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Messages - sherekhan

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Protracker / Re: How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?
« on: January 13, 2021, 11:47:13 »
We are talking about a clone of a program that was released in 1990, based on a file format invented in 1987, at the very beginning of the history of sampled music on home computers. Back then none of this was "basic".

In addition, the MOD format was originally designed to be a file format that can be played on the Amiga home computer with very little CPU overhead, to be played as game background music. It had basically no ease-of-use features. Like most tools of the time, everything was designed to consume as little CPU time as possible to process and not to be easily usable by a human being.

Technically I don't see that transposing by half notes should be any more taxing on the CPU than fine tuning, both would simply imply an offset value on the playback frequency set per sample. For example, MED introduced per-instrument transpose in v3.00 released in 1991. Not sure why this never became a thing in Protracker.

As for fine-tune in MOD files, I don't believe any of the pre-Protracker programs (Soundtracker, Noisetracker etc) had this. It first became part of the MOD-format in Protracker, along with extended command sets and CIA/BPM timing.

The Lobby / Broken module
« on: October 29, 2020, 15:36:52 »
Listening to some old 4-Mat chip modules I came across one that seems to be broken:

trap (pt.2)

There is also a trap (pt.1) at
This seems to be fine.

But part 2 is completely silent when I try to play it. I even tried to play in in EaglePlayer and Protracker on Amiga, but complete silence until you get a couple of minutes in, and you hear a single drum. Inspecting the samples in Protracker, it seems that only the first sample (the drum) is loaded. The rest are allocated and do take space, but they are all completely flat.

Loading the same module in OctaMED, the picutre changes somewhat: Now all samples seem to be populated, but the first sample is full of garbage, and the rest do no look correct either.

My guess is there is a broken data pointer somewhere in the MOD. Somebody more versed in the MOD file format could possibly fix this by correcting the relevant values. I did manage to fix it another way, though. Judging from the instrument names, pt.1 and pt.2 uses the same samples. The only reason the song is split in two is probably because of the number of patterns required to track the entire song. So I did the following:

1) Loaded pt.2 into OctaMED
2) Saved pt.2 as a MED song without samples
3) Loaded pt.1 in OctaMED. Now I have the song and all instruments loaded.
4) With pt.1 still loaded, I Loaded the MED I made in step of pt.2. It contains no samples, but I already have the samples loaded from pt.1, so OctaMED will just keep those in place and only load the song data.
5) Save as MOD.

BTW, the song is a conversion of a C64 SID by Ben Dagliesh, for the game Trap. The game even featured a special 2xSID stereo version recorded on side B of the tape!

Tracking / Re: Impulse Tracker 2.15?
« on: October 14, 2020, 21:20:15 »
I think the filter history is a bit confusing: I have a registered copy of IT2.14p2 (it will show up as p2 in OpenMPT/Schism), but it already has filters, and its UPDATE.TXT file (dated 21.12.1997) already mentions IT2.14p3 and the IT2.15 sample compression. Maybe it's really a p3 version but it was forgotten to increment the version number on some registered builds.
How do you tell which version you have? I find no way in the program to identify it. "IT -?" gives a help screen which prints "Impulse Tracker, Copyright (C) 1995-1999 Jeffrey Lim, Registered to [my name]", but no version number. The date of my IT.EXE is 17.06.99, size is 95930 bytes. Does not seem to match any of the ones in the link you supplied. But I do notice that 2.14p5 at Modland is more than 400 kb, so I guess the other ones (including mine) are compressed.

My FILTERS.TXT is dated 21.12.97, which coincides with the 2.14p3 "Merry XMas guys!" release. I don't have any of the network-related files from the 2.14p5 release. I do remember fiddling with the DirectX-stuff in 2.14p4, but in the end I just ditched it and used pure DOS mode for IT.

I came across a module in my collection called, which I also remember having back in the day. I believe this was shipped with one of the patches as a showcase of the filter capabilities in IT. Foobar reports this modules as 2.14p2.

