It is 1981, a new 'home computer' company has produced a new model: the MIDSHIPMAN-63.
It has a revolutionary 380x280px 7 colour graphics system, and a two-channel 'stereo' sound chip that boasts four waveforms, FM, RM and AM effects, a whopping 3-voice polyphony, and an analogue filter!
You have been tasked with creating the soundtrack for one of the very first games. The success or failure of the entire platform rests on your shoulders.
THE RULES 1: You must only ever have a maximum of three voices/notes playing at any one time.
This means the most you can ever have is at any one time is:
1 waveform with a polyphony of 3
1 waveform with a polyphony of 2 PLUS one waveform with a polyphony of 1
3 waveforms each with a polyphony of 1
2:There are no effects like reverbs, compressors, phasers, chorus or other special effects built into the MIDSHIPMAN-63, just a single filter which cannot behave polyphonically (it can be accessed by either 0, 1, 2 or 3 voices at any one time). Automating, enveloping and LFOing the filter is fine, and encouraged. You can change the filter mode (LP/HP/BP/BR) too.
Use of LFOs to control pitch, pan and amplitude is allowed, but if you want to have, say, a phasing square wave, then that costs two of your three available notes (because you literally have to play two square waves out of phase). Similarly, if you want to use ring modulation, you literally have to use up your available voice channels as modulators and carriers. If you want a delay or reverb-like effect you'd have to do that manually, and in strict accordance with rule #1.
3: Due to the unique memory constraints of the MIDSHIPMAN63, only 5 minutes of audio time is available for you to use, and the developers want you to use that total time to provide multiple themes suitable for the title screen, loading screen, options menu, main gameplay, end of level boss, game over, and scoreboard. They're quite understanding bosses and don't expect miracles, but do your best.
The Battle Host must provide a sample set to be used for the battle. These samples are the only sound sources allowed, unless the Additional Rules for the battle state otherwise. The samples can be anything that the Battle Host has the right to distribute for non-commercial use.
The Battle Host must create three Additional Rules. These can allow or require additional sound sources, or impose any kind of new requirements.
Anyone can enter the Battle by posting a link to their entry in the Battle thread. Unless the Additional Rules state otherwise, any processing is allowed and the source samples need not be recognizable. The Host may disqualify any entry that does not meet either the general rules or the additional ones.
Once the submission deadline is reached, the winner is elected by posting votes in the same thread. Anyone is welcome to vote whether they participated or not. In case of a draw, the Host designates the winner between the submissions tied for first place.
Whoops, didn't realise I'd left that shit in, pay it no heed, it's just a soundforge artefact.
I've removed it now.
Yes, the goal is 7 (or more!) little tracks that only use up maximum 5 minutes of total time. You can do it all within the same file, or as separate files, as long as the total running time of all of it does not exceed 5 minutes.
I needed a way to impose some sort of 'memory' limit, and while a simple long tune could use the same memory as a complex short tune, it would just be fantastically overcomplicated to codify that as a rule.
Best get all your questions in quick, folks, I'm not going to be here for the next few days or so!
Everything you do is restricted by the polyphony limit.
So if you're resampling/editing the wavs, you need to make sure nothing overlaps. Two simultaneous waves means you only have one left to work with at any one time. Might be worth researching how to make a kick/bass and snare/bass on a C64/gameboy/whatever (pitch enveloping and wavetabling).
....Aaaaand that's the last question I can answer for the next few days at least, unless I get bored in my hotel room one day and set up a new idmf account on my non-working phone. Good luck, everyone!
Clocking in at just under 5 minutes and with all rules very strictly adhered to (unless I fucked up somewhere), I present for your enjoyment the raw soundtrack to brbsoft's forgotten classic 'Skateboard King Vs The Outer Space Weirdos'.
0:00 - title screen
1:15 - loading
2:01 - options menu
2:16 - main gameplay
3:17 - end of level boss
3:47 - game over
3:55 - victory
3:59 - high score (with apologies to Rob Hubbard)
All but the game over and victory themes are loopable, in theory.
Due to budget cuts, only four songs are included in the video game "Donkus V", a flying robot adventure shoot-em' up stuck in development hell for an unprecedented one-day hiatus.
Beautiful stuff! The last track reminds me of Feet Foxes' 'He Doesn't Know Why', in a very positive and good way indeed. Overall, I love the playful simplicity and all the clever tricks too. Even the dubstep bit.