ooooo a a
o48888P"""78 8b. ,p q8 88a
48K 8 ,poo888ooP' ,oo88o o' q. d8b d888b
78888oooo. dP' `888' d8"' `88 `8888888q 48b 48P' `88
`""""8888 Y88 ,8' 88 d88 7 d88P d8P
8oo oo88 V88. `88o. ,o888 88 Y88b Y88. ,8D / /
`5488888"' `78b. `"88888'`8o q888 `88m `Y88888P / /
8888 / /
\------------------------- 88 8D --------------------------------/ /
\ \---------------- o ,d888888 ----------------------------------/
\ \ January `888 888 888
\ \ 1999 888 `"' d8888oo,
\ \ 888 `888' Y88P,d888b. dP' `88
NO. \ \ 888 q8b 88P 8888'`888 88b,,,,, 88
Subscribers \ \ 888888 7b 88' 888' `88 88'`"""78P
---------------\ \ 88 88888b dP ,88. 88; 88, 78b, .,p
--------------------\ 7888P 88888P ,8888b. a888. a888 `888888P'
ascii by: ZXPKNOBB
Table Of Contents
Message From the Editor
Letters From Our Readers
In Tune -- Natasha's "Riki Tiki Tavi"
Monthly Software Review -- "Modplug Tracker" Update
Screen Lit Vertigo (Part 1) -- "State of Mind" by Bomb
Screen Lit Vertigo (Part 2) -- "Kkowboy" by Blasphemy+Purple
1998 Song Countdown -- Coplan Ranks His Favorite 8 Songs of 1998
Message From the Editor
Aside from our normal columns this month, there are a lot of news.
Psychic Symphony has resigned as the writer for "Screen Lit Vertigo."
The article published this month will be his last. No need to fear,
however, the column will not be short-lived, for he has found someone to
take over the column. Meet Seven, the new columnist for "Screen Lit
Vertigo." Both Psychic's last and Seven's first articles have been
published this month. That's two demo reviews -- ain't that great?
Dilvish and SiN are both in stressful times, so they are takeing
breaks from the usual hustle and bustle of writing a monthly column.
They will be back shortly, so don't worry. Meanwhile, I am covering "In
Tune" by myself this month as I review Natasha's "Riki Tiki Tavi," as
per her request. Read her letter to us, and then check out what I
Louis is back after a vacation of sorts. He brings us an update on
the latest from Olivier Lapicque. You know what he though of the
ModPlug Tracker way back when. Now, read and see what Louis thinks of
ModPlug now! Welcome back Louis.
What Happened to Calvin French??? Several of you sent me messages
about his last column so that I could forward it to Calvin when I got a
hold of him. Unfortunately, he is nowhere to be found. His e-mail
address has been disconnected, and I am unaware of a new one. Therefore,
your messages have not yet been delivered. Also as thus, his column
will be delayed until someone find him. Calvin, if you're reading this,
please get in touch with me!!
Finally, as it is January, the beginning of a new year, I have done a
top 8 countdown of my favorite tracked tunes of 1998. Check them out
and see if you know the tunes.
Once again, I appologize for the short issue. It's a difficult time
for many of us...it's fortunate that we got out this month. This would
be a good spot to throw out a shamless plug and a note that we're
always looking for new writers. =P
Oh, just a quick request! The archive we have listed at the end of
this publication is an address to ftp://demo.dyn.ml.org. I was informed
that the server has moved, though my informant was unsure of the new
address. Could someone please send me this information. Thanks in
Letters From Our Readers
-=- Letter from Andreas Viklund -=-
Thanks for a very good and interesting review of my song "Exquisite".
It was very fun to read such a detailed review. I think I actually
learned a lot just by trying those things you wrote about (lower piano
volume in one part of the song, for example)... Keep up the great work,
and happy holidays! (yes, just a couple of days late. hehe...)
-- Andreas / lagoona & kfmf
-=> Reply from Coplan:
As much as many of you like reading my reviews, I like doing them as
well. I especially love it when an author of a song I reviewed comes
back and shows me that he heard and understood what I said. This means
a lot to me. This is my greatest contribution to the scene, to the
scene that I have grown to love so much. Thank you...
