Contents of the SPP.DOC file
By Joshua C. Jensen
Release Date: March 23, 1992
I. QUICK START
Assuming you have already dearchived SuperProPlay, just
at the DOS prompt. Everything else is automatic!
SuperProPlay allows you to play Amiga Soundtracker,
Noisetracker, 4 channel Startrekker, and Protracker modules
on a PC (10Mhz+, 12 mhz for optimum performance).
SuperProPlay is written completely in assembly and is now
9,000 lines in length.
**v1.2c -- Sorry, all you 8086 people. I went through
and optimized a lot of the code. It will now only run
on a 286 or better. You'll have to use under v1.2c.
IIa. WHAT ARE THESE THINGS CALLED MODULES?
A module consists of 15 or 31 "samples" and a 4 channel
music score. The samples are actual digitized sounds,
sampled in through a variety of different sources. By
taking these samples and playing them at different pitches,
a rich, musical soundtrack can be created that makes
synthesized sound look puny.
The music score of a module is made up of several different
things. Number one is the note. The note is stored as a
"sampling" rate or a period of time. The lower the note,
the longer the period of time.
Next is the instrument. For every note played, a
corresponding instrument is played.
The special effect is next. These range from arpeggios to
volume slides to speed changes.
By combining these items, musical scores lasting several
minutes, sometimes ten minutes or more, can be created using
IIb. PLAYBACK DEVICES
SuperProPlay supports several playback devices:
* PC Internal Speaker
* Soundblaster Pro (next release)
* Adlib Gold (next release)
* Roland (coming soon)
* and other MIDI devices (coming soon)
The PC's internal speaker is not really up to handling
modules. It can barely handle a 5-bit sample (and that is
barely). This is nearly half of the total bits in the
sample we have to play. So, if the music gets loud and
muffled, you'll know why.
The Soundblaster is a wonderful device for modules. The
Amiga plays a 9-bit stereo sample. The Soundblaster plays
an 8-bit mono. Even so, this is very good...much, much
better than the internal speaker.
Creative Labs, Inc. should have the Soundblaster Pro
programming specs out soon. The Soundblaster Pro will play
an 8-bit stereo sample. Channels 1 and 4 go out the left
speaker, channels 2 and 3 go out the right speaker. This
should sound pretty good.
The Adlib Gold will play a 9-bit stereo sample. This
doubles the quality of the 8-bit stereo sample, and even
makes it sound better than the Amiga. This should sound
SuperProPlay implements all regular Amiga effects including
Protracker effects. Most Amiga modules have samples that
are less than 64k in them. A few rare modules have samples
greater than 64k. These can be played on a 12mhz machine,
but most 12mhz machines really can't cope. Try it on the
next step up, a 16mhz machine.
The Amiga's name comes with its standard in graphics, music,
and whatever other types of files it has. This standard is
the reason why everything on the Amiga looks good. This
standard was also the deciding factor in designing
SuperProPlay originally began with Soundtracker modules.
These contained some nice, standard Amiga effects. But as
time went on, more and more Amiga trackers began appearing,
implementing more and more new commands.
One tracker that is quickly becoming a standard is
Protracker. Protracker supports all the Soundtracker
commands, plus a host of its own. In implementing the
Protracker format, I have opened up a wide range of Amiga
modules whose special effects were otherwise not playable by
anything but Protracker. You will find that many modules
benefit greatly by having these extra commands.
III. SUPERPROPLAY COMMAND LINE OPTIONS
SuperProPlay has simple (and very simplistic) command-line
SPP [-1/-2/-3] [-0] [-f] [filename [.MOD]]
The items in [ ] are optional. The filename can contain
wildcard characters, so SPP * would be valid. SPP * would
play all *.MOD files in the current directory one after
another. Playback of a list of files can be aborted by
hitting ESC several times in rapid succession.
-1 should be used if you are playing samples on a 10mhz
-2 is the default, 12mhz machines or better.
-3 is for 12mhz machines playing modules with samples
greater than 64k. If your machine acts screwy, use this.
-0 tells SuperProPlay to play through the PC speaker.
This is the default and using this switch will override
any automatic detections. SuperProPlay automatically
detects a Soundblaster card.
-f will create a list of all module files in the current
directory. See below (Module File List).
IV. SUPERPROPLAY INTERACTIVE MODE
Typing SPP on its own will bring up a file selection list.
From here, files can be tagged, played, deleted, output
device can be changed, etc. Help is available on all
keypresses by pressing F10.
Commands on the file selection screen are as follows:
Cursor Left or
Cursor Up - Move the highlight bar up
Cursor Right or
Cursor Down - Move the highlight bar down
Home - Move the highlight bar to the top of the
End - Move the highlight bar to the bottom of the
PgUp - Move up a page of files
PgDn - Move down a page of files
Enter - This will play the currently highlighted
module, or change the drive or directory.
