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Version 1.4 has been released on App Store

Posted by on Jun 1, 2015 in News | 0 comments

This took a while, but version 1.4 is now finally released on App Store. This version brings a pretty cool feature that I call AutoChord Instruments. It is a feature that will help you enter AutoChords using effect 8 without having to remember the details about this command. Instead, you can use AutoChord Instruments. AutoChord is a way to auto transpose a specific pattern and track to another pattern and track from C-major to e.g. A-minor. This makes it possible to create wave-sequences as instruments and auto-transpose them, and by using AutoChord Instruments this is easier than ever. Samples above 1F are AutoChord Instruments. You have eight such instruments. AutoChord instruments 1-4 corresponds to track 1-4 in pattern 0, and instruments 5-8 corresponds to track 5-8 in pattern 1 (e.g. instrument 6 is thus track 2, pattern 1). For each instrument, you can select if you want inversion 0, 1, 2 (or 3 for 7-chord) and if you want it transposed to major, minor, major7, or minor7.

When you get above sample 1F, you will see that the title of the SAMPL button changes to ACI (AutoChord Instrument) and that the instrument selected is 1:0M. The first number before the colon tells you the instrument number. The second number, after the colon, means it is inversion 0 (no inversion at all). M means it is transposing to a Major. If you press the + button a few times, you will notice that the M will change to an m, meaning you are now transposing to a minor chord. Press the + button a few times more and you will see that it is changing to M7 and later to m7. This means in whole, you have 14 different ways of transposing a track!

One important remark: When you enter notes you will not get any audio feedback. This may change to next version, where I will at least play the first note from the original track transposed to the key you have selected.

Use this new feature with the AutoChord Keys feature, and you will have a pretty nice workflow. AutoChord Keys has previously been described, but in short it allows you to just get the keys from the pentatonic scale for the current chord represented either by track 1 or track 2.

I will soon make a new YouTube tutorial video that explains this all in detail.

VividTracker’s modplayer soon released as Open Source

Posted by on Apr 28, 2015 in News | 0 comments

My new game Spinoid is soon released on the App Store. It’s just a few days left, if everything goes well.

The music in Spinoid is made in VividTracker and the game is using VividTracker’s modplayer routine for playing both the music and the sound effects. Both the explosions and the sound of the rocket are played as samples from the mod-file. I added two sound channels to the code for sfx playback. This made it possible to prepare both the music and the sound effects in VividTracker, using AudioCopy to paste in samples that I wanted to use for explosions and rocket sound effects.

The modplayer in Spinoid/VividTracker will soon be released as Open Source, which means you will be able to use your VividTracker and/or Protracker modules in your own iOS games. I just need to prepare the code a bit more and document it. This will make VividTracker (or Protracker on the Amiga) a really useful tool for iOS developers. The mod-format is still a very convenient music format to use in mobile apps. It makes a difference in file size to store a 100k module in your app rather than a 3 MB mp3-file.

VividTracker v1.3 has been released on App Store

Posted by on Mar 27, 2015 in News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Version 1.3 is now available on App Store. It comes with the new AutoChord Keyboard feature I have talked about before. This is an amazing new feature that adapts the keys to only show the pentatonic scale for the current AutoChord. The last key (blue colour) will show the current chord. This makes it super easy to
write music that goes in harmony with the current chord. You turn on AutoChord Keys by pressing the ACK-button on Screen 6. Only the first two tracks control the AutoChord Keys.

VividTracker v1.2 is now on App Store

Posted by on Feb 4, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

VividTracker v 1.2 is finally on App Store, with much better bluetooth keyboard and much better (hopefully 100%) compatibility with Protracker mods. If you find any bugs or if you find that a specific Protracker module does not work in VividTracker, please write to me: vividtracker@gmail.com

I will now continue to work on the AutoChord Keyboard feature. I have already some experimental code that actually works. Put simply, it’s a feature that let you play different scales on the keyboard by removing keys you don’t use and it adapts to the latest AutoChord being played (if you are using effect 8). This is very cool indeed. For instance, let’s say you play A-minor. In the experimental version, the AutoChord keyboard will then set the keys to the A-minor Pentatonic scale, which includes only the keys A, C, D, E, and G. Anyway, that is for version 1.3, but I have come pretty far with this and it makes tracking so much easier.

Happy music tracking!

