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Diary of a Game - Citadel - Part 2
Many, many thanks to Philippe Lesire for scanning and OCRing the Walker's Ways
from issue 36 to 40.
Issue 38 - June 1988
Month three: and the binary embryo begins to take shape
|Friday 4th March
spending the last few days in the wilds of Lincolnshire, I was raring to go with some fresh ideas - but there was
a power cut all day! I had to resort to washing the car instead - I couldn't tell what colour it was anyway! Still,
it's a chance to explain what the new game will be about before I get coding again.
The dwellers of the metallic cities live in two vast interlinked square complexes - in fact each level is designed
like two chessboards one above the other. a sort of 3D maze. To explore each complex you can travel freely through
its corridors. but some areas of one half can only be reached by travelling through link tunnels from the other
side - the problem being that the tunnel doors may be locked, and the keys are mobile and roaming somewhere in
|Wednesday 9th March
||Back with a vengeance. The rationalisation of level plotting is now complete - each part of the maze is designed
like a piece of Scalextric; bends, straights and crossroads so that all I have to specify is the relevant piece
of 'track' for each linking section of the 16 screen layout.
WARNING. Technical bit follows for enthusiasts only. All normal(?) readers please skip to next section. Hi,
coding freaks everywhere. Here's the diary equivalent of the scrolly message in the border! Each of the mazes is
formed on a 'board' of 8x8 squares, so only 64 bytes are needed to store each layout, and by packing two squares
of information into each byte, both 'sides' of each city can be stored in the same 64 bytes, a total of 32 screens
worth! Wow! Hi to John, Dan, Robin and John.
The decision has now been taken to avoid spending excessive time tweaking until later - I want to finish this before
next Christmas! Anyway. did anyone notice that the engine exhaust of the Hunter was animated in all 16 directions
of travel? Did I really spend a total of 4 days on the main ship explosion? Who spotted that the infobars dimmed
just like cinema lights as you entered the Relaxation Mode? Perhaps if someone would pay me by the hour...
|Friday 11th March
||Having finally decided on the design for each 'track' I have to produce some dummy screens by hand to make sure
that the universal system looks good in all styles. By the end of the day it has to be said that the universal
system works well for a single piece of track. but by the time a complete screen full is put together it's very
blocky. Back to the drawing board. Although my disk of dummy screen's has many pleasing 'looks', more thought is
now required to design one that can be used in a more versatile way. It's rather like trying to build a housing
estate with a set of standard bolt-together rooms. All I've got so far is a wimpy Wimpy!
|Saturday 12th March
||Produced a definitive set of track designs which work well in quantity. It took yesterday's large scale practice
to show what would work well - and now to surgically remove the scrolling routines from Hunter's (pass me those
rusty scissors someone).
This is the hard way to start a project - nothing but mock-ups for weeks. Once it's done, though, the game is well
under way in one fell swoop. At the end of several hours of surgery, I was left with what I hope are all the relevant
sections of code. except for declaring the zero page variables - I will do that later when the first section of
new code has been written. Complex. eh?
|Sunday 13th March
||Wrote most of the routine to plot the maze. The master program will take the magic 64 bytes and convert it to 16384
bytes of screen design.
TECHNICAL BIT - Each maze has 64 square's; each square has 16 'chunks' each chunk has 16 characters; there are
16 chunk's in each style library. Yes, I know it sounds like a nightmare. Where do you start? In this case on the
inside - once you can successfully plot one chunk it's time to try for a whole square. and so on. At least that's
the way I should do it - the logical way, but I'm going to be naughty and try to do the whole lot at one. Then
if the dreaded blank screen appears when I fire it up I can be at least bypass each routine in turn to isolate
the offending one. Hope this makes sense; when I'm in programming mode word's tend to come out strangely, to say
|Monday 14th March
||The big day. Another few hours finishing off the new routines and then debugging starts. I'm keeping my fingers
crossed (what an unprofessional attitude - of course it will all work with no problems)!
