New YM tracker: TTRAK

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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

Sorry, I'm not sure how I missed the 'load inst. and save inst.! Actually, I guess I was on the freq.mod tab and that's why I didn't see it.

Turns out my laptop has no numpad enter (or hash key). Space bar does cut off any playing notes if the module is being played back. So before I knew about numpad enter I pressed enter then space to stop the sound. Is it an option to always have spacebar stop all sound? I might be missing some scenario where it would be useful to stop song playback but have the instrument you're testing still going...

Is there anything built-in (and if not, could you build anything in ;)) to conveniently test the separate waveforms that morph uses? For now, I'm setting the morphing wave to square, increasing the period and if necessary changing the phase to be able to hear it separately. I think it's important to design and tweak both waveforms separately. Again, this morphing is a really cool feature. :D
distantminds wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:38 am
607 wrote: Second, I'd like to be able to turn off the preview play that happens when editing. I think it's quite useful that you hear what notes you're entering when working on melodies, and it's very useful that when you tweak an effect you hear the result right away. However, when I was working on these rapidly repeating snare drums, I really didn't fancy hearing them any time I changed a number. :P I just turned down the volume now, but that meant that I had to turn it up when doing actual playback, and turn it down when dialing in more. It would be a quality of life feature to have a toggle to completely disable playback in edit mode. :)
Ok interesting! i'll add it to the backlog. Should be easy to include.
I just realised that I can obtain the same by turning off the channels in the top right corner. This is more flexible and easy enough, so as far as I'm concerned my suggestion is superfluous. :)

Any chance you can get the delay command request in in a beta soon? Turns out I'd like to use it for the intro of my tune. :D The use case is the same as when I missed it before in MaxYMiser: using the same melody (in this case an octave up) on a second channel as an echo that is less than one step later. I'm using the link-to feature to delay the sound now, starting from an instrument with silence, but that means the previous note cuts out when the next one starts. I worked around it previously by alternating between two channels, but besides that using up an extra channel, it creates some strange harmonics (or whatever) because now the sounds don't just follow each other but overlap somewhat.
If you can't or won't, I'll find something else to do with it; just asking. :)

Is it intentional that while portamento and vibrato stay active until they are cancelled, tone slide up and tone slide down are only active while the step they're on is active? Both behaviours are fine—although I prefer the former, because it allows to combine a tone slide and a vibrato with just one effects channel, for example—but I would expect consistency between the four tone glide effects. ;)

Thanks for the program and the responses to my questions and feedback! I'm enjoying the adventure!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

607 wrote: Turns out my laptop has no numpad enter (or hash key). Space bar does cut off any playing notes if the module is being played back. So before I knew about numpad enter I pressed enter then space to stop the sound. Is it an option to always have spacebar stop all sound? I might be missing some scenario where it would be useful to stop song playback but have the instrument you're testing still going...
Ahhh... the classic laptop emulation issue! I face the same issues myself and it's really annoying. I'd suggest mapping the numpad enter key (or hash key) in your emulator if that's an option for you. To be honest when i run it on my ST the experience is much more enjoyable, and the 'MPC" features on the numpad are super fun. I'm struggling to get all functionality on my macbook as well.

Because space toggles edit on/off, i'm not sure i want to go down the route of always making it stop sound. particularly when i'm doing improv MIDI jams and moving between channels, and switching between live playing and entering notes.
607 wrote: Is there anything built-in (and if not, could you build anything in ;)) to conveniently test the separate waveforms that morph uses? For now, I'm setting the morphing wave to square, increasing the period and if necessary changing the phase to be able to hear it separately. I think it's important to design and tweak both waveforms separately. Again, this morphing is a really cool feature. :D
Very good discussion point thank you! I can think of the most fun way to deliver what you want - assign the Morph value to MIDI CC4. that way you could very gracefully audition all steps of the morph waveforms... If you need a steer with the MIDI setup, I can help.. it's loads of fun I assure you!

Otherwise i'd set the morph wave to just a flat line at the top value, and then toggle between AMP values of 00 and FF... not ideal I know.

607 wrote: I just realised that I can obtain the same by turning off the channels in the top right corner. This is more flexible and easy enough, so as far as I'm concerned my suggestion is superfluous. :)
ALT+1/2/3 is your friend!

