I absolutely love the fact that i can just relax on my couch and try to put something together that sounds like music. I tried the tracker a few days ago but the few bugs made it kind of unusable. So far this version has been working wonderful. Hopefully I can put something together that is worth sharing.
If you have ideas on how to improve the UI, please share them.
Meanwhile, I will put together some routines for transforming the songs to header files and playing back the songs from inside a game
Great! The saving of the song now seems to work, this is a big leap for tracking on the go! However, I could not figure out how to chain Song Positions together. So far I understood that there are 30 blocks with 64 steps each and it is possible to configure which blocks are played on which track for each song position.
To be a bit more specific:
At SngPos 0, setting T1Blck = 0; T2Blck=1; T2Blck=2 would play Block 0 on Track 1, Block 1 on Track 2 and Block 2 on Track 3.
At SngPos 1, setting T1Blck=3 would play Block 3 on Track 1, etc…, this is a nice way of putting a song together.
Now I would expect that setting LoopTo to 1 would play SngPos 0 to 1 in a loop. However, this does not seem to work. It simply cycles through SngPos0. Starting on SngPos 1 would just jump to SngPos 0 and stay there in a cycle.
It is also a bit unclear to me what “Pattrn” is used for, because sequencing would basically be just assigning blocks to tracks at specific song positions which are cycled through according to LoopTo.
One could also use LoopTo per SngPosition to sepecify which SngPosition is played next, also a possibility.
The UI so far is quite nice, I especially like the A and B button feature for setting the envelope numbers and the instument preview. The muting feature is also very nice. An important next feature could be the possibility to set the block lengths. For instance, when one wanted to compose something in a 3/4 metric one would rather consider 48 steps per block or something similar.
There are some other things that could be improved but I think it is pretty neat so far.
EDIT: Maybe I am overlooking something, will try it out a bit more.
I have just tried this version and I have found another bug I think:
When the song is playing and “A” is pressed, the song should be paused but only the screen is paused, the song keeps on playing…
Its a bug. If you Save->Load cycle, it works
Ah, now I think I get it:
Pattrn is the length of the song and
LoopTo is the song position it jumps to once the song has been traversed once.
Now, if I know I need 4 Patterns (SongPos 0-3) I simply:
0(will make it jump back to 0)
- save the song and reload the song
This is indeed workable! However, reloading directly after saving does not work on my device, but I simply reset the Pokitto and reload the previous song.
With this little workaround it should be really usable also for songs with more than 1 bar.
I am not sure if a tutorial for the tracker is needed? I am feeling that I want to contribute a little bit.
Absolutely is needed. How many people know what ADSR means? It would be great if you could contribute.
Yes indeed. At the very least, a nice list of ADSR instruments so that people can have a head start creating music.
Is it just me, perhaps I have outdated version but, the tempo on the desktop version is completely different to the pokitto version.
 Also, is it only 10 patterns max?
sensitive.rbs (45.2 KB)
Hey there, I tried to come up with some sort of manual or tutorial to help people getting started using the tracker. Here it is! It is a draft, so feel free to improve and correct it. It would be nice if it could be edited by all. After all, I find that the tracker is pretty much self explanatory after some fiddling. And last but not least: share your tracks!
On startup you have the options to
- Load a previous song or
- Start a new song
- Travel mode and edit mode
Starting a new song shows you the tracker in travel mode. Here, three tracks (Trk 1, Trk 2, Trk 3) are presented on the screen. The number in brackets behind each track name (e.g. Trk 1 (0)) shows the note block that is assigned to the track. Blocks, containing note information, can be assigned to each track and Song Position in Settings mode. More on this later.
For now, notice that you can move the cursor using the D-Pad. The help bar at the bottom of the screen displays the functions that are assigned to the buttons A, B and C.
Navigating to a specific step in a track and pressing button A lets you edit the note in that step (Up, Down). Pushing right moves the cursor to the second column of a track. This column is used to assign a patch (or an instrument) to that step (Up, Down). The third column is not editable and contains the note number.
G#3 01 33 on a step means that note G#3 is played using patch 01 and the note number is 33.
