The French Touch is at it again. Grouik of The French Touch has just contacted me to let me know about the Apple II demo / hacking group’s latest production, Pure Noise, a music disk for the 128K Apple IIe. It requires a Mockingboard sound card and takes full advantage of all 6 channels across its pair of AY-3-8910 sound chips. The disk boots into a colorful graphical player complete with channel and spectrum bars that dance to the stereo playback the included tracks.
I can confirm that the Pure Noise sounds even better on an actual Apple IIe with Mockingboard than in the sample video, below. It’s a most impressive feat for a 1MHz 8-bit computer.
Last year the group wowed retro computing fans with their chiptune music disk, (NOT SO) Cheap Tunes, which I covered back in September. It had been decades since we last saw any program set Sweet Micro System’s Mockingboard to singing, when The French Touch released a disk of Atari ST chiptunes along with a player that played those 3-voice tracks in stereo on the Mockingboard. (The Atari ST, which has mono sound output, features a single 3-voice Yamaha YM2149F, a variant of the AY-3-8910 that was used in many home computers and consoles during the ’80s and ’90s, as well as in the Mockingboard; it has two of them.) Grouik informs me that the tracks included with Pure Noise take full advantage of the Mockingboard hardware, using its 6 audio channels to playback distinct sounds, beyond what was achieved in the earlier music disk.
Over the past few years The French Touch has released a number of Apple II scenedemos, utilities, game patches, and the like. Among the more popular computer systems of the early ’80s, the 8-bit Apple II has probably been the single most neglected in terms of demos coded for it. As someone who is a huge fan of the demoscene, it’s been great finally seeing the 8-bit II really show its stuff in this area. And all of the group’s releases since that first music disk — Plasmagoria, Raster Bars, and Crazy Cycles 2 — have featured excellent audio played through the Mockingboard.
Hats off, guys. Please keep the demos coming!