New Apple II song, Jpegs to HGR screens
So I did finally record a new piece of Apple II music, ‘The Green Sheen’, using DX-1 samples triggered in real time via the Soundchaser keyboard. Take a listen:
The Green Sheen
It appeared on the latest Mozomedia Music podcast ep, and I hope to stick to the plan of one new bit of Apple II music with each new podcast. As well as recording The Green Sheen, I also finally got the various audio cables I properly needed for the audio cards sorted out, so now I can make good on my promise to share a stereo recording (the former one was mono) of the Ultima IV title music being played through the Apple II’s Mockingboard:
Ultima IV title music
Getting the cables set up properly also means I now have a mic in for the DX-1 sampler, and can record my own samples! I did a little test run of this, recording 4 sounds into a new ‘sound bank’ and saving them to disk. Here you can hear me playing back the samples using the Soundchaser keyboard to trigger them again. The sounds I sampled are an ’oh’, a vocalized ‘boop’, a click noise, and a quack noise.
DX-1 custom sound samples test
I hope to improve the sound quality with more careful, cleaner recordings of future samples, but overall I’m really impressed with DX-1. I’ll probably ending using it much more for music than the harsher synthesized sounds from the Mountain Systems cards (but I am still interested in experimenting with custom synthesized sounds one can create with the Soundchaser software).
On the graphics front, part of this usenet thread pointed out that a jpeg-to-Apple-II-HGR-screen routine written in Java is part of the Apple II Game Server package (I still need to try out the Game Server!), and I recently compiled that routine as a standalone .jar file (currently it just looks for the jpg in a hard-coded location – if I figure out enough java to add a file selector dialogue, etc., I’ll upload the improved jar to this site).
Here was the jpg I fed into it:
And here was the HGR result:
Not too bad – actually the photo makes some the artifacts not as noticeable, but even on the real screen’s still pretty nifty.
EDIT: I think I really lucked out with the pallete of that particular image – NONE of my subsequent tests with this converter turned out that nice.
I may end up converting more jpegs to HGR screens for a project inspired by this intersection of pop culture and the Apple II: