song advice needed

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red moon
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song advice needed

Post by red moon » Sat Jan 11, 2020 4:01 pm

I created a few basic song loops early on when I started my project which seemed to work well with the sound effects without any issues.

I recently back to added some new songs (the 6 at the bottom of the list) which seem to get interrupted by jumping and pickup sounds. I wanted to see what I may be doing incorrectly to prevent this. There are stops and silent instruments in all my sound effects, but I am wondering if its the instruments themselves used to create the songs. They are long duration notes and designed to bleed into one another.

I know there are some experienced famitracker users here so I figured it was worth asking!
Here is my famitracker file



thanks again!
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CutterCross
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Re: song advice needed

Post by CutterCross » Sat Jan 11, 2020 6:55 pm

When a SFX is played, it overwrites the music played in whatever channels the SFX uses. That's just how using SFX on the NES works. But (at least with GGsound, not sure if other FamiTracker-based sound engines are like this,) after the SFX is finished, the sound engine waits for the NEXT note in the music data to begin playing again. So often there can be some silence in those channels between the SFX ending and the next music note playing, especially if you have long notes with a lot of space between them. The SFX will just cut that long note off and it will be a while before the next note is played.

Also, I've noticed that in some SFX you use 3 channels at a time instead of 2, which GGsound is only capable of handling for SFX.
Music Man:
The Tower of Turmoil: http://www.nesmakers.com/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=1348
When the Clock Hands Stall: http://www.nesmakers.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2723
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red moon
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Re: song advice needed

Post by red moon » Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:23 pm

Thanks for replying cutter and for the detailed explanation, that really helps me better understand the intent and limitations of what is there. I did not know about the limit on SFX, so that is really important to see. I must have missed that in the documents and guides I looked through.

I did go back and adjust the sfx files to drop them down to 2 and sometimes a 1 channel. That cleans the files up a bit at least.

In the future, I will experiment with song structures that are less vulnerable to sfx interrupts for sure. Shorter notes and a higher frequency of notes...when they do pick back up you won't notice nearly as much.
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Raftronaut
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Re: song advice needed

Post by Raftronaut » Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:48 pm

red moon wrote:
Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:23 pm
Thanks for replying cutter and for the detailed explanation, that really helps me better understand the intent and limitations of what is there. I did not know about the limit on SFX, so that is really important to see. I must have missed that in the documents and guides I looked through.

I did go back and adjust the sfx files to drop them down to 2 and sometimes a 1 channel. That cleans the files up a bit at least.

In the future, I will experiment with song structures that are less vulnerable to sfx interrupts for sure. Shorter notes and a higher frequency of notes...when they do pick back up you won't notice nearly as much.
Yeah, balancing all the requirements of your soundtrack is a real skill. Generally inserting noise FX work well with traditional drum beats because the drums will generally be playing on the quarter notes or Eighth notes, meaning there will be a quick pick up when the SFX is done sounding.

When possible I try to reserve one square channel for non-essential music items, Like harmony notes or echoes... then I try to put all my sound effects on that channel so that the interruptions will not break the player's concentration or interrupt their suspension of disbelief. I see on some of your songs, one channel will stop and the music will pick up on another channel, since they are not playing at the same time, I would simply cram them onto the same channel and have that channel juggling tasks within the music. Leaving the other free for sound effects.
All I can really say is that trial and error goes a long way since there are no right/wrong answers when it comes to sound design, only for what will/will not work in GG sound.

hope the insight helps a little :)
Space Raft demo updates: [url]http://nesmakers.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2867[/url]

Chiptune:[url] https://soundcloud.com/user-634230995-350638590 [/url]
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red moon
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Re: song advice needed

Post by red moon » Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:13 pm

That totally helps! That changes how I move forward with music and sound surely. And I like the idea of planning ahead to leave a single empty channel (either pulse 1 or 2) and working within that framework so the flow is not interrupted. It's very helpful to think about that way.
Thanks for the insight Raft!
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Raftronaut
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Re: song advice needed

Post by Raftronaut » Fri Jan 17, 2020 10:29 pm

red moon wrote:
Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:13 pm
That totally helps! That changes how I move forward with music and sound surely. And I like the idea of planning ahead to leave a single empty channel (either pulse 1 or 2) and working within that framework so the flow is not interrupted. It's very helpful to think about that way.
Thanks for the insight Raft!
My pleasure, i've done a lot of thinking about this over the past year and a half.

personally I wouldn't advise leaving a channel blank since all sorts of "non-essential" audio details can be included in there without making a big disruption for the player when a sound effect is played.

For example, take the omnipresent NES music reference "dr Willy's castle" from Mega man 2. All four channels are jam-packed with music..but the blaster SFX is set to the channel that plays the harmony, so when the blaster is used, only the harmony is cut out and replaced by the loud PEW PEW sound, then returns back to the harmony. The ear doesn't recognize anything too out of the ordinary when the button is pressed.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJRoRt155mA

then compare to gameplay footage where the player is mashing the fire button over and over and the harmony is essentially wiped out:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHqPVcMBKlc
It still sounds good regardless of the harmony being cut out, but notice when the player rests, the music sounds fuller .


On the other hand, if you put your SFX on the dominant channel of the melody, your game will sound like hot ass. Everytime the melody cuts out your brain will recognize that something is suddenly missing from the music and the ear will perceive it as non-musical...
A fantastic example of that is the horrid sounding "cool world" soundtrack
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R12133t89qs&t=66s
*I actually believe this is a programming error and not the fault of the composer Jonathon Dunn who otherwise had done some pretty great nes soundtracks (darkman, jurassic park, untouchables)



Again, no right/wrong answers, but I've learned to plan ahead over my time working with In-game music, My Game's music is adapted IRL music into 4 channel nes audio and resulted in an extremely dense soundtrack that was very difficult to insert FX into...I learned my lesson on my first project basically :) lol
Space Raft demo updates: [url]http://nesmakers.com/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=2867[/url]

Chiptune:[url] https://soundcloud.com/user-634230995-350638590 [/url]
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red moon
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Re: song advice needed

Post by red moon » Sat Jan 18, 2020 4:12 am

Very valid points for sure and you are right about Cool World! That did not turn out too well in that example! And I see what you mean about using the pulse channels for FX when the music is relying so heavily on it. I like the idea of using the a channel knowing that is a harmony and not as substantial as the main tune and setting it a bit lower in volume so loud Fx and less likely to cut into a louder melody. I'm a couple months in at this point and still in the learning phase, especially regarding famitracker. I really enjoy using it and think that with each song test my understanding grows ever so slightly. My next test there will be longer, multi-part pieces. I went from "continuous" to "start quiet become more active" so the next step is a 3 part song!
Again, the feedback is really helpful!

I should do an analysis on the FX i live that use the melody channels and see what I can do about shifting the FX sounds to noise since I am using that channel in a support role rather than dominant melody.
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