Bluetooth keyboard performance

Posted by on Jan 30, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

I noticed today that there’s a huge difference in bluetooth keyboard performance between my old iPad 3 and my new iPhone 6 Plus. My new iPhone is much more responsive than my old iPad. In fact, bt keyboard in VividTracker is almost useless on my iPad. The latency time is horrible and it sometimes even drops keypresses if I press too quickly. Perhaps there’s some optimisations that can be done in the actual code, but I doubt it. You hopefully have a newer iOS device than my old iPad, which means this may not be a problem for you. However, I just want everyone to be aware of this.

AutoChord + Pentatonic scale = AutoChord Keyboard

Posted by on Jan 29, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Coming in v1.3. That is all I have to say right now, but keep reading this blog for more information. 🙂

Korg Volca Sample

Posted by on Jan 26, 2015 in Uncategorized | 2 comments

I have been looking at the Korg Volca series for some time now, but I have totally missed that they have come out with a new Volca called Volca Sample. This is a cheap sampler and step sequencer in one product, but it cannot actually sample sounds itself. Instead, it relies on an iPhone or iPad with Korg’s AudioPocket app, which can transfer wav-samples from iOS to the sequencer digitally (it is done through the audio output on the iPhone/iPad, but the signal is digitally encoded like an old modem).

Now, the coolest thing with this is that Korg has actually released an SDK so that developers can add support to transfer samples from their apps to Volca Sample. This means it’s possible to add support for Volca Sample inside VividTracker. You would then be able to send samples from various Amiga mods to Korg Volca Sample. My idea is to implement this SDK and also implement MIDI out, which would allow you to also play the samples on the Korg Volca Sample (or any other device) from VividTracker. Still limited to four channels though, since VividTracker will always remain to be a pure Protracker clone.

 

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VividTracker v1.2 has been submitted to App Store

Posted by on Jan 25, 2015 in News | 0 comments

Yes! The new version is finally finished and submitted to App Store. Here is what is new:

  • Effects E6x and Bxx have been fixed so that mods like black_queen.mod finally works!
  • Two buttons are added on screen 6: INS and DEL. INS inserts an extra row at the row where you are standing for the selected track, DEL deletes the current row.
  • Great BT Keyboard support
    • Arrow keys: You can now press and hold the arrow keys and the cursor will continue to move until you release the button!
    • You can edit notes, sample number and effects with the keyboard (as it should be).
    • Press § or <CTRL>-1 to transpose the keyboard one octave down.
    • Press ESC or <CTRL>-2 to transpose the keyboard one octave up.
    • Press <SHIFT>-6 to <SHIFT>-0 to jump to positions 0, 16, 32, 48, 63 (just like in Protracker, where you use F6-F10).
    • Press <ALT>-6 to <ALT>-0 to jump to positions 0, 16, 32, 48, 63 and play the pattern from this location.
    • Press <SHIFT>-6 to <SHIFT>-0 to reprogram the positions to other rows (given the row where you are currently standing).
    • Cut, copy and paste track by pressing <SHIFT>-3, <SHIFT>-4 and <SHIFT>-5.
    • Cut, copy and paste pattern by pressing <ALT>-3, <ALT>-4 and <ALT>-5.
    • Block mark, cut, copy, and paste by pressing <CTRL>-b (or <CTRL>-m) for block mark, <CTRL>-x for cut, <CTRL>-c for copy, and <CTRL>-f or <CTRL>-v for paste.
    • Insert row (and push down the other rows) in track by pressing <SHIFT>-ENTER. This is the same functionality as the INS button on screen 6.
    • Delete row (and move up the other rows) in track by pressing <SHIFT>-BACKSPACE. This is the same functionality as the DEL button on screen 6.
    • Clear note and effect parameters at the current row by pressing BACKSPACE (same as CLEAR on screen 1).
    • SPACE plays pattern, <CTRL>-SPACE plays song and <ALT>-SPACE toggles EDIT. This is a little bit different from Protracker, where SPACE alone toggles EDIT.
    • <SHIFT>-ARROW LEFT/RIGHT decreases/increases song position
    • <CTRL>-ARROW LEFT/RIGHT decreases/increases sample
    • <ALT>-ARROW LEFT/RIGHT decreases/increases pattern for the current song position
    • <ALT>-ARROW UP/DOWN inserts or deletes a pattern at the current position. This is the same as the I and D buttons on screen 1.
    • <ALT>-z/x/c/v mutes/unmutes channels 1 to 4.
    • <ALT>-q unmutes all channels
    • <CTRL>-s decreases STEPS on screen 1.
    • <ALT>-s increases STEPS on screen 1.

