Our first official release from Buskerdroid, co-founder of Italy’s Coucou Netlabel. This is the soundtrack for Sticky Sticky, available on the OUYA and iPhone. Available soon for Android and Windows. This album was created with LSDJx2, and vocal samples processed using Korg ms2000, Reason4, and others. Post production with FL10 and hardware effects from Boss and Behringer. Sticky Sticky O.S.T. is futuristic, airy, and groovy.
More great works from Buskerdroid are available on his bandcamp page.
A thrashy breakcore release, created using LSDJ. This is our first release from Memero, and we’re proud to have him onboard.
We received over 80 submissions, we narrowed it down, and it took forever. I want to thank Mikee for stepping up and running the entire event, this year. I also want to thank our awesome judges, everyone who entered the contest, and lurkers as well.
Let’s just get right down to business…
And lastly, a huge thanks to our sponsors:
Visit their shops so we can do this again next year!
8 2xlsdj jams for y’all and 2 1xlsdj jams. Some dance, some chill, lotsa dnb, entirely love, entirely passion, entirely fury.
1. Intro (STILL SPLODIN’ THO) [01:43]
2. My First Lsdj [10:00]
3. GANTRASH [05:50]
4. Don’t Go [06:02]
5. My Life as a Teenage Sex Toy [05:59]
6. Interlewd [01:23]
7. Untitled #666 [10:13]
8. bae caught me chippin [06:59]
9. Passing By [08:14]
10. Tonight [03:07]
July 4, 2013 in Releases
Exactly one year after their debut release, “Peakout”, last July, the three man group – SSD Engage – is back with their 4th album, “Stereo”! Staying true to their original gameboy-gameboy-sampler format and experimenting as musicians and producers with new sounds and techniques, this 18 track album features 9 brand new tracks and 9 remixes of older songs recorded live and in the studio! Go grab it for free
June 21, 2013 in Random
What the Hell Can You Do With a MIDIBoy?
(Also featuring Arduinoboys, MIDIboys, and the Nanoloop MIDI USB adapter)
The MIDIBoy is an item of lust and mystery within the LSDJ community – it’s expensive, it sports MIDI ports, it has cool blinky lights that indicate modes, and it has this magical thing called an Arduino inside running some custom code. In this article we are going to highlight the three main ways to connect you can enable MIDI connection with your Gameboy, as well as means to augment your Gameboy use, enhance your workflow, and stretch your music out beyond the typical chipmusic usage.
· What uses MIDI? Can I connect with it?
· Hardware connections with MIDI
· What can I use MIDI for with just a computer and free software?
· Extravagant use of MIDI with your Gameboy
· How to get started now (on a budget)!
What Uses MIDI?
Long story short: just about any electronic music device that isn’t rock-bottom quality and substance. The current MIDI communications standard has been around for at least two decades, and existed in a number of iterations. Currently, you can connect to most drum machines, synthesizers, computers, (some) mixers, and a host of other devices. Almost all hardware-to-hardware connections use the standard MIDI cable, while most connections to computers are done through USB or Firewire (with a MIDI connector adapter or independent MIDI box). There are wireless options but I personally would not recommend them.
Hardware connections with MIDI
One artist, Auxcide, makes extremely good use of MIDI with LSDJ. He can use Kaoss pads, drum machines, synthesizers, and all sorts of goodies with a special version of LSDJ made to control other devices via MIDI. The brilliance of this is that Auxcide can program his drums, keyboard riffs, arpeggios, tables, and effects and have them synchronized with LSDJ. Along with the hardware all operating together, Auxcide uses a custom built Arduinoboy he had tailored to his need for many MIDI ports. His music is pretty lush and makes great use of all of his equipment, check it out!
What Can I Use MIDI for With Just a Computer and Free Software?
Apparently, everything. You can use MIDI sync to automate the mixing of your Gameboy for live shows, sync it to video effects software for visuals, you can even record MIDI signals sent by your Gameboy and use them in a DAW. Think of it like writing songs on the go and uploading them later without having to write them by hand again on the computer.) You can also do NES-Gameboy synchronized work with Famitracker and LSDJ to really compliment each other. LSDJ’s WAV channel and the NES’s VRC6 are tough channels to master but would be amazing to hear in tandem.
