Topic: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

I've made a little sound demo to try on my ZX Spectrum Vega which is basically a slightly different version of my '1-bit Mechanistic' tune with a few new bits of Speech.

There is also a little intro tune (press 1 when the .z80 file is loaded)  - an unfinished tune from about a year ago.

Can anyone guess which 80s synthpop tune the bassline is based on ????????

smile …

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Aye, still sounds good even when not listening from a Vega tongue Think I've asked this before, but which speech synth is that?

Also, I couldn't possibly imagine what the intro tune is based on big_smile big_smile big_smile

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Hi utz

The speech synth is TAVZX (I think). Mister Beep posted the link to the file ages ago. It's a Spanish one so it can be difficult to get the sounds I want, quite often ends up sounding Scottish smile

After further experimentation it appears that sounds can be selected at three pitches e.g  o- o o+  so potentially the speccy can sing a little smile

OK, the bass line is actually based on Paranoimia by the art of noise smile

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

cool remix, and very nice background image.
Can you hear a difference between the beeper on the vega and on an old spectrum?

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Cheers Garvalf.

The Beeper sound on the Vega seems very accurate compared to a real Speccy, maybe a bit more 'rough' for the lack of a technical description.

I made the 'Vega-mix' purely to post on the Vega forum as I hoped a few Vega users might like to create some Beeper tunes.

After I posted it on that forum I got this reply from one of the Vega users:

" I'm listening to it, although I'm not currently using the Vega. I'd like to ask if these 1-bit music engines use the dual level output of the speaker (you know the Speccy beeper outputs different levels depending on the combination of MIC and SPK bits from port #FE, working as a rudimentary, non linear 2-bit DAC)"

Is this correct?

When recording from my Speccy 48K there are large differences in sound quality/volume when recording from either the mic or ear sockets. In fact if recording from the mic socket and plugging a lead into ear socket I also get a different sound (particularly noticeable with Qchan) as it is slightly more Bassy and missing some of the very high frequencies.

Any comments guys?

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Almost no-one is using it. There are two reasons for this.
1. There are differences between 48K Spectrums implementations of the relevant analogue circuitry (see here). Hence, you would have to detect the kind of Spectrum first and them somehow adjust the synthesis. Similar differences between 128K models are not documented. God knows what will happen if you've got a clone.
2. It is actually not worth it. It would have been useful if you'd get a "0.5 voltage" step between 0 and 1. Instead, what you get is 0, 0.1, 0.96, 1.
I believe that some of the Odin titles attempt using this for mixing their channels. It is up to you to decide if this was worth it.

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Thanks a lot for the info Introspec.

I wonder which Odin tunes use this technique.

So, they could potentially sound different on different hardware ?

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

I know for sure about "Heartland" and "Robin of the Wood". Yes, they will play differently on Issue 2 and Issue 3 spectrums. I do not think they ever considered clones smile

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

I think Chris Cowley did some testing with this some years ago and also came to the conclusion that is isn't worth it. (The thread is somewhere on WOS but I can't find it). I still think it might be interesting to perhaps use it for a reverb effect of sorts, but yeah, the unreliability of the effect across hardware revisions is quite a drawback.

Side note - I faintly remember actually using this in one of my engines, to balance the volume between drums and tones. Not that it really helped tongue

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

AtariTufty wrote:

Hi utz
OK, the bass line is actually based on Paranoimia by the art of noise smile

Paranoimia? Sounded like Axel Foley theme to my silly ears, haha!!! BTW, really nice work, and the screen is nice, too!!

Re: 1-bit Mechanistic (Vega Remix)

Cheers kokkiklhs.

Now you mention it, it does sound a bit like the Axel Foley theme smile