View Full Version : Roaring Warg's Audio Sketchpad of Stuff What Occasionally Roars

04-22-2011, 01:24 PM
Music! Sound effects! It's fun to study audio at almost-obsessive levels, and it's fun to play around with sound creation utilities and see what comes out. Sometimes, it turns into stuff others might actually want to hear!

So where can you hear such stuff?

I've got a few regular-length chiptunes at my Tindeck space (http://tindeck.com/users/Roaring%20Warg);

I've got a lone piece of fan music at my Tumblr log (http://roaringwarg.tumblr.com), where I've debated posting more;

And what I've mostly been doing lately is posting musical code tweets that show up on SiON140 (http://16dimensional.com/sion140). It's an interesting challenge, trying to write worthy bits of music & sfx in a tweet!
[You'll need a computer or device that can do Flash 10 / ActionScript 3.]

I'll put links here whenever I post anything to either of those first two sites; I'll also mention when I've made a SiON MML tweet that I'm particularly proud of.

And right now, here're my goals:

Continue combining tones and effects, to get to where I have a serviceable suite of sounds.

Improve composing speed, especially for more-detailed pieces!


So this week, SiON140 finally updated to include physical modeling synthesis for guitar! It still takes effort to make it not sound mechanical, and I can only fit so many instructions into 131 characters -- but I'm still proud of what I was able to pull off, given my constraints. (I did have to use a distorted sine wave for bass; I haven't found good settings yet for a bass string.)

If you want to hear it, here's that link again to SiON140 (http://16dimensional.com/sion140) -- once it fully loads, just click the small PLAY icon next to my tweet. What's interesting is that, perhaps due to the nature of the algorithm, the guitar tone plays slightly-differently each time.

Or when my tweet disappears off of Twitter's search, you can copy and paste this quote line into SiON140's text box, and hit the PLAY icon above the box.


... now, I know this quote looks like I just went BLARF; SiON doesn't require white space, which makes it great for working within space constraints.

Still, for the sake of better understanding future tweets -- if you're a coder-type, I've spaced and commented this tweet below to make it more readable. (You can also copy & paste this into SiON140's text box, if you're so inclined.) If you want, you can accompany it with this interactive manual (http://mmltalks.appspot.com/document/siopm_mml_ref_05_e.html); click on the grey boxes to hear an example, where applicable.

S= t480 %11@1 > s;

// S= : defining macro S
// t480 : tempo at 480 beats per minute
// %11@1 : tone color module 11 (Physical Modeling Synth for Guitar), tone 1
// (currently not certain of difference in tones here,
// this one works best)
// > : octave step down (apply number for multiple steps)
// s : sustain sweep
// (normally requires a value of 0 to 63,
// will be defined after macro call)
// (with %11, value seems to have an effect on the string's rigidity)
// ; : end statement

// --- SOUND CHANNEL (main guitar) ---

S30 (8 $
a&b b+ a < d c c- c > b&g+ f d e&f e d+
e8 f8 e c- e d&c f e d g+ f e d&e g+ b;

// S30 : call macro S, provide value of 30 to s in macro
// (8 : increase volume level by 8
// (level default at max, so this adds some drive)
// $ : loop to here after this point

// standard notes, a b c d e f g
// + : sharp
// - : flat
// & : slur notes together
// < : octave step up (apply number for multiple steps)
// > : octave step down (apply number for multiple steps)
// 8 : play as eighth-note
// (default quarter-note (4), value can be 1 - 1920)
// (tempo at 480, so 8ths would be more like a 32nds at t120)
// ; : end statement

// -------------------------------------------
// -------------------------------------------

J= S22 $ [r c c c]4 > [r b b b]4;

// J= : defining macro J
// S22 : call macro S, provide value of 22 to s in macro
// $ : loop to here after this point

// []4 : play segment in brackets 4 times (default 2)
// r : rest (length defined same way as with notes)
// > : octave step down
// ; : end statement

// --- SOUND CHANNELS (guitar strumming) ---


// call macro J, play at three half-steps down

r20 J;

// rest for a 20th (very slight delay, keep in mind a tempo of 480)
// call macro J

r11 J(9);

// rest for a 11th (slightly longer delay)
// call macro J, play at three half-steps up

// -----------------------------------------
// -----------------------------------------

