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Lux Environments

Background

Lux Environments is a series of chiptunes made in MaxYMiser, a tracker for Atari ST and Atari STE, developed by gwEm. I have been working on this series since the summer of 2018, and it is not yet finished.
This page houses embeds for all the tunes, including the making-of text that I wrote to go with them, and also gives the origins of the samples I used. I have the rights to use all the samples that I use, but some of them require credit. I compiled the lists for that reason, but as I was doing it anyway I noted all sample origins (as far as I could trace them; I didn't keep track for a while), even if credit was not required.
Because I based the tunes on video game environments, I decided to make them loop instead of having a definite ending. In the YouTube videos each tune plays twice and then fades out. The tunes weren't made to be used in a video game—some of them have enough ideas for several, but the tracks are meant to be listened to on their own, which is why some do a lot to grab your attention. ;)
These tunes can be played on real Atari STE hardware, but they weren't optimised for this. For the YouTube videos, the song was recorded through JAM or through Hatari, depending on the tune.

Quick navigation

A Plain New Day
Rocks and Drops
Whistling Winds
Frost, Fright and Fairies
Wandering Wondering Waves
Forsaken Factory
Humid Rhythms
Download

A Plain New Day

First, the backstory. Shortly before the start of this academic year, my housemate was leaving for a world trip. He wouldn't be back in a while, so we had found a date to say goodbye. After we went out for dinner, I let him hear my then just released composition: Concrete Inspiration. He found it interesting, but missed the story. I just made whatever sounded nice, and didn't have anything in mind it should be about. I don't mind this, as I think music doesn't necessarily need a story. I think most Amiga and Atari demo tunes don't have one, but are made just to sound cool. However, I thought it might certainly add something! I then got the idea of making a series of MaxYMiser tunes based on video game environments. I have done two before: Back to Nature and Cave of Wonders. I made these for a game Haiko was making back then and still enjoy listening to them from time to time. For these I used a lot of recorded samples. I wanted to use environmental samples for this project too! It would be a lot more difficult, though, as the Atari wasn't made to play PCM samples. Nevertheless, MaxYMiser's got quite some support for it.
I started out by looking for uncopyrighted bird sounds I could use. It was a bit of a challenge, but I did find some! Two of these are from the same clip, and the third is a different bird. I could have gotten a few more, but I thought three would be enough, and easier to work with. In the end, some people find that the birds get annoying after a while, but I still quite like them. :) After feedback from my mother I tried making the birds be in sync with the music more, and that improved it. I also used the samples in creative ways a couple of times. ;)
At first I had an issue with the bird samples: when one played, a 'pbt!' sound would sound at the start. :P I tried to get rid of it by mastering the samples differently in Audacity, but to no avail. I then e-mailed gwEm, and he helped me out: I could edit the starting place of the sample in MaxYMiser itself. That worked, I could cut off the 'pbt'. :)
Finding a good djembé sound wasn't as easy as expected, but not too hard either. When I had one, I decided to play it on 3 fixed frequencies, and play around with that. If you pay attention to the rhythms, you'll notice that not a single djembé pattern repeats throughout the song! I thought it would be more realistic if I kept making up new rhythms, to resemble improvisation. At the very end, when I had already listened to the tune on my physical Atari, I decided to increase the volume of the djembé sample a bit, as even if I'd pay attention it would be hard to hear it, during most parts of the song. Now you certainly can, but it's not so loud that it distracts from the melody.
The main structure of the song is inspired by the theme. So yes: the 'story' was very helpful here! It starts out as 'a plain new day', with the pad starting out on its own and then doing some harmonies. Then, however, the fun gets going: this plain is almost as lively as a jungle! For the main melody, I wanted to make use of something I had heard about in a video by 8-bit Music Theory: a repeated phrase getting shorter. To make up the phrase itself, I used my piano, and found out this fun and flexible melody. I made some variations, and tried the idea of making notes glide down instead of holding straight: this makes the song sound a bit goofy, but playful, and that fits the vibe I wanted to create.
When I had first made the repeating phrase getting shorter thing I thought it sounded a bit strange. However, when I had forgot about the original phrase a little, and listened to it again, it actually sounded quite natural! When I let my new housemate (the other's younger brother) hear it, he didn't even notice the technique until I pointed it out, and even then it sounded so natural that he didn't quite grasp it (I'd probably need to note (hah) it down).
After this, I wanted a bridge, but only the djembé rhythm came naturally. At this point I paused work on the tune, and got busy with university. When I picked it up again I analysed the existing bass and second channel patterns to make up something new in the same spirit. I also decided to make a new bass sound, to set it apart more. This utilises the buzzer, which meant I could not lower its volume. Because it was too obtrusive otherwise I made it a very short stab, and I think that works out. I made something up for the third channel, as I didn't want to have a lead melody here. However, what I came up with was too dark for my theme, and this is when the story helped me for the second time. I considered the theme of a bright grassland with birds and got the idea of a high-pitched sustained arpeggio. It turned out to be a very good addition! Another thing I struggled with was making the tune sound happy, while still having a bit of tension: I wanted some of those B's in there at the end of the first half, before resolving.
After the short bridge I decided to throw the entire melody in again, because I thought it fit, and repetition is good. I think that, especially for video game music, I tend to make too little use of repetition. I kept channel 2 the same as well, but decided to mix up the bass. I think the bass melody isn't quite as good as the first time, but it's interesting, and it's cute that it is the only YM channel that dares to try something different.
After this repeat, I decided to round off the song by going back to the slow speed used at the start. I got the idea to use chords, and sure enough, they worked great with the instrument I'd made. I have fairly little knowledge of or experience with chords, but I could make up these simple ones. ;) I actually made the last four first, and then decided that should be the very end, and made the four just before that, that resolve back to the start instead of to the end. I'm really happy with how this sounds. :)
Because this is intended to be a video game tune, it was important to me that it looped well. I think it does. The only thing I'm unsure about is that at the end the first bird sample is played twice, which is the case at the start as well, making it be played four times in a row. However, I also thought it was nice to end in this way, and certainly to start in this way. So hopefully it's fine. :)
Lastly: the drawing. I've written enough, and the music is always the focus, so I'll keep this short. ;) My brother Folk helped me a little at the start, but I did most of it on my own. When I was done, I had a nice scene, but a lot of emptyness in the middle, which didn't look nice. I realised that I should put a bird there. However, I didn't think I could draw a bird. But my cousin Skimuilo was over, and I decided that we should try together, if we could find a nice example of a bird on Google. We did! I did the drawing, of course, but he helped in several ways: he gave suggestions, he corrected small mistakes and, most importantly, he motivated me to keep going. If he wouldn't have been with me I probably would have given up after the head, as I thought the body would be too difficult. :P But didn't it turn out great? :D

