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Author Topic: How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?  (Read 903 times)

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Kitsune Mifune

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How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?
« on: January 01, 2021, 11:43:42 »

Hi folks,

I can't find a way to pitch shift samples in Protracker (I'm using Protracker for Windows).

I can Fine Tune the sample using the Finetune button, but that's limited to 7 small movements in pitch which isn't enough. Actually shifting the samples up or down full semitones just doesn't seem possible, and I've been searching for about 3 hours now with no avail.

None of the documentation I've found even mentions tuning. It's all just command lists made by users and not an official manual which covers everything.

Is it possible? I can see there's a Tune Value in the sampler (above "Timing") but I cannot for the life of me find out how to manipulate it as there are no buttons assigned to it, and there is nothing else in the sampler that seems to deal with tuning.

I would have thought this was a basic, basic function of any music/sound program, but I just can't figure it out.

Thanks!
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Saga Musix

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Re: How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?
« Reply #1 on: January 01, 2021, 13:05:24 »

Quote
Is it possible?
In short: No. The ProTracker format cannot do this. The middle-C frequency is always around 8kHz. You need to manually transpose your notes to make up for that (and potentially downsample them so that the wanted notes fit into the ProTracker note range), or use a more modern format and tracker where you can set the middle-C frequency freely.

Quote
I would have thought this was a basic, basic function of any music/sound program, but I just can't figure it out.
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.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2021, 13:18:42 by Saga Musix »
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sherekhan

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Re: How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?
« Reply #2 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.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2021, 11:50:03 by sherekhan »
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Saga Musix

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Re: How to pitch shift samples in Protracker?
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2021, 18:52:57 »

Transposing would be relatively cheap, yes, but I was looking at this more from the "be able to just use any freely defined base frequency" perspective, which includes finetune. Just being to enter any base frequency for your sample - that's something that wouldn't happen until much later (probably also because the Amiga's programming model which used inverse frequency / periods instead).

Quote
It first became part of the MOD-format in Protracker, along with extended command sets and CIA/BPM timing.
The early history of those formats is very confusing, but just to clarify - CIA timing was already used in some SoundTracker versions. I guess whatever was taken as the base for NoiseTracker was one of those SoundTracker versions without CIA timing.
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