607 wrote: Any chance you can get the delay command request in in a beta soon? Turns out I'd like to use it for the intro of my tune. :D The use case is the same as when I missed it before in MaxYMiser: using the same melody (in this case an octave up) on a second channel as an echo that is less than one step later. I'm using the link-to feature to delay the sound now, starting from an instrument with silence, but that means the previous note cuts out when the next one starts. I worked around it previously by alternating between two channels, but besides that using up an extra channel, it creates some strange harmonics (or whatever) because now the sounds don't just follow each other but overlap somewhat.
If you can't or won't, I'll find something else to do with it; just asking. :)
I get your use case.. I haven't had a good look but when I've thought about it, it's struck me that it will take quite a lot of work.. the problem is key values like note pitch are written to the channel structure *before* the track FX are parsed.. so the order of execution isn't exactly build with your requirement in mind... could be tricky.
The obvious option is to use really fast track speeds ;)
607 wrote: Is it intentional that while portamento and vibrato stay active until they are cancelled, tone slide up and tone slide down are only active while the step they're on is active? Both behaviours are fine—although I prefer the former, because it allows to combine a tone slide and a vibrato with just one effects channel, for example—but I would expect consistency between the four tone glide effects. ;)
it's intentional of course ;) that made logical sense to me at the time! i'll chew this over a bit.

thanks 607 for your interest and I'm glad you're having fun!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

distantminds wrote: Tue Jun 29, 2021 5:20 pm I get your use case.. I haven't had a good look but when I've thought about it, it's struck me that it will take quite a lot of work.. the problem is key values like note pitch are written to the channel structure *before* the track FX are parsed.. so the order of execution isn't exactly build with your requirement in mind... could be tricky.
The obvious option is to use really fast track speeds ;)
Ah, thanks! I actually hadn't thought of that yet. xD I always stick to sixteenth note steps; on a current MaxYMiser project I tried making it thirtysecond notes but it didn't feel right. But for an intro it would probably not be an issue, thanks for reminding me of the possibility!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

It's been a while since I posted here!
I've been getting along nicely. I had an issue with some instruments some time ago which we sorted out by pm: it turned out you can only use two timer instruments at the same time.
I had some more small things to remark, but I didn't keep track of them anywhere. :P Here's one: is it right that you cannot change the volume of digidrums?
Is it bad for Ataris to crash? My track works in TTRAK, but in SNDPlay it crashes during the drop. :D
On my monitor, it is not possible to see the 'loop' button in the second and third instrument editor tabs. Even when I adjust the knob on the back to project as high as possible, it's not visible. That's a bit inconvenient, to be honest! Did you take it into account? It is a Commodore 1084S, I'm not sure if the Atari monitors do allow for it to be seen.
I think I had some other things to say, but I forgot, and I have to get a haircut now. In any case, I've been enjoying the work! I'm glad that TTRAK exists, as many functionalities unique to it (at least compared to MaxYMiser, I don't know other YM trackers) are perfect for this track concept. :D
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

Hey mate! How was the haircut? :)

Thanks for the kind words, it means a lot to me!
607 wrote: Here's one: is it right that you cannot change the volume of digidrums?
Alas no, you cannot change the volume of the stfm digidrums!
607 wrote: Is it bad for Ataris to crash? My track works in TTRAK, but in SNDPlay it crashes during the drop. :D
:lol: brilliant! It's likely i've broken something in the version of the replay code that is embedded in the SNDH. Perhaps i've done something silly with the build I sent you.. but maybe something more fundamental. If you're willing to share the SNDH at some point that would be very useful to identify what's going pear-shaped.
607 wrote: On my monitor, it is not possible to see the 'loop' button in the second and third instrument editor tabs. Even when I adjust the knob on the back to project as high as possible, it's not visible. That's a bit inconvenient, to be honest! Did you take it into account? It is a Commodore 1084S, I'm not sure if the Atari monitors do allow for it to be seen.
hmm.. i've not had that problem myself on my PVM or my SC1224, at least not that i've noticed. Silly question - have you tried shrinking the vertical size of the screen by changing the middle knob on the back? the middle one should shrink it and then the third knob should adjust it's position on the screen?
607 wrote: I'm glad that TTRAK exists, as many functionalities unique to it (at least compared to MaxYMiser, I don't know other YM trackers) are perfect for this track concept. :D
Again thank you so much for this awesome feedback, i'll share it with my co-conspirator Tat :cheers:
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

