Author Topic: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?  (Read 716 times)

Offline nikku4211

  • Active artist
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Male
    • 1034co Website
  • Operating System: Windows
I've heard 4-op support is planned for MPTM files, but is percussion mode also planned? It would be awesome to try experimenting with it in such a great Windows-y interface.

For those who don't know, the OPL2 and 3 support a percussion mode, where 3 melodic channels are replaced with 5 percussion channels, one for each drum type.

The types are:
- Bass drum
- Snare drum
- Tom-tom
- Cymbal
- Closed Hihat

It doesn't seem like percussion mode was used that often in OPL2 and OPL3 music. On OPL2, you only had 9 channels, so 6 melodic channels might be too little for some. On OPL3 however, with only percussion mode enabled, you have 15 melodic channels.

Offline Saga Musix

  • OpenMPT Developers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,772
  • aka Jojo
    • Download music, samples, VST plugins: Saga Musix Website
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #1 on: October 18, 2019, 07:19:22 »
No, for at least two reasons.

1. The OPL3 emulator we use does not support drum mode.
2. There is absolutely nothing to be gained from using this mode. It just makes everything more complex because now you have to somehow configure which channels are drum channels, while without drum mode you could put your drum patches on just about any channel.

Drum mode is completely useless in particular in OPL3 mode (and OPL2 mode is irrelevant because ScreamTracker does not support drum mode). Everything it does, you can do yourself, but better. The advantage of saving maybe one or two OPL channels is nearly useless in OPL3 mode, in particular if we end up having one OPL3 instance per instrument in the future. That would be a useful feature to have, but certainly not drum mode.
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline Midori Mizuno

  • Inspired artist
  • **
  • Posts: 57
  • Gender: Female
  • I write IT music once in a blue moon ^~^
    • BotB profile
  • Operating System: Windows 8.1 x64 and XP SP3 x86
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #2 on: October 18, 2019, 13:09:06 »
Not much to add from me, i generally agree with what Saga said, since i'm not aware of any merits drum mode has over your own patches that can be allocated wherever. If the only "advantage" it gives you is a handful of hardcoded patches, then i don't even understand why it is a thing.

Offline Saga Musix

  • OpenMPT Developers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,772
  • aka Jojo
    • Download music, samples, VST plugins: Saga Musix Website
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #3 on: October 18, 2019, 13:14:00 »
Quote
If the only "advantage" it gives you is a handful of hardcoded patches, then i don't even understand why it is a thing.
From a technical standpoint, the advantage of drum channels was that two instruments (tom/cymbal and hihat/snare respectively) could share a single channel because each of them only made use of a single operator. Without drum mode, each of them would need its own channel and just not use one of the two operators of that channel, effectively wasting two operators. The disadvantage is that the parameters of drum mode are very limited and there is an interdependency between the parameters of those few "instruments" that you can use in drum mode. There is a good reason why this feature was practically unused.
« Last Edit: October 18, 2019, 18:28:16 by Saga Musix »
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline nikku4211

  • Active artist
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Male
    • 1034co Website
  • Operating System: Windows
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2019, 01:16:08 »
\_/(-_-)\_/

Well, that's a shame. I'm glad it's not a 1 word answer, though.

Offline Saga Musix

  • OpenMPT Developers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,772
  • aka Jojo
    • Download music, samples, VST plugins: Saga Musix Website
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2019, 08:59:15 »
It's a shame that I have a feature in mind that will let you have even more channels than drum mode could make up for, and in a less obscure way too? Because again, that's the only thing drum mode does - saving channels by extremely limiting what you can do with those three channels.
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline nikku4211

  • Active artist
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Male
    • 1034co Website
  • Operating System: Windows
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2019, 21:18:14 »
It's a shame that I have a feature in mind that will let you have even more channels than drum mode could make up for, and in a less obscure way too? Because again, that's the only thing drum mode does - saving channels by extremely limiting what you can do with those three channels.

Well, I thought you were just using that as an example. After experimenting with percussion mode in Adlib Tracker 2, I guess the 1-op percussion instruments can simplify the process of tuning them, though whether or not that's worth it is up to you.

Offline Saga Musix

  • OpenMPT Developers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,772
  • aka Jojo
    • Download music, samples, VST plugins: Saga Musix Website
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2019, 21:20:02 »
If you want simple 1-op instruments, you can simply turn down the volume of the second operator to the lowest value. Really, there is no need to use drum mode for that.
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline nikku4211

  • Active artist
  • *
  • Posts: 21
  • Gender: Male
    • 1034co Website
  • Operating System: Windows
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2019, 22:01:33 »
If you want simple 1-op instruments, you can simply turn down the volume of the second operator to the lowest value. Really, there is no need to use drum mode for that.

I meant specifically for percussion. Without drum mode, you need to use the other operator for percussion.

Offline ASIKWUSpulse

  • Inspired artist
  • **
  • Posts: 60
  • Composing is my hobby
    • ASIKWUSpulse Soundcloud
  • Operating System: Windows 7/10 64x
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2019, 12:15:36 »
Drum-mode is a hardware feature of the opl2/3 chips, right?

I've repeatedly came across that the chips are used in a lot of different 80s-90s home instruments yamaha produced, mostly notable in their PSR and PSS home-keyboard series. As what it seems for me, the drum-mode is just a feature that made the chips optimizeable for different technical appliances, since a lot of those keyboards mostly use it (it's quite hinted by 5 drum icons below the 5 lowest or highest keys on some of them - and specifically Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-tom, Cymbal, Hi-hat). It was a practical solution to keep the polyphony high on simple and cheap music-products without sound programmability.

The most believable reason to why I think it exists in the first place.
« Last Edit: November 01, 2019, 12:33:15 by ASIKWUSpulse »

Offline Saga Musix

  • OpenMPT Developers
  • *****
  • Posts: 6,772
  • aka Jojo
    • Download music, samples, VST plugins: Saga Musix Website
  • Operating System: Windows 10 x64
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2019, 16:17:56 »
Yeah, probably. The OPL2 can be found in some of those keyboards, other keyboards featured the YM2413 (OPLL), a similar chip with even less features (but still including percussion mode). It seems plausible that drum mode was intended exactly for this use case, and not specifically for the later-introduced PC sound cards.
» No support, bug reports, feature requests via private messages - they will not be answered. Use the forums and the issue tracker so that everyone can benefit from your post.

Offline ASIKWUSpulse

  • Inspired artist
  • **
  • Posts: 60
  • Composing is my hobby
    • ASIKWUSpulse Soundcloud
  • Operating System: Windows 7/10 64x
Re: Is support for OPL3's percussion mode planned in the future?
« Reply #11 on: November 04, 2019, 21:54:20 »
Here :D Have some Yamaha-style drums that I recently just threw together - the key in the name also tells which note to use them at (obviously ;) )