black queen.mod and similar mods are finally working! (Support coming in v1.2)

Posted by on Jan 6, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Finally! I got black queen.mod working properly in VividTracker. This module is more beautiful to your eyes than to your ears, but from that perspective it’s truly a masterpiece. According to a comment in modarchive, this module is recommended for anyone making a mod player:

The problem was related to how VividTracker interpret the E6x command and the Bxx commands. These work properly now. I had to listen to black queen in both Protracker on my Amiga 1200 and in VividTracker at the same time (synced manually by pressing PLAY in both trackers at the same time). They were perfectly in sync throughout the whole module.

Related modules that are also using E6x and Bxx commands, like pattern skank.mod by h0ffman (which won the tracked music competition at Revision 2013), are also working properly now. Besides fixing the issues with E6x and Bxx, I also needed to fix an issue with the 9xx effect command, which is now working exactly like in Protracker.

Now I can get back to implement better bluetooth keyboard support (with shortcuts). Given the time it takes to update an app on App Store (review time is currently around 11 days), I think it’s worth working a few days on this before I submit v1.2 to App Store. More about the new features in v1.2 in the next post.

VividTracker v1.1 is live on App Store

Posted by on Sep 18, 2014 in News | 6 comments

Version 1.1 is now live on App Store. It comes with two new features: Audiobus 2 support and rudiment Bluetooth keyboard support. There’s no support for keyboard shortcuts like in Protracker yet, just very simple support for playing notes on the keyboard, but I’m working on implementing shortcuts to get as close as possible to Protracker. This is a good start anyway, and I’m looking forward to hear your comments about it. I will now get started on v1.2, which will contain more keyboard support.

VividTracker and iOS 8

Posted by on Sep 17, 2014 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

VividTracker v1.1 is still waiting for review to be released on App Store. It will hopefully be released within the next couple of days. However, iOS 8 will be released today so if you update to iOS 8 you will notice that Audiobus no longer works with VividTracker v1.0. This is because VividTracker v1.0 was built with Audiobus 1.x, and this version of Audiobus is not compatible with iOS 8. You will still be able to use VividTracker, but Audiobus will be disabled. This problem has been fixed with v1.1, so the problem will go away as soon as Apple has approved the new version.

VividTracker v1.1 submitted to App Store

Posted by on Sep 9, 2014 in News | 1 comment

I have finally submitted v1.1 to App Store. It includes two things:

– Audiobus 2 support. This version of Audiobus is required for iOS 8, so I had to hurry up with submitting a new version of VividTracker to Apple.
– Rudiment Bluetooth keyboard support.

You can now connect a Bluetooth keyboard and use it to play notes in the same way as you would do in Protracker. It does not yet include all the nice features that you have in Protracker, but this is a good start and I will continue to work on this. For now, you can use they qwerty-keys to play notes and the cursor keys to move around with the cursor, just like in Protracker. The return key works as the STEP button in the user interface, i.e. you can play one row at a time by pressing the return button.

One limitation is that you have to press e.g. the down arrow key multiple times to move more than one row, i.e. you cannot just hold it down and let the cursor move automatically. I have an idea how to get around this problem for the next version, but it takes a little bit of time to implement and I want this version out now.

Another limitation is that VividTracker only supports English layout, but you can easily switch between different layouts in iOS so I don’t see this as a major issue.

In Protracker, you cannot play higher notes than B-3, which corresponds to key u. However, the keys i  9 0 o etc maps to C-4 and onwards, which in VividTracker allows you to play and change to another sample. This means the key i will be the same as “play sample #1”, 9 will be “play sample #2”, etc. This is a really neat feature for creating a drum pattern.

Protracker has many nice shortcuts that I want to implement, but I don’t know if I will be able to implement everything exactly the same way. For instance, I have not yet seen that it’s possible to read the F-keys on the keyboard in iOS. Protracker uses the F-keys for things like cut/copy/paste and to move to different pattern positions. For instance, F8 in Protracker allows you to jump directly to position 32. But I will have some sort of workaround, for instance that you instead of pressing F1-F10 will have to press SHIFT-1 to SHIFT-0 or something similar. However, that would then exclude features like storing pattern positions on selected F-keys, because that is done with shift+F6-F10 in Protracker.