distantminds wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:00 pm Alas no, you cannot change the volume of the stfm digidrums!
That's fine! MaxYMiser can't do pitch change on Digidrums. ;)
distantminds wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:00 pm :lol: brilliant! It's likely i've broken something in the version of the replay code that is embedded in the SNDH. Perhaps i've done something silly with the build I sent you.. but maybe something more fundamental. If you're willing to share the SNDH at some point that would be very useful to identify what's going pear-shaped.
I think I know why it happens actually, it's no bug. I played a timer instrument at the highest note possible, which combined with the fairly high fidelity digidrums makes the screen flicker in TTRAK. I guess I should find something else to do there that doesn't make the screen flicker if I want it to not crash in SNDPlay. :P Although I do like the screen flicker effect, I wish SNDPlay did that too. :lol:
distantminds wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 8:00 pm hmm.. i've not had that problem myself on my PVM or my SC1224, at least not that i've noticed. Silly question - have you tried shrinking the vertical size of the screen by changing the middle knob on the back? the middle one should shrink it and then the third knob should adjust it's position on the screen?
No silly questions here, I'm a noob. :oops: I never knew that was possible, thanks! I'm going to play around with all knobs to find the perfect layout for my next cover picture. :P Displays perfectly now!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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607 wrote: Thu Jul 08, 2021 12:40 pm I think I know why it happens actually, it's no bug. I played a timer instrument at the highest note possible, which combined with the fairly high fidelity digidrums makes the screen flicker in TTRAK. I guess I should find something else to do there that doesn't make the screen flicker if I want it to not crash in SNDPlay. :P Although I do like the screen flicker effect, I wish SNDPlay did that too. :lol:
So, about this... I've been trying to find out how I can change the tune so that it doesn't crash in SNDPlay, but I'm not getting on very well. It seems to be caused by the combination of everything going on, and not any of the individual three parts, but it's tedious to test because I have to save to SNDH every time and then open that in SNDPlay, and if it does crash, I have to restart the machine in the emulator.
Is it possible somehow, or would it be possible to implement a way, to know when the CPU is overutilised? I thought the screen flicker would be a good cue, but I've actually had patterns that did not make the screen flicker in TTRAK but did make the Atari crash in SNDPlay and I've also had patterns that did make the screen flicker in TTRAK but did not make the Atari crash in SNDPlay. :?
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

hiya mate.

difficult to say what's going on without something for me to test with.. I'd be absolutely amazed if SNDPLAY used *more* CPU than the TTRAK interface. But never say never.

It could well be a bug with TTRAK but i'd have to have an example to chase it out.

The big big big no-no is using high frequency digidrums. You're shooting for 4-6khz otherwise you're going to zap 100% of the CPU on one sound!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by Grazey / PHF »

As sndplay uses GEM, all the OS gubbins run in the background like the system Timer C, ACIA handler and the VBL. Guessing your editor uses your own routines which will be much faster, so allowing the tune to play?

This is why some SNDHs in the archive can’t run from GEM as there’s not enough CPU left

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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

ahh ok.. thanks for the insight Phil!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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distantminds wrote: Mon Jul 19, 2021 7:27 pm hiya mate.

difficult to say what's going on without something for me to test with.. I'd be absolutely amazed if SNDPLAY used *more* CPU than the TTRAK interface. But never say never.

It could well be a bug with TTRAK but i'd have to have an example to chase it out.

The big big big no-no is using high frequency digidrums. You're shooting for 4-6khz otherwise you're going to zap 100% of the CPU on one sound!
I beg to differ, as mine are 8287Hz, and I just found out the issue, and it has nothing to do with the digidrums or the other expensive timer sound. :P And as it turns out, the bug is fixed in the unreleased build you sent me earlier. I should've tried before! xD
Who could've thought that during a portion with very high frequencies being played back, the issue turned out to be the simple killing off a square? :)
It runs fine now!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

hmmm i haven't changed any underlying behaviour so i'd love to get a bit more context into your crash and your fix.

Could you provide me with an example - even just a single pattern that crashed along with the ttrak version that it crashes in and the version that it doesn't?

8khz is still quite a flamboyant digidrum - take the advice or disregard it - your call mate :D
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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distantminds wrote: Tue Jul 20, 2021 9:21 pm hmmm i haven't changed any underlying behaviour so i'd love to get a bit more context into your crash and your fix.

