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Pushing Onwards: Return of the Chipophone
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Variation 18

This was my entry for the wild compo at Revision 2015.

I'm writing this from the party place, and the results from the voting will be presented tomorrow.


Update: It got a second place. Here's the pouët page.

Posted Sunday 5-Apr-2015 19:56

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Mon 6-Apr-2015 01:57
Absolutely beautiful. I enjoyed very much!
Mon 6-Apr-2015 23:47
Great all (= idea, performance, programming, video)! Extra nice for those of us who love the movie Groundhog Day (the final piano scene).
Sun 10-May-2015 17:30
Spectacular. Do you mind telling us how the sound is produced? —Thore
Linus Åkesson
Sun 10-May-2015 21:13
With pleasure! I kept the opening of the video quite vague for dramatic effect, but there's no harm in explaining it here. First, we see a Commodore 64 with a 1541 floppy drive, loading a program called "ONE". If you watch the monitors closely, you will see that there are in fact eight different programs running, named ONE through EIGHT. Each program is running on a Commodore 64, producing sound through the SID chip inside. Briefly, this chip provides three independent oscillators, capable of generating pulse, triangle and sawtooth waves at frequencies up to about 4 kHz, as well as white noise. The volume can also be controlled for each voice. So with eight machines, that's 24 voices in total.
The piano part was recorded first. The program code was written in 6502 assembly language, and the data was edited using a custom tool created for this project. In the tool, I could edit all 24 voices in parallel, and pre-listen to the (emulated) synthesised sound along with the recorded piano part, starting from any time offset.
At the beginning of each SID part, before what you see in the video, is a loud click. This allowed me to synchronise the various sound and video parts during the final video editing, since the click also showed up on the oscilloscope.
Thu 14-May-2015 09:50
Thank you. (I’ve been programming the C64 SID chip myself, in the Days of Yore.) What role do the oscillators play? Do they just visualise the output of the SID? (All three voices, then?)
Linus Åkesson
Mon 8-Jun-2015 06:30
What role do the oscillators play? Do they just visualise the output of the SID? (All three voices, then?)

Yes, the oscilloscopes visualise the output of each SID, i.e. three voices per oscilloscope. In parts of the music I have tried to distribute the sounds over the SID chips, so that each scope displays a single waveform.
Tue 27-Oct-2015 00:12
Fantastiskt. Totally awesome :-) A bad day suddenly felt brighter.