Tracking / Re: Impulse Tracker 2.15?
« on: October 14, 2020, 10:21:41 »
It was definitely a thing only for registered users, but maybe the update didn't reach anyone. A copy of IT 2.15 can be found here:

One definite change I know if is the improved lossless sample compression when saving as "IT215" instead of "IT214" in the save dialog; IT2.14 can read IT2.15-compressed samples just fine, though (the algorithm didn't really change in IT2.15; there is just a neat pre-processing trick applied by integrating the signal twice instead of once, which was implemented by setting the delta sample encoding flag).
OK, thanks for info.

Apart from that I initially thought that the filter envelope was new in 2.15 but apparently I am mistaken; it can already be found in registered 2.14 builds but not in unregistered builds.
There were several 2.14 releases, and it seems that filters was new in IT 2.14p3. I also remember that a thing back then was that you needed the hardware to support it. The computer I used at the time (Pentium 100, SB16 sound) could not handle it since it did not have MMX support, but the next computer I bought in '98 (AMD K6-2, AWE64 sound) could, both via CPU and AWE drivers. It also took some time before other players and trackers started to support filters, but I remember that ModPlug Tracker had it in '99.

Tracking / Re: Some questions for you all - College Senior Thesis
« on: October 13, 2020, 11:52:57 »
- How did you discover/get into Tracking?
Had a C64 as a kid, and loved some of the music on it, to the point where I actually taped the music and listened to it in my walkman. Rob Hubbard and Matt Gray were heroes of mine, and I actually met both of them at a retro gaming fair in the city I live in just a couple of years ago.

Anyway, I wanted to try to make music myself, but I never found out how to actually do it. Later I got an Amiga. A friend borrowed me his copy of Sonix, but that didn't really work for me either. But then I got MED 3.00 on an Amiga Computing cover disk, and that was it for me. Kept using MED/OctaMED/SoundStudio as long as I had an Amiga, and moved on to Impulse Tracker when I got a PC.

After getting a tracker the next issue was getting hold of samples. Looking at my old modules, they can mostly be grouped into the following phases:

1) Only using widely available instruments like the ST-01 sample disk and some synthsounds that came with MED.

2) Samples ripped from modules, demos etc. I ripped everything I could get my hands on for a period, and meticulously named and categorized all samples.

3) Getting an actual sampler. I did not own any "real" instruments, but I sampled a lot of stuff from tapes and CDs, TV, and real world objects. Most of my music CDs at the time had a sheet of paper tucked in the cover, where I would write down tracknumber and timestamp whenever I came across a sound I wanted to sample.

4) Getting wider access to professional samples. I subscribed to AM/FM disks, including the sample disks. And eventually sample CDs and internet opened up a whole new world.

- What, to you, is so appealing about music made with tracking software?
Making music at home using nothing but a basic home computer. A lot of great music widely available.

- Has the community played a role in your experience with tracking?
In the beginning, not so much. I had no internet, no modem, and not many friends into what I was doing. But as the world opened up, certainly.

- Are there any composition techniques you've picked up unique to tracking? (e.g., single channel echo, single channel chords, etc.)
- Downsampling drumloops, chords, melodies etc to fit into the four channels that were available on Amiga.
- Playing around with sample offset, using it with sweeping synth sounds, or as a time stretching effect.

Tracking / Impulse Tracker 2.15?
« on: October 13, 2020, 10:23:54 »
When playing some IT modules in Foobar with foo_openmpt plugin I noted that some tracks are reported as created by Impulse Tracker 2.15. I was a registered user, but I believe the last version I ever got was 2.14p4. Was 2.15 ever released, and what was new?

Feedback & Suggestions / Re: duplicate modules
« on: September 10, 2020, 08:43:46 »

Two different file sizes, not sure why. Same sound, same instrument labels, same length.

Remember getting this back in the day as "mod.3", I believe it was on a CU Amiga cover disk. Have no idea who made it, but remember thinking it sounded very professional for the time.

Feedback & Suggestions / Re: duplicate modules
« on: September 08, 2020, 14:43:45 »

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