have made to replace my drums sounds. Is this possible?

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #70 on: 01:06, 09 January 18 »
Well, you can "save instrument" in the first song and "load instrument" in the second, which should work! Doesn't it?

Offline reidrac

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #71 on: 15:55, 04 February 18 »
I've started reading the code and I like it (I think), but I have a problem... that is basically that I need this to compile with SDCC assembler.

I can convert the source (and that will be painful, SDCC assembler sucks), but given that this is is an alpha, @Targhan do you expect the lightweight player to change a lot?

I'm afraid that when I start integrating it in my project it may end being a fork of the code because it would be too expensive to merge in any future changes.

Thoughts?

I also have a potential UI bug report, see the screenshot. I have problems reading that dialog :)

« Last Edit: 16:30, 04 February 18 by reidrac »
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #72 on: 10:41, 05 February 18 »
Hi,


No, the code is not going to change much (I've done some tweakings, but nothing drastic).
As for your UI bug, very strange, since all the load/save uses the OS UI, not a specific UI! What is your system? Do you simply try to load a song? Does it happen too when you try to "save as", or "load instrument"?


Thanks.

Offline Targhan

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #73 on: 14:09, 05 February 18 »
But thinking about it, maybe you could use another assembler (Rasm, SJasmplus) only for the player (using a fixed address), then integrate the generated binary using SDCC ?

Offline reidrac

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Re: Arkos Tracker 2 - Released!
« Reply #74 on: 23:46, 05 February 18 »
Hi,


No, the code is not going to change much (I've done some tweakings, but nothing drastic).
As for your UI bug, very strange, since all the load/save uses the OS UI, not a specific UI! What is your system? Do you simply try to load a song? Does it happen too when you try to "save as", or "load instrument"?


Thanks.

May be is some sort of weird behavior with XFCE. My theme is not special I think (and my apps don't look like Arkos Tracker 2!).

I'll double check, but if it works fine for everybody else, forget about it.
Released The Return of Traxtor, Golden Tail and Magica for the CPC.