Paul’s Tech Talk – Introduction: ‘Turning a page of LSDJ History’

- Posted May 26th, 2017 by

Hello everyone! Paul here from the French Chip Duo Pain Perdu.

Some of you may know of our YouTube channel, where I’ve done a few tutorial videos about technical aspects of LSDJ that I thought were often misunderstood, overlooked or underused. In terms of ergonomy, raw music-making potential and how easily people can access parameters that grant extremely minute control over the sound, LSDJ is a fantastic program; in fact it stands out for me as the tracker that strikes the most perfect balance between complexity and accessibility. The fact that it is displayed in the Sweden Museum of Music and Performing Arts is well-deserved.

The biggest advantage that LSDJ has over other comparable alternatives is that it’s still in active development. Developer Johan Kotlinski is incredibly nice, understanding, and accessible. Shoot him a message over on the LSDJ Facebook Group with a technical question, and he’ll answer right away. If you find and report a bug, you can be sure it’s going to be thoroughly discussed, tested and fixed within a couple of days.

For instance, a month or two ago I Insta-grammed a screenshot of a corrupted save file affecting color palettes in a completely random, yet beautiful way. Fellow Wizard Aquellex had already been tinkering roms through direct Hex editing to try and integrate custom fonts and palettes, following the work of LSDJ rom-hacking pioneer dawsx on chipmusic.org. Thanks to his knowledge, and the glitches that caught Johan’s attention, a few days later we had an updated patcher that allowed to customize your LSDJ rom with your own fonts and palettes.

Cool #lsdj palette #glitch Custom font by #aquellex

Having realized how reactive and how happy Johan was to still be working actively on LSDJ, We brought the big artillery and someone started a thread on the LSDJ Facebook Group to try and compile daring and interesting feature requests from the community.


The following days were crazy to witness.

Changelog proof if there was ever such a thing.

Only a few of the requests were deemed impossible to implement, and through active discussion and suggestions, even the most daring and bold requests were given some consideration. Johan rolled up his sleeves and got to work. New updates popped up almost everyday, sometimes several in the scope of an afternoon. Bugs were found and fixed in a matter of hours. LSDJ was evolving faster than it ever had, and all it took was this awesome display of community effort.

Some of those updates were, quite literally, groundbreaking, and not everyone was happy about them. Songs made on earlier versions were often broken and couldn’t work on the newer ones, making Johan hesitate to revert some of the most significant changes he’d made, but ultimately, compromises were made and we understood that older versions would still be available for use, but for newer ones, backwards compatibility had to be the price of this burst of progress.

This column’s goal is to continue in the vein of our tutorial video series, in the context of these new versions of LSDJ. There was a lot of change, over very little time, and forums have been abuzz with how to best adapt. As someone who tried to push some of these changes, watched it all happen and followed the whole affair very closely, let me try to help you make heads and tails of it. Time to rediscover your favourite program together.

Let’s dive in, deep! Look out for the first installment next month, where i’ll blab about the Transposition feature and how it impacts optimization.

See you soon and let’s hope I can catch up with all the updates before another wave comes our way!

Note: traducción al Español por Pixel_Guy encontrado aquí

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