// --- SOUND CHANNEL (distorted sine wave bass) --

(5 %5 o3 q4 l1 $
a c d f e g+ b e

// (5 : increase volume level by 5
// (default at max volume, so this adds some drive & distortion)
// %5 : tone color module 5 (default tone 0, sine wave)
// o3 : octave 3 (values can be 0 to 9, default 5)
// q4 : quantize at 4/8 (half length)
// l1 : default length whole notes
// $ : repeat after this point
// no semicolon needed for the very end

// ------------------------------------------------
// ------------------------------------------------

// === END ===
// Total number of channels used: 5

// This entry by Roaring Warg, RoaringWarg (at) gmx (dot) com
// (CC) BY-NC-SA 3.0 US

Future posts should be significantly simpler (at least I hope) -- and if you have any productive comments to share, please do!

Hope you'll enjoy what I post here!

04-22-2011, 09:13 PM
I do, I do! Please, post more often!

(By the way, I prefer your fan reimagining of that Rocket Knight theme to the real thing.)

04-22-2011, 11:42 PM
Dope stuff, Warg. Keep at it.

04-24-2011, 08:25 PM
Thanks, folks!

I'll certainly be keeping at it; there're a lot of tones & effects to combine, and lots of ways to mix rhythms up, to keep me engaged for the indefinite future.

(By the way, I prefer your fan reimagining of that Rocket Knight theme to the real thing.)
Goodness, thanks. It's weird, actually; I was pretty glad that Rocket Knight kept that orchestral-type style that the original RKA often had -- even if, in game, the music was pretty soft.

But after I thought of doing a fan demake of the trailer music, it occurred to me that I didn't have the skill yet, using the basic five channels of the 2a03 (three melodic, two percussive), to recreate the song in an orchestral style -- and it also occurred to me that it might be fun to try a different style for the song. So I decided to go rock-percussive instead.

[Maybe if I was using the extra channels of the VRC6, I could've pulled off something more orchestral -- but I was, and still am, working on making detailed stuff as quickly as I can when using just the basic channels.]

Man, though -- I've been listening to it, and I'm realizing how I could make the second half of the loop sound better. But, that's just stuff to learn from.


Anyway, with SiON -- I was playing around with the string rigidity settings a bit more, and tried my hand at some hard guitar strums. This following phrase doesn't quite have the treble & bass ranges of the previous MML tweet, but I was focusing more on getting all six guitar strings represented & making them sound as right as I could here. ['Course, I only had room to do two musical phrases, and I set groups of three strings to each play an octave of a phrase.]

The phrase below is up on SiON140 (http://16dimensional.com/sion140/) & will be the next five-or-so days -- and once it disappears off Twitter's search, you can copy & paste it into that page's text box and hit play:

R=)12s54e)4es32(16;S=t480%11@1s32q8mp4(5$;A=SaRb+R a[ag+ReRe)e(|fRaRf];r9A;>r25A;>>A;B=ScReRe[)e(dR>bRb)b(|aR<cRc];r18B;>r33B;)5r8<B

[There's a space in there that won't go away; removing it will get it to 131 chars. Not like it really matters for playing music in that text box, though.]

04-28-2011, 07:59 PM
Here's a quick roughly-12-second organ piece I won't be posting on twitter, due to its size.

I realized I wouldn't be able to make this one sound the way I wanted within 131 characters -- so I decided not to worry about character efficiency here, and I just loaded this one up with extra channels and a delay effect.

You'll need to copy & paste this one into SiON140 (http://16dimensional.com/sion140/)'s text box & hit the play button to hear it:





[EDIT 1: Arranged the notes at the end, added slowdown.]
[EDIT 2: Shortened the last notes just a bit.]

04-30-2011, 10:56 AM
I'm gonna have to listen to your stuff on another computer that actually can produce sound.

05-15-2011, 12:19 AM
Warg... if.... if I were to make an 8-bittish game... could.... could I use your music? ;_;

05-15-2011, 08:10 AM
You certainly may!


Goodness, haven't been posting much as of late; been occupied with some big sound stuff. Gave myself a bit of a crash course in FM Synthesis, been experimenting with it a lot.

Kind of amazing, though, the sorts of sounds possible with it. Not very often the sounds I want, I have to admit -- but still, far more than the kinds of sounds you probably heard on the Genesis or from a Sound Blaster card. [Granted, at some later point, I oughta research what those systems' limitations were; I probably have access to more options.]