ESC - Quits SuperProPlay.
O - Brings up a menu showing all the output
devices available and allows selection from
D - Deletes the currently highlighted module
Space - Tags or untags the currently highlighted
module and advances to the next module.
T - Tags all the modules in the directory.
U - Untags all the modules in the directory.
P - Plays all tagged modules.
S - Pulls up a sample list for the current
module (see below).
V. SAMPLE LIST/MENU
This menu is set up to view, play, save, or load samples for
the current module. This is only temporary and when you
exit, all changes are destroyed. Note that this is a very
untested section of the program. Use with caution!!
Keys that work from within this menu are:
F1 Save the current sample to disk. Prompts for a
F2 Load a sample from disk. Prompts for a filename.
F3 Plays the module with the changes.
ESC Exits the sample menu.
In addition to the above keys, samples can be played from
here, too. Below is a crude rendition of a piano keyboard.
2 3 4 6 7 9 0 -
F#2 G#2 A#2 C#3 D#3 F#3 G#3 A#3
Q W E R T Y U I O P [
F-2 G-2 A-2 B-2 C-3 D-3 E-3 F-3 G-3 A-3 B-3
S D G H J L ;
C#1 D#1 F#1 G#1 A#1 C#2 D#2
Z X C V B N M , . /
C-1 D-1 E-1 F-1 G-1 A-1 B-1 C-2 D-2 E-2
VI. PLAYBACK KEYS
These keys will work during any playback.
ESC Stop playing
F1 Decrease volume bar character by one
F2 Increase volume bar character by one
F3 Decrease volume bar attribute by one
F4 Increase volume bar attribute by one
F5 Scroll music
F8 Sorry, folks. Somebody gave me the spectrum
analyzer source. It didn't work the way it
was supposed to, so I cut it.
F9 Flips into graphics mode
F11 Decrement master volume
F12 Increment master volume
1 Turn channel 1 on/off
2 Turn channel 2 on/off
3 Turn channel 3 on/off
4 Turn channel 4 on/off
7 Decrement foreground attribute for real-
time spectrum analyzer
8 Increment foreground attribute for real-
time spectrum analyzer
9 Decrement background attribute for real-
time spectrum analyzer
0 Increment background attribute for real-
time spectrum analyzer
[ Decrement number of counts per next note
] Increment number of counts per next note
A Decrement channel 1 volume
Z Increment channel 1 volume
S Decrement channel 2 volume
X Increment channel 2 volume
D Decrement channel 3 volume
C Increment channel 3 volume
F Decrement channel 4 volume
V Increment channel 4 volume
Left Arrow Slow music down
Right Arrow Speed music up
Down Arrow Restore original speed
End Almost pause music
Home Go to beginning of music
PgUp Decrement current block by one
PgDn Increment current block by one
VII. MODULE FILE LIST
By using the -f command-line switch, a list of all modules
in the current directory can be created. Use redirection to
redirect them to a file.
C:\MODULES> SPP -f > LIST.TXT
Would create a file LIST.TXT with the contents similar to:
CRUSADE.MOD 87k CRUSADE.SONG.st 20 31 02:30
RAINY_NT.MOD 209k rainynight 54 31 06:46
BRIDGE.MOD 145k bridge 32 31 04:00
VIII. MODULE EDITING
SuperProPlay Advanced will contain complete and total real-
time module editing! Yes, folks! You heard it! Real-
time...on a PC!
This version of SuperProPlay contains a small sample of the
beginning stages of some editing I am working on. To sample
it, press E on a module from the file selection screen. Use
standard moving keys, the keyboard, F7 and F8 to increment
the current sample, F9 and F10 to increment the current
block. Note: This is not even in the beta-testing stages.
If it locks up your machine, it's not my fault.
Compare MED for the Amiga. Coming in version 2.00. The
very next release! Available at the end of March.
This software is Freeware. This means that if you use this
software, like it, and continue to use it, in order to keep
your conscience clear, donate some money to the development
of this software.
I have a problem with Shareware. The problem is that no one
has ever supported anything I have written so far. This is
the last and final test in this area. If anyone has
anything they'd like to say, send me a letter! Support
X. CREDIT & THANKS:
These people have directly and indirectly helped in the
development of SuperProPlay. Thanks to all of them! If you
have ideas, your name could appear here, too.
Joshua Dinerstein - Provided the MED source code for the
Amiga which contained a MED playback
routine. Recently supplied the Protracker
source code so I could verify my
Ted Birch - For obtaining the Soundblaster
Tom Campbell - One of my few and only beta testers.
Thanks for all the suggestions.