-=- Letter from Natasha Breanne Thompson -=-
Hello and a Happy New Year to you :)
I have finished with another song for the beginning of the New Year.
It is called 'Riki Tiki Tavi' and the theme is based upon the mongoose
character (Riki Tiki Tavi) in a story. There is a little more info
about the story on the page with the song and its cover.
If you'd like, please have a listen..... :)
-- Natasha Breanne Thompson (a.k.a *TeChNoBoT*)
-=> Reply from Coplan:
Thanks for the message, Natasha. There is a full review of Natasha's
song, "Riki Tiki Tavi," in this month's "In Tune." Check it out. Oh,
and if anyone else out there wants a review...please don't hesitate to
ask. Natasha got hers. =)
Natasha's "Riki Tiki Tavi"
By: Coplan and SiN
Natasha Breanne Thompson, also known as Technobot, came to us just a
little while ago and requested a review of her work titled "Riki Tiki
Tavi." Since she asked, SiN and I decided that we'd download the song,
and check it out. This is the first time that we have had a formal
request to review a song. More of you who are willing to learn should
do the same. If nothing else -- even if you don't learn anything -- all
you did was waste the time to write me an e-mail message about how you
want us to review something. What's a few minutes if there is a chance
that you'll get some good information for the future. =) Well, end of
my request to you...on with the review.
-=- Coplan -=-
First of all, I must say I didn't know what to expect when I got the
request from Natasha. In the past, when people have asked me for a
review, they have asked me to keep it private for one of two reasons.
The first is the fact that they feel their work sucks -- a lack of
confidence. The second is the fact that they realize the song needs
ironing, but they are blind to its wrinkles and don't know where to
start with the steam. So, when I got the request from Natasha, she was
confident and proud. As you can see in her letter above, she explained
the basis for her inspiration -- a very confident approach. That alone
made me what to grab this tune and check it out. So khudos on the
Vocal samples? Why not? In electronic music? Again, why not? Almost
the entire basis for this song lies within the vocal samples. Mind you,
they aren't necessarily lyrics. These vocal samples are almost used as
instruments. Now one must keep a few things in mind when useing vocal
samples. The first is the fact that they must be clean and clear. This
doesn't account for effects that you add to them as is the case here.
The second is that if you have multiple voices, they must fit together.
In "Riki Tiki Tavi," there are two sets of voices: male and female. The
male voice is demanding, course and brisk. The female voices compliment
the male set by being gentle, soft and relaxed. These voices compliment
eachother well. Finally, when useing vocal samples, you can't let them
overwelm the rest of the song or seem out of place. Watch your volume
levels, and watch your panning. In this case, I feel that the female
voice tends to shift too far to the left sometimes and too far to the
right in its echo. This also plays along with the volume level because
if the sample were faded in slightly, or played softer, you wouldn't
notice the sudden introduction of that sample -- something undesirable
on gentle and relaxed samples such as the feminine voice in this song.
This can be avoided in two ways. The first, and most logical method, is
to mess with the panning directly. One could either start closer to
center and shift outward from the center, or to simply place it
slightly closer to a resonant instrument already playing, such as a
horn or a flute. This would blend down the dramatic addition of voice.
The second method would be to play with the volume levels and trick the
listener into believing that the voice "drifted in." This requires you
to start at a lesser volume for that sample, and increase it as it plays
useing the volume slide command. This trick doesn't work with many
samples, so don't get discouraged if you can't figure out what the hell
I'm talking about. Now, onto my more linear method of reviewing. =)
The introduction, in my eyes, is strong and efficient. It is fairly
short, but it somehow puts you into the mood for the song. I'm not
exactly sure why this works so well, but I can make a good educated
guess. I believe that the introduction works primarily because of a
good selection of samples. The '7thsense' sample seems to work well with
the 'Gitar' samples. The chord progression lies within the '7thsense'
samples at the biginning. Natasha was wise to keep that sample moveing
in four channels at the beginning. It is the only instrument sample
playing, and therefore it should avoid dead space or space where the
overall volume level drops dramatically. The male voice now comes in
and almost introduces the song, like a welcome in a way. The 'Gitar'
samples then fades in with their rendition of the chord progression.
