I was around back then, but not at Battle of the Bits. I was trying my hand at SNES music back when I had no proper utensil for testing and converting .it files (XMSNES existed, but I couldn't use it due to a platform incompatibility).
I just don't know what to do first!!! It's of course not my style to start working on a compo entry any sooner than 10 days before the deadline though, so........yeah I'm a think about it some more. But planning on doing a lot of entries this time, good Lord willin' and the creek don't rise...
Probably just a remake of the Chip's Challenge OST in every format (including battle art in the form of sheet music)
Sucks being without a working computer/laptop. Otherwise I'd probably be making some more entries. Oh well I'll probably be getting a new laptop as a birthday present (I turn 18 on february 2nd!). And maybe I'll be able to get some more out for this compo.
Hmmmmmmmm. I can see there some serious problems.
Only *.AY and *.YM formats accepted in the YM/AY compo. It's very bad: those formats are highly obsolete and nobody used them for years. Proper formats nowadays are STC, PT3 and SQT.
Also, the Atari ST "SndPlayer" as a recommended player for playback songs from ZX Spectrum / ZX81 / Amstrad CPC - is sadly a serious mistake.
The last thing. There is no "slot" for uploading own MP3 file (like I mentioned above - accepted are only emulator files). My primary rule is: nobody records my songs but me. I don't use any "rendering MP3" from any emulator. I use only real hardware for _recording_ stuff.
But of course I must obey the rules, hence I cannot submit my song in the YM/AY compo (ah well, the song was crap anyway).
I would, however, suggest updating next time those obsolete rules, into mentioned ZX formats + Sergiey Bulba's AY_EMUL as the recommended player for playback songs from ZX Spectrum / ZX81. And the VortexTracker II for TurboSound songs, that - I imagine - are allowed too.
YERMZYEY - It's not difficult getting an AY or YM out of these proper formats you mentioned (specially PT3 - VT2 exports as both .ay and .ym), AND these (ay/ym) are the file formats that are ripped from the actual systems... I think. I don't understand much about those D: (sorry if I'm saying crap).
But about uploading a mp3, there IS how to upload a mp3 - Just upload the .ay/.ym first, then there'll be a up mp3 option in the song's page.
Reading your profile I see you're no n00b so most of the things I said will stick out as obvious, but if you need any kind of help, my skype name is at my BotB profile :D
Oh but I AM total noob, as I know nothing about those Internet matters, portals, scripts and so on, haha. I only make some music for some time now, but nothing more, considering the "Internet communities" stuff, You know. So any help is always appreciated.
Exporting into AY, in the VTII is actually serious atavism. :)
And anyway I wanted to submit the TurboSound song actually. Which would mean the PT3 or classic *.$M file.
But that's not the point really, if You get my drift: there's really no sens in converting modern music into ancient *.AY format, even if it's possible. :) (And it's not, in my case because nobody will hear the actually music from this damn *.AY format, hehe).
So anyway the rules prevent me from sending a song, however I thank You very much for the MP3 information, I will remember about it, for the future.
STC, PT3 and SQT, because they are simply ZX Spectrum files.
They are strictly - compiled modules of SoundTracker, ProTracker3 and SQ-Tracker. Heavily used also on PC, for one and only the best Spectrum's sound emulator, that is AY_Emul of S. Bulba. Those formats are also used for VortexTracker II and so on.
People use them all the time while actual ZX Spectrum compos because all modern software of PC uses them, and it's enough to COPY them into a diskette and play from ZX Spectrum. With _any_ player made in last 10 years, more/less.
Copying on a diskette/SD card from PC into ZX cannot be considered as 'too much trouble', I imagine.
*.ay files were strictly for emulators (presently, for some time there _might_ be an actual ZX Spectrum player of *.ay files but it's mostly useless anyway). The format is obsolete.
For SND/SNDH files from Atari ST/e/F030 I would strongly recommend JAM 2.1 for Windows:
If I test anything I made on Atari ST (before recording from an actual machine) I use only this one player.
Or even the 2.0 Beta version, because seems to sound much better.
YERZMYEY: you can pretty much enter any file to the compo since the website doesn't have a check >:) its customary to upload .savs and .dmf for gameboy and .tap for zx spectrum beeper despite it not being an "accepted format", as long as its a source and not an mp3! i would definitely wager a strong enough case has been made here to allow alternatives for ay here
(for mp3 rendering, i'd imagine you can definitely upload a hardware recording AY for mp3, rendering from emulator is the common way to do it which is where i'd imagine it gets its name)
hey thanks for the info as well yerzmyey! not many of us on the site are more than superficially experiened with atari/spectrum music, so it's cool to get some advice from someone familiar with the scene.
as kfaraday said, it seems like you've had a strong case for alternative formats, so feel free to enter whatever aym source file you have (and maybe some playback instructions for anyone unfamiliar). as far as an mp3 goes, hardware recordings are accepted alongside emulated renders.
i'm also not sure why sndplayer is recommended for playing aym files instead of ay_emul; hopefully we can correct that shortly.