Extravagant Use of Your Gameboy with MIDI
But wait, there’s more. You can sync your Gameboy up to any main DAW (and some trackers) to integrate it into your sound and workflow. You can sync tracks written partially in LSDJ, or use a program called mGB which allows the Gameboy to be sent MIDI signals and be played much like the MIDI NES cartridge allows for the NES to be used. You can hook up multiple Gameboys with mGB to an Arduinoboy with a keyboard to rock out with 9-note polyphony, or even a MIDI guitar.
Aside from DAW’s and instruments, LSDJ could even be used in a DJ setup. You can send the master clock tick from your DJ software to the Gameboy (running LSDJ), and lay down an acapella over a background/track in LSDJ to add that “live remix” feel to a set, or a throwback so you can start playing J Arthur Keenes Band and Anamanaguchi. It is also to use the MIDI-send version of LSDJ like what Auxcide uses to create effects loops and custom control sequences to use in your DJ software (but this requires lots of mappings and effort). The ability to use a Gameboy to control effects and manually tweak settings live is cool, but not as convenient as a dedicated DJing controller. Keep in mind that LSDJ’s Live mode could be used to exploit effects and live song remixing in very creative ways.
It would be possible to have two Gameboys – one sending MIDI in for effects control, the other out – using the same lsdjsng file on both carts so that you can have two versions of the song for live performance with different functions. One would control the DJ software effects on the song-playing Gameboy, the other would drive the actual prewritten backgrounds. This would free you (the DJ) up to scratch and manipulate the acapella track without worrying about controlling effects on the Gameboy (but if you want to tweak that live as well, go for it).
How to Get Started NOW (on a budget)!
There are quite a few options for everything mentioned here – DJ software, DAWs, MIDI-USB interfaces, Arduinoboys (and MIDIboys), and Gameboy software that is MIDI compliant. Here I will outline a few common options and provide any knowledge I can share about each item.
Free: Mixxx, Virtual DJ Home
Both of these software catch a lot of flack from working professionals in the DJ field, but they do what they are meant to do perfectly well. Great for those of you who are curious about DJing and learning how to mash up tracks, beatmatch, mix between keys, and build atmosphere.
Pay-For: Serato, Traktor
These are the two big softwares within the DJ environment, both are similar enough so that a user of one can’t feel alienated on the other. Before you take the financial plunge be sure to look into the features, hardware support, software support, drawbacks, and customer service each software and their company provides. Also, assess whether or not it is a wise investment, as these pieces of software are not cheap.
Digital Audio Workstations (DAWs)
Free: Cubase, Reaper (evaluation copy), FL Studio demo, Ardour, LMMS
Again, great for learning and basic learning-of-the-ropes, and despite any people screaming in capslock online about other paid software, free DAWs are extremely capable. The real difference in free DAWs is the support from the developers, niche functions and features, user interfaces, and software compatibility (typically OS dependent).
Paid: Ableton, Renoise, FL Studio, Protools, countless other things
Countless professionals use these softwares and sign great praises of them. Large userbases, (at least decent) customer support, most of them have fantastic forums. Like paid DJ software, examine everything carefully before you buy, and make sure to know the advantage of all the macro, features, and tools your DAW has that sets it apart from the free ones. Otherwise you may as well use a free DAW.
Get a cheap no-name-no-brand USB-MIDI adapter online, most can be had for $5 or so before shipping. Try to see customer reviews of the device (make sure it works!) and see where your adapter will be shipped from. Waiting for an adapter to come stateside from Hong Kong is rather daunting while having a distributor in Maryland throw one to you in Tennessee isn’t so bad. Be prepared for there to be some lag (latency) in commands and MIDI signals, and you will need to make your software compensate for it in settings.
The nanoloop USB-MIDI interface is wonderful for syncing one Gameboy (running LSDJ, nanoloop, or mGB) and setting it to slave of some other software via the USB adapter and a link cable that has Gameboy Color/Gameboy Pocket connections (DMG users will need an adapter or multi-Gameboy-model-capable cable). The adapter is about $12 and a good investment for trying basic MIDI clock sync and full use of mGB. Worth taking the plunge, and fairly resellable if you decide MIDI isn’t for you (but don’t write it off too quickly)!
