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59

I composed a small number of Amiga tracker modules at around the turn of the 1990s, one of which even enjoyed some popularity. These songs were made, first and foremost, for my personal amusement — for exploring music creation and sequencing on a personal computer — but they also ended up being used in some demoscene productions. My tools of choice were, at ...


50

I did basic voice recognition on an Atari ST (8MHz 68000, 8-bit mono sampling1). If it could be done on a 1985 desktop2 then it should be no problem for an early naughties cell-phone3. IIRC4, the algorithm was roughly as follows: Sample the audio (8-bit mono @ 22kHz?) Split the audio into short (½ second?) pieces Do an FFT on each piece. The results are ...


43

If (and only if) your audio player is battery powered, and your Spectrum is the 48K or 128K toastrack model, try the following procedure, intended to boost the volume of your wave signal, as seen by the Spectrum EAR circuitry: Get one of these audio cables. They are very common. And yes, they are stereo. Why do we need it to be stereo? The trick is that ...


32

Superior Software's "Speech" was a pure software speech synthesizer that ran on the BBC Micro (which used a 2MHz 6502A processor, so had slightly more raw processing power than typical 8-bit machines); it is described in detail on this page, which states it was inspired by similar programs on C64 and Spectrum that achieve it using sound chips (so ...


31

In theory that would have been possible from the very start. After all, music doesn't need much bandwidth (*1), especially when using synthesized form like with a sound chip such as the SID. In reality the software structure of (most) machines in the 70s and 80s would not support this. They were single program, single tasking machines and the OS was not ...


29

The four main ways were: you knew someone with the sampling card or sampler (many of samplers had the capability to sample sound in CD quality and save it to floppy disk). you bought some kind of "sample bank" you simply grabbed sounds from other MODs you generated fully artificial sound by math algorithms and computed sample data (e.g. simple ...


28

suppose it's possible that the PlayStation audio format does have the required instruments, and then they added the few repeated audio samples on top of that in the game engine There are no instruments "built into" the PlayStation. Games provide their own. The PlayStation sound chip is basically a 24-channel ADPCM playback with 512KB of sample ...


25

It was a DOS-Windows 3.x and DOS-Windows 9x/ME thing. It was a driver named speaker.drv, written by Microsoft. It turned off interrupts for significant periods of time, which caused I/O problems with other devices but which was inherent in the nature of the hardware. It came in a self-extracting archive named speak.exe, and could be found on the companion ...


24

On the generic early-nineties x86 systems I'm familiar with at least, redbook CD audio playback on IDE CD-ROM drives is asynchronous and autonomous. The drive would connect to the sound card through a four-pin stereo audio connector to provide CD audio as another audio source to the mixer. You could use a CD music player program to control track selection ...


24

First, there is a major caveat. Most of the iconic early voice synthesizers were not purely software systems. For example, the classic DECTalk system, famously the voice of the late Stephen Hawking, was a discrete unit that connected by serial RS-232. It is effectively a closed box that is sent ASCII text and generates line-level audio. Internally, I ...


22

MOD is the file extension for SoundTracker modules. SoundTracker and its successors (NoiseTracker and ProTracker predominantly, although there are other derivatives) are sequencers, and load and save files in this format. It was originally designed for games and demo programmers - assembly code to play back the modules was commonly available and worked ...


22

As the sound channels had independent linear 64-step volume control (6 bits + mute setting), by calibration and splitting sample bits for one 14bit waveform across two channels, two-channel 14bit (stereo) sound could in principle be improvised using all 4 channels. This would be done by playing A coarse part of the waveform generated from the higher 8 bits ...


21

There existed a Russian text-to-speech program written for the Elektronika BK-0010 in the early 1980s, whose length was 023500 bytes == 10048, mentioned in a list of application programs for the BK-0010 under the name of ГОВОРУН ("Chatterer", after a talking bird in a childrens' book/cartoon The Mystery of the Third Planet). Its sound quality was ...


19

According to the very same link you provided: To perform this feat, Oktalyzer loaded eight channels in memory, mixed them in real time down to four channels, and sent the result to the Amiga sound chip. This was a processor-intensive task which degraded sound quality, but was more than made up for with doubled channels. Oktalyzer could also be run ...


19

Short answer: It's a holdover from the Warez scene, and more specifically around the time of the Commodore Amiga when pirates had ready access to music software. Back in the day (and less often nowadays), pirates "signed" cracked software with their name or emblem or something to that effect. As more and more pirates entered the scene and piracy became more ...


18

None of the GameBoy series machine has a Z80, but instead a Sharp LR35902, which runs a "GBZ80" instruction set, which is if I'm not mistaking similar but incompatible with the genuine Z80, as it lacks the two registers sets (much like the 8080) and other instructions. Just like the 2A03 in the NES, the CPU is in the same chip as the sound generation ...


