Article History
100% brightentayle


  1. Specifications
  2. A Crash Course On How To Abuse Savage
  3. Tools of the Trade
  4. Possible Inspirations For You
  5. SavageHD
  6. See Also
Not until the source code of this beeper engine was undigged by Barmaley, Savage (not counting the music routines, done mainly by Nick Bruty and Dave Perry (yes, THAT Dave Perry)) was the only game to feature one-effin'-bit music with two tone channels alongside really powerful drums and arppegios!

Then, of course, Savage was featured on Beepola and is now kinda overshadowed by mightier ways to squeeze quality sound from the Z80 processor, but despite that, it's still a mighty tool that can be a killer in hands of a skilled chipmusic nerd!

See zxbeep (format) for the general idea of what you're gonna use to create sounds.


The drum channel is nothing really special, but the two tones... Oh boy, are they really special. To boot with, you've got several effect types to work with: gliss(ando), skew, XOR, arpeggios and the somewhat eponymous "FX", for change the usual square wave into something completely different. The FX column is entirely boolean, i. e. the only values it can have are "zero" and "one", otherwise know as "on" and "off" - so you're left either with the regular square wave or with the fancy sound stuff.

A Crash Course On How To Abuse Savage

Might Beepola be with you.

Once it's with you, here's some really basic advise for ye to follow: use ch1 with FX column on and with some gliss from 05 to 25, place a note stop nearby and BANG! - you've got a nifty little bass drum! Keep in mind that the drum speed depends on the note you've set and on the gliss amount you've scrathed nearby.

Oh, and keep in mind you have to type out effects for every note! Or else... ^,^

Tools of the Trade


- Haven't we told you that the engine was actually ripped as is, i. e. with all of the original bugs! As irrlicht project points out here
, the note range from C-1 to F-1 is detuned by a half-tone or more, and that D-1 actually sounds lower than C-1, so pay attention at that.
- Other than the above, there's no noticeable detune in the rest of the note table, but you'd better still be careful with going above octave 3 or 4 - you don't wanna make this extremely bleepy, right?
- Also from irrlicht project - ornaments are a nice working feature and all, but keep in mind that it actually has side effects! :o Scary, huh? Well, those include non-deliberate detuning and additional squeaky noise to scare some mosquitos off. Don't want these? Mach one and be happy.

n00b wants teh instrumentz! :o

First off, you can do a little Special FX fakeout by turning the FX column in ch2 on. If it interferes with the tone sound in ch1, it will not sound like it did before.

More coming soon, hopefully. ._.

Possible Inspirations For You

For starters, probably the original Savage tunes and maybe raphaelgoulart's Hot Beeps from the zx on the beach battle - it's pretty simple, but hey - it does abuse the arps the way it has to be abused!

If you're planning to do hardstyle, you might grasp something from AER who is not a long-runner in making demos or music (let alone he doesn't have any experience in composing more melodic stuff), but that doesn't stop him from pulling off some really cool shit like in there


Just because Savage was ported to Beepola with all the original bugs, introspec took some time to knock these away for a cleaner sound. Thus, SavageHD was born, and it features three different flavors to play around with
: New Core 40, New Core 56 and New Core 64.

The main difference between those three are the volume control methods: NC40 has ch1 that is twice as loud as ch2, NC56's ch1 is only 20% louder and NC64 has the equal volume on both channels.

SavageHD is expected to be supported in Beepola soon enough.

See Also

zxbeep (format)
Special FX

Sound Chips
2a03 · adlib · amy · AY YM · GameBoy Advance · Huby · MDX · MIDI · Octode · Phaser1 · Savage · SID · spc · Special FX · Tritone · YMZ280B · Z80 · zxbeep