Sky’s the limit. As price rises, so does build quality, capability (multiple ports), longevity of use, and latency will become less and less of an issue. You may even want to look into wireless MIDI options if you plan on becoming a rockstar and jamming out with a keytar or MIDI guitar onstage. Or something. Again, sky’s the limit. Or your wallet is. But if you get serious with using MIDI in your setup, invest in a good USB interface. Chinese knockoffs can do the job, but when MIDI becomes an essential part of your setup it is good to know the device running it is backed by a real company, warranty or return policy, or at least some real reputation for doing the job right.
Do It Yourself:
Cheapest way to do it is to buy the components you need online including your Arduino board. In some countries it may be a hassle getting everything shipped in from major specialty electronics stores, and often the prices at Radioshack are beaten by online deals. There are few things that feel as good as building your own gear and (eventually) getting it to work, and if you have the time it may be worth building your own Arduinoboy. If you are unfamiliar with copying code to an Arduino or soldering be prepared to learn a lot and practice before you go for the big fish. If you aren’t sure of your abilities to select your own parts or flash you own code, check out the noisechannel.org shop for custom Arduinoboy kits made by the infamous Gameboy modder NeX for your consumption.
Buy It Prebuilt:
Countless modders can make you an Arduinoboy if you pony up the money – some follow a format the modder makes, others can be built-to-order (like Auxcide’s Arduinoboy). Be prepared to pay for parts, time, shipping, and talent that a modder offers. This is what really sets purchasing pre-modded goods instead of doing the job yourself.
A MIDIboy is a Gameboy that has an Arduinoboy fitted inside. Such things are convenient as they are two combined devices, have extra on-the-go utility, and they blink with their LEDs. I believe that it may even be possible to squeeze in parts for a USB-MIDI adapter if one could find the right device. The worth of a MIDIboy is up to the designer and user, otherwise it is a great conglomerate of parts. MIDIboys are often built-to-order, or sold in sale threads or shops. I believe that MIDIboys are the pinnacle of single-Gameboy power, allowing for so much control and work outside of the typical LSDJ work while still occupying the same space in your setup or pocket.
MIDI-compliant Gameboy Software
LSDJ, mGB, amongst other things (such as pushpin which is basically obsolete).
LINKS WILL BE UP TOMORROW FOR DOWNLOADS AND THINGS
LSDJ is one heck of a piece of software, and if you are curious about branching out you should go for it! The Gameboy can do more than plenty as it is, and MIDI capabilities open a whole universe of possibilities – DJ controls, video mixing, live jamming, even basic live mixing. The power is in your hands, it’s up to you to use it.
Written by Max Dolensky (the Bitman)
May 8, 2013 in Protips
Ear Training and Sound Design for the LSDJ User
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 and its separate way of making sounds. I may occasionally stray into a channel exterior to the one I am focusing on to demonstrate or simplify a concept, and to give you a resource to save for future lessons. I would strongly advise that you save these lessons and examples as your own LSDJ song file to use for reviewing or experimenting with the ideas and concepts I introduce. I will also compliment each article with a LSDJSNG file (Little Sound DJ song file) at the bottom of the page (I will include download links for LSDManager in the “P.S.” section).
I would strongly advise that you watch Chris Penner’s (known as Zef within the chipmusic community) introduction to LSDJ video on Youtube. There are other videos by other artists (andarugo, the fabulous PandaSTAR, and Danimal Cannon) that are great supplements to Chris’s video, but I will be using Chris’s video for sake of simplicity for now. Check the “P.S.” section near the end for links!
These articles are written for people who have casually played with LSDJ trying to make songs, noises, and instruments. For the seasoned LSDJ user this information may be educational but not necessarily world-changing. If you don’t know how to use LSDJ or any of the simple shortcuts (copy, paste, mute, unmute), be sure to read up on the LSDJ wiki about common commands and shortcuts.
To set things into motion, we are going to cover kicks on the Gameboy. We will start with defining a sound, exploring our options for making each noise, and figuring out which commands can best help to create those sounds. Do note that some sounds can be layered or made using multiple channels simultaneously, but I will leave that part of discovery up to you.
Volume 1 – Kicks
There are a few resources you can use for creating a kick drum in LSDJ, and you can color the sound to be fat, thin deep, shallow, faint, or strong. You can use one channel, or all four. You can layer samples on top of each other, or you can layer samples with the other channels. Whatever your implementation of a kick is, how an actual kick drum makes noise and how you can best replicate the kick in LSDJ using commands. Let’s start with defining our sound from an instrumental perspective.