18

I've confirmed that mcleod_ideafix's method is reliable for regular tape images. Here is a shell script to do (effectively) the same thing: #!/bin/bash # wav2differential.sh - convert mono game tape audio to 2× stereo # usage: wav2differential.sh infile.wav # (creates infile-differential.wav) # scruss - 2016-06-07 # method by ‘mcleod_ideafix’; ...


18

You need to use OpenMSX, and get the system ROMs for the machine in question. Then run OpenMSX, set the machine to the FS-A1WSX. There's a little menu button at the top left of the OpenMSX window. In there, set your tape to the WAV file. Then: 10 M$ = "E4E8O3G16G32R32G2G4R4O4C8D8E8F8G2G8F8E8F4E8D8E4D8C4" 20 PLAY M$+M$ The listing above is the content of ...


18

Did they really plug a synthesizer's audio output into a line input of a sound card and digitize the analog sound? But were audio cards of the early 90s at all capable of capturing analog audio at reasonable quality? Samplers existed even for low-end machines. I remember using a sampler on my Amiga 500. It was 8-bit, but so are the .MOD samples, and sample ...


17

Is the 68000 a 16-bit CPU? :) To some it is, and therefore Say, from 1985, for the Commodore Amiga counts. It can be found on the Workbench disk. For more reading, look up the narrator.device interface on the AmigaOS wiki: https://wiki.amigaos.net/wiki/Narrator_Device And here's Steamed Hams recreated using Say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rx6mJ4XY0oQ


16

SID6851 specification quotes: Cut-off frequency variation may occur from chip to chip due to process variations, and power supply voltage. Capacitor values and voltage regulation can compensate for these variations We're talking about a 30-some years old chips, the manufacturing process wasn't very consistent back then, and also MOS was known to ...


15

The topic mentions PCs but as you mention C64s specifically in the text, I can note that on the C64 it was not uncommon for utility software to have built in music (especially in the tools centered around the needs of the demo scene). Of course, that is not the same as a general purpose music player. Music was generally not really made using MIDI or audio ...


15

see: CZ+SK ZX SW archive In there are TTS engines for ZX Spectrum (1bit digital sound, no DAC, no FPU, no mul/div instructions, ~3.5 MHz 8bit Z80 CPU): Kecal 1.0 very simple asm, (portable to C/C++ see the link below), very low demands on CPU. It is not very good quality Kecal 2.3 much improved quality ZX Fone its slightly worse than Kecal 2.3 Hlasovy ...


15

No, it can not be used to sample audio. As the link you provided says, in 12-bit mode it takes 10 milliseconds to convert a sample, and even in 8-bit mode it takes 4 milliseconds. That results into maximum sampling rate of 250 Hz, which is useless for sampling audio. The low sampling rate indicates the analog input is meant for slowly changing signals, like ...


14

The NES cartridge connector does not have expansion sound. However, there's an expansion port on the bottom of the NES which does, although this connector was never used by any commercial games. JAL's answer describes a mod involving soldering a resistor between pins 3 and 9 of the expansion connector. This actually does work. Pin 3 is the expansion ...


13

In the case of the Famicom, the extra chip(s) on the cartridge would contain some additional sound generators. The cartridge slot contained a pin that would accept audio from the game cartridge and mix it with the other audio coming from the console and send it all to the TV. Pinouts: https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/Cartridge_connector Notice that the ...


13

The Amiga was the first system where I pulled this off: It was not streaming music, but listening to so called "MOD"s, small data chunks of samples and instructions how to play them. There is still an alive(?) scene for this. These Mods could be played in the background on Amigas Multitasking OS, while you were doing something else. Update: If you just ...


12

Those variable amplitudes looks like electronics problem like failing caps somewhere along the way (recording/playback) or unshielded too long cables or partial remagnetization or even HW bug (some recorders like ELTA have a bug in writing head circuitry that corrupted tapes a bit each time it was played ...) the correct output should be a rectangular ...


11

Yes, games like Rescue Raiders and Silent Service used interrupts to queue music and sound effects while other things were happening on the screen. Perhaps the best example of the technique is Skyfox, which had music playing during the frenetic dogfight action. The option to have simultaneous graphics and great sound without cycle-counting was one of the ...


11

The Wikipedia comment is misleading. The Game Boy CPU has several components in one chip, including the Z80-alike CPU core and a sound generator among others. These components may all be in the same chip but they are functionally independent; you don't need the Z80 CPU to be able to produce audio. The Nintendo DS inherited the Game Boy sound generator ...


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