Listen closely...its there. If the voice didn't exist here, she
would've had to start fadeing in the Gitar samples much earlier, or much
In order 3, we notice our first major change. Along with that female
voice comes our first base instrument of any depth. The 'Basswah'
samples are very well used to balance out the bouncy melody of the
'Gitar' samples. With exception of the base drum that is soon to come,
most of the percussion is done in loops. There's nothing wrong with
drum loops...just make sure you use ones fit for the song. More khudos
to Natasha for finding good drum loops for this song. As for the Base
Drum, listen to it. It isn't as simple as it appears. Occasionally it
hits in in triplet. What is important here is when it hits in triplet
relative to the song. Notice that whenever there is a major jump in the
pitch of the chord progression, the chord progression changes or if
there is new peice of the song added, the base drum his three times
A transition starts mounting in order 11, and a damn good one I might
add. The 'goldenhour' sample kicks in, softly at first, but eventually
demands a lot of attention as it gets louder. It seems to carry the
lead role for a while, but then come the rezers and the 'stratos'
samples. These samples alone transform the whole song into a nearly
mystical trance. The song goes on in this dream world for a good
portion of the rest of the song. Wow, do I feel like I'm one of those
cobras (read the song text if you don't know the story).
Somewhere around order 28 starts the weakest part of the song, still
tight mind you. Up to about order 32, I feel like I'm listening to a
completely different song from a Metroid game or something. Haveing
parts in the song this drastically different is tricky. The entire
portion has to be very well transitioned. The transition into the
section is far to simple. Something dramatic would work, but that isn't
suitable for this song. I would imagine a transition similar to the
one I described at the beginning would best work here. For starters, I
would mimic the last riff of the 'goldenhour' sample here and there as a
form of unity. Second, I might get rid of the base drum for a short
while. Introduce it again shortly before the song shifts back to the
The closing works fairly well. It is a simple closeing that I have
examined many times before in this column, so I won't bore you once
again with all the gory details. I will say, however, that the key to
this transition lies in the percussion as its riff changes. This lets
the listener know something is happening. Another key element to this
closeing is the slight echo of the gitar in the background.
Finally...there's that well placed voice again. =)
You may have noticed I talked alot about the samples in this song. The
truth is, these are all very good samples. Natasha sampled all these
herself from her sythesizer. There has been a great effort put into the
careful selection of samples here, and it shows. The tightest piece of
this song is its sample selection. Well, that's about all for one of
the best songs of its type out there. Quality electronic music like
this is hard to come by these days. While you're downloading, you might
as well check out the rest of Natasha's web page. I personally downloaded
two other songs of hers and found them to be just as enjoyable.
Hope you found the review informative.
Coplan: IT 2.14 useing default Interwave drivers; Koss Mixing
Headphones and his home stereo.
SiN: IT 2.15 useing MMX PNP drivers; volume ramping (@48kHz); MikIT;
Senheiser Studio-Reference Headphones and his home stereo.
Title: Riki Tiki Tavi
Author: Natasha Breanne Thompson
Filename (zipped/unzipped): rikitiki.zip / rbland1.it
File Size: 1666k
"In Tune" is a regular column dedicated to the review of original and
singular works by fellow trackers. It is to be used as a tool to expand
your listening and writing horizons, but should not be used as a general
rating system. SiN and Coplan's opinions are not the opinions of the
Static Line Staff.
If you have heard a song you would like to recommend (either your
own, or another person's), we can be contacted through e-mail useing the
addresses found in the closing notes. Please do not send files attached
to e-mail without first contacting us. Thank you!
