Insert Credit Art Jam 2.0 | January 2023 | Magic

[size=100]WELCOME BACK TO THE INSERT CREDIT ART JAM 2.0!!![/size]
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[size=30][color=Mediumpurple]_FIRST ART JAM OF THE YEAR!!!!!_[/color][/size] -

_**To those new to the concept:**_
A monthly event in where the ever-growing Insert Credit community can come together and create art based on a rotating topic! First created and hosted by @"SuperEffective"#337, now taken over by me. Everyone is welcome to participate and create whatever they consider art. Every possible medium and art discipline is welcomed here. Go wild! Show us your hidden or not so hidden talents!

Here’s the original premise @"SuperEffective"#337 wrote:

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This is not necessarily a contest, but more like a weekly monthly art challenge/show-and-tell. The plan is to introduce a new prompt every Sunday the first day of each month to make a piece of art to. To participate, you can simply post anything from a drawing, sculpture, crochet, animation, writing, a sick beat, heck, why not even a cake! You can post whenever you’re finished, and I’m sure none will mind if you’re a bit late as this thread is all in good fun. Heck, if you’re loving the prompt, post more than one! Send any suggestions you think would be fun to do in the next week, if you have any fun ideas!

**_HERE'S TONIGHT'S (TO-MONTH'S???) PROMPT:_**

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[size=1000][color=hotpink] **Magic**[/color][/size]

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This month's prompt was taken from the month suggestion form that was created for the original art jams. The art jam prompt dirtbag if you will.
[Here's the updated art jam prompt dirtbag if you want to submit something.](https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1fnVw7d9LFrwqsvNTVa9lt9X20KPYNmJCa-LcJFe_a-Q/viewform?edit_requested=true)

Thanks so much for all your submissions last month. I often fail to have something to say about the individual pieces, but know that I enjoy them a lot!!

You can read a more detailed introduction of the Art Jams 2.0 and see the amazing stuff y’all came up based on the previous prompt on the thread(s) linked below:

_**[March 2022 | Support and Cooperation](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1421-insert-credit-art-jam-20-april-2022-delicious)**_ -

_**[April 2022 | Delicious](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1367-insert-credit-art-jam-20-march-2022-support-and-cooperation)**_ -

_**[May 2022 | Zones ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1477-insert-credit-art-jam-20-may-2022-zones)**_ -

_**[June 2022 | Slow ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1477-insert-credit-art-jam-20-may-2022-zones)**_ -

_**[August 2022 | purple (part II) ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1694-insert-credit-art-jam-20-august-2022-purple-part-ii)**_ -

_**[September 2022 | LOUD!!!!!! ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1846-insert-credit-art-jam-20-september-2022)**_ -

_**[October 2022 | Mysteerie ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/1993-insert-credit-art-jam-20-october-2022-mysteerie)**_ -

_**[November 2022 | Windy ](https://forums.insertcredit.com/d/2094-insert-credit-art-jam-20-november-2022)**_ -

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@“穴”#p99259 Thanks so much for all your submissions last month. I often fail to have something to say about the individual pieces, but know that I enjoy them a lot!!

Want to boost this. These are some of the coolest things on the forums and I appreciate everyone's time and effort on your art.

@“antillese”#p99260 I echo this myself. I listen, sit with, read, and absorb everything that gets posted. It's a real forum highlight for me, thank you to @“穴”#p99259 for organizing, and for all the contributors.

hi there ! here is my submission to this month’s art jam— it’s a text-based fishing game called The Hole in Blueblack Lake.

https://esoterisoft.itch.io/the-hole-in-blueblack-lake

don’t want to spoil too much about the story for anyone who chooses to play it, but essentially, you’re being discreetly hired by a station managing a local lake to help cull some invasive species through fishing. further complications bloom, maybe even some related to the prompt of this art jam [again, no spoilers] :) ultimately, i wanted to make something that feels “hangouty” but within the limits of a game which is solely text. also wanted to celebrate marine biology and nature.

if you play it, i hope you enjoy it! i can’t wait to see what everyone else makes this month too, as always :) thx!

# Placeholder

I'm excited to share what I've done and I'm writing up the liner notes. "Please look forward to it."

