"Hardy" - My fourth (and final song for a while)

By Totta

Resident (54)

Totta's picture

06-11-2021, 10:05

So ok. I have now finally finished my fourth song for the PSG. I call it HARDY.

Previously I have played around some with hardware envelopes but mostly to create interesting bass sounds. This time I wanted to explore if it was possible to use HW for lead instruments and effects in the upper frequencies, mostly because this is more difficult. I wanted this tune to sound "not PSG" so I aimed for non standard sounds wherever I could fit them.

I found out that I could indeed use a small range of 4-5 notes in the upper regions if I detuned all other instruments by 1-3 semi notes. This of course limited the melody a lot so I had to be really creative with how I used the instruments and how I could "hide" the fact that I needed to use more notes than the ones available as HW.

My main concern at first was that since it's only possible to play one HW sound in one channel at a time I needed to create a SW bass that was pretty thick so I took inspiration from Jeroen Tel on the C64 who often used bass sounds that alternate between octaves at an uneven rate and it actually worked surprisingly well with the PSG square waves too.

One fun thing about HW sounds is that most of them sound like rubbish but some of them come alive when adding slides to them which easiest can be heard in the dubstep sections and at the very end of the song. However it takes a lot of time and experimentation to find sounds that work.

My biggest discovery is probably the ending sound heard at the 03.00 mark. This is a cyclic HW sound that actually fades out. This is NOT easy since you can't control the volume of HW sounds.

Big thanks to Def Danny who has been available during this whole creative process with feedback, suggestions and ideas. I really appreciate it.

So, here it is. Hardy - a pure PSG song without any samples or tricks. Should be possible to play with a MSX1 even.
Please listen with LOUD volume Smile

https://youtu.be/xuOFwLbBc7M

Perhaps the song is a little more style rather than substance and some notes are maybe a little sour but I think I managed to pull it off relatively well and create a tune where the HW-sounds doesn't sound like shit all the time :)

Have fun... and please feel free to write a comment or two.

P.S. So why is this my final song for a while?
Well, I'm creatively empty at the moment. I need some time to recover. This was a VERY exhausting project.

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By Manuel

Ascended (18247)

Manuel's picture

06-11-2021, 12:37

Wow, that's amazingly rich sound for a 3 channel PSG...! I really appreciate all the hard work you put into this, thanks for telling the background story. A very enjoyable tune!

By marcoo

Expert (110)

marcoo's picture

06-11-2021, 13:19

realy nice songs you wrote, are the songs downloadable somewhere so i can listen to it on real hardware

By defdanny

Scribe (333)

defdanny's picture

06-11-2021, 23:27

Totta, finally you made it. What a great little masterpiece. I am proud to be a small part of your creative process.
PSG never dies. \o/

By ro

Scribe (4541)

ro's picture

07-11-2021, 09:37

Wow! That's something unusual but pleasant PSG usage. Now, go and find a team to make things complete.

By defdanny

Scribe (333)

defdanny's picture

07-11-2021, 10:28

Hi Totta, by the way: how do you record your YT videos of Arkos Tracker?
I used this windows Built-in Xbox recorder thing, but experienced sound compression effects.

By Totta

Resident (54)

Totta's picture

07-11-2021, 11:14

defdanny wrote:

Hi Totta, by the way: how do you record your YT videos of Arkos Tracker?
I used this windows Built-in Xbox recorder thing, but experienced sound compression effects.

I always export the song as wav first and then substitute the sound from the screen capture with this using premiere (or any other video editing tool available)

By mi-chi

Scribe (11)

mi-chi's picture

09-11-2021, 08:23

Wow, a very scientific approach to teach an old PSG some new tricks Smile Hard to believe what can be achieved today, since my first impressions when using the first PLAY "CDE" in BASIC (some 35 years ago). I like it! The music. The creative approach. And the endurance to go the full length to complete a song with these tricks!

By ivke2006

Expert (71)

ivke2006's picture

09-11-2021, 09:11

Impressive!

Imagine hearing this in 1985!

By Totta

Resident (54)

Totta's picture

09-11-2021, 11:14

ivke2006 wrote:

Impressive!
Imagine hearing this in 1985!

I don’t think dubstep was invented back then so those parts would probably have raised some eyebrows Smile

By defdanny

Scribe (333)

defdanny's picture

09-11-2021, 11:52

Totta wrote:
ivke2006 wrote:

Impressive!
Imagine hearing this in 1985!

I don’t think dubstep was invented back then so those parts would probably have raised some eyebrows Smile

LOL!