1 - Domingus - Djembe Samples - https://freesound.org/people/domingus/packs/3456/
2-5 - empty
6 - IFartInUrGeneralDirection - Carolina Wren Song - https://orangefreesounds.com/carolina-wren-song/
7,8 - Alexander - Blackbird Singing - https://orangefreesounds.com/blackbird-singing/

Rocks and Drops

This was quite a tricky one to make! I wasn't content with the main melody at first, but it managed to grow on me in the context of the larger composition. I had great difficulty with the 'very cool part', though. I made those first two patterns improvising and they turned out great, but I wanted to make two more, and not cut it off short. However, everything I made destroyed the flow. Eventually I decided to keep the second and fourth pattern the same, and only make the third unique. The third is still the weakest of the three, but I think it keeps the flow, now.
While working on this tune I also figured out some technical stuff, and got reminded that there's still some technical stuff I háven't figured out. In the end I thought I didn't need to use it here, anyway.
The cool new instrument at the beginning (it reminds me of a bass guitar) was actually inspired by discussion I had on the atari forum: someone said my samples might be too loud, and I said I always made them 'too' loud on purpose because otherwise you wouldn't hear them above the rest. He replied I could lower the volume of the YM instruments, but I argued that that wouldn't work if I used a Buzzer. So I decided to use a Buzzer. 😃 I was going to use it to simply replace the SID at first, but then I thought I'd do something cool with it for the repeat of the cool section. And it turned out really nice. :) At first I only repeated the first two patterns of the cool section, but because the bass thing was so cool I wanted to do more with it, so I extended it to the full four.
The final pattern was one that I'd written before even figuring out how to do the cool part, but I did end up changing it a bit. Most importantly, making the loop nicer, instead of the tune completely ending and starting over. After all, these tunes are meant to be able to be used in a video game.
The water drops were a challenge to do, making them fun and quirky, but also make sense. By the way, they're not at all in tune with the rest of the song.
Finally, I had a full mental description of how I wanted to do the graphic, and it turned out better than I had hoped it too. The drops were a challenge to make, and I think they could be better. They're obviously way too large for actual water drops, but I did that so I could give them more detail, and put more focus to them. Oh, also, for the first time ever (as far as I recall), the first photograph I made was the one I used. :P I didn't even make any other, as this one's perfect.