Montly Software Review
"ModPlug Tracker" Update
By: Louis Gorenfeld
Olivier Lapicque gets my vote for the most-improved programmer of
1998. His software (you know, the ModPlug series) went from software
that I felt people should pay me to download, to programs that I use
I would recommend ModPlug Tracker to anybody learning to track. It
has a friendly familiar Windows interface, and features that some
original trackers don't have: Cleanup (to get rid of unused samples,
patterns and instruments), ability to keep open multiple files at a
time, list of recently opened files, clickable sample editor so that you
can hilight parts of the wave and loop or edit them, a chord editor and
pretty good filter support. It will also load GUS and SoundFont2 sets.
Another good feature is an effects selection screen. Though this isn't
needed for experienced trackers, it is something I wish I had when I
The tracker should appeal to both FT2 and IT users since it saves in
both formats and can be configured to behave a little like them too.
When you first start a song you select what format first, not when you
save. This way, you can write a song and not worry about the particular
format being too limiting to save what you already have. It also alters
the effects list to match that of the format.
The interface still could be slicker: on an 800x600 display I still
needed to scroll around the General and Comments tabs, and on a 1024x768
display there was a lot of unused space. But even with these minor
drawbacks, this is a great place to start writing your own music.
Min. Req: P90 or better and 8 MB RAM
Rec. Req: 486dx4 or better and 16 MB RAM
Platform: Windows 95
--Louis "Farmer" Gorenfeld
Screen Lit Vertigo (Part 1)
"State of Mind" by Bomb (Party version)
Found at http://files.theparty.dk/files/1998/pcde/dist/m0debomb.zip
2nd place at TP8
From the info-file: "Works with my P120 + 16MB"
Dos: SoundBlaster 16, VESA2, no memory manager except himem.sys
Win: DirectDraw 15/16bit modes, Directsound
Linux: X11, lots of other things I don't understand as I'm not a
PII 350 64MB SB16, Win98 in dos-mode (BOOTGUI = 0)
Dos: crashes when returning to dos, both with & without EMM.
Win: crashes halfway the canyon-part.
Linux: Can't test this, no Linux.
This is the most videoclip-like demo I've ever seen. It starts with a
big "NO parental advisory required" sign, Then diving into a tunnel,
leading to a room with an Escher-knot. Meanwhile, text from the music is
flashing and scrolling all over the scrren, accompagnied by TV-like
static (not really like snow). This is something that continues the
entire demo. A few flashing screens later, we see a big spaceship. Hey,
wait a minute! It's the same spaceship as in Eden/Bomb, but with less
textures! Well, we see it only a few seconds, then some MPEGs of people
demonstrating in the street are shown, with the text: "WORK BUY CONSUME
Now the best part (IMHO) kicks in: a flight thru a big high-tech
canyon, filled with spaceships. This is something that should last much
longer (I feel). Metaballs appear, on an MPEG background. Not really
original, I've seen those things even in 4K's. After a rotating galaxy
of stars/lights, another MPEG is repeating, this time of people working
in a factory. Some kind of tunnel (one of the few real 2D effects in
this demo) is replaced by an Bomb-logo (one of the few real pictures in
this demo). In the background of the greetings, some torusses (tori?)
are shown (with shadows! Not easy!). After the credits, a final MPEG is
The first thing I did when I first saw State of Mind, was decreasing
the volume. It was a bit too loud, and it's the kind of music that makes
your parents wonder what they did wrong with your education :). It's a
kind of metal/rock music, a la Rage Against The Machine. Although its
not 100% my taste, it fits the demo perfectly. Or maybe we should say
the demo fits the music perfectly, because it's not tracked, it's an MP3
of an existing group! ("State of mind"/SENSER). There has been a lot of
fuss about that on the net, but apparently Bomb had permission to use
it. So there are vocals in it, and you can better pay attention to them
instead of to the texts, because those move/disappear way too fast to
A bit of visual overkill, but you can look several times to it, always
discovering something new. I think the videoclip-feeling makes it very
accessible to non-sceners, so if you need to explain to someone what the
demoscene is about, you might start with this (if he/she likes this kind
of music, that is. Don't want to scare anyone away :)). Still, I don't
really like the movement towards MPEGs & MP3s. Real clips have no
size-restriction and are not realtime, so we'll never beat them. I think
we should keep the real-time effects and self-made music & pictures
(personal opinion, feel free to do whatever you want).