Traditionally, the third column is used to issue effect commands but this is not available in the present tracker.
Tip: You can assign different instruments per step in a block, allowing for some sonic variation. For instance, you could have a bass sound (e.g. patch 1) played on steps 0, 16, 32 and and a high hat sound on steps 8, 24, 40 and 56 for an upbeat groove.
When you are in edit mode, pushing A brings you back to travel mode. If you are not satisfied with a specific note on a step, move the cursor to that note and press B to delete the note.
- Play mode
Pressing C from travel mode brings you to play mode. From here, you can go back to travel mode (B) or go to Settings mode ( C ). Here you can edit Tempo, SngPos, or you can play back the song (A). Once you have pushed A to play the song it is (theoretically )possible to pause the playback (A), stop the playback (B) or go to setting mode ( C ).
- Settings mode
In settings mode, the entry Tempo is higlighted by the cursor.
- Tempo lets you change the tempo by which the song is played back
- Sng Pos lets you edit the song position. Each song position consists of a specific combination of blocks that are assigned to one of the three tracks.
- T1Blck, T2Blck and T3Blck allows you to edit the blocks that are played on each track at the selected song position.
Selecting SngPos=0, T1Blck=1, T2Blck=2, T3Blck=3 means that at the beginning of the song (SngPos=0) block 1 is played on track 1, block 2 is played on track 2
and note block 3 is played on track 3.
Pattern allows you to select the number of song positions (measures) that are to be played by the tracker and LoopTo allows for specifying the song position that the tracker jumps to after it has cycled through the number of measures that you have specified.
MuteT1 to MuteT3 allow you to mute a track at a song position.
- More settings (Instrument or patch mode)
Pressing C when in Settings mode brings you to “more settings mode”. In this mode you can edit your instruments or patches, load and save instruments (not yet) as well as load and save your song.
The functions here are as follows:
Patch: cycle through your instruments
Name: name your patch
Wave: select the waveform of your instrument
Arp Mode:specify the type of appregio that is assigned to your instrument
Loop: Loop the playback of your instrument (0=off, 1=on)
Echo: An echo effect if the instrument is played back in the tracker (0=off, 1=on)
Dist: Distortion, increase the gain of the instrument (careful!) (0=off, 1=on)
Norm: Normalize the loudness of your instrument (0=off, 1=on)
ADSR: Use the ADSR envelope to shape the instruments loudness over time (0=off, 1=on)
Attack: Attack of the ADSR envelope
Decay: Decay of the ADSR envelope
Sustain: Sustain of the ADSR envelope
Release: Release of the ADSR envelope
Pitch Bend Rate: ?
Pitch Bend Max: ?
Volume: Volume of the instrument
Save instrument: Save instrument (not implemented)
Load instrument: Load instrument (not implemented)
Save Song: Save the current song to SD card.
Load Song: Load a song from SD card.
Pressing C brings you back to travel mode.
Pressing A lets you listen to the instrument.
- Getting started tracking
To make a song it is a good idea to start by creating an instrument.
Go to instrument mode (more settings).
By default, patch 1 is set to a simple pulse sound that uses the ADSR envelope. Adjust the volume to a comfortable listening level (0-255). Pressing A plays back the patch.
I would suggest that you start playing around with the ADSR-values to get a feel for how
the envelope works in this tracker. For instance, setting Attack=44 results in a soft volume increase
whereas Attack = 255 results in a sharper volume onset Also play a bit with the Arp Modes to get a feel for what they do (major and minor triads). Also try out the other settings, for instance, the noise waveform allows for some nice percussive sounds. Exploration is key.
In Settings Mode, set T1Blck to 0, T2Blck to 1 and T3Blck to 2.
Enter your notes using instrument 1 on Track 1 (playing block 0) using travel and edit mode.
Make another instrument (e.g. Patch 2).Enter your notes on Track 2 using travel and edit mode. Add more blocks and instruments, create more song positions, set the desired track length (Pattern) and loop position (LoopTo) and repeat the process until satisfied with your work.
There are also some life muting tricks…
Good luck with your tracking!
An excellent introduction to Pokitto Tracker!