PCSPE VSTi - create oldschool PC Speaker music with a DAW

category: general [glöplog]
A new plugin that allows to use a modern DAW to create the lovely horrible oldschool single channel PC speaker music, like old DOS games had when no sound card has been installed. I mean, like Monkey Island or Lotus III had.

The best part is that the end result can be used not just in the DAW like usual, but also exported as data to be used in actual programs. A QBasic player example is included, for shit and giggles.

MP3 example, made with Reaper

Download the plugin

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added on the 2017-07-07 16:35:53 by Shiru Shiru
Nice idea.
But my gripe with most PC speaker "emulations" is that they don't sound like a real PC speaker at all. Nobody listened to pure square waves back then, it was always filtered through the PC's case and sounded more like a triangle wave. Hence, PC speaker tends to sound much more tedious in DOSBox and the like than it would on a real machine.
Maybe a(n optional) simple lowpass filter in the plugin would already help with making it sound more "realistic", but the totally overkill but awesome solution would be to sample the frequency response of a PC speaker sitting in a real PC case. :D
Actually I thought about this matter just before making the plugin, and come up with the same 'overkill' idea: in DAWs we often use cabinet/microphone/reverb impulses these days. So we can simply catch the characteristic of actual PC Speaker output devices (small speakers, piezos, sitting in a huge metal box) the very same way, by recording an impulse, then applying it to a pure square wave generator.

I personally recorded a few impulses of very lo-fi stuff for this purpose, but not catched an actual PC Speaker in a real PC case yet (hopefully will add it later): http://shiru.untergrund.net/files/lofi_impulse_responses.zip
added on the 2017-07-07 17:04:40 by Shiru Shiru
The speaker "cabinet" would be awesome. Maybe try this in the meantime https://www.plogue.com/products/chipcrusher/ ?
added on the 2017-07-07 18:51:13 by leGend leGend
I used Arkos Tracker for the one-channel beeper music for See Sharp.
added on the 2017-07-07 19:36:32 by yzi yzi
Saga Music heh you're right. Fortunately that can be fixed, just capture impulse response of AT case and use your favourite IR reverb.

The plugin looks nice, I'll give it a try;)
added on the 2017-07-08 08:13:20 by nula nula