I tried my best to aim for the same shortcuts as in Protracker, but I had to make some exceptions because the keyboards do not work the same. For instance, I cannot capture if the F-keys are being pressed. Nor can I capture if the ALT-key has been pressed alone. The right ALT-key is used in Protracker to play song. Right Amiga-button is used to play pattern. I decided to use SPACE to play pattern instead. SPACE is used in Protracker to toggle the EDIT-button, but in VividTracker you will have to press <ALT>-SPACE instead. I wanted a single button to start playing a pattern and SPACE was the best option I could find.

With all these shortcuts, you will be able to control quite much from the keyboard without having to touch the screen. I know many of you have asked for this and I truly hope you will find the new keyboard support useful!

BT keyboard (again)

Posted by on Jan 24, 2015 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

The BT keyboard support in the current version (v1.1) is CRAP. Strange that nobody noticed how bad it is. Sure, you can use the keys on the keyboard to play, but you cannot use them for editing anything else but the first track (TRACK #1). You can’t even use it for editing anything else but notes (e.g. effects). Totally useless!

The good thing is that BT keyboard support in v1.2 is going to be AWESOME! This is what I got so far:

1. Arrow keys: You can press an arrow key and hold it down, and the cursor will continue to move.
2. You can edit notes, sample number and effects with the keyboard. And yes, it works on any track
3. Pressing ESC or <CTRL>-2 increases the keyboard one octave
4. Pressing § or <CTRL>-1 decreases the keyboard one octave
5. Pressing <CTRL>-6 to <CTRL>-0 is the same as F6-F10 in Protracker, which is “jump to position 0,16,32,48,63 of pattern”
6. Pressing <SHIFT>-6 to <SHIFT->0 reprogram the keys to the current position, just like in Protracker
7. Pressing <ALT>-6 to <ALT>-0 jumps to position and plays pattern
8. Cut, copy, paste track or pattern using keys 3, 4, 5 in combination with SHIFT , ALT, CONTROL
9. Block mark/cut/copy/paste using CTRL+B/X/C/F
10. Insert row in track by pressing <SHIFT>-ENTER
11. Delete row in track by pressing <SHIFT>-BACKSPACE
12. Clear note in track by pressing BACKSPACE

I think I got it all. These are the most important shortcuts as I see it. I will now wrap this up and send the new version to App Store, which besides this really nice update to the BT keyboard support also contains some bug fixes regarding playback of some modules.

BT keyboard progress

Posted by on Jan 21, 2015 in Uncategorized | 3 comments

I have come a bit further with making the BT keyboard support better. Much better, actually. Now, it’s possible to hold down the arrow keys to make the cursor continue to move, instead of having to press e.g. the down arrow button multiple times just to move a few rows down. It took a bit of time to investigate how it could be implemented, because there’s no description to be found on how to do it and developers seem to think it’s not possible. 🙂 This was a game change, at least for me, because it makes the BT keyboard so much more useful.

The other two things I’ve implemented so far is a) change octave, and b) jump to positions 0, 16, 32, 48, and 63.

Let’s start with describing the change octave feature. In Protracker, this is done by pressing F1 and F2. However, we cannot use F-keys, so it has to be solved in another way. The keys § and 1 are not used for anything and they are located at a nice location for this. Thus, § means “go down one octave” and 1 means “go up one octave”. Now, the nice feature with VividTracker is that when you go above the highest note you can play in Protracker, the keyboard starts to act as a drum pad, in which different keys plays different samples. It’s a really nice feature to quickly lay down a drum pattern. You can actually reach all the samples from the keyboard this way, by increasing the octave one or two times from the default.

The “jump to position” is done with F6-F10 in Protracker. Again, since we cannot use the F-keys in iOS, I have chosen that you need to press <CTRL>-6 to <CTRL>-0 to get the same functionality. This works just fine, but I might want to move them to <CTRL>-1 to <CTRL>-5 instead. It makes sense to have it as F6 to F10 on an Amiga, due to the layout, but I find it difficult to quickly find the <CTRL>-6 key combo on the Apple keyboard. <CTRL>-1 is much easier.

Anyway, there are a few more keyboard features I would like to add before submitting to App Store, but I don’t think I will get every single keyboard shortcut in the next version of VividTracker (but I will continue to add more shortcuts in future versions). So I need to ask you: Are there any specific keyboard shortcuts you think I need to add to v1.2? I think the copy/paste of tracks and patterns are pretty useful, as well as insert and delete notesteps, so I’m considering adding them for v1.2.

I’m hoping to submit really soon! 😀