I’ve been building a kind of music-machine-cart to help new Pico-8 users get a head start in composing their own music.
Using this machine, I composed the above snippet in about 5mins using mostly finger wiggling and button mashing. Here's a tutorial on how to use it:
Feedback is appreciated! Some questions to consider:
- Is this a good/easier way to start a music composition (particularly for users with minimal music experience)?
- Do you like the variation in custom instruments (drums, melody, bass)?
- How would you improve this process?
- Is there a better name for this besides “Music Machine?”
Download the cart here to try it (it's not playable)
In no particular order:
This is a very personal thing, but I find it unpleasant to work in a tool that doesn't give me a clean slate. (This was my big problem with TIC-80 - you tell it you want to make a new program and it pre-loads the code and sprite sheet with a demo cart.) I get why examples are helpful, but I'd rather have them on a separate cart from the one I'm invited to do the creative work on.
- A text tutorial with illustrations would be extremely helpful. It's a serious pain to have to refer to a video in the middle of working.
2a. Wait, you can drag SFX from the SFX grid onto channels? That's really really convenient!
- ...I'm not a fan? As a composer already, I'm also not in the target audience, but on the scale from learning music composition to rolling dice and copying down fragments of sheet music written by someone else (YouTube link), it feels much closer to the latter than the former. At the end, I felt a certain amount of ownership over what I made, and I did make some creative decisions in the course of it, but it ended up basically sounding like one of your pieces and not my own and I wouldn't say I learned anything about how to write music I like.
It was fun, but I feel like I just wouldn't get use out of it.
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