Author Topic: playcity - 6 channel sound (and 3 channel music and 3 channel sfx)  (Read 5790 times)

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Offline SyX

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@RockRiver: No, you don't sound hard or bad, i understand you perfectly.

As TotO says we studied practically every sound chips (even the Dreamcast AICA, it's not a joke and in the CPC would mean bring an ARM coprocessor to help the poor z80, hahaha), the price was never a problem for a limited run, although TotO always sell practically at cost, because the goal is everybody can get our devices.

In those later Yamahas that include 1xPSG (in mono), YxFM channels (requires more CPU and more RAM that a PSG equivalent) and ZxADPCM channels (even more RAM and without a DMA channel with its own memory, you will lose all the CPU), you will find that 128 KBs is not enough, and we read a lot of complains everytime that people recommend/speak about use 128 KBs for games.

But even that is not a problem, our main problem is the software, we need a tracker native or cross-platform alive, that tracker of your link was abandonned a lot time ago. And you can not use the amazing Adlib Tracker II, because the second requirement is having a native sound driver, easy to use by developers and that not burn too much CPU or RAM or floppy (we need to load those resources), because in other case the use is going to be Zero.

At the end of the day, you need to find a compromise, our compromise was made something it was familiar, attractive (It's not a Sound board!!! The CTC is the star for me and the light gun port is great ;)) and easy to use by CPC developers, because it's software what we need.

Offline TFM

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There is always a "better" soundchip, we can play this game quite a while and will finally end up with MP3 (like it happened in the PC world before).


Well, MP3 is not new to the CPC. Dr. Zed and me made the FuturePlayer for CPC already 2004. But as nice as it is to play MP3's on an CPC they use up all the RAM. So yes, for a song 4 MB RAM are just cool. As TotO and SyX already told RAM and CPU time should be taken into account.
On the other hand it there will be a new chip compatible to the old, for not much more money and with new features, one could consider it.


 :) :) :)
TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Shining

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I want to use the pt3-player out of sdcc so I wanted to port the code to the sdcc-assembler. But I'm a little stuck with the massive use of asm-structs in the original code. The sdcc-asm does not understand structs. Is there perhaps someone who has modified the code to compile without the structs ?
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Offline Prodatron

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Here is SyX 6channel PT3 player without structs. I had to remove them as WinApe doesn't support them as well.

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Offline TFM

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Hi there!

Is it possible to play a MDL with the PlayCity?
What I do have in mind is to use PlayCity for playing the Amiga MDL for Giana Sisters.

Can somebody help me with this?


How does it look like on Amiga?

The Great Giana Sisters - Intro Theme [Amiga (Win)] - YouTube

Watch from second 18 :)

Any kind of help is appreciated!

TFM of FutureSoft
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Offline Prodatron

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Is it possible to play a MDL with the PlayCity?
What I do have in mind is to use PlayCity for playing the Amiga MDL for Giana Sisters.
How does it look like on Amiga?
The Great Giana Sisters - Intro Theme [Amiga (Win)] - YouTube
TBH I like Kangaroos AY version much more :D
But that's a good idea. As the AY registers of the Playcity can be accessed much faster it should be possible to have real 3 channel digisound with Digitracker played with a good frequency! I should have a look at the source codes...

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Offline TFM

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Oh, Kangaroos AY tunes stay where they are.  :)
It's about the title picture, there is no sound yet.
Actually Tolkin did a conversion of the 4 track Amiga Mod to a 3 track CPC mod using your great sound software. But of course 3 channels are not 4.

It would be awesome if you can give it a go and make it working with 4 channels (or 5 or 6??). Then this would be your first project or FutureOS (and later on for the Plus Cartridge, which will be made after the CPC version runs).  ;)

EDIT: Two speakers tell more than 100 words, listen from DSK please...
« Last Edit: 20:11, 18 December 14 by TFM »
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Offline Prodatron

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Adding a forth channel would mean a lot of additional work as it requires an enhanced MDL format. No chance for a short-term solution.
I had a look at the source codes ( http://www.prodatron.net/files/prodatron/digitracker-Source.zip ; DIGITRAK.BS0 ; yes it's from the early 90ies :D ). The problem is, even with the PlayCity you still need 6 x OUT/OUTI for setting the 3 volume registers. Compared to the Digiblaster, which mixes the 3 channels and then OUTs one value to the printer port, it is additional work.
I am now at 12,5KHz for 3channel PlayCity digi-playback (CPC AY mixed = 14,5KHz, DigiBlaster mixed = 16,7KHz). The resolution will be better compared to the internal AY as you don't mix 3 channels into one, but high tones won't sound so good. There is the possbility to use a frequency table, which will shrink down the sample memory from 63K to 50K or so (IIRC), which will speed up the code a little bit (this was used by Crowns Protracker).