- Krafton/Nomad (with others) did the "visual supply". He also worked
on Moai, which won the PC demo compo. So his work placed 1st and 2nd!
- Lots of nice command-line options (try mind-h). Pressing space saves
a snapshot of the current screen to your harddisk, really usefull to
read some text. (Also usefull for reviewers. Thanks!)
Screen Lit Vertigo (Part 2)
"Kkowboy" by Blasphemy+Purple
By: Psychic Symphony
3rd at The Party 8
What can i say. This one rules!!! Design me baby!
Code by Slyde of Blasphemy and Vipa of Purple. It's 640x400 all the
way! Mostly 3D splines and curves. There is also this awesome opening
lightning and a tunnel at the end. The credits during the tunnel is simply
Music by the master of disaster, Mellow-d. It fits the design and mood
of the demo very well. Following his own traditional "Mellow-d style", he
wraps up another joint ready to be smoked by the guys of blasphemy+purple.
The 3D is by Byter of Blasphemy and Thorsten of Purple. Not much to say
here! Some cool design work though!
Graphics by Thorsten of Purple and Mads of Purple. There is also some
heavy design work in here! Awesome similarities to Purple's successful
This is basically Summer Encounter '98 revisited! What the
americans call the "2-in-1"! ;) Which is great!!! "Plastik"+"Louis
Lane"="Kkowboy" It's a weird equation but it works for the guys from
denmark! Not much more i can say. Maybe a small mention to that 3D
lightsource virus-looking thing also looked awesome. This is one
of those #product-speaks-for-itself" things. Just go get it!
Psychic Symphony / email@example.com
1998 Song Countdown
Coplan Ranks His Favorite 8 Songs of 1998
Someone on #trax asked me one time why I don't rate the songs that I
review. There's actually two simple reasons for this. The first is
that I find it does absolutely nothing to help the artist grow as a
musician. Second, and my biggest reason, is that I don't rate
mainstream songs as I listen to them on the radio. Think about
it...when was the last time you heard something from U2 and rated it on
a 10 point scale? It's not a competition, so why bother? There's only
three options in most cases: You like it, you don't like it, or you
aren't sure. Three point scales just aren't that common in statistical
data, so I don't bother.
However, when you plot one song against another, you'll most likely
like one song better than the next. That's where this special article
comes into play. My roomate (who has been mentioned at least twice in
the past) is always asking what my favorite songs are of the 229 songs
on my hard drive. He's not asking because he really wants to know, he's
actually asking because he wants to know which songs he should copy.
The truth of the matter is, if I don't like it, I don't keep it. So if
its on my hard drive, I like it. But, if I had to rank all the tunes
that I have from 1998, this is what my list would be. Granted, it may
not be an accurate of what is truly the best of 1998. After all, how
many songs are released every year in the scene? More than I could
count. Well, here goes. (BTW, there are only 8 songs listed because I
found there to be a huge gap between my 8th favorite of the year and my
9th favorite. Without any comparison, there's no point in ranking
-=- 8. Line of Force (trch-lin.it) -- Tourach of Chaos Theory
Classic Van Halen fans will like this song. It is reminiscent of rock
from the late 1970's and early 1980's. Here we go, jump in your melodic
time machine and load up this tune, it'll bring back memories.
Seriously though, it's a good tune, and definately worth the download
time. See the full review in issue #2.
-=- 7. Love in the Stars (lovesta3.it) -- Airon of Phaze^D
Here's a ballad for all of you who like to dance slow and close to your
date. The percussion can be kind of bland at times, but the leads are
something to die for. Some of the best slow-song lead work I have seen
in a long while.
-=- 6. Space Pop (m6v-spop.it / bz-spop.it) -- Blue Zone of Immortal Coil
Blue Zone is one of the best trackers in the scene today, and this is
the second song of his that among my favorites. This is a very unique
song, almost New Age stylistically speaking. It is not the typical
song, far too complex for a simple analysis, far too good to take apart.
If you don't want to take my word for it, note the fact that it did take
6th place in MC6.
