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Music Production => MilkyTracker => Tracking => MilkyTracker Support => Topic started by: Pineapple Sam on July 17, 2010, 01:05:02

Title: Starting questions
Post by: Pineapple Sam on July 17, 2010, 01:05:02
Hi there! I’ve finally got round to downloading and Milkytracker and I’m getting to grips with it but I’m struggling a little. Thanks to youtube and an online guide I’ve got a handle on how to use the software but there’s bits I’d appreciate help with:

1) On the example song Slumberjack there are rectangles beneath some of the notes, and in the 2nd channel at the beginning. What purpose do they serve, and how do I create them?

2) When I create samples they never sound exactly as I want them to. Is there and in-depth guide to creating different sounds with them, perhaps a separate utility or somewhere where I can compare different samples?

3) How does Milkytracker read notes and command? In some places in Slumberjack there’s a lone note with a single command that plays for ages, while in others there is one note then a long list of commands while at other points the same note is repeated multiple times with the same command.

Looking forward to getting my hands dirty... :evil:

Title: Re: Starting questions
Post by: TraumFlug on July 18, 2010, 17:18:13
1) the rectangles are "note-off" commands. when a note is playing in that channel, and such a "rectangle" followes, the note is cut, i.e. turned off. when using envelopes with a "sustain mark", that volume/panning is held at that mark until a note-off command. you can enter such a note with the key right next to your left shift or above the tabulator key.

2) there's many ways to create samples, so your question is too generic imho. how do you try to create them, and how does it differ from the sound you want them to have? creating good samples is a very delicate art, btw.

3) normally the playback speed of rows is linear, unless changed by special commands. for example if the first letter of the command is an "F" with 2 numbers behind it, it changes the playback speed...from the moment it is issued until loading a new song or another "Fxx" command is issued. a special case is the "EEx" command you meant in slumberjack: it will make the row it's last longer, speed is not really changed but it just stops playback for an ammount of time and then resumes. another note to slumberjack: did you notice the "E60" and "E62" commands? that's a "pattern loop", breaking the global sequence deliberately. but don't try to mess with pattern-breaking commands as a newbie too much, try to concentrate on the music, and volume/portamento effects first.

also I'd advise you to download a keymap and effect-command reference and print it out. there's good ones on the homepage, under documentation the "quick reference printout"-pdf's. it's 2 pages, and really worth the paper, as all keyboard commands are on one page, and all effect commands on the second.

happy tracking!
Title: Re: Starting questions
Post by: Pineapple Sam on July 20, 2010, 03:52:13
1) Ah, useful to know! So, if I have milkytracker playing an F# it’ll play the envelope until the sustain point [assuming I’ve specified one] and then either jump to a new note if I have one or continue ‘till the end of the envelope if it reaches a rectangle? When are loops played in an envelope?

2) I’ve been messing around by generating waveforms in milkytracker and then drawing bits in. I’ve been careful to keep the sample size a multiple of 32/64 but I’m not sure not to create specific sounds. It’s like have paints , brushes and a blank canvas but no real idea how you’re meant to draw a portrait...

3) I think I get it, and thanks for mentioning the documentation link! I’ve downloaded the key map and I’m looking over it now.
Title: Re: Starting questions
Post by: TraumFlug on July 22, 2010, 23:48:00

1) the envelope handling is a bit "special", as it tries to do the same as fast tracker 2, and that had nutty behaviour in many cases. I'm not able to run mt properly at the moment to test in detail (hardware phrackedness in mouse, keyb, sound & video on my old system, no time to fix it), but iirc for the envelopes it's important to have the instrument number set or not for how it behaves. for example if you use the "3xx" command _with_ an instrument number, it will restart the envelope, without it will continue (you'll have to del the instrument number after entering the note for 3xx to make the envelope continue instead of restart). likewise, a note without instrument number next to it will restart the sample (of the last instrument used on that channel), but not the envelope.

envelopes go sustain-first and then loop. so if you place a sustain inside a loop, the envelope will progress until sustain, and when note-off is issued, it will ignore the sustain and loop it. if the loop is positioned before the sustain point, the sustain point will never be reached (unless you trigger the envelope at a position after the loop with an "Lxx" command, I guess).

the "rectangle" (please call it "note-cut" or "note-off") will do 2 things in regard to envelopes:

-1) it will break the "hold" of the sustain-point, making the envelope continue

-2) it will start fading the volume at some totally obscure rate specified with the "fadeout"-value in the instrument editor. if set to "cut" it will stop any playback at note-off, if set to zero, it will just make the envelope handle volume. everything in between fades out more or less slowly, useful for example for an envelope-loop that simulates somekind of echoe behind the sustain point, letting it raise/lower the volume periodically, while the "fadeout" makes it more and more silent over time.

[-3) if no volume envelope is turned on, the note-off thing will just turn volume to zero.]

2) as for "chipsample" creation (small loops) of samples, it's hard to get what you want without lots of practise. the sample size just determines for example how many high-frequencies ("richness" in sound) are preserved when playing a low pitch. the shorter the loop, the duller it will sound at the same frequency, in most cases. so length is not really an issue otherwise, let alone you manage to tune your chipsound correctly.
I'm not a big fan of chipsounds, too static sound imho, and have seldom used them with joy, but to get an idea, you could get some sample collection of synths and/or real instruments, find something that has an similliar timbre to what you want, and cut out from a part of that sample a loop of one "period" (i.e. the soundwave will repeat more or less, warping all the time, choose one part that is repeated at the position that sounds interesting for you, make sure you cut out from zero-crossing to zero-crossing, zoom in, highlight & hit crop). then do with many sounds, and look into how the waves sound & look like. that way you can intuitively learn what shapes sound like (mostly, heh heh...), and how to "draw" similliar loops.
generally slow/flat/round curves sound dull, and fast/steep changes in the curve will make it sound sharp, bright.
I'd advise you to use instrument samples from samplepacks or ripped from other modules first, to get the hang of tracking.

good luck, & make nice tunes  8)