Could you provide me with an example - even just a single pattern that crashed along with the ttrak version that it crashes in and the version that it doesn't?
Well, that's intriguing!
Here you go. Crashes in TTRAK103 but not in 06271110.prg.
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

ahah yes!

yep this *was* a bug that was fixed pretty shortly after release of 1.03.. basically the SNDH would crash if you use the 'silence' command (instrument $20 which is on step 2 of your example)

sorry about that :). I really need to push a new release out - loads of stuff implemented since 1.03!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

I bought the MIDI keyboard that you recommended to me, set it up, got it to work, and then it broke when I took it home from vacation. Frustrating. But there's nothing you can do about that. :P I did remember one of the things I wanted to suggest before but forgot to. It would be nice if there was a shortcut to assigning a unused pattern to a position. Maybe even have it be the default.
Edit: Something else: why does Ctrl + D empty the clipboard? Is that even useful for anything? :P
Another edit: Is it not possible to go an instrument up or down using the keyboard?
Here's yet one more: when an instrument uses an arp, it doesn't play while using the portamento feature. Why is this? Other slide effects work just fine.
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

hey 607!

sorry to hear about the keyboard - that sucks :( are you sure it's dead?

Instrument up and down is +- on the number pad.

CTRL+D (Deselect block) did indeed clear the clipboard. Not sure why! i've changed the behaviour for the next release ta!

Interesting about the arp/portamento thing! it's not by design, i'll add it to the back log and try and work out why :)

Thanks for thoroughly shaking the tree! Many of these things have never been attempted before so I'm not surprised there are odd behaviours/bugs!

I've some work to do with the digidrum behaviour (the slot allocation/handling is broken - perhaps you mentioned that :)) and then will kick another release..

greets
D
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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distantminds wrote: Sun Jul 25, 2021 5:06 pm I've some work to do with the digidrum behaviour (the slot allocation/handling is broken - perhaps you mentioned that :)) and then will kick another release..
Yup, I did mention that. :D
sorry to hear about the keyboard - that sucks :( are you sure it's dead?
I think the USB connection broke. I'm hoping to bring it to an uncle of mine that's good with hardware, it might be fixable. :)
Instrument up and down is +- on the number pad.
Ah, thanks. Am I right that this isn't mentioned anywhere in the program? There's no tooltip for it and I also can't find it in Help.
Interesting about the arp/portamento thing! it's not by design, i'll add it to the back log and try and work out why :)

Thanks for thoroughly shaking the tree! Many of these things have never been attempted before so I'm not surprised there are odd behaviours/bugs!
You're welcome! I'm glad you're intending to fix them. :D I guess my first TTRAK track will be a bit special then, as it 'utilises' the bug. ;)

Would it be possible to make the buttons for step size and octave holdable and shift+holdable? I often found myself having to mash the left mouse button when switching instruments that are played in different octaves, or when I needed to set the step size from 1 to 10 or vice versa. :P

I just submitted my first track to Battle of the Bits' Summer Chip competition!
I'll make some art and put it up on YouTube later, but in case you're curious: https://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry ... ice/47434/
I am certainly curious to hear what you think!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

wow! I love it :D

I've listened to it about 10 times, I'm a fan of your very unique style - i'm no connoisseur but to me your style is like a psychedelic take on classic console game music, loads of energy, really interesting sound design, and the arrangement is so quality.. and the song is just bonkers :D. and well... that drop is just nuts.

So chuffed that you tried your hand with TTRAK - thank you! :cheers:
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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distantminds wrote: Tue Jul 27, 2021 8:52 am wow! I love it :D

I've listened to it about 10 times, I'm a fan of your very unique style - i'm no connoisseur but to me your style is like a psychedelic take on classic console game music, loads of energy, really interesting sound design, and the arrangement is so quality.. and the song is just bonkers :D. and well... that drop is just nuts.