Defining the sound and getting familiar with the instrument
The kick (or in some instances, bass) drum is a mainstay of almost all kinds of music – jazz, classical, rock, metal, classical, and tribal, to name a few. Drums are hollow containers with at least one opening or face covered in a head, a material that when struck vibrates and pushes air out of the drum. Tightness and material of the head determines the pitch of the drum, as does the structural properties of the drum body and the thing used to hit the head. Some drums you see have dots that cover the center of drum heads, which are extra material made to dampen vibrations. Often in music things called overtones (which, in short) occur when something vibrates at a rate that has a second rate of vibration (creating a faint, but present higher-pitched second tone, we will explore these more in the Pulse and WAV channels). Opting to dampen the overtone by taking out the “brightness” and “color,” only the lower intended tone is heard. However, there is a high-to-low pitch associated with kick drums and bass drums, which is created by the vibrations growing weaker and slower overtime after a single hit. The decay of the drum sound and the pitch can vary based on the intensity of the strike. This too shall be explored in the article. When it comes to kick drums for things such as electronic and dance music, the typical kick is snappy, “fat,” and quick. We’ll explore those three parameters within each channel in LSDJ, as well as methods for each channel and single-channel usage.
Replication in LSDJ
We’ll start off with work in the WAV channel, then Pulse channels, back to the WAV channel, and lastly the Noise channel. The order may seem a little arbitrary, but it will be effective in demonstrating the kick drum and relating to its sound while using LSDJ.
WAV Channel (samples)
The sample function in LSDJ is useful for creating quick references for drums to replicate in other channels, in addition to being an external sound producer within the otherwise hardware-only texture of Pulse and Noise channels. Open up a new song in LSDJ (leave the tempo and groove at their defaults!), select a space for a phrase in the WAV channel (I used phrase 01), and create a chain inside (I used 01). Create and KIT instrument (I used 01, see a pattern?) and select the 707 and 808 sample kits. Create a string of 707 Kicks (named BD1 or BD2) in the chain on beats 00, 04, 08, and 0C and press start. Observe how they sound and how clear they are on the Gameboy* (especially if you have LSDJ version 4.7.0 or newer). Notice that the BD1 sample does not sound as deep as BD2. Do the same for a new chain with the 808 kicks, and feel free to try the kicks from other kits. Notice how the 707 kicks are short and “square” (like your uncle who listens only to folk music), and the 808 is fatter and deeper. It is possible to model these sounds in the other channels through synthesis. In learning to model style of the kicks in synthesis, we will also learn a bit about shaping sounds. Let’s dive in. (Note: we do not need to model the kicks exactly, but instead we must understand how to shape a kick and it is simply handy to have samples in the WAV channel loaded for reference.)
*Do note that as of LSDJ version 4.7.0 and higher, nitro2k01’s WAV channel sample fix is implemented and drastically improves the sound quality of samples played back on hardware.
On PU1, on the second row of phrases, create a phrase 02 with chains 03 and 04 inside. We will be using instrument slot 02 for this channel in the two chains. For instrument 02, create a Pulse instrument with an envelope of C1, the second pulse width option, and select table 00 (leave all other selections as default for now). In the transpose column, set the transposition to a value of 30 from clicks 00 to 04 (remember, clicks are the ticks in a table!). Create a P command with a value of C0 and a K command following on click 02 to kill the note and the P command. It should sound a bit like the 707 BD1 sample. Now, in chain 04 create a similar pulse instrument (with table 01) and try changing the pulse width to the third option, raising the transposition from ticks 00 to 04 to a value of 3C, and move the K command in the table to 04. This kick is harder, like the 808 kick, but it doesn’t scoop as deep (pitches on the Gameboy’s Pulse channels have a hard lower limit of pitch C3). Now that we have done our best to imitate the samples on the channel, let’s relate what we’ve done to what we know about how kick instrument makes sound.
The pulse width determines how fat or thin a sound is by its overtones. Thinner sounds lead to “brighter” and “thinner” sounds. Since most bass and kick drums are “dark” and have no overtones, I tend to use the third pulse width option or the second or fourth for my pulse kicks. However, dark and heavy kicks are not for every song. Sometimes lighter kicks are needed, even in genres like thrash. Another way to control the intensity of the kick is through the transpose and P commands on the table. The transpose command is what sets up how high the kick will start, the P tells it how quickly to bend the pitch down. K stops the noise wherever you desire. It’s possible to have short snappy kicks, long fat kicks, and super long super deep kicks by messing with these parameters. However, there are tons of things to try, mix, and match. Also, the envelope on the instrument screen will affect the sound a good bit. I chose an envelope of C1 because “C” is a fairly loud envelope level, and “1” is the shortest decay possible. You can try using louder, quieter, shorter, or longer kicks via the envelope along with your table to gain more depth in terms of sound. Also, it is possible to make “reverse kicks” or “reverse drums” by literally reversing all the instructions for a percussion instrument.
