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Ample wow

Posted: Wed Mar 25, 2020 3:52 pm
by pixelblip
I've just been reading the Ample Nucleus Programmers Guide ( what a bedtime read!)
It's nuts how detailed it all is and how advanced Ample is. I could spend a lifetime just on that instead of painting..........it's very flexible as a language....I am interested in the random possibilities of it.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:31 am
by cmorley
I've implemented the M5000 on a project and the more I learn about it the more I am saddened that it wasn't really taken advantage of. The tools just weren't there. I'd love to know what musical gems would be out there if it ever got 1/2 the love the mod scene or the Gravis Ultrasound got...

A modern sequencer which could export Ample so you can easily generate samples, envelopes and effects etc is missing. For demos and games a VST M5000 which exports register updates (VGM stylee) would be good but who is going to write it and who is going to use it :(

Without some modern software I think the capabilities of the M5000 and Ample will continue to fly under the radar. It's a bit like those naff western Sega Megadrive games which only used the dull default GEMS instrument patches so they all sound boring and identical... a missed opportunity on a system with great capability.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:46 pm
by tricky
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:31 am
I've implemented the M5000 on a project...
Tell us more.
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:31 am
...A modern sequencer which could export Ample so you can easily generate samples, envelopes and effects etc is missing. For demos and games a VST M5000 which exports register updates (VGM stylee) would be good but who is going to write it and who is going to use it :(
simonm maybe?

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:23 pm
by cmorley
tricky wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 1:46 pm
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:31 am
I've implemented the M5000 on a project...
Tell us more.
It's the thing I mentioned to you at the last ABUG Tricky, the low cost Cortex M7 1MHz bus board. I made the dev board (12 months ago!) around the time dp11 posted about the Pi 1MHz bus thing. It was one of those dev boards I sent to KF for the M7 greaseweasle development - which shows how long ago it was :O. I'll start a separate thread at some point when I (eventually) progresss the firmware some more.
tricky wrote:
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 9:31 am
...A modern sequencer which could export Ample so you can easily generate samples, envelopes and effects etc is missing. For demos and games a VST M5000 which exports register updates (VGM stylee) would be good but who is going to write it and who is going to use it :(
simonm maybe?
Let's hope someone does because it really should be capable of some fantastic game & demo music. I'd have a shot at a VST plugin but I just don't have the time to spare.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 4:48 pm
by RobC
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 2:23 pm
Let's hope someone does because it really should be capable of some fantastic game & demo music.
I read somewhere that Orlando was looking at using it to produce music for a game but abandoned the idea as it generated too many interrupts.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm
by cmorley
Rob, Ample or the M5000? AFAIK the hardware doesn't produce any interrupts. You'd have to go bare metal for a game or demo...

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Fri Mar 27, 2020 8:00 pm
by billcarr2005
From here
https://www.stairwaytohell.com/lostandf ... e=homepage

FIRETRACK II by Orlando
From Micro User, January 1989:
...
One feature originally planned for FireTrack II has unfortunately now been shelved, but it is still worth a mention. Like its predecessor and Frak!, FireTrack II features some great music and at one stage of development, Orlando was hoping to include routines to drive a Music 500 or equivalent. Alas, the Music 500 uses so many interrupts - each requiring a certain amount of processor time - that the game would have been far too slow. Another option would have been to omit a number of other planned features but the game itself had to take precedence over the soundtrack.

I think it a great pity that this idea did not come off, because the music produced in this way and transmitted to a full size hi-fi would have been far superior to any music heard on an 8 bit machine. Gary Partis once told me that he designed Syncron as an exercise in pure speed - playability was not supposed to come into it! Perhaps, in the same spirit, someone can produce a simple game as a vehicle for a full soundtrack for the internal speaker - and also for the Music 500, if fitted.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 8:59 am
by tricky
If I ever get onto the pinball game that I would like to write, I should have enough memory and cycles, although I know nothing about music or the Music series of hardware!

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 9:51 am
by pixelblip
If you get he game done I’ll do the music Tricky.
It’s about time I got to grips with Ample.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Sat Mar 28, 2020 10:46 am
by tricky
Deal :)

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 5:53 pm
by RobC
cmorley wrote:
Fri Mar 27, 2020 5:24 pm
Rob, Ample or the M5000?
Sorry - I didn't mean my post to sound authoritative. I just remembered reading the piece that was subsequently posted and thought it was interesting that Orlando had considered the idea.

Re: Ample wow

Posted: Sun Mar 29, 2020 6:10 pm
by cmorley
My only source aside from the various emulators source was the M5000 schematic posted on stardot a while ago... I don't own a M500 or M5000 to check first hand. Interesting though the snippet billcarr posted - which is presumably what you recall?

They must have been talking about the player code I thought. Not enough memory to keep a few banks of SW RAM spare for pre-rendered register streaming - VGM style Stryker's Run (SEGA Super Locomotive). If you're firing off interrupts left right and centre to manage note changes and envelopes then I can see that being a killer for games - especially with the minimum OS overhead on an IRQ.