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Alright so you've been using PICO for a-while now and have gotten used to the limitations on the sound. But then occasionally you come across a snazzy cart that has sound you are CERTAIN is just not possible with the limitations of Pico-8, or so you think.

So what gives ?

Well let's see if we can discover what's going on. First off save off the work on your current cart and REBOOT.

Let's start with a clean slate. Press the ESC key and ALT-RIGHT arrow key three times and TAB until you are at the sound editor.

Let's start with something basic. The rain sound. To make this, type out the following. You can create that "C" with letter Z.

Then click on the right-most number of LOOP to 1 so it shows LOOP 00 01 and press SPACEBAR to hear it.

Familiar. But is that as low pitch as the sound can go ? Well, yes and no.

Let's now discover something new. Hit SPACEBAR again to stop playing. Now, do you see that tiny little button just below the 2nd number for LOOP. Well, click on it.

Now this is different ! Your waveforms have been replaced with digits now 0-7 and you can see the button is active as it is GREEN.

Hit = and TAB to go to the next sound. From here, type out:

NOTICE the center number is no longer PINK but GREEN. This is a special case.

Set the loop here to 00 and 01 like the first sound and press SPACEBAR.

Well there's a sound you haven't heard in PICO before. So what's going on here.

When you use GREEN for your note instead of PINK you will be using THAT sound # as the instrument itself. In this case, you can see the zero is green so it means we are using the 1st sound as OUR instrument and are telling it to play it at an even lower pitch.

For low sounds you likely won't get much improvement as the audio is pretty raspy to begin with. But for high-pitch ? Well, let's try an experiment, shall we ?

Hit = and TAB again to go to the 3rd page for sounds. This time we're going to leave the LOOP at 00 and 00, but we ARE going to do something tricky.

Try this. First off hold down the "." key until your SPD is 255. We want it to play a good long time. Now type out the following:

Let's take a look at it letter per number.

It has a C so that's just the note. The next is is pitch, high as it will get. The GREEN number says to use - well - to use THIS sound as its instrument. This oughta be interesting. The next is 7, loud, and the last, the warble effect.

Get ready to hear a sound you've never heard in PICO before ! Press SPACEBAR to hear it.

Hope that didn't scare the cat ! :D

What's going on here ? Well, you're doing a feedback essentially. Like when a microphone gets too close to the speaker. You get this interesting warbling feedback effect. You could also get this trying to tune an AM radio.

So let's recap. The green number then means to use the SOUND # (0-7), sorry there are no more, to use as an instrument. So ... How could we use this to our advantage ? We've still got a bit of space. Let's do something fancy indeed.

If you have trouble typing this in, there's a copy of this cart at the end of the document.

Now on the next page have the following:

Notice that we have speed here set to 255 as well. So what do you think will happen ? Press SPACEBAR to play and find out.

Ah ! So it is indeed possible to play a sound that has tones as a single instrument itself and most importantly CHANGE THE KEY it is playing in.

And of course you can play something really high pitched as the instrument and then use a 2nd sound to play it even higher pitch getting some interesting sound effects not possible before this.

What amazing sounds will you discover ? Feel free to share.

Here is the sound set I put together.

Cart #jumugujido-0 | 2019-10-03 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License


P#68406 2019-10-03 17:14 ( Edited 2019-10-03 19:34)

The manual mentions how the SFX instruments affect notes played:

  • Pitch is added relative to C2
  • Volume is multiplied
  • Effects are applied on top of the SFX instrument's effects

It allows much wider and more precise control over the audio. =)

P#68414 2019-10-03 17:46
:: dw817

Indeed, remcode. Now if we can get that white-noise to go DEEP we'll have the makings of a spaceship engine. Right now it's a little too grainy for that.

P#68421 2019-10-03 19:35

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