I have seen and heard this used in a few songs, and it is a cool trick to have in your hat. To make a reversed kick, make an instrument exactly like our pulse kick (envelope C1, wide pulse width, table) and in that table have no transposition, a P command on tick 00 with a value of 30, and a K command on 02 or 04. Hear the low-to-high scoop? It’s a reverse kick. (I chose a P value of thirty because it is equidistant from 00 like D0 is, so it sounds truly reversed and not “about the same but reversed,” being careful with your math goes a long way in chip music.) Keep in mind that LSDJ will try to compensate for mathematical anomalies, such as when a kick goes too far down it will wrap up to the high range of the instrumental spectrum as a laser sound. It’s cool sometimes, but it is often undesirable.
Discrepancies you should be aware of: transposition as a command is not always necessary, neither is using tables for kicks. It modifies the pitch of an instrument while the table is running. This can be used to create thick arpeggiated sequences, runs, and various other things. In this tutorial, I used it for sake of using it. Kicks can be made with or without tables at all. To make a kick without a table, you can make a pulse instrument with a desired pulse width and envelope, pitch at C3 (using the wrap to your advantage, kick will start from highest possible note then slam downwards until stopped by K command), a P command on the same tick with a value of D0 or whatever you like, and a K command following after. Tweaking this is all up to you, and doesn’t give quite the same degree of control as a table. If you wanted to use a table but control the transposition of kicks, you could even put your P and K commands in a table then manually choose the pitch for each kick in the chain. Different strokes for different folks, different gongs for different songs. I’ll include an example of each kick down in the last phrases of the example, separate from the main body of phrases for your examination.
One last thing about envelopes: choose them carefully. Music in itself is relative, so are its components. When you have your sounds in LSDJ, you do not have any way of balancing your highs, lows, midrange, etc except with pure volume. If you are smart with how loud or soft each instrument is, you shouldn’t have to tweak the EQ very much when recording or playing live. We’ll cover good equalizing (EQ’ing) at a later date, but it should be understood that every sound in a song should have a “place” not as in actual placement in the song, put as a layer in the audio mixture. Take time to fine-tune the envelopes and volumes and you will be well-off for right now in songwriting.
It’s hard to be innovative with kicks, you can try squeezing other commands into your tables if you’d like. (I suspect you could even mess with sweeps and other setting for the Pulse channel to bend some pitches as well.) However, it is fairly essential that the kick stay in the center of the listener’s field of sound, so panning kicks typically isn’t a good idea. Experiment with commands and see how you can change the texture!
One last thing: it is good to swap into Live mode when dealing with a bunch of “floating” phrases in LSDJ, or to fill them with blank phrases and chains (I tend to opt for the latter option) for this article.
WAV Channel (synthesis)
We have already explored sampled kicks in the WAV channel, so now we should explore synthesized kicks in the WAV channel. There are quite a few more options for controlling your sound in the WAV channel compared to the Pulse and Noise channels, and some may argue that it is the hardest channel to learn. Creating on our next row of phrases (02 now, I believe) with chains 05 and 06 inside. Make a WAV instrument (04) with the following modifications from channel defaults: change play type from Once to Manual, third wave form option, start volume to 40. The table (02) should have a transposition of 30 along used ticks, P command with a value of CE on tick 00, and a K command on 05. This kick should look or sound familiar to you, it is from Roboctopus’s last “LSDJ & You” article (#9). The kick is short, warm, and punchy. There is a lot that can be done in the WAV channel, and in my upcoming article on bass synthesis (probably going to be 3 articles, really), you will learn more about the settings and features of the WAV channel than I am willing to disclose now (but don’t let that, or hell, this guide, stop you from experimenting). In chain 06 try making your own kick based on the one Roboctopus made and I reiterated for you, and fiddle around with parameters.
