September 23, 2019, 03:06:52 PM

Author Topic: Original Atari sound  (Read 166 times)

Offline iWasAdam

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Original Atari sound
« on: August 22, 2019, 08:01:22 AM »
I'm sitting here in front of a triangle and square wave generator replicating original Atari sound effects from arcade games.
It's amazing what you can do with a single waveform some noise and an envelope shaper.
I'm constantly gobsmaked!

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #1 on: August 22, 2019, 11:39:22 AM »
just started adding the sound to things. It's very difficult to get 'exactly' the same sounds, but it's as close as I can get it.

What I'm now finding very interesting is how the sound adds another layer to things. The game was completely developed without sound, but adding the sound make everything more visceral and "MUST PLAY'  ;D

What is even more interesting is they are not samples, but an emulation of the original chip systems. I can design the sounds in the editor and just trigger them as needed - well cool  8)

Offline Steve Elliott

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2019, 11:43:31 AM »
Quote
...replicating original Atari sound effects from arcade games.

...but adding the sound make everything more visceral and "MUST PLAY'

I always loved the old Atari sounds so definitely agree on this.  The explosion sounds were particularly satisfying.
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Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #3 on: August 22, 2019, 12:19:49 PM »
did a quick bit of research. it seems that the Atari sound was the POKEY chip:
Specs:
4 semi-independent audio channels
Channels may be configured as one of:
Four 8-bit channels
Two 16-bit channels
One 16-bit channel and two 8-bit channels
Per-channel volume, frequency, and waveform (square wave with variable duty cycle or pseudorandom noise)

Some of Atari's arcade systems use multi-core versions with 2 or 4 POKEY chips in a single package for more sound voices. very interesting stuff...

Online Derron

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #4 on: August 22, 2019, 01:31:03 PM »
Should I power on my Atari 2600 and record some sounds for you ? ;-)

bye
Ron

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #5 on: August 22, 2019, 02:44:14 PM »
ooh, great thought - lol
I've now got vector flicker!  :o
And I keep getting killed by Pulsars...

But no empty levels now :)

Offline iWasAdam

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Re: Original Atari sound
« Reply #6 on: August 23, 2019, 08:43:22 AM »
The initial system s designed for 16 voice output. I've just augmented this to 32 voice with sequence playback - this means effects and music at the same time!  :o

But it gets a bit better as (in essence) there are 2 banks, so I can do bank loading of different things at different times. Which means the voices can be reloaded with new ones, and the same for song data. exciting stuff

I'm also playing around with dynamic BPM (speed) of playback, so the music speed can adjust for different effects. E.G it will get faster as you progress thus making you want to play faster... well that's the thought anyway