The pico8 manual states this about SFX instruments:
"SFX instruments are only retriggered when the pitch changes, or the previous note
has zero volume. This is useful for instruments that change more slowly over time.
For example: a bell that gradually fades out. To invert this behaviour, effect 3
(normally 'drop') can be used when triggering the note. All other effect values have
their usual meaning when triggering SFX instruments."
However it seems that adjacent notes (with the same SFX instrument and with the same pitch and non-zero volume) do cause the instrument to be retriggered when the second note is at index zero in a looping sequence. Also, setting the second note's effect to 3 inverts the behavior and the instrument is continued rather than retriggered, but only when the second note is at index zero.
The attached .p8 cart demonstrates this. It has these SFXs:
0: the SFX instrument
1: pattern looping from 0 to 8, with no effect on the note at index 0. The SFX instrument is retriggered at index 0.
2: pattern looping from 0 to 8, with effect 3 on the note at index 0. The SFX instrument is not retriggered at index 0.
3: pattern looping from 1 to 9, with no effect on the note at index 1. The SFX instrument is not retriggered at index 1.
4: pattern looping from 1 to 9, with effect 3 on the note at index 1. The SFX instrument is retriggered at index 1.
5: pattern looping from 24 to 32, with no effect on the note at index 24. The SFX instrument is not retriggered at index 24.
You have to download the cart and play SFX 1..5 in the SFX editor. It does nothing on the web:
This behavior reproduced in version 8_0.2.0d and 8_0.1.12c. I only tried those versions.
I thought the retriggering-at-index-0 was a technical limitation, not a reversal! If it's not a bug in the code, it's definitely a bug in the documentation - the same put-an-effect-3-at-0 thing allows looping of custom SFX instruments across multiple music patterns, and that opens up some possibilities.
omg I didn't realize this existed! this is actually an excellent feature that I had requested a long time ago! I'm not sure if it was there from the beginning and I just never realized, or if it was added after I made that post.
The reason this is good is because it works across SFX breaks so that you can continue to hold out a note across multiple SFX in the context of music (i.e. playing multiple SFX back-to-back)
I need to go update a cart that had a less-than-ideal part in its music because I didn't know about this at the time 😂
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