1 - ReiyaManor - Water Drops - https://freesound.org/people/ReiyaManor/sounds/351623/
2,3 - probably from 99 Drum Samples - https://99sounds.org/drum-samples/
4,5 - ??? unused
6-8 - empty

Whistling Winds

For this I decided to use a flute-like instrument for the lead, with some vibrato and a lot of tone slides. I used noise to simulate wind, and for the percussion I looked for some Arabian samples. It was actually rather hard to find what I wanted, but I ended up using a free pack with lots of loops. It didn't have one-hit samples, but some of the loops had isolated hits in them, which I could take and use.
I took inspiration from Alberto José González when I made the bassline, and added arpeggio chords to it. I think that worked out really well!
The melody is catchy too. However, the tune seems a bit boring, in some way. I intend to study the chord structures in all my MaxYMiser tunes to date and some tunes I love from other musicians, hoping to learn something from that to make my next (snow-themed) composition more interesting.
I did at least make the tune a lot less boring than it was, by, among other things, removing some patterns at the end (it used to take considerably longer until the melody restarted), and moreover by having the modulated repeat of the melody taken on by a different instrument, and on a much diverted rhythm. This adds a lot of fun, especially as the second voice does stick to the normal rhythm.
While this song might not be one of my best, I did do some new things (for me): the arpeggio chord style, the use of noise and most importantly the use of a second voice. It was fun to make too!
Hopefully you'll like it.

I'm rather happy with the graphic too. :) I was afraid it might not be close to as good as the previous two Environments graphics, but it turned out better than I thought. The only thing I don't particularly like is the tumbleweed, but I wanted it in, to have at least some visualisation of the titular wind. ;) The cactus looks nice, the trees around the oases and the flowers on the stones are cute, I LOVE the reflection of the moon in the lake at night, and I think the stylisation of the letters is quite cute. Interestingly, I used up all 16 colours for this drawing. I don't think I've done that before (except for Spiegelbeeld).

1-5 - Biochron - Arab Percussion Loops - https://soundpacks.com/free-sound-packs/arab-percussion-loops/
6 - probably crash-acoustic from 99 Drum Samples - https://99sounds.org/drum-samples/
7,8 - empty

Frost, Fright and Fairies

Of course I had to do a Snow theme! And naturally, I wanted to try use samples of footsteps in the snow as percussion. ;) I wasn't sure if I would be able to find good, free to use samples, but I was pleased with what I could find! Before I started any composition inside MaxYMiser I laid out the chord progression. I showed this to one of my housemates, and he made one improvement (the E chord at the end of the sad violin part used to be a C, I think). But I didn't know what a story this tune would tell, yet... however, as I was working on it, and was building up the snow sounds to get more intense as I'd generally build up percussion, I got the feeling that the protagonist of my tune was running away from something. Then I got the idea: what if he would crack through the ice?!? :o So I made it happen. ;)
After this I started work on the violin part. I also asked my housemate if he had an idea for how I could save the protagonist, and he suggested a fairy. But when I resumed composing, I lost all my work. :( I save often, but this time the entire save got corrupted, and I didn't have a back-up, having done all work up to that point within a week (I have a backup system while composing now!). Needless to say, I wasn't very motivated to continue working, as I'd have to redo the beginning first.
I think it took me up to two months until I finally continued. I actually started with the sad part, which went really well, then I remade the beginning, and then I finished the tune. I should note that the only thing I hadn't lost were the PCM samples (which I am very glad of!), and a demo of the first 15 seconds or so that I had shared in a Discord server. This demo was actually a bit of a frustration, as it contains quite a cute bass sound, and I have not been able to remake that. :P I'm pretty happy with the final bass sound, but I think the one in the demo was better!
Anyway: after I finished the theme, I wanted to submit it to battleofthebits's Winter Chip competition, and before that get feedback from the housemate. He actually liked it so much that I had very little feedback to go on. :P The only things he recommended were making the modulations at the triumphant part more subtle and lengthening the pause between the crack through the ice and the sad music. I did so, and then remembered the possibility of 'livewire' effects, which I used to make the violin fade out smoothly (I'm actually not quite sure I'm happy with that, but I'm done with the tune), make the crack of the ice do a stereo sweep, and master the treble and bass of that crack.
The reason that I am uploading this after winter ends is that I still had to make the DEGAS cover art, and this took some time (moreover, I could only work on it while at my parental home, and before the COVID-19 regulations, I wasn't there much ;)).

I am very happy I did remake this tune, as I think it might be the best I've done yet! Here are 10 firsts for this tune, for me:


I also spent hours on the graphic. ;) The snowflake was quite a challenge, especially with the in some senses limited tools of DEGAS+. The fairy (which I based on the opening cutscene of the GBA game Crazy Castle 5) was a lot of fun, although I left out the wings because I thought they might be too difficult and/or obscure the view of the shed. Also notice the snow on the names '607' and 'Lux'. :)

1 - MuseScore 3 - Sleigh Bells
2 - luminadii - Snow crunch 02 - https://freesound.org/people/rivernile7/sounds/274945/
3-6 - rivernile7 - Walking On Snow - https://freesound.org/people/rivernile7/sounds/274945/
7 - above + Euphrosyyn - SFX_Destruction_Ice_x04 - https://freesound.org/people/Euphrosyyn/sounds/380493/
8 - same as Rocks and Drops 2

Wandering Wondering Waves

I am very happy with how this tune turned out. This is probably the last of the themes that I had in mind when I originally conceived the Lux Environments series (I did already come up with an idea for #6!). Originally, I had pictured something like Super Mario's underwater music. But once I got to it, I decided that I didn't want to go that route. I wanted to make something grander. I wanted to make something that showed the beautiful side and the dark side of the ocean. I wanted to make something that portrayed wonder, curiosity, fear.
And frankly, I think I succeeded. :) When I started making this tune, I was really excited for it, and especially so after finishing the intro, on March 31st. I wasn't sure if I would be able to make the rest of the tune live up to it, though. I was especially uncertain about being able to create a catchy and fitting motif for the tune. I did! And funnily enough, the first thing that I put down, even though I wasn't happy with it initially, is what I ended up with. I thought it was too simple, but its simplicity allowed me to reuse it in many different ways, and have it still be recognisable.
Something else that I was a bit intimidated by was the prospect of having to find usable whale and dolphin sounds. But I was in luck, and found some pretty good stuff on freesound.org! I also hadn't been sure whether I would be able to make the whale sounds sound okay, but gwEm, the author of MaxYMiser, recently uploaded a video with tips on how to treat samples, and that was quite useful.
Here is a list of some of my achievements in working on this project that I am really happy with:

For the last point, I got help from my sister, and I used DEGAS' rotation function. I drew the dolphin level first, as that was easier, then rotated it, and then fixed it up (I had to do a lot of fixing up...).
Also, for the first time I really did much with the SyncBuzzer. I had forgotten how it worked, so I rewatched gwEm's tutorial on it while working on the tune. It turned out I had never used it to its full potential... Well, I used more of that potential now! I did notice that the tune clips a lot on my STE. It's natural that it does when the bass is fully cranked up (this recording clips too!), but it does so throughout the tune too, which is definitely not intentional. If you want to try whether it works better on your end, or listen in an emulator (you do need an emulator that has microwire support, then), you can download the tune from http://bit.ly/MaxYMiser607​.
Shortly before finishing the tune an update for MaxYMiser was released, which added some new effects. I will try to use them more extensively for the next installment (some of them are a bit glitchy, though...), but I already used one of the new effects to thicken up the PAAAA sound at the climax of the scary part. ;)
I actually wrote two more patterns for this tune this evening. I didn't end up rerecording the tune, though, as I think it is better off the way it is now. :) But I am glad that I have tried, so that I know.

1 - davidou - Baleines - https://freesound.org/people/davidou/sounds/88449/
2 - felix.blume - Amazonian Dolphins -https://freesound.org/people/felix.blume/sounds/408555/
3 - felix.blume - Dolphin screaming underwater in Caribbean Sea (Mexico) - https://freesound.org/people/felix.blume/sounds/161691/
4 - KEVOY - Diving with whales - https://freesound.org/people/KEVOY/sounds/82325/
5 - Tritus - Whale - https://freesound.org/people/Tritus/sounds/186899/
6,7 - 505 From Mars - Clean Kit - https://samplesfrommars.com/products/505-from-mars
8 - craigsmith - G12-15-Dolphins Underwater - https://freesound.org/people/craigsmith/sounds/437947/

Forsaken Factory

This theme is not as often used in video games as those of the previous entries in Lux Environments, perhaps. However, I know plenty of examples of factory levels in games, and among them are some of my favourite levels in general! The graphic was mostly based on Mecha No Mistake from Rayman Origins, which is the factory level I played most recently, and really enjoyed. I had started work on this tune before that, though!
In fact, I started work on it early in 2022. Two new versions of MaxYMiser had been released in 2021 (perhaps inspired by the release of TTRAK?), including several exciting new ways to make sound, one of which, the syncsquare, I thought might be quite useful for the factory themed track I had in mind. At the time, emulators didn't support it yet, so I made a start on hardware. I was intending to keep the syncsquare the same throughout the track, and decided that I could compose the rest of it on emulator, and simply mute the syncsquare. I didn't end up continuing composition for a long time, though. Eventually, in August, I wanted to get back to it, hoping to finish it before the end of summer (I failed that ;)). Syncsquare support had since been added to Hatari, so I could work on emulator without issues.
It turned out that I wasn't really happy with what I'd got, though! In the end, I left the syncsquare and the bleeps and bloops at the start. I had a few more patterns, including a bass line, but I removed that completely and created a new concept. Most of the tune was composed in August and early September. When university started, I had almost finished the track, but I had little time to add the finishing touches. I didn't want to leave it lying around for too long though, and it's ready to be published now!
As for Wandering Wondering Waves, I created a textfile for this track with some story and ideas to use. Among those original ideas was the concept to have a note sustain throughout the loop, which is something I hadn't done before and worked well here. I also wrote down chord progressions that I thought I was using there (yes, thought... more on that later :P). For a while, I was intending to implement some kind of 'fix' after the climax of the story, but I wasn't sure how to go about it. In the end, I decided to just let the tune start up slowly again and loop back to the start. I realised at some point that for the third time in a row (in this series) I created a tune where things were fine first, then started getting dicey, and built up to some kind of explosive climax. The explosion being quite literal, this time. But eh, that's fine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I have decided that I do not want to employ that story arc again in the next instalment. ;)
When I tried to compose a main melody, I ran into a problem: everything I came up with sounded rather similar to the themes from A Plain New Day, Frost Fright and Fairies and Wandering Wondering Waves... which means those are all fairly similar as well, it's like there's a leitmotif throughout the series. There's not supposed to be, though! xD A roommate's friend was in (not the roommate himself, interestingly), and I told him about the issue. He suggested taking an existing piece from another composer as inspiration. I considered this, and decided that was a good idea. I didn't want to have my theme to have a recognisable influence from the theme I used as inspiration, but I figured I could take something small from an existing piece. I picked Vangelis' theme for 1492: Conquest of Paradise, and decided to start the melody with a minor sixth. I don't think you would've been reminded of that theme though, were you? :) This is a trick that I could remember for later!
On this day where I composed the main melody, by the way, the Vuelta a España, one of the three major bicycle races, passed by about 100m from my house. I did not know this, but while I was taking a walk for inspiration, I noticed the commotion and asked what was up. However, I decided not to wait around to see, because I wanted to get back to composing... on some days I regret that decision. xD
In doing Drop the Liquorice, I really enjoyed creating the crazy sounds during the beat drops. I decided to employ these techniques again here, and once again loved it. For Drop the Liquorice I only used YM instrument sounds, but this time I also had three samples that I played around with on the DMA channels. I think I did some really fun stuff, in the spirit of the factory theme! :D
Maybe when listening to this track, you will remark that the bassline for the part until the first drop is quite unusual. There's a reason for that. The bass instrument I used in this track plays back a fifth lower than it is notated, and somehow, I didn't realise this until near the end of the tune. xD I was at first very embarassed when I found out, but I could quickly laugh about it. I'm still impressed that it could happen! I carefully designed the bassline on piano, but then when I put it in it sounded completely different... and yet I didn't notice? :D It took me some time to let the idea sink in, but eventually I went through the entire track again to reconsider the bassline. In the end, I kept the original, accidental, bassline for the first part and both beat drops, and moved the bassline a fifth up (to sound how I had intended it to sound) for the rest of the tune. If you ever feel like your bassline could use some extra spice, dry dropping it down a fifth, I suppose. ;)
After the alarm sounds, during the build-up to the explosion, I had the idea to progressively shorten the meter. I ended up starting it in 6/8, then go to 5/8, then 3/8, and then explode. I did also make a 2/8 part (if there is such a thing), but it seemed a bit out of place to me, and the 3/8 part was quite enough to end it on. It did cause the explosion to be more unexpected: the 2/8 part very clearly built up to a climax. I think the surprise effect might be nice, though. I do hope the explosion won't damage your hearing or equipment; I made it as loud as I could. ;)
For the drums, I wanted to take inspiration from drum and bass. I found out quickly however, that this genre works with samples of drum fills, which is something I couldn't do. I ended up simply going for very fast drums (I set the song speed twice as quick as usual to get extra steps), and using samples from a drum machine that I saw mentioned while doing some research into related music genres. It was interesting for sure to make such quick drum patterns, and even do some in uncommon time signatures!
I'm sure there's more I could say about Forsaken Factory, but I think this is enough... I hope you enjoy! :D
PS: Oh, one more thing. xD For the alarm I wanted to use the cliché alarm sound that I imagined, but it took me a while to find a recording of it so that I could mimic it. Eventually I found it by searching for 'cliché alarm sound'! ;D