- The now, over 100 people, who have
requested copies/given ideas for
This license agreement applies only to the version of
SuperProPlay that accompanies this document.
The software (SPP.EXE and SPP.DOC) is Copyright 1992
by the author (Joshua C. Jensen). You are hereby granted
permission to: use this software; give copies to anyone;
and distribute the software and documentation via electronic
You are specifically prohibited from charging, selling, or
requesting any monetary amount for any copies, however made.
The software may not be used for any commercial purposes
without written contract from the author (Joshua C. Jensen).
This software may be distributed in the Shareware/Public
Domain libraries that charge for copying and distributing
disks so long as those companies contact the author first
and receive his written permission to do so.
There is no warranty of any kind; this software is provided
on an "AS-IS" basis. The author (Joshua C. Jensen) is not
liable for any damages whatsoever, directly or indirectly,
that may occur as a result of using this software or
documentation. By owning/using this software, you agree to
all the above terms.
No copy of this software may be distributed or given away
without this document; the software or document may not be
altered in any way nor the software reverse-engineered by
disassembly or any other method that could cause alteration.
The software and documentation are
Copyright (C) 1991/1992 by Joshua C. Jensen
XII. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q. How do I make modules?
A. Modules are generally created using MED or Protracker on
the Amiga. SuperProPlay Advanced (available at the end
of March) will contain _full_ real-time editing
comparable to MED or Protracker.
Q. Can I have the source code?
A. It is my intention to release the full source for
SuperProPlay to create a standard on the IBM also.
Right now, I am holding back, because certain companies
are investigating SuperProPlay and may incorporate the
playing routines in their games. There is one company so
far that has used my playing routines. That is Inland
International Software. They/we used it in a game called
the Crusade. Contact them at (801) 753-5720 for ordering
information for the Crusade (IBM/Amiga).
XIII. WHAT'S NEW
***** Whats been asked for and coming soon
o Driving MIDI equipment
o Editor built into the program. Will include support for
editing in real-time. Compare MED for the Amiga.
o Adlib Gold stereo support
o Soundblaster Pro stereo support
o Mouse support
o Everyone is harassing me to add EPS-16 support. What
the heck is an EPS-16?
o Graphic scope and a frequency-based analyzer
** Bugfix 1.3 -- Date 3/24/92
- Would not accept command-line options like it should.
** New in 1.3 -- Date 3/24/92
o Cut the editor mode. It will be in v2.00 with flying
o Windowed everything. File selection and sample editing
now looks much nicer.
o Duplicated a MED type volume bar.
o Rewrote the Protracker routines to correspond with
the Protracker source for the Amiga.
o Cut the spectrum analyzer
** New in 1.2b -- Date 2/29/92
o Added the volume bars and spectrum analyzer to graphics
mode. Fixed the bug where it didn't switch back to
o Fixed the tab characters in the documentation. Oops!
** New in 1.2a -- Date 2/18/92
o Added some graphics mode support. Blank screen, nothing
fancy. From new key F9.
** New in 1.2 -- Date 2/12/92
o Channel toggle (1,2,3,4)
o Control master volume
o Control individual channel volume.
o Now scrolls module file.
o Fixed Tone Portamento.
o Brings up a sample menu 's'
o Brings up an output selection menu 'o'
** New in 1.1 -- Date 12/25/91
o Fixed file display selection... now includes name, time,
** New in 1.00 -- Date 11/31/91
o New directory routine.
o Worked all the bugs out of the Protracker playback
o Added Spectrum Analyzer mode.
** New in 0.99 -- Date 11/18/91
o Now sorts directory into alphabetical order
o New Help pop-up
** New in 0.98 -- Date 11/16/91
o Changed name to SuperProPlay.
o Added full Protracker support (Super Protracker Player,
o New key 'd' lets you delete a module (with confirmation)
o Bought a Soundblaster board. Have added full Soundblaster
o Have up to 1000 modules in a directory!
o Totally seized control of keyboard.
** New in 0.95 -- Date 09/03/90
o Can now 'space' tag/untag and then 'p' play all tagged
** New in 0.92 -- Date 09/01/90
o Really stupid file selection technique... oh, well, it
o Displays filename of Module playing in multi-play mode
o Command line option for people with slower/faster machines
o Will play multiple files from the command line.
** New in 0.90 -- Date 08/22/90
o First public release of PLAYSTM. Was the grandfather of
For any support, bug reporting, registration, or anything
to that effect, contact me via one of the following places.
Joshua C. Jensen
P.O. Box 414
Hyde Park, UT 84318
Official support sites:
The Holo Deck BBS (801) 563-6348 1:302/1
Into the Woods (801) 753-2408 1:302/5
or via any 1:302 Fidonet address.