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Saturday, August 20, 2005

Back to good old "tracker" format for Nintendo DS music

Right now I'm working on the music for a video game that will come out later this year on Sony PSP and Nintendo DS. I don't think I'm allowed to say just yet, which game it is, but it's going to be cool. :-)

I'm making the same music tracks for the Sony PSP and the Nintendo DS platform, but I have to do the work twice over, because I have to create the music in two completely different formats. The Sony PSP can "stream" the music from disc, and that means that I can record the music using normal instruments and all my studio equipment etc. But the Nintendo DS doesn't have anything to stream from, so I have to create the music in good old "tracker" format (in this particular case, ImpulseTracker format or FastTracker format).

I'm using a program called MadTracker, which allows the composer to "program" the music using a complex grid of letters and numbers. It's how it all started for me, on the Amiga computer back in 1988, I used this kind of system to make my very first fumbling musical steps. And here I am, 17 years later, back to using a music tracker for the music on the latest Nintendo handheld. Who would have thought it?! :-)

11 Comments:

Anonymous Jean-Christophe Acquaviva said...

really good story... back to the roots !!!

August 28, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats cool, I remember you in the Amiga days, that was a very excitting time for music. New stuff that is.

August 28, 2005  
Anonymous Counterpoint said...

Very cool, I tried out Madtracker a few years ago and decided to use ModPlug tracker instead. However, it looks like Madtracker has grown alot since then! I might have to give it another try...

It would be neat if you can post some examples from this game (once you're allowed to) so that we can hear the difference between the DS and PSP versions.

August 31, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have you tried Re-noise? It is the ULTIMATE tracker :)

http://www.renoise.com

September 14, 2005  
Blogger Bjorn Lynne said...

>Have you tried Re-noise? It is the
>ULTIMATE tracker :)

Yes, but there is no replayer-code for it that works on the Nintendo DS, which makes all the features unusable for that purpose. VST-plugins and much more is cool stuff, but there's no way you're going to be able to ship those plugins with the game... So it's back to "basic" tracker work. :-)

September 14, 2005  
Anonymous raul said...

Are you gonna sign as Bjorn A. Lynne or Dr.Awesome? ;)

September 22, 2005  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In fact the Nintendo DS can stream wav playback of course...:)

October 10, 2005  
Blogger Bjorn Lynne said...

And where in the DS would you store 55 minutes of music as WAV files?

October 10, 2005  
Anonymous balloonhead said...

well 55 Minutes of Music placed on a small DS-Game just wont do it :) MOD is the only answer. Remembering m yold times with the C64-Soundmonitor without Samples it would be a good compromise to let Nintendo revive the Samplebased Music for Handhelds. Hope you will put some downloads of the Tracks on your page when they are released so Non-DS-Users can hear them two :) or will it just be the Sony-Version as MP3 ;)

October 10, 2005  
Anonymous Jakob said...

Cool! The music for Unreal was in tracker format as well and I thought Alex Brandon and Michiel van den Bos did an awesome job with it, so it's by no means a poor format.

Now, as for trackers, I think the buzz is about Buzz... excuse the pun, hehe. Had a look at Renoise... not free, Buzz Tracker is and the scene has always embraced free tools and preferred them over commercial ones. Buzz is more than a tracker, it's a whole set of signal processing filters, synths, vocoders, generally refered to as "machines", that are quite fantastic. Andrew Sega aka The Alpha Conspiracy and Iris uses Buzz to create his awesome digital sound. Check it out!

Cheers,

November 23, 2005  
Anonymous melodee said...

Hi Bjorn,

this is Mel O┬┤Dee from Germany.

Maybe i would like to do a few modules. Nowadays I have my Studio, Sounds and everything i dreamt of for years.

Well if could compose for nintedo ds, which tracker would you prefer ? Renoise, Milky Tracker... ?

It would be nice to get a short answer.
Heiko
Heiko@melodee.de

March 19, 2008  

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