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#1
VB Tracker Rumors and Methods to mock the VSU
Posted on: 2017/11/20 6:12
Virtual Freak
Joined 2017/6/24
USA
64 Posts
Long Time User (2 Years)
We don't have any music tracker for the Virtual Boy available at the moment, but M.K. is working on one for Linux it believes. If anyone has a test build of such, tell me some things about VB Tracker! Composers are willing for your music tracker to be released multi-platform.

The only other ways to make music for the system is to use a sound driver, use VSU operation codes, or mock the VSU in other trackers. As for all, VSU's lowest note is the piano equivalent D#2. Hardware sweep can only be done on waveform channel 5.

Sample-based trackers (e.g. OpenMPT and MilkyTracker):
Mock your waveforms with looping 32-step samples, with a close approximation of 6-bit depth. Volume envelopes should also be as close as the VSU's envelope generators and 4-bit depth. Run your waves on the first 5 channels. As for the noise channel, use some samples that give approximations of the VSU's noise generator instead of waveforms.

FamiTracker and 0cc-FamiTracker:
Use the 5-N163 sound expansion with 32-step waveforms. You are limited to 4-bit depth instead of 6-bit. The 2A03 noise channel can be used as the VSU noise (though limited to 2 noise modes instead of 8). The FDS expansion also has 6-bit depth, the same as VSU. Though the FDS has only one channel, is limited to 64 steps, and can't generate frequencies that high.

Delek's DefleMask Tracker:
As being a multi-system tracker, use the PC Engine sound set. Use waveforms on channels 1-5, and noise on channel 6. No LFO or DDA. Bit depth on PC Engine is 5-bit, and only has one noise mode.

As for PCM sample tricks:
If any composer knows how 4-bit samples work on VSU, then they could be possibly implemented in your Virtual Boy music. Since the V810 processor runs at 20MHz, you might be lucky that samples wouldn't burst that CPU! Atari ST games, with its DMA sound processor, can use sampled audio during gameplay. I do recall in Nester's Funky Bowling that the music freezes up during playback. The Snatcher homebrew and Hyper Fighting on the Virtual Boy used PCM audio during gameplay.
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