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Offline TFM

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Ah, ok. Thanks for all the information. Well, I guess I say good bye to the MDL for now. But shouldn't the PlayCity be more quick than the AY (guess I miss some point).
« Last Edit: 01:33, 18 January 15 by TFM »
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Offline Prodatron

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Ah, ok. Thanks for all the information. Well, I guess I say good buy to the MDL for now. But shouldn't the PlayCity be more quick than the AY (guess I miss some point).
In general the PlayCity is much faster.
But if you still mix everything into one channel, the PlayCity is only a little bit faster. You save 2 OUTs and can optimize some register usage, but it's not so much. It would be something between CPC-AY and DigiBlaster. A little improvement compared to the internal AY, but not sooo interesting.
I was more interested in a solution where each music channel has its own AY channel. It would be the first time the CPC plays digisound on 3 separate output channels.

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Offline TFM

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Agreed!  :)  Own channels without mixing will be better for sure.  :)


So, if somebody wants to do a nice title tune for "A Tribute to the sisters" please let me know. Format doesn't matter, but using PlayCity would be nice.  ;)
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Offline Shining

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I finally converted the player routine (thanks prodatron for your source) ready to use in sdcc and made two little demo players, one playing during IRQ (player.bin), the other waiting for frame-flyback (player2.bin). A readme is included in the zip-file also the routines are all commented but I'll post a little tutorial  for the wiki the next days....

The demo players search the disk, they're started on for .pt3-files (amsdos header is needed) and then load the first found one. You can switch between up to 20 songs using keys 0-9 and F0-F9. If the song does not contain two parts (6-channel-song). it plays the 3-channel song on both chips. (Sounds a little bit messy in javaCPC but on real cpc it sounds good). 18 songs are included in the example.
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Offline TFM

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This is freaking cool! I will take a closer look right now!  :) :) :)
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Offline HAL 6128

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I didn't make it run under SymbOS2.1. Just inserted the attached disc, start SymbOS and run the "player.bin" file with a double mouse click. Is there something what I have to take care? [ Invalid Attachment ]

Forget that note. Damn. I'm MS-Windows aggrieved. Just thought it's a SymbOS app / file....
« Last Edit: 15:21, 18 January 15 by HAL 6128 »
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Offline Shining

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Hehe, no it was meant to play 6-channel music for sdcc-standalone-productions. It was some kind of finger exercise and because I LOVE AYC-music which not always sound great in emulators...

Perhaps I'll include the player later in my game. Don't know yet...

If anyone wants to use the thing in an own production and needs help or some kind of optimization (only 3-channels etc..), I'll be glad to help out.
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Offline TFM

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... I LOVE AYC-music which not always sound great in emulators...


So true, sound is like the step child of emulator makers. Guess that JavaCPC does pretty well though. Even if it has so much options, that I'm not completely understand all of them.  :)
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Offline Shining

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Yep, JAVA-CPC does a good job here. Because I needed emulation of the two ym chips and my former daily-use-emulator winape has no support (yet) I used javacpc for the first time.
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Online TotO

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M.E.S.S. support the full PlayCity emulation. (not only sound)
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Offline Ast

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where did we get MESS version with full playcity features?
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Online TotO

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mahlemuit had already answered to you 9 days ago, on the PlayCity topic.
« Last Edit: 23:56, 18 January 15 by TotO »
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I finally converted the player routine (thanks prodatron for your source)
For information, the 6ch player code was originaly done by SyX and available on PlayCity - CPCWiki8)


« Last Edit: 23:36, 19 January 15 by TotO »
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Offline Prodatron

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For information, the 6ch player code was originaly done by SyX and available on PlayCity - CPCWiki8)
Yes, and the original Z80 sources are done by Sergey Bulba.
SyX modified them by adding indexed based data struture access to make 2x3 channel music possible in a good way.

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Offline Shining

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So full credits for my version are (like written in playcityPT3.asm):

; ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
; PT3 Turbo Sound player for Amstrad CPC
; (c) 2013 SyX
; Based in the Universal PT2'n'PT3 Turbo Sound player for ZX Spectrum
; (c)2004-2007 S.V.Bulba <vorobey@mail.khstu.ru>
; http//bulba.untergrund.net/ (http//bulba.at.kz/)
; and the Amstrad CPC/Plus Port by Grim/Arkos^Semilanceata
; 2014 modified by Prodatron for Maxam assembler (WinApe) and SymAmp/SymbOS
; 2014 modified by Shining for SDCC
; ---------------------------------------------------------------------------
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