Nerdtracker II (or NT2 for
short) is a MS-DOS based music creation program
by Michel Iwaniec (Bananmos), designed
exclusively to create 2A03 PSG tunes -- aka
Nintendo NES / Famicom music.
is based off a "tracker" layout --
where you input your music on tracks &
patterns... in the form of hex commands as well
as notes. So if you used tracker programs such as
Screamtracker, or even Impulsetracker, this
program's layout will feel quite familiar for you
once you get used to the fact you're composing
with actual chip sounds rather than samples.
Its technical features are vast
-- sporting a real-time / decently accurate 2A03
internal playback engine, a healthy tracker
command set, low-level instrument editing (i.e.
duty-cycle "timbre" adjustments, volume/pitch
slides, auto-arpeggios, looped noises...), and
even DPCM sampled sound support & mapping.
Better yet, with the NT2 sound
replay code, you have the ability to compile your
masterpieces into actual NES' 6502 code,
expanding cool possibilities such as including
your music in your own *.NES game or demo, making
your own *.NSF sound file to spread around, or
even playing your tune in an actual NES system.
Best of all: Nerdtracker
II is Giftware! You're entitled to use
NT2 & its replay code freely for any non-commercial
usage. All we ask in return is to send Bananmos
something nice to show your support &
gratitude for his creation.
Despite all its great technical
features, composing music with NT2 is certainly
NOT for the faint of heart. NT2, at its current
state, is geared towards the composer who knows
exactly what (s)he's doing in its specialized
environment. So there's no extra ammonities, such
as a graphical mouse-driven GUI, cut & paste
commands, nor even a REAL file requestor. Also,
keep in mind that this program is now DISCONTINUED
-- there will, unfortunately, be no further
official updates to the program.
But despite the lack of further
official support & slightly steeper learning
curve (compared to other trackers), NT2 can prove
to be a VERY valuable "low-level" type
music tracker if you're willing to learn its
useful features & overcome its deficiencies.
In little time, you'll be able to create your own
cool little Mario-like jingle to jive with. And
with a little patience, you can make some really
amazing-sounding NES tunes once its power is
harnessed, moreso than just your typical "blips-n'-bleeps"
that you might come to expect.