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Some notes upon splitting up work and MIDI vs MOD... 
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Joined: 31. May 2005 05:23
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Post Some notes upon splitting up work and MIDI vs MOD...
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=  A LAST WORD: I DON'T WANT TO MAKE ALL THIS ALONE !!! ALL TuC MEMBERS,  =
= DOING SOME CODING, MUZAK, ORGANIZE SHOULD BE ACTIVE IN THIS PROJECT !!! =
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-------------------------- TuComposer, and then ? -------------------------
After TuComposer, we will probably make some demos with TuComposer music.
And, as there seem to be no good multichannel module player for AMIGA
computers, I will port Cubic Player to the Amiga (I'll deal with DOJ, Pascal
for this, if they help me, you'll get an 1:1 version plus some Amiga-related
features like a screenmode-requester & datatypes player). Then we will code
a Cubic Player for TCM modules (with the SDK). Then 1999 or so, we will
release TuComposer v2.0 if TuComposer is a success. I have many new ideas for
this version, like a sample programming language, FM synthesis, better
soundcard interface for soundcards that have many hardware channels (like the
A-Box from Phase V will have), etc. If soundcards, that can output real 32-bit
sound, are popular enough until then, we will expand our mix routines and all
sampler functions to handle up to 32 bit samples, of course. It may happen, if
non 8-bit & non 16-bit samples aren't used, that we remove this feature,
meaning that TuComposer v2.0 will only handle 8 and 16 (24 and 32) bit
samples. But I don't think so. Of course it will, if this happens, round old
samples which don't have an byte-aligned bit depth to the next byte boundary
(i.e. a 6 bit sample becomes 8 bit and a 11 bit sample becomes 16 bit). What
is very sure, is that TuComposer v2.0 will only run on RISC-CPUs, i.e.
RISC-Amigas, Acorn, and if Intel really releases his RISC-chip, for PCs also.
The real 16-bit mixing routines will use an 32 MB (65536*255*2) volume table
if 64 MB RAM is standard until then, making the real 16-bit routines as fast
as the 8-bit routines (also more than twice as fast, as they're now). However,
if enough people complain that they want an CISC-Version, we may do one.
Another thing I would like to add is MP3-compression in .TCM files with
realtime decoding on mixing for the new 2.0 version. If you don't know
what MP3 is, MP3 is about the same for sounds what JPG is for pictures.
A sample compressed reduced to 1/12 - 1/14 of original has still CD quality
and 1/100 reduction results in telephone quality. That means you can use
3 minutes of CD-quality sound (44kHz, 16-bit, stereo) in your TCMs and the
resulting file will be only about 2.8 MB (normally over 30 MB). This will
allow *MANY* high quality 16-bit samples in MODs and kick ass MIDI forever
(MOD filez with 1 MB currently will be reduced to 100 KB, and the only
argument for MIDI is the file size, because no samples are saved). But
this has become redundant due to the new DVD media. I will get such a drive
as soon as possible. A small comment about MIDIs vs MODs...

                           MIDI vs. MOD
                           ------------
MIDIs are files, containing only sequencer data (i.e. the file tells you
when to play notes, set panning, etc.) and no sample-data. This results
in very short files (MIDIs usually are 3 - 20 KB big), but they're very
restricted in composition, because to this the composer can only use a
few predefined samples (there are up to 128 instruments possible). This makes
it impossible to add own speech or such things. However, you can change
samples, but if you spread your sound, you should be aware of compatibility
problems. All these problems are not in MODs (except buggy players that can't
handle certain effects). The MOD format is continually getting more powerful,
the old MOD format (ST15) supported 4 channels, 15 samples and only VBlank
timing. This was 1986 when Karsten Obarski released his SoundTracker. And
now, 1997 we have ImpulseTracker, which offers envelopes, NNAs, up to 64
direct-control channels, 256 virtual channels, 10 octaves, 16-bit samples,
and and and...and soon we have TuComposer. There are some programs which
try to combine MOD and MIDI (like OctaMED), such programs are good solutions,
you can use all the power of MIDI and all the power of MOD. The new IT (2.12)
allows this, too. Although only for a few soundcards. And TuComposer will get
such an option, too. And all that costs nothing ! And these "professional"
programs cost over 100 dollars. And I read of a professional studio for $900.
The software offered CD-Quality 20-bit harddisk recording. Hah, TuComposer
offers up to 64kHz 32-bit harrdisk recording with interpolation and a filter
for unwanted frequencies (High Quality Mixer) with up to 65535 channels.
Okay, there were two Kurzweil synthesizers and a MIDI sequencer included, but
the software is a laugh compared to TuComposer and ImpulseTracker.
Please note that the High Quality Mixer has such an amazing quality that
you can't hear actually a difference beetween 44.1kHz and 4kHz (sound is
still clear !). BUT: The CPU power required is about the same in the both
frequencies and you should output 16-bit sound for such extreme cases. In my
eyes MIDI is only for musicians, which need real restrictions of instruments
(no MIDI is able to change the volume after the instrument has been started
playing, like real instruments). But, if you want this, I say you, BUY A REAL
INSTRUMENT ! If you compose using computers, then use all advantages, else
learn a real instrument, that's better in my eyes.


1. June 2005 12:20
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