Jump to content

IMT Tracker Remix: Beat It


Recommended Posts

Hello everyone!


There are quite a few musicians already making some great tunes on the Intellivision using IntyBASIC, but I want to invite them to give the Intellivision Music Tracker a chance.  Not because it's better (IntyBASIC is great!) or easier (the tracker is a lot harder!), but because I think it offers some truly remarkable capabilities that allow for more expressive and nuanced compositions.


To ease the transition from IntyBASIC Notation (IBN) to the tracker format (IMT), I've created a program that converts music data from one to the other, called IBN-to-IMT.  The idea is that anybody can take an IntyBASIC song, convert it into the tracker format, and from there extend it and alter it with additional instruments, channels, patterns, effects, etc.


I wanted to illustrate this process myself, so I asked @Nyuundere for a sample of one of his tunes.  In the end I wanted to showcase his song transformed with all sorts of bells-and-whistles and give him and others an idea of what can be done.  He graciously agreed, and I went to work.


Having secured his permission, I will now share the results with everyone.  The song chosen for this demonstration is Beat It by Michael Jackson, tracked originally by @Nyuundere for the IntyBASIC Music Player, transformed and remixed for the Intellivision Music Tracker by yours truly, @DZ-Jay


Original IBN:

First, here's the original song, as tracked by @Nyuundere.  I took the liberty of annotating it by hand, just to provide context on how each part relates to their corresponding sections in the transformed file.



Transformed IMT:

Second, here's the converted song, as processed by IBN-to-IMT.  I also annotated the file by hand, so that anybody could follow the provenance of each pattern to the original IBN source.


Notice that the instruments are merely approximations (although rather close) and that there is no percussion.  IBN-to-IMT does not translate the percussion sounds from IntyBASIC, so it is left to the user to add drum and percussion sounds in the final IMT version.  That said, the drums capabilities of the Intellivision Music Tracker are much more sophisticated and one of its key differentiators, so this is something you would probably do in any case.



IMT Remix:

Third, with the converted song on hand, I proceeded to create a cool remix by extending the song, changing the instrument sounds, and adding a proper drums track.  I based the structure of the song and the drum sounds on the original Beat It track from Michael Jackson's album Thriller.  I tried to reproduce the original drums track, complete with handclap accents, and used a "buzzy" bass sound to take the place of the guitar.


As with the others, the source includes annotations relating each channel and section to their original counterparts.


I took the liberty of extending the remix to use the full six channels available with the ECS -- but even when played without the expansion module, it still retains the same feel; only that the extra drum accents and instrument overlay effects are missing.




Information on the Intellivision Music Tracker and the IBN-to-IMT conversion tool can be found in their respective discussion threads:



Thanks again to @Nyuundere for going through the trouble of tracking the song originally for IntyBASIC, and for begin so gracious in sharing it with me.




Edited by DZ-Jay
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

By the way, the remixed version and the original IntyBASIC song compare in this way:

  • Original (IBN): 1,219K (Kilo-words)
  • Remix (IMT): 1,410K (Kilo-words)

The difference is merely 191 words between them, which sounds like it could be a big deal until you consider that the remix ...

  • is 3 whole minutes longer;
  • uses 6 channels vs. 3 of the original;
  • includes a bunch of cool effects, such as echo, arpeggios, volume fading, etc.;
  • employs "realistic" percussion sounds;
  • defines various new instruments with custom envelopes;
  • and contains a truck-load of similar patterns, repeated with very subtle differences between them.

With all that in mind, 191 words more seems like a good price to pay.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    • No registered users viewing this page.
  • Create New...