hsc-tracker 1.5 unofficial manual

hsc-tracker 1.5 screenshot


  1. introduction

  2. navigating and playing

  3. entering notes

  4. creating instruments

  5. editing the pattern table

  6. reference


hsc-tracker 1.5 looks terrible. it is lacking a lot of features and has some other features that work so unlike how they should that you wish it lacked them. it is slow and clunky to use, and it sounds identical to the other, superior trackers that preceded it.

hsc-tracker 1.5 is an "adlib tracker", a dos-based tracker that controls the yamaha opl2 chip found inside some old sound cards. dozens of trackers like this were produced, and they all sound much the same. later came the OPL3, bigger, better, and more musical, and some trackers were made for that too. hsc-tracker came first, though.

to run hsc-tracker, navigate to the folder where it is located and type HSCTRACK.exe. welcome.

navigating hsc-tracker is a breeze. there are three main areas you can visit on screen. pressing f5 will take you to the track editor (top left). f6 to the instrument editor (dead centre). and f7 to the pattern table (top right). the other areas on screen are not interactive and are just to display keyboard shortcuts and other information that may have been better off left to a manual like this.

to move around within each area, you use the arrow keys on your keyboard. up goes up, down goes down, and so forth. to play the song, press f8. of course, you don't have a song yet. some other keys do other things.

entering notes and values

to enter notes in the track editor, first press ctrl-insert. a green flashing cursor appears. pressing ctrl-insert again toggles the width of this green flashing cursor. when the cursor is fat, entering a note or value moves the cursor along. when the cursor is thin, entering a note or value does not move the cursor. pressing any of the keys z s x d c v g b h n j m here will enter a note, and they represent the musical notes C to B in that order. pressing i enters an instrument change command, which takes up a whole row on its own, and p enters a note-off (rest). + and - change the current octave.

you can change the pattern you are currently editing with pageup/pagedown. in the column labelled 00 you may enter values, also known as "Special Effects in Attribut Byte (Numbers)".

creating instruments

what albmutoric gematria have we here? it's quite simple really:

editing the pattern table

in the pattern table you may chain together patterns to make a song. you may use up to fifty unique patterns in your song. typing a number from 00 to 31 in this table adds the respective pattern. typing a number from 80 to b1 jumps back to the respective position in the table (80 -> 00, 81 -> 01 etc). and ff jumps back to the start.


general keys:

track edit keys:

instrument editor keys

pattern table keys

Special Effects in Attribut Byte (Numbers)