The play mode “Manual” as you may have guess leaves it up to you to define which frames of the waveform are played through use of the F command. If no F command is used, frame 0 is played and looped. In the waveform viewer you can see a nice clean looking wave, and this is the source of our beefy little kick. To learn more about the Manual mode, there is a “LSDJ & You” article you can read. This static use of a waveform is ideal for making kicks, but don’t limit yourself to just one frame, or the Manual mode. It is possible to use other modes and techniques (such as starting with no filters then changing to frames with lower cutoffs for deeper sounds) to make kicks that aren’t possible in plain Manual mode. The Length, Repeat, and Speed parameters are not of much use in Manual mode (though Synth designates which of the 16 synth slots is being used for the parameters on our synth screen).
On the synth screen we see our waveform choices, each with their own unique sounds. For filters, we have lowpass, highpass, bandpass, allpass. Lowpass (and even highpass) can be used to create kicks most easily, with the filters being tied directly to the cutoff parameters. When used with lowpass, cutoff limits the highest tones that can be heard (lower cutoff = lower pitches). It is possible to create a sort of bias in the sound of the kick by manipulating the volume and cutoff parameters for the start and finish. The start and end settings are what allow LSDJ to do the math that determines the filter settings and any manipulations to the waves themselves, and are of great importance when shaping the dynamics of a kick.
It is possible to use Q (resonance) as well as changing the distortion type (clip, which stops when it reaches the lowest or highest possible values, or wrap which literally wraps) to change the sound as well. Really, there is a ton to do in the WAV channel to modify sounds like kicks. Don’t be afraid of using other waveforms or filters, they are all tools for helping you sculpt your own sounds. LSDJ songs would all sound the same if we all mindlessly used the same tutorials religiously. Again, use your head, experiment.
The Noise channel might be the one of the most under-utilized components of the Gameboy in the chipmusic scene, in my opinion. In games it was constantly used for sound effects and sculpted from static into actual noises. Now it is primarily a snare-and-hi-hat generator, which isn’t that bad, but could be better. Noise channel kicks are somewhat difficult to sculpt, given the Noise channel has its own registers and partials. Typically when making a kick I will make a Noise instrument (05) with an envelope of F1, length of 26, and a table, leaving other presets as they are. Table 03 should be used, and we will be using our friend the S command exclusively for now. In the table, slap down S commands for ticks 00 through 03 with the values of CC, 02, 04, 09, respectively. On tick 05, put a H command with a value of 04 (this is a hop to 04 command that will loop, this prevents the table from re-executing later). This is a fairly “whump-y” sounding kick I use in my own tracks, I prefer to have noise kicks when possible. The Noise channel itself is a bit different from the Pulse and WAV channels in the you must define each pitch of the “fall” in the kick, as well as where it falls “to.” I used the pitches I did in a rather unconventional manner – the CC command starts low, rises with the 02, dips low again with 04, and rises again with 09. The sound creates a hollow thump, much like a big giant conga drum. You can try different things to get your kicks, just remember that there is more than one way to skin a cat/tie a shoe/roll a joint. But if you do it right, you will know it.
The Noise channel has three primary kinds of sounds: silence, grunts and plock sounds, and hiss/buzzing noises. You can use these in various pitches, patterns, and layers (if you like to use 2xLSDJ or something) to create cool effects and sounds, instrumental or not. Use your tables, play with your commands. Starting to see a pattern? If you are, it means you are already learning and observing.
If you have any questions, comments or corrections, please say so in the comments! I’ll edit the article from time to time to add them in, or throw in other helpful links as more articles materialize. The glorious thing about online articles is that they can be edited and added to. If I ever add substantial new material to an old article, it will be mentioned in the header of the next article. I want to do my best to educate others in both the compositional and design aspects of chipmusic, not that countless people can’t do it by themselves, but because it is often hard knowing where to start. Whether or not you know how to read, write, transcribe, or release chipmusic, I hope to abstract, define, and deliver a method for which others can learn by.
For future reference, the “P.S.” section will contain extra goodies and such that is referenced earlier on in the article. I will also always include a LSDJSNG file for the article.
Thanks for reading!
The Bitman (Max Dolensky)
January 11, 2013 in Events
The Waveform Generators Weekly Treats number two is….my own single. There’s an interview connected too, so have a read of that. I try to act dignified.
Mixed by Atomica
Available to download here.
7 tracks of bassy horror influenced LSDj tunes.
Download it for free from:
Any feedback is appreciated!