Ok, sorry, but that was a bunch of information I just read...
For the ay/ym format I should add the .STC .PT3 and .SQT file formats? I wasn't clear if there was a better emu player suggested that handled all.
Also, I personally prefer the mp3 renders to be hardware recordings. Most are done in emulation because that's what is the most accessible for most people. Some prefer emulation like that time I uploaded a Strobe track recorded from my actual Sound Blaster OPL3 in a 486 machine for his adlib entry.
I probably won't get around to it anytime soon, but if someone would put this information and the format tools in their lyceum articles that would be super cool! aymvic20tia
I'd be in favor of keeping .ay as well, even though it's old. .ay is for Spectrum what sndh is for ST, as opposed to stc/pt3/sqt which are source formats.
Turbosound is not acceptable, we had that discussion a few years ago.
well as i already said vortex tracker II can easily convert stc/pt3/sqt to .ay (i think) but i dont think there would be a problem letting people upload stc/pt3/sqt since they'd also be proof that the song works on a zx spectrum. its just like, as keffie said earlier, uploading .sav or .dmf for gameboy.
I like formats that are a common emulator format. Preferably something that isn't specific to a single program (and especially not a single platform). Here's how I would rank them, generally:
.NSF - best. It's a music only format, many emulators and players are available on many platforms. The validity of its playback can easily be checked from multiple angles, including available hardware players. Other examples in this category include .SID, .SPC, .VGM, .AY, .SNDH... Code formats like NSF or SID tend to be ideal for playback on hardware, but logged formats like VGM are less suited for this, so I would rank them very slightly lower.
.GB - good. Will play in any Game Boy emulator, can be tried in multiple emulators to check its validity, works on multiple platforms. The only downside it it's not a music-only format. Other examples include .TAP.
.DMF - poor. Deflemask is multiplatform, so it at least has this advantage, but no program besides Deflemask will play these files. Emulation accuracy is only as good as the single implementation used by Deflemask, and can't really be checked up unless exported in another format (which are already in the good/best category).
.SHO - poor. It's a music only format, and it has multiple players, but very few. It's not directly emulatable, but the alternative requires an illegal ROM as well as savestates why are nonstandard and emulator specific. Multiple platform support is poor, but the ability to inconveniently check up with emulators is a plus. This format is poor, but there aren't really better alternatives at the moment. (Possibly an SPC export would be a better alternative, but is not available currently.)
.BBSONG - worst. Only plays in one program which only runs on windows. Same problems as .DMF, but compounded by a further lack of portability.
Also, for chip music I am still in favour of having a separate "upload source" option so that we have an appropriate place to put FTM/DMF/BBSONG/etc files.
My interest got killed off in the Mario Paint format (.sho) due to that problem: I was having technical difficulties, and playback support was pretty bad. I would have been interested in just using a savestate or something that I can just load and play through the actual game. A .spc export might be problematic because I think they're just a bunch of sound effect commands, so note data is streamed from the ROM.
I'm interested in .srm files for Mario Paint because they're actual save files for Mario Paint. It's easy to do on the actual game, and with reverse engineering, you can also make one to run on Mario Paint. Plus, they have much more consistent emulator support than savestates.
The rest of them? .dmf and .bbsong are the worst formats for me due to a platform incompatibility (Deflemask is Intel Mac only). I have a couple of Game Boy emulators for .gb files, so that's not a problem.
Speaking of which... MIDI is the format that I distrust using for listening to the most due to playback inconsistency. The main player listed is Windows only, and in my case, it may as well be Quicktime or some sort of soundfont (not good if it's Quicktime... although it has the same sounds as the one that the Windows player uses).
Interestingly enough, if I were to ever bother making one, I would produce .smc/.sfc files if I ever made a SNES song that required me to stream/swap samples or stream real-time note data.
The .snsf format exists, but I don't use it both because I don't know how to make one (and even if I did, it's ten times worse than making SPC files because I have snippets of code to copy and paste... this is especially bad for Interplay games, which are much more problematic for me) and I can't play back those files on my end due to a platform incompatibility.
Yes puke, I was referring to Mario Paint when I said .SHO.
KFF there is no sample streaming in mario paint, all the samples would fit in an SPC. Actually, we could probably rip the existing SPC memory block directly from the game, what we'd need to add is the note data and a simple playback routine to that SPC driver (the existing one just spins, waiting for the CPU to tell it when to play notes, I believe).
The reason I never added SPC export to Mariopants is that I don't know how to program the SPC.
The reason I never added SRM export to Mariopants is that mario paint actually has a data validation and compression scheme which I would have to reverse engineer to be able to produce an SRM that Mario Paint will load. This would require learning to program and debug the SNES, another thing I do not know. The ZSNES and SNES9X savestate support was much easier, since the data is just there in memory. You can produce a SRM by saving from either of those emulators after loading the savestate, it's just unfortunately something I could not automate without a tremendous amount of work.