This month‘s song isn’t my favorite one, but it may be the one that means the most to me personally. When I was first trying to learn how to make music on computers back in high school, I learned on trackers. Psycle, Jeskola Buzz, Milky Tracker. They were free and they were wonky and they allowed you to do most of your composition using only the keyboard. No piano rolls or imprecise mouse drawings, just a spreadsheet full of notes, like God intended. I fell in love with these goofy programs and soon learned that they had been a thing since the 80s, and that the biggest name in tracker town was Protracker and the biggest computer in tracker town was the Amiga.

I took a look at ebay listings and thought over the logistics of actually owning a computer that was older than I was, the maintenance, the size, the price, etc., and decided that it was a fun but probably not practical idea, and filed it away with "Wouldn't it be fun to own an arcade cabinet?" and "Wouldn't it be cool to have a pinball table?". And that's where it stayed until the MiSTer came out. Now all of a sudden it moved into the "Well, maybe...." category, but having a hardware emulated Amiga alone wasn't quite enough to make me cave and get one. Then Batrider got ported to the MiSTer, and so here we are.

This is the first complete track I've made with Protracker on an Amiga, which was every bit as fun to use as I imagined it would be when I first saw screenshots of it nearly 20 years ago. It's not my best work, I'm definitely still learning the ropes, but I'm so giddy that I finally made anything at all with it that I wanted to preserve it. The Amiga _is_ magic

https://tracymcgrath.bandcamp.com/track/magic

I didn‘t get around to making anything for this month’s jam :frowning:

We can say that my submission has disappeared, just like [color="hotpink"]**magic**[/color].

>!

Here‘s something that I did make during the [color=“hotpink”]magical[/color] month of January, I just can’t work out how to spin it enough to try and claim that it fits this month's jam. Perhaps we can smile and nod along and agree that it is a reference to the magic of the ocean and sea life (and jellies, in particular).

>!

I couldn‘t quite get the audio on this one where I wanted it. It is intentionally dissonant, but given time I’d still massage it a bit further. However, I had a deadline to meet and commitments that took me away from my computer for a few days so I just had to say it was done and ship it.

>!

https://vimeo.com/794386643

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@“rejj”#p102546 say it was done and ship it

This is an important skill to have. You can always return to it when you want to or feel inspired. It's one of the reasons I say in some of my liner notes what I'd continue working on or add to when I finish a song.

And overall, this is really neat!

# Insert Credit January 2023 Art Jam Artist Statement

Your party is half dead. Some of them are fully dead, but you did make it back to town. You walk into the darkened shop and it's time to refill your Magic Points.

DJ Tent Mode’s **Magical** new track drops now!

[You can download an mp3 of “Magic Points” here](https://1drv.ms/u/s!ArDX_50WQOZHrzg0v3NgMzbn_RH8?e=eyYLtX).

# The Magic Prompt

You know that song "You Can Do Magic" by America? That mom-rock hit from the early 80s from the 70s band? The bell is the best part of that piece. I wanted to have have chimes as a primary or accented voice my new song.

Additionally, I wanted to play more with the Genesis package. In December I successfully "ported" a song that I had written a few years ago in PICO-8 to the Genesis in as a way to learn how to use the module without the added stress of having to be creative and write a new song. Here's the PICO-8 original "Janet Mode" and here's "[Genesis Mode](https://1drv.ms/u/s!ArDX_50WQOZHriZlQQp1jDx2Waf7?e=abhhx9)". Curious to know what people think about that process too.

# The Genesis is Magic

One thing all Insert Credit Forum Posters and old-game-enjoyers know is that music on the Genesis sounds "amazingly". We agree on the adverb, we just don't agree on the actual adjective and if it's amazingly good or bad. I'm not going to waste more of our time here with that discussion. Let's observe how it's fundamentally different than the NES.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/y6ZyRqS.png]

The Genesis has a Texas Instruments SN76489. The TI is the same chip that is used in the Master System and is basically a 4-channel square wave and noise generator. This was on the Genesis motherboard for backward-compatibility reasons (if you got that power base converter) and the chip can also be used in Genesis games. I suspect any song I wrote for NES that doesn't have samples I could port to Master System without too much difficulty. This is context, and I didn't use this chip in the piece.