1-5 - DMX from Mars
6 - LuannWepener - Drill
7,8 - dheming - Metal_Punch_01

Humid Rhythms

I had noted that the latest three tunes in the Lux Environments series all used the idea of something going wrong and progressively building up to a climax. I wanted my next tune to not employ this device. I also wanted a more laid-back atmosphere, after the high-energy Forsaken Factory. I decided to go for the jungle, which is not an environment that I had had in mind for a long time, but it is often used in video games.
To set the stage, I wanted to use monkey sounds, 'fat' instruments (to evoke humidity), and a lot of syncopation and chromatic notes, for a playful tune. I wanted to use ethnic percussion, and eventually decided on using samples from a dhol, an Indian drum.
Despite not wanting to go the route of 'things go bad -> build-up -> climax' again, I couldn't resist throwing in some very different part to spice up the track. The idea I got was a lion entering the scene, and chasing the animals away. In the end the lion gives up the chase, and the cheery, calm atmosphere resumes.

For Forsaken Factory, I had had some trouble coming up with a melody. Not so here. I very quickly had a specific idea for what I wanted to do, but it did take me over an hour to actually implement it. The trouble was that I couldn't figure out what rhythm I was singing/playing. It turned out to not be straight 4/4, but either shuffle or 12/8 (I always have trouble distinguishing these). So Humid Rhythms is the first Lux Environments track in which the default pattern length is less than 64 steps.
For the harmony, I came up with the idea to use exclusively major chords, but still use scale degrees that would normally have minor chords in a major key. This worked well, and I found some fun progressions to use.

