So, what happened to that sound engine?

Oops! yeah I kind of forgot to post anything here didn’t I!  My bad.  Well it certainly didn’t stop, in-fact several versions of it have been released and the current revision is well underway.  It has been adopted as the Sound Engine of a rapid game development engine (RAPTOR) written by the group Reboot (which for me is a great honor!), and their continued support and help with its development has pushed it along in leaps and bounds.

The core of the engine has been fully converted to the RISC based DSP on the Jaguar, with only support setup functions being called by the 68000.  Improved code has reduced it’s size and increased it’s accuracy, as well as removing the need for any look-up tables at this time (I have a suspicion I may not be able to maintain this for full module playback compatibility.. time will tell).

The latest release being worked on (0.18) has a completely rewritten sound rendering core, reducing code size whilst increasing performance and efficiency and also tolerance for bus latency!  Working in systems as ‘limited’ as these gives you a far greater appreciation for the finite capabilities of the machine.  Modern machines have so much slack available to them in terms of bus speed and memory buffers that these considerations just don’t enter in.  In the case of the Atari Jaguar the single memory bus shared between 5 processors running at 25MHz, you have to take into account that what you ask for from main memory may not arrive for quite awhile, adding buffering to absorb these delays is an absolute requirement, unless you want horrible distorted sound.  Of course these buffers are limited to only a few KB as you need this limited RAM for your program code and variables.

So, progressing and with plenty of ideas in the pipeline.

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