1-Bit Forum Compo 2015

category: general [glöplog]
Hi folks,

Just wanted to let you know about this little contest that's currently running over at the 1-Bit Forum (which was just recently rebooted after we lost the old place due to unfortunate circumstances).

Anyway, if you haven't guessed from the name already, this compo is all about 1-bit music. There are 5 categories to chose from (or just submit to all of them if you can't chose):

  • ZX Spectrum Beeper/Atari GTIA music - for the classic beeper sound
  • Alternative 1-bit music - music made with PC Speaker, Apple hooter, TI calcs, 8253 timers, and anything else that beeps
  • 1K tinytunes - all platforms welcome, as long as it's 1-bit music and fits in 1KB
  • 1-bit fakebit - anything goes, as long as it sounds 1-bit
  • code - write a new 1-bit music routine for a platform of your choice

Deadline is September 1st, 2015.
Full rules and details

added on the 2015-07-25 01:53:46 by utz utz
About ZX - why you accept only Beeper?
added on the 2015-07-25 09:49:34 by g0blinish g0blinish
About ZX - why you accept only Beeper?

BB Image
added on the 2015-07-25 18:31:23 by xeron xeron
@xeron. too fat
added on the 2015-07-25 21:58:23 by g0blinish g0blinish
Yeah, well, the obvious answer is: Because this is a 1-bit compo.
However, if you can pull of some 1-bit tricks on AY (like Gasman did some years ago) then that would be acceptable in "alternative" resp. "code" categories.
added on the 2015-07-26 16:30:39 by utz utz
so..just trying to find holes from cheese here but..
is nintendo nes alternative 1-bit or fake bit?
(or would it be too far from what people think when they think of 1-bit sound to qualify as fake bit?)

to my understanding the sound side of things is 1-bit on nes and rest 8-bit..
prove me wrong..
added on the 2015-07-26 16:55:59 by 1in10 1in10
Nope, NES has a fully featured sound chip integrated into it's CPU, with register lengths varying from 4 to 11 bits. So it is not accepted in this compo. (For Wild, you could make something using 1-bit samples and only using the DPCM channel, but that would be rather pointless.)

Generally speaking, we are looking for music for platforms that don't have any dedicated sound hardware - no soundchips, no soundcards.
added on the 2015-07-27 00:38:23 by utz utz
Amstrad PCW is perfect for this job :)
Maybe one day I'll give a try, nice tuto on this forum.
So this is all about pure beeper music? Must the music be submitted as an executable or as e.g. a tracker file (like monotone tracker tune)?
added on the 2015-07-27 10:24:20 by Triace Triace
Is VCS acceptable for this? It's 1-bit if you keep to 1 channel and don't fiddle with volume..
added on the 2015-07-27 10:28:42 by Tjoppen Tjoppen
Buckethead, yes, an Amstrad PCW driver/tune would be awesome!

Triace, executables are preferred, though we'd make an exception if that isn't feasible. Read, we'd certainly prefer to have a Monotone tune in tracker format over not having that Monotone tune at all ;)

Tjoppen, VCS is indeed a tough one, we've had some discussion on this as well. TIA's output is certainly 1-bit in some sense, but the presence of all those AUDx registers speaks against calling it 1-bit as a whole. So, in conclusion, TIA is accepted in /alt/ and /code/ if used like this or like this.
added on the 2015-07-27 11:53:30 by utz utz
Is xSqueeker 1-bit though? It's four channels after all, each one 1-bit. But yeah, alternative sounds fair
Will have to check out circls
added on the 2015-07-27 13:06:29 by Tjoppen Tjoppen
okey..so are there tools to make this or is this programmers compo?
i don't think anyone is interested doing fake bit..its too easy..
added on the 2015-07-27 15:29:33 by 1in10 1in10
Tjoppen, true, it's still stretching the rules quite a bit ;) circls uses a technique similar to that in xSqueeker.

1in10, to get started, check out Beepola and 1tracker.
added on the 2015-07-27 21:52:54 by utz utz
I think it is easier to put it this way: 1-bit music is a 'softsynth' music played through 1-bit DAC. TIA or NES without using volume registers still produce sound by the hardware means, while 'true' 1-bit music is nearly always produced with CPU only.

There are some exceptions, though, that involve a little bit of extra hardware or more bits - such as PC Speaker, 2-4 separate 1-bit DACs, or 1-bit softsynth music played through a sound chip DAC. Still, normally platforms used to play 1-bit music is so retro so they simply don't have any sound-related hardware other than 1-bit DAC (speaker or tape output), and my vision is that pulling out some music out of those devices is the spirit of the compo.
added on the 2015-07-28 00:54:32 by Shiru Shiru
There's a 1-bit scene now? The 8-bit scene suddenly feels threatened by your minimalism!
added on the 2015-07-28 03:08:53 by cruzer cruzer
@Shiru: Are you saying PC speaker isn't 1-bit enough?
added on the 2015-07-28 06:59:28 by trixter trixter
trixter, I mentioned there are special cases. Still widely regarded as 1-bit, but it is kind of 1-bigger-bit, or 1-hardware-accelerated-bit, a step towards PSGs. The same 8253 that drives it has been used as crude 3-channel PSG in some obscure computers.
added on the 2015-07-28 08:11:52 by Shiru Shiru
Is it ok for 1k category to generate pcm by something like 4klang and play it via pc speaker pwm?
added on the 2015-07-28 12:10:41 by frag frag
thanks for the tool links utz. never even heard about these.

i have to be honest tho..im still trying to learn goattrackers bits, bytes and nybles to program the sid chip..so these come 2nd.
added on the 2015-07-28 15:51:21 by 1in10 1in10
@1in10: Here is a little Beeper tracker for PC running under Dosbox: Monotone
added on the 2015-07-28 18:32:20 by Triace Triace
is my car horn 1 bit? i wrote a song on it this morning while i had to wait 5 minutes because a lady couldn't reverse park!
Maali: Depends, does it sound like this?
@Triace: how far are those " 8 protracker-compatible effects" after 7 years or hectic development? but yeah..could be interesting sound..downloaded the beta for a rainy day..
added on the 2015-07-28 21:29:20 by 1in10 1in10
frag, yes, absolutely. If by any means possible you should supply an mp3 render for it though, as I suppose the result would vary greatly depending on the machine used.

Maali, hehe sure it is... now you just need to write a multi-channel routine for it :p

1in10, Beepola and 1tracker are dead simple to pick up. No comparison with Goattracker, I'm still struggeling to get to terms with that as well ;)

Shiru, agreed. On the other hand this compo got me thinking again that defining the term "1-bit music" is actually not that straightforward, to say the least. But then again the same is true for "8-bit music". So in regards to this compo, I'm not at all against pushing the boundaries of the theme a bit. I trust that if an entry bends the rules too much it will be downvoted anyway.
added on the 2015-07-29 00:59:45 by utz utz