The Genesis also has a Yamaha YM2612 6-channel Frequency Modulation synth sound chip. This is quite sophisticated. I won't be getting into the details of FM sound synthesis^1^, but by combining some simple math, you can get a very diverse array of sounds out of it. You can also configure channel 6 to play samples at a reasonably high quality even by today's standards. A production Genesis cart 30 years ago would be space limited but space isn't a limitation I'm personally super concerned with in my compositions.

If I'm gonna use canned FM patches, I'm going to go to the source and get great ones. All the FM patches in Magic Points are (allegedly) from a set that Yuzo Koshiro (of all the best music on the Genesis and beyond) used or made or something like that based on his work with PC88 MUCOM. He is [a fascinating human to follow on Twitter](https://twitter.com/yuzokoshiro). He often still begins composition projects in MUCOM because that's what he's familiar with and he's fast at it.

And consider listening to this tune with headphones to exaggerate the effect, because the Genesis supports **Stereo Audio**.

# Composition is Magical

To start, I loaded up several instruments and wrote some piano chords and some chimes that fit in with the chords. Moving a few of the chords around a bit in time maee it more of a phrase rather than merely chords.

Drums were next and I wasted some time playing with samples. I didn't use them. I settled on FM drums from the same Koshiro patch kit and I think they sound good. I intended to go toward a trap-beat featuring many syncopated snares and high-hats that anticipated to heavy down beat kicks. They turned out quite well. If I was to continue working on the piece, I'd add a few more fills and a drum solo. I like writing drum solos!

The melodoic voice is a harp and I do not play harp. I am a big fan of open fifths and major thirds though so I tweaked my way toward a melodic line and wrote an accompaniment for it.

As I was working through adding more to the harp parts, I noticed they sounded only OK. Turns out I am not Tchaikovsky. It took me several days to realize that because of the ergonomics of playing the harp, runs we hear generally go up in pitch because you pluck the strings with your fingers by pulling them toward you. They were much improved by rewriting several of the harp runs to be rising in pitch rather than descending.

As a way to make the harp phrasing less rigid, I added a very slight delay with the EDXX effect to one voice of the harp notes. Sometimes it's the low voice and sometimes it's the high voice, but it makes it sound much more organic. Generally the faster the runs and notes, the less of a delay, and when there are bigger spaces between the notes, I applied a much larger delay.

You may note I've got several FM instruments in my palette that I don't end up using in the piece. They just didn't fit in and I've got plenty of opportunity for big slap bass hits in the future.

# Writing music is basically magic

That I wrote this song at all is pretty magical. I didn't start working on it until late in the month and it came together reasonably well in a very hectic month for me. I'm still struggling with writing interesting hord progressions and tieing them back together, but I'm pretty happy with how this came out in short time on a new platform with new quirks.

Go make art for yourself and for each other.

# Footnotes

^1^: Regarding frequency modulation audio synthesis:

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/JzAPsDJ.jpeg]

@“antillese”#p102625 this is incredible. I love how much variety it has and I love the drums. And the Genesis sound really is something else.

Speaking of Yuzo Koshiro, I cannot wait for the new Genesis shmup he's working on it looks incredible

@“TracyDMcGrath”#p102671 mutual art jam fans up in here.

I think yours totally nailed the semi-ambient mood of a lot of Amiga mods. When “The Downward Spiral” came out and I loved the album but was too cowardly to purchase it and borrowed my friend’s copy, I learned the term “texture guitars” from the liner notes. That phrase has stuck with me for 30 years and I was thinking about that when listening to your track.

Craaaap! I forgot to do something. Well I drew a picture in my sketchbook and on my iPad everyday for over two weeks. Here‘s one that’s closest to the theme.

[upl-image-preview url=https://i.imgur.com/i0ohFP9.jpeg]

coincidentally I also got really into magic the gathering last month, and read A Darker Shade of Magic. I tried to stay on theme.

[“Insert Credit Art Jam 2.0 | January 2022 | Magic”,“Insert Credit Art Jam 2.0 | January 2023 | Magic”]