So chuffed that you tried your hand with TTRAK - thank you! :cheers:
I've read this post about 10 times. ;)
It is amazing to hear something like this from you, the creator of a program I am so happy to use... I am glad that the pleasure is shared! :cheers:
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

I have no idea if this would be feasible, just throwing the idea out here: would it be possible to have a display mode that removes most of the buttons at the main screen and shows more tracker data instead? For editing this would only be useful for people who have all the shortcuts memorised, but it could be really nice for playback (especially when recording for YouTube etc) to see more at a time, perhaps.
It's not a direct request as I'm not sure how useful it would be, I've just noticed that the display is somewhat cramped sometimes (even when showing borders :P) and wondered if this was doable. :) Probably not, I guess, considering that you haven't designed the program around it!
I'm planning to try out the beta version you sent me soon. :)
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

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607 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:22 pm I just submitted my first track to Battle of the Bits' Summer Chip competition!
I'll make some art and put it up on YouTube later, but in case you're curious: https://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry ... ice/47434/
If you want you can use my sndh player with its visualisation :) It looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJXP0v6UyzU
You can create an artwork to go around the "VU" metres, which fits in a 32*32 square that can be anywhere on the screen (well it its top left corner coordinates must be multiples of 16). Send me the PI1 artwork and the unpacked SND and I'll send you an executable that you can record and upload :)
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

YQN wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 4:10 pm
607 wrote: Mon Jul 26, 2021 3:22 pm I just submitted my first track to Battle of the Bits' Summer Chip competition!
I'll make some art and put it up on YouTube later, but in case you're curious: https://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry ... ice/47434/
If you want you can use my sndh player with its visualisation :) It looks like this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJXP0v6UyzU
You can create an artwork to go around the "VU" metres, which fits in a 32*32 square that can be anywhere on the screen (well it its top left corner coordinates must be multiples of 16). Send me the PI1 artwork and the unpacked SND and I'll send you an executable that you can record and upload :)
Thanks! I managed to make a graphic, but also decided to record TTRAK playing the song, as it seemed cool to show off the new tracker, the colours are pretty, and I love that the screen flickers during the drops. :D
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by YQN »

Cool!
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by 607 »

I'm making another track with TTRAK because I enjoy using it; thanks for sending the beta versions! The sample editor is going to be really cool, I can tell. :)
There are probably still some bugs that should be fixed before expanded functionality is considered, but I've been thinking about the limitations of the software with regards to effects. I've got to say, I have limited experience with trackers, and the trackers I have used (OpenMPT, MaxYMiser and LSDj) are probably some of the most versatile trackers ever. That said, here are the two limitations I've run into the most so far:
Having one effects column and no way to route extra, it's impossible to do some pretty common (to me) things, such as starting a vibrato during a slide.
Because there is no way to set longer sequences and play those, you can't get arp chords larger than triads from the song editor. The only workaround I can think of is using several instruments instead of one, all having different set arp sequences, but that is far from ideal, especially if you later want to tweak another aspect of the instrument. It's also not possible to set negative arp offsets, which makes my tracks harder to read for me, because in MaxYMiser I tend to put down the root note, even when I'm playing an inversion.
But for neither of those limitations I could think of solutions that wouldn't require a lot to implement! For the arps in my current track, it would be nice if I could set the arp sequence in the instrument editor to affect the sound on top of the track commands, instead of the track commands replacing it, but this still wouldn't be all too versatile.
Just some thoughts, take your time to work on what you enjoy. :) Although maybe you should go through the list of bugs (if there are still any mentioned that are unresolved) before focusing too hard on new functionality. ;)
Edit: Okay, after more experimentation I realise that there is certainly interplay between the arps in the instrument editor and the arp commands. I however can't quite figure out how they work!
Edit 2: Oh, there's one big limitation that I forgot! Sorry for sharing another. :lol: You can only change volume using a command, and having only one effects channel makes it impossible to fade out a sound and also perform an effect on it...
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Re: New YM tracker: TTRAK

Post by distantminds »

hey mate. great to hear you're taking another run at the tracker :)

i've thought about all of the points you raise above before. all valid points! taking my cue from Protracker, i wasn't considering anything more than a single FX column per track, it's all i'd ever known before. When i saw Maxymiser I thought hmmm yeah that's pretty damn useful :).

Adding extra fx columns and dedicated volume channels is not difficult in the slightest but i've kind of earmarked that effort for the 'other' version of ttrak i'm working on. It's the with no border removed and a more optimised screen real estate. There's still some work on that one to bring feature parity with the main fork. Once i've achieved that i'll likely implement multichannel fx and dedicatedd volume..

in TTRAK the Arp track command simply overwrites step 2 and 3 of your instrument arp sequence. Another virtuoso already asked me about signed values for negative offsets - bloody musicians :D. Honestly, i'm trying to conceive another approach to arps/sequences, that's more fun and more hands-on. Haven't quite got there yet, but i'm inspired by Scaler VST and would like to somehow capture something along those lines..

Cheers!
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