Like I mentioned before, I didn't mean to cancel the *.ay format. It can stay. Simply the matter is - many people still use native Spectrum programs (like SQ-Tracker or ProTracker 3.x). I don't use cross-platform VortexTracker for making music, I use real hardware, so the STC for me (and SQT/PT3 for others) is a natural format.
TAP might be accepted as well - it is simply a default format of all Spectrums with HDD/SD/CF cards. It can be converted into wav (to load into real machine from tape) in a no-time, and also 100% of emulators support TAP.
.STC is not extremely popular these days, though - and given that Vortex Tracker II is basically a Windows port of ProTracker (no relation) 3.X, it means that .pt3 modules are ENTIRELY counter-compatible between those two programs.
And, as a matter of fact, .pt3 is perfectly runnable and editable on the real ZX Spectrum, too.
What's kinda a bummer, though, is that VTII modules can't be really compiled with the ready-to-run player program, unlike in Beepola... Uh... Okay, not really, since there are AYPlay and tons of TR-DOS-based music players/commanders - THOSE are capable of playing raw .pt3s!
Jee, I wish I knew how to vote, hehe. :) Sadly the descriptions are totally not clear to me. ;) I'm probably just too old, and this is some 'youth slang', haha. ;)
Good luck in the "battle", everyone!!!!!!!!!! =8-D
I go by
Heart-magic = how pleasant it is
brain-tech = how well done it is technically for how it pushes the chips/speaker coil/format to the limits
thumb-blister = how energetic it makes you feel. Like, do you tap your foot? or head bob? or head bang? or get up and start dancing?
wow-tlit = my throw away category, I don't know what to do so I just make this the simplistic "do I like this song?" category
shit-in-pants = kinda goes along with brain-tech in that it makes something you totally didn't expect nor thought possible
YERZMYEY I'm pretty sure you are old...yet we're all n00bs! XDDD
Anyway I suggest you vote per format (all chipart, all ay, all midi, all gb, and so on so that you compare apples to apples on their own merits, not wildchip against chipart for instance)
heart-magic > cute feeling, good vibes, pumping.
brain-tech > technical (chords, melody, bars, measure, time signatures, how was this done in such a tool, never before heard secrets)
thumb-blister > how are would it be to play it live (instruments, or console XD)
wow-tilt > this amazed me, how was it done.
shit in pantz > this has to win.
Good luck. Decide on your experience in the scene, and gut feeling.
heart-magic: spells gained from consuming a sacrificial animal heart, spell power and type depends on species and moon cycle
brain-tech: cybernetic enhancements to the human brain, with features such as memory upload and the loss of one's individuality
thumb-blister: cultivated over years scaling the slippery slopes of the endless limestone valley
wow-tilt: an eternal carousel of forced smiles and genuine terror screams
shit-in-pantz: your reaction when coming across one who has experienced the above
heart-magic: creative use of minor-major7 chords
brain-tech: number of filter envelopes from 0(1) to 6+(7)
thumb-blister: how hard it was to click the "play" button
wow-tilt: inclination to react to song with "wow, tilt"
shit-in-pants: how ok the song is
heart-magic: How strongly a song makes you feel, emotionally.
brain-tech: This one is weird, I like to think how futuristic it sounds.
thumb-blister: how 'heavy' a song is
wow-tilt: how good the song is in general
shit-in-pants: how surprising a certain point in the song was
heart-magic: I use this as kind of the emotional feel of the song...
brain-tech: Chip wizardry, to say the least.
thumb-blister: This one depends on the notation and pace of the song.
wow-tilt: How much it makes my jaw drop... well, not that literally.
shit-in-pants: I interpret this as the joke category. Thus, perhaps comedy value.
I'm the bastarg who "monovotes" ... I.e. All categories get the same numeric rating* to simplify the process because there's 300 entries and I have no idea how to remember what I decide to assign each category to. :P
*except Pants. Everyone always deserves maximum Pants.
I'm in the same boat as ipi. 10% of these entries will not see votes from me at this rate due to an insanely busy week. I don't remember whether there was an initial voting extension or not, but (another) one would be appreciated :)
I didn't make it all the way through either stream, and voting on everything that I missed has been unmanageable due to the sheer quantity of entries.
We're at the point where synclistens and voting on every single entry will soon become unfeasible. As the number of entrants continues to grow each season, this is going to become an increasingly difficult endeavor. BotB 3.0 may have to account for this.
Since I'm the best backseat designer ever, I've come up with an alternative system for majors with over 300 entries: Ditch the five categories, and like OHCs, go with one single bar, perhaps going higher than 7. In the "Hear All" radio box, include a voting graph just underneath the player so that a listener can vote on the currently-playing song. In future listens, make sure that Hear All will only play songs (perhaps random songs) that the user has not voted on yet.
there needs to be one new vote category introduced to every subsequent major so that eventually people will be tricked into voting uniformly randomly per category but in reality reaching a normal distribution
Congrats to all winners!
That being said, I think battleart should run seperatly in the future. Don't get me wrong, that pic is freakin awesome. But it's called Winter Chip and not Winter Pixel.
Just my 2 cents.