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Cart [#19342#] | Code | 2016-03-21 | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA | Embed
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A demake of MT-32 music tracks from Ultima VII, half-assedly arranged for pico8's 4-channel synth. This started out as a way to practice transcribing music by ear, but in the end I cheated and used the original MIDIs as a reference.

It currently includes only the diegetic music from the game, i.e. music that plays from instruments in the game world. I may try to squeeze in one of the longer themes from the game as well, though the cart is kinda tight for sfx space.

P#19343 2016-03-21 09:54 ( Edited 2016-05-18 02:10)

You can simply transfer one set of music into the sprite data with a simple text editor and then peek and poke it into the sound memory on demand easily. If you're not able to code such stuff, I'm sure you'll find someone here to volunteer to do such, should be a matter of an hour or less.

P#19345 2016-03-21 12:00 ( Edited 2016-03-21 16:01)

Awesome, high quality!

P#19350 2016-03-21 17:53 ( Edited 2016-03-21 21:53)

Love the presentation!

P#19365 2016-03-22 13:42 ( Edited 2016-03-22 17:42)

Musician here trying to become better at limited channel synth arrangements - this inspired me. I'll be checking it out for reference! Thanks!

P#19450 2016-03-28 07:30 ( Edited 2016-03-28 11:30)
:: Pizza

My new favourite PICO-8 cartridge of all time. Excellent!

P#19455 2016-03-28 12:01 ( Edited 2016-03-28 16:01)

BenWiley4000 - if you're interested in the comparison, a dump of the MIDI files from the original game is available here: http://bootstrike.com/Ultima7bg/music.php

The MT-32 could do up to 32 simultaneous notes of polyphony across 9 channels, and Origin's composers really went to town - it's like they never used a single note for an instrument where a chord of 3 or 4 would do. Thankfully the chords could be simplified without losing much subtlety, but convincing timbres for the instruments were harder to get right.

Some thoughts on timbre and note behavior:

  • For a smooth decay, fade out the volume using notes with '1' as the effect, which interpolates with the previous note. After the volume hits 1, include an extra note whose effect is '1' and whose volume is 0: even though this makes the note disappear from the tracker, the note will still get played, and it will fade the sound the rest of the way down to silent.
  • Setting a few notes in the decay to use the '2' effect adds a nice twang for string instruments.
  • At 16-speed and below, you can get a decent 'plucking' sound for a string instrument by starting the note an octave lower and immediately going higher. Alternately, use a chord and start the second note of the chord slightly after the first.
  • At 12-speed and below, you can do a breathy woodwind sound by starting with a low note with '6' (noise) as the instrument, followed by a louder note with '0' (simple sine) as the instrument and '4' (fade in) as the effect. I didn't use this, but I wanted to.
P#19458 2016-03-28 14:30 ( Edited 2016-03-28 18:30)

thanks!

P#19461 2016-03-28 20:09 ( Edited 2016-03-29 00:09)
:: Godzil

@Viggles: I love what you've done to "simulate" the instruments, they sounds really nice

P#20743 2016-05-17 22:10 ( Edited 2016-05-18 02:10)

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