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View topic - Percussions with DefleMask

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  • Joined: 20 Oct 2019
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  • Location: Sweden
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Percussions with DefleMask
Post Posted: Sun Oct 20, 2019 8:04 pm
Hi!
Longtime lurker here.

Lately I've been playing around with DefleMask and listened to some tracks made by other people, and I've been wondering how some are able to get decent bass and snare drum sounds in their work.

Any pointers on what notes/settings/effects to use?
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  • Joined: 01 Feb 2014
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Post Posted: Mon Oct 21, 2019 11:09 am
I never really used Deflemask to any extent, so I can‘t comment on that specifically, but I can answer your questions more generally.

If you want decent-sounding drums and transcend the usual noise-only style, you basically have to sacrifice one of the tone channels at least partially. Instrument macros help a lot here. I suggest having a look at Jeroen Tel’s soundtrack for The Flash, where he executes the technique masterfully.

A proper bass is much harder to achieve still, because the lowest note the PSG can play is nowhere near the bass registers. You can, however, utilize the noise channel’s tone mode to get into the range of a proper bass, but it’s very likely you’ll have to edit your track in ”god-mode“ (1 step = 1 frame) for it to not sound awful.

Both techniques require a synchronized use of the noise channel and one of the tone channels, so getting them to work at the same time will probably get a bit fiddly. Good luck.
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  • Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 8:27 am
Interesting to know, I've certainly heard games that seem to defy what should be possible.

I am hoping someday to see a talented musician squeeze impossible sounds from the SN76489 in the same way Ben Daglish and Rob Hubbard did for the SID. From past discussions my understanding is the limitation is the speed of Z80 and lack of free cycles to do anything too complex.
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  • Joined: 05 Sep 2013
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 23, 2019 12:54 pm
there are a few examples of using the PSG at higher update frequencies than 50/60Hz. Check this (392 Hz) forum topic.

Also, check Tomy PSG tunes - he's really pushing the PSG.
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  • Joined: 25 Jul 2007
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  • Location: Melbourne, Australia
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:00 am
I've seen great many example of the PSG being pushed to it's limits, I more meant as part of a fully functioning game rather than a stand alone effort. Most of the tricks again as far as my understanding goes will eat up all the the available cycles not leaving any time for graphics or game logic.
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 11:44 am
Except for high frequency updates, everything else is super cheap resource wise - updating every register on every frame is only a few hundred cycles.
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Post Posted: Sun Oct 27, 2019 9:26 pm
yeah, worst case you write 11 bytes to the PSG, so that really doesn't require much. It has passed a long time since I last clocked PSGlib performance but it seems to me it would use 5% CPU at the most, so you probably can even make a 200 Hz tune (4 times the PAL frame) and still have lots of time for the other stuff.
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  • Joined: 20 Oct 2019
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Post Posted: Wed Oct 30, 2019 11:00 pm
Thanks for all the responses.
I'll check them out and see what I'm able to come up with once I've played around with the tracker a bit more.
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