April 24, 2019

Building Sounds for your Applications with SoundTracker - page 3

Getting Started: The Sounds

  • August 9, 2002
  • By Dee-Ann LeBlanc

With Andrew J.D. Bowman

Before we can start, you need to uncompress, unpack, and save your sound file download. It's probably best to save it to its own directory so you don't have to deal with anything else while building your app's startup sound. Once you've done this, make sure the File tab is what you're using in SoundTracker, and browse to the directory containing your soundsyou only have to click once on a directory to move into it, including the .. entry.

Next, look to the line of text boxes over the tabs. Look for the item labeled Instr. Make sure this item is set to 1, and that its text box is empty. Now, click the File tab, make sure the Load Sample radio button is selected, and click TickTick.wav. The Load stereo sample dialog opens (Figure 2). Click Mix and now TickTick.wav is listed as Instr 1, and as Sample 0.

Advance the Instr counter to 2 and click CricketShaker.wav. Once again, select Mix in the dialog, and then advance the Instr counter to 3. Proceed from here, selecting RiverShaker.wav as 3, DrumTom03.wav as 4, DrumTom01.wav as 5, Stix01.wav as 6, Stix02.wav as 7, and CymbalCrash07.wav as 8. You'll notice that some of these items are stereo and some are mono. That's okay.

At this point, click the Tracker tab, and make sure the Editing checkbox is selected (it isn't by default). Now that we have our instruments loaded, we can try to actually make a song. It's probably worth using File|Save As at this point to preserve your work so far. Use the extension ".xm".

Now take a look at Figure 3, which is a graph that lays out the spacing between the various instruments and when they need to play. Your challenge here is to duplicate this musical interlude! Keep this graph visible while you return to SoundTracker and click on the Tracker tab, which brings up the dialog box shown in Figure 4.

Click the Editing checkbox if it's not checked, and then make sure that you're set to Instrument number 1. Think of each of the items here as a beat. Place your cursor on the first column, first pair of triple dashes, and press the S key. You should hear the sound of the TickTick.wav, and now a C#5 has taken the place of the dashes (C sharp, fifth octave, click on the Instrument Editor tab and hover your mouse over the keyboard sometime to see where this is).

Repeat the S key press until you have eight C#5's listed, each with three spaces between them (S-two-three-four-S-two-three-four) as the chart indicates. Then, press Play Song to see what you have so far. It won't sound like much at this point of course but it's good to get in the habit. You'll need to press Stop most likely so the player doesn't go on silently for a while and then loop back to the beginning.

Now, press the Tab key to go to the second column, change to the second Instrument, make sure the Editing checkbox is checked, and make use of that S key to duplicate what the chart for Figure 3 shows for the second item. Continue this pattern for each of the tracks, one per instrument, playing after you add each section. In the end, you should find yourself with a file that sounds just like ours.

Figure 5 shows what the Tracker window looked like on my screen once I finished building this song.

Utilize the File|Save As function again to save out the file, and then you'll want to convert it to a WAV. To do that, use the File|Save Module As WAV item, and make sure to rename the file with a .wav extension.

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