AfroDJMac has posted a great little vid on using external instruments with Ableton Live. He focuses on how you can add great dimension to the Synthboy+ sound by adding effects with Ableton Live. If you are an avid ‘Live’ user or are interested in more of AfroDJMac’s projects, please make sure to visit his blog located here.
(This article was written by bitman and the full article can be read here: http://www.noisechannel.org/10861)
Ear training is often referred to as a tedious task for classically trained musicians and jazz musicians alike. Many would argue that it is hard to develop such skills for chipmusic or other kinds of composition. What you hear in your head or in other artists’ songs – from drum noises to beautiful pulse leads and heavy WAV bass – is entirely possible to realize once you familiarize yourself with the abilities of your tools and your brain, just like any other musician. Part of the trade is learning how to make sounds we imagine (or stumbling upon them), the other is identifying the notes and rhythms we hear.
For this guide, I won’t put you through a bunch of music theory crap that there are links for. If you really want to learn about music theory, there is my favorite link of choice in the “P.S.” section. Later there will be lots of elaboration on basic music theory. I’ll do my very best to relate everything in music theory to something actively related to chip music. Given, it won’t be the easiest of things to do – often I will ask you to hold my hand as you jump over the WAV or Pulse channel cliff with me and plummet to our new destination at the bottom. Often you will have to look up from where we “fell” to understand why the cliff was so high up. Then we will climb to the top of the cliff, and then go find another place to sink our curiosity into.
I am writing this string of articles in effort to make a wiki for noisechannel.org and consolidate information from various sources so that it is easier to gather substantial information on everything to do with chipmusic, starting with the Gameboy platform. The Gameboy music scene is one that is a very common starting point for most chip musicians, and like the musicians I hope to see these guides branch out beyond the Gameboy. I hope that noisechannel may host wiki articles to help prolong the life of the scenes and foster the start of new ones. Chip music is something I hold dear to my heart, and something I want to teach others about. Seeing as LSDJ is my primary chipmusic software, it will be covered first. Later I may work on articles for things such as Famitracker, Deflemask and SunVox, but for right now it is best that we start with simple interfaces and “simple” synthesis.
Before We Get Started
In LSDJ we are given three kinds of channels – Pulse channels, a WAV channel, and a Noise channel. All the channels are monophonic (which means we can make only one sound at a time on each channel). All the channel types have their own unique sounds, instrument formats, and commands. For now we will focus on each channel…
I really like the latest release from KUBBI. I believe it is a great mix of instruments and 8 bit sounds. Check it out HERE. My favorite from the release is this track:
We were invited to show off our wares at the Digifest/Starfest 2013 this year. Champion played a set and we had a chance to introduce more people to the wonderful world of chipmusic. Macy (shown above) in his spiffy ‘spenders’ (one of the members of Champion) tells a few people stopping by about his experiences using the Synthboy+. John (the guy in the red beanie) had fun discovering what real hardware was like as opposed to the fakebit sounds he was use to using from his iPad.
We would like to give a very special thank you to Mike Hance who invited us to this year’s DIGIFEST 2013. We look to do even more next year!
We have a couple of Sexboy PROTOTYPES that have seen limited action and thought we would release them under the PROTOTYPES section of the store. These will be extremely rare! They are identical to the regular Sexboy other than they are missing some pads on the PCB that would make additional upgrades easier. Remember these Gameboys have had their slower CPU’s switched out with the faster ones found in the SNES Gameboy adapter. These will be priced to sell, so if you wanted a chance to get some real 8-bit power for cheap, now is your chance. Check them out HERE. ****Well I thought I was going to post up 2 of them, but I already sold one, so there will only be one put up. Good Luck!****
Don’t worry we are VERY hard at work finishing up all of the little details and testing of MOD3! Stay tuned for more info.
If you use LSDJ on a Gameboy, then you will feel right at home with Pulsar. Pulsar runs on an Nintendo Entertainment System. Neil Balwin (The creator) describes it this way on his site, “Pulsar (rightly) gained the nickname of ‘LSDJ for the NES’. Features a very similar UI to LSDJ so LSDJ users will find it reasonably familiar. Highlights include Auto Echo (of course!), complex Table-based FX, a unique ‘multi-voice’ table effect, amplitude modulation ‘distortion’, scalable 180hz refresh rate for higher fidelity.”
Personally I like to use Pulsar as a solo lead inserted anywhere in my set for that original NES sound. MCTRL allows midi control of the basic functions of Pulsar. You can midi sync Pulsar with your existing MIDI set up with the MCTRL.
Neil Baldwin has been generous by releasing great NES sound programming titles. You can check out his site here: http://www.nes-audio.com/ If you select one of Neil’s titles to include with your MCTRL a donation will be made to the ‘Just Giving’ charity under his name, located here: http://www.justgiving.com/Neil-Baldwin
These carts are difficult to create. We have built in features that we believe will be useful. We have added board level sockets so you can easily remove the Eprom and replace/upgrade easily. If there are future updated versions you can easily replace the Eprom’s. There are two battery holders so you can change out the battery and not lose your .sav files. The usual security screws have been changed out with regular Phillips head screws so you can gain access to the internal board easily.
More info HERE!
Low_Budget has produced a pcb that has RGB PPU capabilities right out of the box. This gives you excellent video quality and color separation while keeping the old school feel. The sound is great and is very easy to work with. He designed his pcb to work with the same ABS shell that we used for the Synthboy+ design, so of course I enjoyed customizing my own. If you are interested in getting your own, check out his thread over at Atariage.com located here: http://www.atariage.com/forums/topic/203257-nes-super-8-project/
DMUG had their meet up last night and we were invited to show off what we have been up to. I had a chance to meet Mark from the local chiptune band Champion. (as seen in the above pics) We had a great time demonstrating Synthboy+ as well as showing what the MCTRL could do! A special thanks goes out to Marc Wei for inviting us.
We are making strides with MOD3. At this rate we expect to have MOD3 ready before we will have MOD2 ready. Expect more details and a hard release date for MOD3 in an upcoming monthly newsletter. Make sure to sign up on the right for our monthly newsletter to get more info about upcoming MOD’s and other Ninstrument products.
Review by Corner Stone Music in Japan. Here is the link: http://csmusic.jp/blog/
Track created with Synthboy+ only!
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