Monday, September 6, 2010

Ubik's Music

The video above showcases demo tracks number 00 and 01, just to see what Ubik's Music looks and sounds like.

Here are some commands that can get you started:

F8 Start/Stop song
RUN-STOP (Esc on pc keyboard) Enter menu
SHIFT+ENTER Edit current sequence
F1 Edit value
F3 Insert row
F4 Delete row
Those last 3 work when you are stringing up the sequences in the song menu and when you are making up the sequences (editing notes/commands within the sequence).

Live play/edit voices:
SHIFT+A Disable channel 1
SHIFT+S Disable channel 2
SHIFT+D Disable channel 3
A Enable channel 1
S Enable channel 2
D Enable channel 3
SHIFT+J Transpose up/down voice 1
SHIFT+K Transpose up/down voice 2
SHIFT+L Transpose up/down voice 3
F1 Increase value
F2 Decrease value
F3 Increase value by 16
F4 Decrease value by 16

Thanks to HVMEC for those. HVMEC which stands for High Voltage Music Engine Collection has a lot of C64 music apps but the popup ads are real annoying, to say the least.

When you are in the "Live play/edit voices" panel, you need to press F8 to hear what you are playing (it seems to be switching you over to voice number 00 automatically then). Now, how do you switch voices in the editing panel? That, I have no idea. There are some rather cryptic controls in there, in particular, the gate NPSTRSG switch. Without a manual, it's a bit hard to figure out what each "knob" does. I really can only refer you to the Ubik's Music review in Zzap! 64 post to put some sense and reason to the voice editing panel. All I can gather is that it's a pulse width modulated (PWM) oscillator filtered by a high, bandpass or low (HBL) filter and amplified following the ADSR envelope. I would assume that the amplifier can be modulated by the gate instead of the ADSR envelope but it's just speculation.

All in all, after playing a bit with it, I really like the tracker aspect, that is, the assembling of patterns (sequences) and songs. The voice editing panel leaves me real perplexed though (it'd be nice to have a manual, that's for sure).

Below is a video that really shows what can be done with Ubik's Music. It's not my doing (I wish it were though).

Update: the Ubik's Music manual is now available.

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