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View topic - My bizarre attempt at making a BGM theme for the SN76489 using mostly the noise channel

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My bizarre attempt at making a BGM theme for the SN76489 using mostly the noise channel
Post Posted: Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:46 pm
So I'm still relatively new at making chiptune music but I've already gotten crazy ideas for composing music on the SMS/GG sound chip. The weirdest idea so far was when I attempted to use the noise channel (set in free-range white mode) as the lead instrument, the results were really interesting. It almost sounds alien-like, also makes me feel kind of lost when listening to it.. is it even possible to get lost in your own song lol? I certainly felt lost half the time when composing it, took forever to even get where it's at now.

Has anyone else tried something strange like this when composing chiptune music? If so, what were your results? Any funny stories to share?

This is a BGM sample of a homebrew project I'm currently working on in my spare time so please let me know what you guys think of it. Its mostly finished but since I'm o.c.d. with my music projects I'll probably find myself coming back to this one trying improve it later.
s12irwBuvlh.mp3 (1.08 MB)
Converted to MP3

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 3:43 am
Oh WOW!

I had no idea what to expect! When you said a Noise lead, I was expecting a Tomy-style 1/16th Square lead. Not... well, this!

Completely unexpected, and very innovative.
You're clever!
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:49 am
Wow!

I'm seeing an Alien Isolation Master system version with that music in the title screen :-D
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:09 am
I converted it to MP3 to save a bit of bandwidth. It's interesting, quite atmospheric although I felt the noise was a little quiet compared to the square waves. Make sure to listen to the Shooting Gallery title screen for a very different take on lead noise.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 7:27 am
This is quite excellent. It really transports a feeling of dread and isolation. I don‘t think I‘ve heard abything like it before.
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 5:56 pm
Glad everyone seems to like it, at some point in the future I'll try to do another weird theme like this but next time with the noise channel set to free-range periodic, It'll probably be tougher to do given the way periodic sounds. Plus as I discovered, there are complications with the periodic noise meaning it would have to be exclusive to the SMS/GG variant of the SN76489.

Maxim wrote
I converted it to MP3 to save a bit of bandwidth. It's interesting, quite atmospheric although I felt the noise was a little quiet compared to the square waves. Make sure to listen to the Shooting Gallery title screen for a very different take on lead noise.


Ah yes sorry about that.. Deflemask exports audio playback samples in .wav format and I didn't think to convert it to something else, will convert to a smaller format next time, are .OGGs ok? I listened to the Shooting Gallery title theme and its quite nice, the noise channel only played 1 note the whole time but was done so in a way that integrates it perfectly into the theme. Its like the old saying of "its not what you say, its how you say it" also applies to music. I guess its not always what note you play, rather its how you play it.

Looking back at it now I do notice the squares being a little loud, funny thing is during its early revisions the square channels were even louder lol, there was also a +1 note pitch difference. At some point I forked the original project and made a -1 note version (the one I showcased), I thought it sounded better so I continued from there, will probably revise it a few more times.

The hardest part was running out of channels near the end, I started cutting into an already busy square 2 because of my rather chaotic design choices in this theme, its not too noticeable but the damage is definitely there.

The musical madness doesn't end there for me though... about a week ago I discovered spectogram sound art, now I'm running trial-&-error tests on the SN to see what the possibilities are >:D
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Post Posted: Thu Sep 27, 2018 9:10 pm
Whoops, I meant Safari Hunt: https://youtu.be/4tFRVzfxye0 which is 100% noise.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 8:27 am
Maxim wrote
Whoops, I meant Safari Hunt: https://youtu.be/4tFRVzfxye0 which is 100% noise.


Haha that's creative, damn catchy too! And to think that theme was made using solely the noise channel. I don't think I could do that without going insane, I'd have to use at least 1 square channel alongside it.

Maybe I'll post an update later when I do another revision of Prae Ruins Abandoned, maybe then I'll finally consider it finished.

Also, update; spectogram art IS possible on the SN. Though due to sound chip limitations the amount of freedom one has is limited, will share my results in a different thread later on when its ready.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 9:17 am
Square waves draw parallel lines due to the infinite overtones, noise draws noise... You could draw some line art I suppose but the overtones will make it look messy.
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Post Posted: Fri Sep 28, 2018 11:38 am
Nice!! Sometimes dissonant, but it could be used as leitmotif for warning, confusion etc.. Could you give us info about your homebrew project? Is it SMS related?
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Post Posted: Sat Sep 29, 2018 8:22 am
Estelios wrote
Nice!! Sometimes dissonant, but it could be used as leitmotif for warning, confusion etc.. Could you give us info about your homebrew project? Is it SMS related?


Depicting an environment via the music can be crucial, that alone I've noticed can make or break a game. It can even be a flawed game's ultimate salvation, the Croc series for PS1 is a great example. Thankfully I've discovered I have a knack for music composition even though I'm not exactly music literate. As I mentioned in another thread I have a vague theme in my mind and then just kind of "lego brick" a song together until it sounds good.

Its specifically a homebrew targeted at the SG-1000 initially (and for the sake of a challenge), with intention to digitally distribute the completed game freely afterwards as a means to establish itself. It wouldn't be practical to do a physical cartridge release (besides, someone would just dump the rom and freely share it anyway). Right now its a proof of concept sorta thing but so far it definitely seems possible. Its just something I like to work on in my spare time when I'm not dealing with the chaos of my personal life lol.

Large amounts of it are incomplete, I have several concepts In my mind that need to be fleshed out too but I'm not in any rush. One of the hardest parts currently is the story writing as there is a heavy amount of lore involving a large-scaling timeline, this game (if successful) would only be a small fraction of that timeline. Currently my main focus is the music, its the most tedious part thus far, I'm making slow but steady progress on that thankfully.
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 01, 2018 8:43 am
very creative use of the noise channel!
you and Tomy should team up :D
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 03, 2018 8:01 pm
sverx wrote
very creative use of the noise channel!
you and Tomy should team up :D


Thanks, I was trying to figure out who Tomy was until I found him. I listened to some of his work and it sounds amazing, excellent use of periodic noise. I think it will be a while before I can aspire to his level though haha, I'm still a noob at chiptune. :P

New revision now, complete rework of the note volumes in the square channels. Square channel 2 now has a loud/quiet volume pattern in attempt to masquerade over the note juggling near the end. Also a slight change in notes at the end in hopes to make looping more seamless.

Any feedback, be it positive or negative, is much appreciated. :]

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:04 am
For those who may be curious, this is the original incarnation of this theme. While the noise channel isn't necessarily used as the lead this time, it definitely serves as a serious backbone for this BGM.

This theme nearly drove me to insanity, probably because I originally composed it on LMMS where I had unlimited freedom. Later I tried to recompose it for the SN in Deflemask but I feel I made the mistake of trying to do too much with too little if that makes any sense. Now that I think about it, I actually composed this one at least 3 times now.. once on LMMS & twice on Deflemask, the first attempt was when I first started using Defle so I was inexperienced so I completely redid it from scratch this time hoping to play on the characteristics of the SN.. and possibly repeating the same mistake from the 1st attempt in the process of doing so..... too much chaos haha..

Anyway, I figured it might be fun to share here as well, see what you guys think of it. I feel like its still a mess, the Prae Ruins Abandoned theme sounds much more organized compared to this earlier variant.

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Post Posted: Wed Oct 17, 2018 8:26 am
I find it very cool. Want more! :D
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