With this track I decided to figure out how to use the new way to do SID in MaxYMiser. It was easier to use than expected, although I don't think I've quite unlocked its full potential yet (it took me years with SyncBuzzer... if I've done so at all ;)). In general, I tried to make detailed sounds, but nothing too crazy, as that didn't fit the theme. I used generous vibrato, inspired by the buzzing of mosquitos.
With this track I participated in the Summer Chip of Battle of the Bits this year, and asked for feedback there. damifortune suggested I'd try add some quieter variations of the percussion element. When I went back to the tune to give this a go, I realised that in the first half of the track, I had in fact used volume decreases, but at some point I seem to have forgotten about the possibility to do so. I went back through the entire track and added volume decreases in many places and volume increases in others, by doubling the note on the other channel, if no animal sample was currently playing. I think this process has made the track as a whole a lot more lively, and the dhol solo especially. So it shows once again how valuable feedback is!

Making a new entry in my Lux Environments series was one of my goals for my summer vacation. It wasn't one of the things I first got to, and when I did, the Summer Chip was already nearing its completion, so I supposed I wouldn't finish the tune in time. However, I ended up making it within the time of one week! This was very surprising to me, but then I realised how much time I had had. I did spend about 20 hours on this track, which is pretty usual for me, I had just been able to do that in a single week, rather than spread over months as I would have had to do if I was busy with university and my student's association.
The track is the shortest entry in Lux Environments so far, which I hadn't necessarily planned. However, it turned out this way and it felt very complete. Somehow this track became very compact, as a lot of musical ideas are conveyed within those 2 minutes. In fact, besides damifortune's feedback, I got another comment on my Summer Chip submission, which I quote: THAT WAS TWO MINUTES?! It felt much longer, and I mean that in a good way.

Shortly after finishing the tune (in fact, I was still polishing it up the day before, and of course I improved the percussion later), I had the opportunity to draw the cover art, which I had in some way been looking forward to, in another way been looking up to. I enjoy making these graphics, but the jungle seemed hard to do to me, especially without spending several hours on it, which I didn't want to do. The jungle is quite a crowded place, after all, with trees and bushes everywhere...
I ended up going for a fairly basic composition, and fill it up using a fill pattern. The main focus needed to be a monkey, for which I found a nice example on the web. I wanted the monkey to give a thumbs up, and spent some extra effort to make sure it wouldn't look like he was flipping the bird. ;)
As usual I forgot to check the knobs on the back for how the image would be presented best; perhaps it could have been stretched a little. But it's fine. I'm glad the Commodore monitor's still working, these covers would look a lot less cool without that, I think! :D
In case you're wondering, the styling on the title in the cover portrays the meaning of the words: 'Humid' is fat because high humidity makes you feel that way, and 'Rhythms' has the letters separated in the same rhythm that the piece uses.

1 - AntumDeluge - Monkey Imitation 2 - https://freesound.org/people/AntumDeluge/sounds/417816/
2 - D.jones - Elephant Trumpet Growls.flac - https://freesound.org/people/D.jones/sounds/527845/
3 - soundbytez - black_and_white_ruffed_lemur01.wav - https://freesound.org/people/soundbytez/sounds/99225/
4 - soundbytez - diana_monkeys.wav - https://freesound.org/people/soundbytez/sounds/99432/
5 - iut_Paris8 - poujade_eva_2020_2021_RoarOfLion(son2).wav - https://freesound.org/people/iut_Paris8/sounds/567803/
6-8 - Johnnydhol - DHOL BEAT.wav - https://freesound.org/people/Johnnydhol/sounds/160426/

Download

You can download the SND files here. All tracks have been ICE-compressed, but some of them are still quite large, because of the sample use. The tracks are not compatible with the original Atari ST, as the DMA is required for the samples. They can be played back on an Atari STE. They can also be played back in the Hatari emulator. Some tracks work well in JAM too, but not all of them.
Feel free to open the tracks in MaxYMiser and have a look at how things work, but mind that I do not clean up my tracks. You might find unused or duplicated sequences, strange instrument names, et cetera. You are not free to upload modified versions of my tracks, as long as I'm around.