Anyway, this is a good start, and a BT keyboard does indeed make the workflow a lot simpler. The next version will follow this version soon after it has been released.

Version 1.1 with Audiobus 2 coming soon

Posted by on Aug 27, 2014 in News | 1 comment

I’m currently working on adding support for Audiobus 2. This is urgent, because VividTracker will otherwise not support Audiobus with iOS 8. I really hope to add BT keyboard support with this version too. One sad thing is that Audiobus 2 does not support devices with iOS 5 or iOS 6. I have two options here: a) Drop Audiobus support or b) drop iOS 5/6 support. I hope you all agree that Audiobus support is more important than supporting older versions of iOS. Also, since proper BT keyboard support requires iOS 7, I think it is about time to take the step and leave support for pre iOS 7 versions anyway. Finally, there are also some minor Protracker incompatibility issues I need to fix (mainly a problem with the effect command 9xx).

I’ll keep you updated on the progress!

Finally on App Store!

Posted by on Feb 17, 2014 in News | 11 comments

VividTracker is finally available on App Store. I’m of course very excited about it. It takes a little while for it to propagate to all the stores but it shouldn’t take long. The price is only $2.99.


Rejected, submitted again

Posted by on Feb 12, 2014 in News | 3 comments

After waiting for six days in the App Store queue, the app got rejected so I had to make some changes and submit again. What a bummer! Six more days, then.

Resubmit to App Store

Posted by on Feb 5, 2014 in News | 0 comments

I found a few bugs that probably did not bother some of you but could be critical for others, so I had to resubmit VividTracker to App Store. One of the bugs was that modules created by VividTracker could not be played in Protracker 2.3d. I had previously only tried playing these modules in Protracker 3.62 (which worked fine). However, since Protracker 2.3d is still popular, I needed to fix this so that VividTracker does not produce broken modules.

The problem was related to how different versions of Protracker handles sample loops. Protracker 2.3d demands that the loop length is at minimum two bytes long, even if the loop is turned off. Protracker 2.3d will crash if the loop length is zero. VividTracker stored the loop length to be zero, which worked fine in Protracker 3.62 but not in Protracker 2.3d.

Then I had some minor problems with VividTracker and background audio that I needed to fix. Anyway, this will delay the release of VividTracker with some days. How many is difficult to say, but probably at least five days. This is still better than releasing a bad version first and resubmit a bug fix, especially if the first version produces broken modules.

VividTracker submitted to App Store

Posted by on Jan 28, 2014 in News | 2 comments

VividTracker has finally been submitted to App Store. I could have continued forever with fine tuning things, adding features, etc, but I will submit newer versions later anyway so why wait? 🙂

Video demonstrating AudioCopy and Auto Chord feature

Posted by on Jan 17, 2014 in News | 0 comments

I just made a video that demonstrates the AudioCopy and Auto Chord feature. AudioCopy really opens a whole new world of opportunities! You can copy samples from any app that supports exporting samples using AudioCopy (there are well over 100 apps that supports it). This reminds me about the good old days when you would either sample from CDs or tapes to get new samples to your Amiga. That is, unless you had the opportunity to sample from expensive synthesisers. The other alternative was of course to steal samples from other modules, with the risk of being called a lamer.

I didn’t have the money to buy an expensive synth from Korg or Roland but I bought a Yamaha QY-10, which was a good source for some decent samples. The Yamaha QY-10 is a MIDI-sequencer and synthesiser combined in a small box. I mostly enjoyed the auto chord feature in the sequencer. You could select a pattern and auto transpose it from e.g. a C-major to an A-minor. Later on, I got myself a Yamaha QY-70, which I still use today (actually together with VividTracker since I now have support for MIDI-in).

When I started to develop VividTracker, I wondered if I could implement something similar to make it easier to transpose a pattern from C-major to any other chord. I noticed that effect 8 was the only effect in Protracker that is not in use and found a way to use it. I will write more details about how it works later. For now, take a look at the video, which hopefully gives you some hints.