ParaJVE : Parabellum's Java Vectrex Emulator   

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Wednesday, March 09, 2011  

One more defect added !

A new feature has just been added to ParaJVE : the emulation of the famous Vectrex buzz noise.

The happy few having the chance to own a real system will know what I'm talking about. This buzz noise is a very typical sound pattern produced by the machine when it is operating. It is caused by a design flaw (the sound line lies too close from the board, and gets plagued by interferences due to its nearby activity).

Well, the very first implementation is now completed, and it is quite straightforward at the moment (a mere noise sample looping). The buzz sound can be turned on/off (independently of the vectrex "normal" sound), and its volume can also be adjusted independently.

Below is a small video whose goal is to let you enjoy the audio result - the framerate is capped 10 FPS, so don't really expect a smooth video ;-)

As you can hear, the result is quite acceptable already. However, a more interesting implementation would be to dynamically modulate the PCM wave, depending on the current program activity. This would require quite a lot of investigations on a real vectrex, in order to define which hardware parameters are significant, and how they can be integrated into the final noise generation algorithm.

I'm not sure I can bide enough time to tackle this task ; still, this is very tantalizing...

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  • That sounds great, where can we get this from? The current download version is still the old version?

    By Blogger Michael Winn, at 3/10/2011 10:06 AM  

  • Yes, the latest download is still the 0.7.0 version.

    I'd like to polish/fix a couple of things (mainly sound-related) before building a new release ; but this should not take too long.

    By Blogger Parabellum, at 3/12/2011 10:48 AM  

  • ParaJVE is not dead! Great stuff! =)

    By Anonymous Dave, at 3/26/2011 9:04 PM  

  • Vectrex noise?! Excellent, Franck!

    By Anonymous hcmffm, at 7/09/2011 5:01 PM  

  • Hi, I have my Vectrex from back when I bought it (impossible to get rid of), and I'd say mine was mostly impacted by the brightness of what was on-screen. So flashing text, for example, would make the sound louder then softer again.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 7/23/2011 12:38 AM  

  • Hi, thanks for your feedback.

    Yes, it is clearly related to the screen "activity".

    But it is also somewhat linked to the internal hardware usage (for instance, a simple program using only the CPU and RAM will not produce any buzz ; but it does as soon as the VIA timers are accessed - even if nothing is displayed onscreen)

    By Blogger Parabellum, at 8/04/2011 2:12 PM  

  • Hello,

    Excellent work, very big thanks you


    By Anonymous 2dpixel, at 9/11/2011 1:38 AM  

  • The Issue is due to CCM coupled interference on a Ground Loop.
    This is picked up by the Amp output side to the speaker, and is not affected by Volume control.

    The Pacing/Timing of the Buzz is related to the amount of vectors (vecor count in the display list)and the length of vectors.
    A good example is Spinball.

    As seen here on Youtube on My Vectrex:


    By Blogger TheWoodentulip, at 3/21/2012 2:15 PM  

  • Très bonne interface et rendu nikel, Bravo !

    Par contre je suis pas arrivé à configurer 'EXIT' sur un bouton de ma manette, est-ce possible ??

    By Blogger Eric, at 4/24/2012 7:55 PM  

  • Merci Stan!

    Non, les commandes du premier onglet ne sont effectivement pas activables via les manettes pour l'instant.

    By Blogger Parabellum, at 5/09/2012 11:17 AM  

  • Bonjour Parabellum,

    Encore merci pour votre excellent émulateur.
    Le Vectrex est ma première console, et j'y joue régulièrement, même si c'est rare.
    Je voulais vous demander si vous continuez le développement de ParaJVE ?


    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6/25/2012 5:22 AM  

  • Bonjour Aerone,

    Merci pour votre commentaire.

    Je manque cruellement de temps pour travailler sur l'émulateur en ce moment, mais je compte bien continuer à l'améliorer dans le futur!

    By Blogger Parabellum, at 7/02/2012 9:43 AM  

  • yeah, how long will it take until next version?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 9/22/2012 9:06 PM  

  • Hi, Using ubunti 10.04
    Emulator works well except video fades from visible to invisible from the middle to the left of the screen. I've tried every option i can find but the problem persists. Known issue? fixable? thanks.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1/17/2013 12:51 PM  

  • Bonjour,

    Après bientôt 30 années de bons et loyaux services, mon Vectrex a récemment rendu l'âme (problème de condensateur je pense, réparable en l'état mais il faudrait prendre le temps…), je cherchais depuis un émulateur digne de ce nom sur Mac OS X : le vôtre répond aux rêves les plus fous d'un amateur de cette antique merveille, un Vectrex dans le PC c'est formidable, bravo !

    Je me doute que le temps vous manque pour améliorer encore votre épatant émulateur (l'ajout du "buzz", brillante idée - il ne manquerait plus que quelques défauts d'affichages et ce serait parfait ahahah), je souhaitais avant tout vous féliciter chaleureusement pour la qualité de ParaJVE, sa stabilité, sa beauté graphique (les layers bon sang !) et pour le temps que vous avez du passer dessus - un sacré exercice pour un programmateur. C'est du grand art pour le fan de la console originelle.

    Bref, "keep up the good work" comme ils disent là-bas, et encore bravo.

    Cyril, qui aime le retrogaming mais pas que...

    By Blogger Unknown, at 5/01/2013 3:16 PM  

  • I like the idea, but as you mentioned, it needs to be tied to the screen activity. Otherwise it's just an annoying buzz.

    I think I have the cadence of the boot screen buzzing (buzzing getting louder/softer with each flash of the GCE logo) etched into my brain, LOL.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11/25/2013 12:10 AM  

  • Hello,
    the last update of your wonderfull emulator was a couple of years ago.
    Didn't you once mention you would consider releasing the source code?

    Any chance of that still happening?



    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4/14/2014 3:01 PM  

  • Fantastique émulateur.

    j'espère qu'un jour une nouvelle version sortira. Dur dur d'attendre !

    Prions mes frères !

    By Blogger Greatxerox, at 7/08/2014 2:57 PM  

  • I've got the last version, not much buzz there. ;-)

    By Blogger e5frog, at 3/20/2017 8:16 PM  

  • Sorry for posting here but can't post on - the captcha is not showing up (even with adblockers off) so can't create account and can't post without an account. Could you look at the site and see what's broken in the signup page at please? The make_captcha_img.php?public_key=78521 link doesn't work.

    I'ld like to make a request for support for 48K cartridges loaded between 0000 and BFFF.

    Not bankwitched, just simple EPROM.


    By Blogger G, at 11/21/2017 6:22 AM  

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