Archive for the ‘vic20’ Category

Soundchip Hacking: Vic20’s 6560

October 15, 2009


tlr made C64-demos in 1986 (!) and coded the Vic20-tracker VIC-tracker and Over5 for Amiga. Among other things, he now works with the VICE-emulators and it seems that he figured out a new trick with the oscillators of the 6560-chip inside Vic20. This music sounds cleaner and more perfected than other Vic20-music. Whereas other music uses the built-in 7-bit scale, which gives it the characteristic slightly-out-of-tune feeling, this uses 9-bit frequency resolution with fancy vibrato. The player also offers 6-bit pulse width modulation, and it all adds up sounding more like new Atari ST-music than Vic20, if it wasn’t for the noise-channel uses. Get mp3, prg, and info at this denial-forumpost.

Meanwhile, also in Stockholm, TBC has been developing a similar improvement of the frequency resolution for his new Vic20-game, which you can read about here. My favourite Vic20-soundhack is Viznut’s “speech synthesis” that take soundchip-hacking towards destabilizing aesthetics rather than perfection. Robotic Liberation gives me satisfaction.

Italo Disco Noise Digi Screen-music

November 12, 2008

That headline almost attracts anybody, right? :) A few weeks ago the Dutch C64-party X’2008 took place and saw some very technically impressive releases. The winning demo by Booze Design is the new favourite demo of the C64-demoscene, because it is a 15 minute masturbation in coder brilliance. (part1@youtube) Also, the music possibilities of the C64 has taken a big leap forward. Fanta released a song with 4 channels of 8-bit samples and 2 channels of ‘traditional’ synthetic channels. (mp3) Normally the C64 only plays 3 channels of synthetic sounds. The code magicians behind it is Soundemon and The Human Code Machine (nice name!), who also released a demo called Vicious Sid. This one also plays Amiga MOD-music, but there is a part where the music is made by the graphic chip, VIC! The screen shows lines that produce a sound of Soundemon singing with his choir. (mp3) The funny thing is that all these revolutionary music techniques are used to play italo disco-ish music. I personally like it a lot, but there is something quite funny about coding something ultracomplex to play italo disco. :) I will return to these new techniques in a future post.

For now, I would like to contrast these coder porn with some noise porn aswell. Yesterday there was a very refreshing C64-demo released by the Australian coder/musician/graphician A Life in Hell: Fuck The Scene. In many ways it breaks with the flows of the demoscene since it has chunky graphics and dirty glitches. It does include some pretty complex code that appealed to many people, but I like trash style! So noisy and great. While we’re at it, here are 3 other tips for demoscene stuff that is noisy rather than flowing. (any tips is much appreciated)

PWP – Robotic Liberation (Vic20 2006) youtube
Booze Design – Industrial Breakdown (C64 2003) exe
Satori – Trashtank (PC 2002?) exe/mpg

…and just to have something easily clickable in all this nerdery, I embed PWP’s Vic20-demo Robotic Warrior from 2003.