1 (edited by Shiru 2017-07-07 14:25:52)

Topic: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Yet another new VSTi in my collection - plugin that allows to use a modern DAW to create the lovely horrible oldschool single channel PC speaker music, like old DOS games had when no sound card has been installed. I mean, like Monkey Island or Lotus III had.

The best part is that the end result can be used not just in the DAW like usual, but also exported as data to be used in actual programs. A QBasic player example is included, for shit and giggles.

Here is small MP3 demo

Download the plugin


A side note, this is my first plugin with GUI, programmed all in plain WinAPI. What an unpleasant experience it was.


http://shiru.untergrund.net/temp1/pcspe_screen.png

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Also, Peter Sovietov just said that he did a similar thing in the past, that plays sound through the actual PC Speaker, using WinAPI's Beep function. Too bad that newer Windows (7 and above) does not use actual speaker for this anymore. Anyways, download here.

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Love the demo tune!

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

ah, I like this very much! It works fine with LMMS. But the sound is strange if we play several instance / channels together (maybe because I'm using the wine "emulator"):

http://picosong.com/WBP2/ (the exported version sounds a bit different from the one during replay, but it's quite similar anyway).

Here is this lovely tune with only one voice: http://picosong.com/WBCd/

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

I confirm the issue. Seems that the output level is just too high, so adding another one brings major clipping. Quick solution is to reduce output volume of each instance of the plugin in your DAW.

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

oh, I've tried several things, but didn't realise it was because of the output level. It works perfectly now, thank you!

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Good. Updated the download with halved output gain version, just in case.

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Logging format has been changed a little bit, more formats added, and whole exporting thing is impoved in general. For one, you can export specified part of the song, or the whole song, without need to cut out the silence inbeginning and end, by marking beginning and end of exporting area with any change for controllers 20 (begin) and 21 (end).

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Another small update. Multi mode added - you can use a few fixed pitch instruments on the same MIDI channel using different notes, which is useful for drums. Minor fixes as well.

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

thanks Shiru!

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

http://picosong.com/wCEYV/

Re-wrote the Space Quest 3 intro using PCSPE and Shiru's convolution matrix. Tx Shiru <3

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Nice one!

Can you show a screenshot of how it looks in your DAW? I'm interested to see if my readme explains the intended workflow clear enough, and how you arranged the things.

13 (edited by castpixel 2018-05-01 20:12:29)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Of course! You explained it perfectly.

Using FLstudio's MidiOut plugin, I output a bass, lead, BD and snare to PCSPE at their respective midi channel.

I ended up ditching the Bass track, however, I found it's much easier to write the bass in the same track as the lead (so I can use bass inside the arpeggio)

The BD and snare drum are as short as possible, to give some room to the melodic parts

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Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Updated a little bit, fixed the annoying GUI flickering during plugin load.

Also a shameless plug, just released ChipWave, a synth plugin that has many characteristics of old sound chips such as AY, SID, POKEY, as well as some features that come from 1-bit synthesis. You may find it interesting.

15 (edited by garvalf 2018-06-25 19:24:01)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Shiru, this ChipWave VST is indeed very interesting! I like it very much!

I've begun a short tune with it, it's a WIP yet, but it's only using your synth, no other one (but some reverb and eq effects): https://instaud.io/2iSe

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

do you think it would be possible to compile it on Linux for getting a native vst? But it looks there are some windows only calls in this one...

17 (edited by Shiru 2018-06-10 07:29:09)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

The GUI is Windows only both in PCSPE and ChipWave, pure WinAPI, no third-party libraries there. You can't do anything regarding that for PCSPE, as it really needs the GUI to be functional. For ChipWave you can just delete the GUI code, and it will work just fine with the default interface - it actually started as a GUI-less plugin, was fully developed, then GUI has been added to the top.

18 (edited by garvalf 2018-06-10 16:31:31)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

amazing... I managed to remove the references to the GUI and compile it on Linux!!
Basically I've added #include <cstdlib> at the beginning, I've downloaded the SDK from https://github.com/steinbergmedia/vst3sdk (there is the link to steinberg's website), and I've followed the help there: http://teragonaudio.com/article/Buildin … Linux.html

Then I've run those commands:
g++ -fPIC -c -I/tmp/VST_SDK/VST2_SDK -D__cdecl="" chipwave.cpp
g++ -shared  -o chipwave.so *.o

and got the chipwave.so VST in Linux format!

And the best part is it's working in Ardour (which cannot load VST in windows format, unfortunately, but as a workaround I was using the Festige app which can load windows VST in .dll and it can be rerouted to Ardour using Jack)

I've put my binary there if someone is interested: http://garvalf.online.fr/var/upload/temp/chipwave.so

https://i.imgur.com/taatMEJ.png

19

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

Haha, achievement unlocked I'd say wink

For PCSPE, I'd be interested in porting it to LV2 some day. Not happening anytime soon though, I guess.

20 (edited by Shiru 2018-06-23 12:54:23)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

In case anyone interested, I also released a drum synth counterpart to ChipWave - ChipDrum. It is capable for some1-bit'ish sounds too.

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

nice as well!
I've compiled it for linux, but I doubt it's very usable without the specific GUI: http://garvalf.online.fr/var/upload/temp/chipdrum.so

I'll try to use it with chipwave in my next tune!!

22 (edited by garvalf 2018-08-07 07:09:26)

Re: PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

I've started a new track with ChipWave, and ChipDrum as well, here is the WIP: https://instaud.io/2wyP

I've also finished my previous track, but I might expand it in the future: https://battleofthebits.org/arena/Entry/The+Ride/29099/