Oldskooler Ramblings

the unlikely child born of the home computer wars

Archive for February 11th, 2008

Scope Creep

Posted by Trixter on February 11, 2008

One of the side effects of designing a tracker completely from scratch, using the best software design I can muster, is that everything is virtualized. A song is an object; the player engine is an object; the output device is an object. I’m probably going to make the editor an object itself, if just to keep the source consistent.  The nice thing about objects is that they can be abstracted and used as “parents” for descendant objects. So I have done just that for the internal speaker output. So that leads to some good news and bad news:

The good news is that the tracker will probably come with basic support for the Tandy/PCjr sound chip, and Adlib, and heck probably the CMS as well, out of the box, all in addition to the internal speaker.  This is because once the parent object is done, it’s easy to create a descendant for each output device.  And it will make it easier to add more complex internal speaker support in the future, such as mixing 3 or 4 voices realtime for “true” multichannel output from the speaker.  Just don’t expect the Adlib to sound better than the rest — I have a common denominator to target, and it ain’t 9-channel FM instruments.

The bad news about all this is that the tracker is still mostly in my head and not on paper. Which means I may only have a tracker to enter into the wild compo at Block Party instead of a demo. Or neither, considering that the presentation I’m giving takes precedence over compos :)

If I were never releasing the code, I could’ve hacked something together by this time already.  But I am, and I want people to be impressed by the code as much as music (democoder background, remember?  Both form and function are equally important :-)

Posted in Demoscene, Programming, Vintage Computing | 4 Comments »