veejingSX is a free software application for MSX computers, which generates different 8-bit effects in real time. Its main function is a visual accompaniment to match the music, using the keyboard as interface.
It started as a utility designed for some of 303bcn concerts, which has evolved over time becoming an open application to all who need visuals for chiptune shows.
Note: The MSX is a computer system of the 80’s, with remarkable visual and sound characteristics, but while it’s a platform where software and hardware is still being developed, it’s not used for chiptune sessions a lot.
The visuals are based on the combination of different effects, which are divided into three layers:
Background. Noise, textures pseudo-glitch or 8×8 textures in motion.
Screens, animations or ScrollText based on 8×8 pixel blocks (tiles).
Contains: 10 background textures add 3 background effects, 10 ScrollText, 9 screens, 4 animations and 10 animations sprites.
It is easy to use. We turn to each layer with the direct selection mode, where you can launch the effects from the numeric keypad, except the screen animations, which have specific keys. To highlight Bassdrum strokes or other sounds, you can trigger a flash effect using [Return]. This will cause a flash to change the color black into white for a moment.
To simplify its use [space] key can be used to generate combinations of random effects to change keys in sequence: backgrounds, screens and animations, and 5 state memories, which are launched with the function keys.
To be able to use it, you need a first generation MSX (or higher), with 64k of RAM, composite video output or RGB / scart, so that it can be connected to a projector. Not all models have RCA or SCART. You may need an adapter or a special cable.
This program is a 32K ROM, but can be downloaded in different formats, depending on the configuration you have:
WAV or MP3. We can use an MP3 player to load from MSX, or if you like retro, you can record directly to a cassette tape. You need the cable of the MSX cassette.
DSK. Image you can record to a disc of 3.5 2DD, to load on computers that have a unit of this type.
ROM. You can write to a cartridge-type EPROM or FlashROM.
There are many features to improve in upcoming version 1, I have the intention to implement the possibility to edit the contents to customize a particular musical session. Also to take advantage of the MSX2 graphics chip capabilities, such as effects related to the color palette.
You can download it from the project page for free. You’ll also find detailed documentation and some more details.
Article published by Alberto Orante