~ :: nt2 program questions :: ~
(Last updated: June 18, 2005)

Q: Whenever I run the program, I get an error that says "BLASTER environment not found, what the?!...". What's wrong?

A: NT2 requires your soundcard to have DOS drivers. You can usually find out if you have DOS drivers by typing "set" at the command prompt. There should be a line that says "BLASTER=(your config)". Your soundcard maker should have DOS drivers on their website or installation discs (i.e. Soundblaster PCI / Live! / Audigy users will have to enable "Soundblaster ISA Legacy emulation support" in their windows system properties, in sacrifice of a free port, IRQ, DMA...).

A: NT2 might not work on an operating system that doesn't allow a program to communicate directly with the hardware. Full DOS compatibility is reccomended.
However, for people with Windows 2000 / XP (and shoddy OEM legacy emulation drivers for newer sound cards), a possible solution is to execute NT2 with VDMSound. NT2's output might have a bit of latency (although user-adjustable), but will nevertheless sound flawless on the newer OS' enviroments if configured correctly.

Furthermore, virtualization software that is able to decently emulate an ISA Soundblaster-compatible soundcard should also work. For example: Any Mac user who's adventurous enough to go cross-platform will be glad to know that NT2 has been confirmed to run decently on OS X with a 1.2GHZ PowerPC G4, using Virtual PC 7 running Windows 98 (just be aware that you'll need to use Command+Shift to play your song, and make sure that your Expose F-key shortcuts doesn't interfere with NT2's own shortcuts).

A: If you're running Windows, make sure a program isn't already using your soundcard at the moment (i.e. Winamp playing in the background, or a software MIDI wavetable driver idling around).

Q: NT2 is running, but i'm not hearing any sound...?

A: Did you give your instrument a volume level, and enable "hold note" or "note length"?

A: Many DOS programs run into trouble when the soundcard's IRQ is set to a high number. Try the Soundblaster "default" settings of Address=220 IRQ=5 DMA=1, or IRQ=7. If your soundcard is a "Plug-n-Pray", you can change these settings fairly easily in windows system properties, but beware of conflicts.

Q: I'm using Windows 2000 / XP, and NT2's audio output stutters & is unlistenable. What's wrong?

A: NTVDM (2000 / XP's DOS subsystem) & NT2 usually have a hard time cooperating when it comes to audio output, unfortunately. Again, using VDMSound (and a usable latency setting) may correct this problem.

Q: When I try to load a *.NED file (Ctrl+L), no filerequestor pops up! All I see is some weird letter roulette thingy that cycles quickly on the top-left area of the screen, and when I press return, all I get is "Apa!". What gives?

A: NT2 doesn't have a real filerequestor implemented. Don't let that confuse you too much, though. When you hit Ctrl+L to load your *.NED, just type out the full filename. Same thing when you save.

Q: Can I load my favorite NSF into NT2?

A: Nope, you CANNOT DIRECTLY load NSF rips into NT2; you can only load NT2's native NED format. Even compiled NSF's originally composed by NT2 can't be loaded.

Keep in mind that NSF's are actual 6502 program code (with its own replay engine & all), not simply a work-file that's fed into a music editor. Even if you were able to snip out the NSF header & replay code portion of your favorite NES soundtrack & slap a NED header in place, you still wouldn't be able to load it up in NT2 -- due to the simple fact that every game company's music data structure is different from each other.

Q: Is there any cut & paste shortcuts?

A: Sadly, there's no cut/copy/paste feature implemented. Remember that official development has been discontinued, so we can't magically make the feature appear.

One ad-hoc trick I use to workaround this (when using NT2 in a "windowed" environment) is just have my windows clipboard display ready, click my desktop, press the "Print Scrn" button, and use the newly-copied image of NT2's windowed display on the clipboard as a reference when attempting something that would normally require those commands.

Bear in mind, though, that cut/copy/paste commands in NT2 wouldn't be too vital as they used to be in other trackers, since each sound channel has their own unique patterns/order list.

Q: What are the maximum instruments, patterns, et cetra for NT2?

A: For amount of instruments: 16 different instruments, 32 unique patterns for each individual channel (16 unique patterns only for DPCM).

For amount of pattern rows: 61 ($3D) rows total in the pattern table. Although the tracker itself will allow up to 127 ($7F), an NSF compiled with the current replay code will refuse to play if the number of rows exceed $3D).

For DPCM: A ~16KB ceiling of space is allotted using the standard replay code (any more than that will require bankswitching features implemented to the code). Within those limits, the theoretical maximum amount of samples is 112. However, there are reports that using a certain high amount of DPCM samples will crash the tracker when you attempt to create TEMP.* files with the Return key (erasing the samples apparently doesen't remedy the situation, either). This issue will be investigated further as time comes by. In the meantime: If you plan to use a lot of DPCM samples (or already have a lot in your current NED project), please save a seperate backup copy of your song before each time you attempt to load an additional DPCM sample.

Q: I was composing my music, when all of a sudden the playback just completely halts on me! I can't get it to play again, what should I do?

A: You accidentally inputted command F00 at the wrong place, and when you played the song, command F00 halted playback (see "Bugs!" section for more info). The only workaround for this is to correct/omit the command, save your work, and restart NT2.

Q: What's the use of having such a fine volume range ($00 - $3F) on NT2 when the actual 2A03's volume range of the square and noise channels have only 16 different volume levels? Wouldn't this be a waste?

A: Having such a fine volume range actually does serve a purpose. Actual PSG volume is calculated from the nearest whole number of the Cxx value divided by 4. So when using volume slides, the audio fades proportionally on frame, giving a sense of more amplitude depth for each fine Cxx command level specified. For instance, try inputting multiple squarewave notes of an instrument with a 'Volume Fade' value of $01, coupled with the Cxx volume command with successive volume changes in values of 1 (i.e. C04, C05, C06, C07, etc...), and you'll probably hear the differences between them.

Also, it can be particularly useful for tremolo purposes, especially with the instruments utilizing tremolo with a speed of $F and depth of $1, where the resultant volume output serves as a pseudo-dither for perceptually better amplitude depth -- depending on the fine volume levels used with the Cxx command.

Q: I'm running NT2 in pure DOS mode. I quit, and after scrolling past the Nerds 'R' Us ANSI splash screen, I no longer can see anything! The screen is pitch black, and I'm lost! Please help...!?!?

A: Type "cls" to reset the screen... (^^;;

~ :: nt2 replay code questions :: ~

Q: I'm using Windows XP, and when compiling, X816.EXE complains that I don't have enough memory. What should I do?

A: You're using the the older X816 version of the replay code, in which the compiler has trouble working correctly in Windows 2000 / XP. The NT2 replay code has now been updated for use on CA65, which should now work on newer operating systems. Download & use the newer replay code here.

Q: OK, I compiled my NSF, but when I play my song on my favorite NSF player, the file info displays "Name: title, Author: author, Copyright: copyright". How do I personalize my NSF's?

A: Use a program like Dan Saeden's "NSF Tool" or ROPHON's "Multi File Header Editor" to directly manage your NSF's song info.

Q: Why does channel 1 (1st squarewave) sometimes suddenly go wacko whenever my song jumps to the next pattern? It sounds fine in the tracker...?

A: For the 1st squarewave, you'll have to insert a note or note-off command in the beginning of every pattern.