-=- 5. He Said (sc_hes8.xm) -- Setec of Immortal Coil
No doubt about it...this is the first song I cue up when I'm feeling in
a dark and mysterious mood. It's an industrial song with some really
funky percussion. From the beginning of the song, you are captivated
into listening -- calmly. Then, there is no escape...the song has taken
a turn and becomes a little more wild, and very mysterious. Check it
out...it's one of my favorites, and I'm not often a fan of industrial
-=- 4. Outerspace Girl (03outers.it) -- Phytoplankton
To be honest, I don't think this song is really available anywhere. I
will have to check on that and get back to you. If anyone wants this
song, please e-mail me, I'll be glad to send it. This is a guy I
discovered through a friend of mine. He is not truly a member of the
scene, but its tracked music, and its one of my favorites. The sample
work is incredible. I have never dreamed of useing some of these
samples as instruments or in some cases percussion. Welcome to your
first peak at the music of the future. Damn, I wish this guy would
become more active in the scene.
-=- 3. Exquisite (av_exqui.xm) -- Andreas Viklund of TSEC
This seems to be a trance, rock and new age hybrid here (though I never
have been good with putting "labels" on music styles). The percussion
in this song is phenominal, the sample work is amazing, and the tune is
pretty well done. I came across this song while looking for something
to review for an issue of Static Line, and it is now one of my
favorites. Read my full review in issue #6.
-=- 2. Carpe Diem (m6v-diem.it) -- Siren
This song was served to while I was a judge for MC6 in the first round.
It is a song that I had actually picked to place higher than it did. I
expected it to pull 1st or 2nd place. Unfortunately, it only took 5th
place. Still, that's not too shabby. The song is a rock-like song,
though far more funky than the average rock song. Siren's style here is
very similar to that of Necros. The percussion work is tight, the
samples are excellent, the guitar work is unbelievable. This is
definately a song you should go download from the MC6 directories of
Hornet before it closes for good.
-=- 1. Sorrow's Triumph (strimph.it) -- Obsidian Dream: Catspaw, Dude
and Dream Scyth
A dramatic and romantic orchestral tune for any music lover.
Inspiration from all forms of orchestral music and even rock. This is
one of my all time favorite tunes, right up there with Jase's "Kingdom
Skies" and Necros's "Shadow Caster." This is one of the only three-way
co-op songs that I know of, and it is very effectivly done. Going over
the song with a fine toothed comb, I found very little errors in the
song. Quality, aestheticly pleasing...what more could you ask for.
There's no doubt that this should earn 1st on my scale. See the full
review in issue #4.
Editor: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Assistant Editors: Ranger Rick / Ben Reed / email@example.com
Subliminal / Matt Friedly / firstname.lastname@example.org
Web Manager: Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / email@example.com
Columnists: Coplan / D. Travis North / firstname.lastname@example.org
Calvin French / email@example.com
Dilvish / Eric Hamilton / firstname.lastname@example.org
Louis Gorenfeld / email@example.com
Setec / Jesper Pederson / firstname.lastname@example.org
Seven / Stefaan / Stefaan.VanNieuwenhuyze@rug.ac.be
SiN / Ian Haskin / email@example.com
Staff Writers: Acell / Jamie LeSouef / firstname.lastname@example.org
Darkheart / Zach Heitling / email@example.com
Psychic Symphony / firstname.lastname@example.org
Setec / Jesper Pederson / email@example.com
Technical Support: Draggy / Nicolas St. Pierre / firstname.lastname@example.org
Static Line on the Web: http://www.ic.i7.net/statline
To subscribe to the Static Line mailing list, send an e-mail message to
"email@example.com" with "subscribe static_line" in the message text.
You will then be asked to confirm your addition to the mailing list.
To unsubscribe from the mailing list, send an e-mail message to
"firstname.lastname@example.org" with "unsubscribe static_line" in the message text.
Your subscription will then be removed.
If you would like to contribute an article to Static Line, be aware
that we will format your article with two spaces at the beginning and one
space at the end of each line. Please void foul language and high ascii
characters. Contributions should be mailed to Coplan
See you next month!