1 (edited by Shiru 2022-03-29 23:55:11)

Topic: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

I don't think I can catch up the utz's latest mindblowing developments, but the way I think I can still contribute to development of the 1-bit music scene is to streamline the old ideas. So I was playing around with the Ear Shaver engine that I made a few years back. It never got enough love, and I was unsure on what it can provide beyond its EarthShaker roots. Lately I was making various sketches with it, and felt it actually hides a ton of potential, it just takes time to master. So I got ideas on how to improve it here and there, then the sample drums improvement idea come to the mind, and here is the outcome.

I'm kinda hyped up with the result, so I'd call it something like Earth Shaker Ultra or Ultimate, or Uberengine, but in its core it is still the same code and framework as in the original Ear Shaver. So let's it be EX, as it is still well suited to shave your ears (capable of many bizzare sounds), and we should save Uber for later, as I believe there is lot more to be achieved.

So, what's so special here? We have 4 engines in 7 flavors all in one, with capability to switch between these every row. Not that we weren't trying to do it before, but prior developments were difficult to match to the tracker concept to utilize their potential. This one managed to have very streamlined controls, basically nothing but the drum section changed from the original Ear Shaver - just two note channels with detune and waveform columns.

The engines are:

1: EarthShaker-alike, works exactly as in the Ear Shaver, with W column
   used to control the phase precisely (helps to separate repeating notes
   and to get specific sound harmonics);

2: Tritone-alike, with two channels of uneven volume. The W column controls
   duty cycle here. T2 channel is louder than T1 channel;

3: The same as 2, but with equal volumes on both channels;

4: The same as 2, but T1 plays quiet periodic noise instead of tone, the
   color of the noise depends on the note played. T1 plays loud tone;

5: The same as 4, but noise played on T2 instead, making it louder than
   tone that is played on the T1 channel;

6: Phaser1-alike. It is a single channel mode, both channels providing
   frequencies for each of the oscillators. The W column controls phase,
   allowing to get the whole spectrum of Phaser1 sounds;

7: Squeeker-alike. Provides two channels with the Squeeker-specific timbre,
   both channels allow to use the W column to control duty cycle.

The drums got support for 4 volume levels, 9 pseudo pitch levels (not a real pitch shift), and 9 sample offsets. So you can create pretty diverse percussion soundscape using just a few samples.

The engine is very fresh, I just got the parts together, and hurry to share it with the world. So probably some issues are there (drum timing compensation perhaps?). Will be testing it more extensively sometime later.

For now here is the script and a rough test.

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Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

Just had a listen, got some very interesting potential. Like the white noise and drum variable volumes

Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

EXcellent work, Multicore is great, even better that you managed to press it into a form that works inside a tracker. I only had a quick play with the engine but it seems a lot of fun. I do hope you'll continue to explore the whole Earth Shaker concept. One more channel, resp ES modulator perhaps? I think I tried that once and that brings you into byte beat territory pretty quickly. On the other hand I think this is a good time for me to go back to using a two-channel engine, haven't done in ages actually.

4 (edited by Shiru 2022-04-12 05:21:24)

Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

The engine had some issues indeed - tempo compensation was a bit off, sampled drums were corrupting the sound a bit. Got it all fixed.

Yeah, I want to explore ES concept more. It is very loud and clear, and it is kinda pleasant to the ear. Yeah, maybe getting a third channel in a mix, and some modulation to get some interesting effects.

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5 (edited by Shiru 2023-01-10 19:43:10)

Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

So, as I got more new ideas mentioned in the next gen engine ideas thread, I decided to test them out inside the Ear Shaver EX engine. Here is the update. It introduces two more sub-engines into the mix:

8: CrossPhase. Another kind of a Phaser1-like modulation engine, but a bit different both from Phaser1 and EarthShaker. It is a single channel mode, much like engine 6.

9: ModPhase. Provides two channels with always-on PWM modulation and modulation alteration via W column. T2 channel is louder than T1 channel.

The modulation alteration effect is better heard with long notes, it sounds kind of a mild guitar feedback.

Edit: updated it so ModPhases's default W always resets phase LFO, while other values keep it free running; phase LFO's are now separate and independent for both channels. This makes it more handy and versatile.

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Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

Excellent. Though I would argue that the discovery of CrossPhase alone warrants a Phaser4 engine.

Re: New engine: Ear Shaver EX

Yep, I've had plans for Phaser4 recently, but it was to be more of an up-to-date version with the new better sampled drums, a noise mode, and such minor improvements. Now with CrossPhase it really worth to make. Will get to it sometime soon.

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