At default all instruments are empty (no sound). The PSG and SCC do not have a default set of instruments as MSX-Music for example. At first it might be a little confusing but once you are used to it it will take little effort to create your own instruments.
To edit the instruments you have to open the instrument editor using the [F2] key. There is a total of 31 instruments available. The instruments consist out of several parts:
- A name
- A macro
- A waveform
The name of the instrument is only for helping keep track of what instrument is which. The instruments names are always visible in the instrument menu area (top right) in the pattern and instrument editor.
The macro is the most important part. Without it there is no sound. Each instrument macro has its own length and restart (loop) position. Each tic a macro step is processed. A macro step is built up like this:
r ss TN fFFF nNN vV
|r||Restart column. The [R] indicator marks the loop position.|
|ss||Macro step number.||$00 - $1f (32 steps)|
|T||Tone enabled/disabled.||'T'(enabled) or 't'|
|N||Noise enabled/disabled.||'N'(enabled) or 'n'|
|f||Tone (frequency) deviation type .||'+' or '-'|
|FFF||Tone change in addition to the previous macro step.||$000-$fff (4096 steps)|
|n||Noise deviation type.||'_', '+' or '-'|
|NN||Noise change in addition to the previous macro step(+/-) or absolute(_).||$00-$1f (32 steps)|
|v||Volume deviation type.||'_', '+' or '-'|
|V||Volume change in addition to the previous macro step (+/-) or absolute(_).||$0-$f (16 steps)|
The most simple instrument macro is this (you can test a macro using the keyjazz mode:
The macro will generate a constant sound. As the tone (T) is enabled and the volume is at max. But you can make much nicer instruments using multiple macro steps. Most common is to only use the volume to set the ADSR (Attack,Decay and Sustain, Release) technique.
The noise columns are only processed when the instrument is used in the three PSG channels. Do remember that there is only 1 noise channel (the 4th PSG channel). When using multiple instruments that produce noise (noise enabled) on the same tic, only the last noise values are used.
The waveform is only used for the SCC. Without it the SCC will not generate sound (even if the Tone is enabled). A waveform is a 32 byte sample that is played constantly (looped). Each instrument can be linked to 1 of 32 available waveform slots.
Loading and Saving
The [F5] key opens the instrument filedialog from withing the instrument editor. Use it to load/save:
- instrument sets (31 instruments)
- macro sets (31 macros)
- waveform sets (32 waveforms)