Later. a warm feeling fills my being. No, I haven't messed myself - the whole caboodle worked first time! As I
jumped into the game the first entire 16 screen steel city met my gaze. It really felt like exploring as my little
craft roared about the empty corridors, and I'm very pleased with the overall effect.
Now that I can see 64 of the squares all together it is relieving to note that you can't see the joins, and unless
you have been reading this diary most people probably won't realise what has been done. I spent the rest of the
day trying out the different designs of craft and fiddling with the city colour scheme.
|Tuesday 15th March
||Time to press on with different designs of city to check the last few days of work really are universal. The 'second
'look' to hit the streets (groan) is a satin corrugated metal. and the third is my original brass look. Both came
out nicely. but I'll be glad to get more spot features in like the tunnel entrances and static defence system's,
as these will add even more colour and variety.
|Thursday 17th March
||Changed my mind about the brass look. and spent several hours changing chunks around to improve things (what did
I say about not tweaking). In the end it was back to the character editor to redesign the corners of my brass pipe's.
and then rekeying the data into the chunk table. Let's hope that settles it - I'm spending more time plumbing than
The dreaded read error appeared from my disk drive in the afternoon - I sent it for repair earlier this year and
hoped it would last a bit longer before throwing a wobbly. Let's hope it can hang on for a bit before I have to
lose it again. To cheer myself up a bit I had a quick game of Xenon on the Atari ST. I've lost more working hours
to this than anything else in the last month or so. I know that it's got nothing revolutionary in the gameplay
area. but it just plays so well! My current best is the end of level three. but the difficulty is set to be challenging
all the way through. For my money the name of the programming team - The Bitmap Brothers - is more memorable than
the title of the game. That's fame for them!
|Friday 18th March
||Started thinking about the special pieces of cityscape. like the tunnel entrances and static defences. Designed
a recoiling gun emplacement and a tunnel entrance but they still need more work yet. As the tunnel entrances are
all normally locked, my intention is to animate the doors sliding open as they key passes over them. An ideal opportunity
to use one of the new metallic sound effects!
Opening the tunnel entrances will simply be a matter of getting one of the mobile keys to pass the relevant spot.
Controlling them will be similar to a sheepdog trial - simply nudge one or fire at it to drive it in the desired
direction. The problem will come if you get ambushed by a gang of city dwellers, as the key will wander off in
the confusion. There'll be a radar of sorts to help spot where the action is!
|Saturday 19th March
||The day started in ping-pong mode, as I flitted from one thought to another. I tried improving a pipe fitting and
ended up designing a whole new city look that fits well into the overall scheme of things. Colours were then inspected
and changed to add maximum variety.
In my quest for the finer details of gameplay (even when I have hardly started the action) copious notes were made
about possible adversary types and weapon system's. Since your craft has an energy 'bar' which falls with damage
sustained, it'll be possible to have indestructible enemy bullets to dodge (not fair if they can destroy you at
first go). I fancy the idea of 'bouncing strobobombs' (©MW 1988) in addition to the normal fireballs. These
will give you the power to fire around corners and ricochet into particularly nasty adversaries, without getting
yourself in the line of fire.
|Monday 21st March
||I had a phone call from Robin at Cyberdine Systems on Saturday. Armalite will be ready to playtest and add sound
effects on Tuesday, so I've arranged to drive down to Exeter to install them myself. Many additions to it have
been made in the coding department since my previous demo, and every time I think the graphics can't get any better
Robin improves them yet again.A couple of new sound effects are needed, so this afternoon saw the monitor shaking
with a new pneumatic hammer and a sizzling electric field. The latter caused my wife Belinda to clap her hands
over her ears and run out of the room, so it must be quite realistic! The poor old loudspeaker will soon need a
|Wednesday 23rd March
||Yesterday was spent in Exeter. The 250 mile round trip was well worth it, as not only did we get the sound effects
in and working for rough 'eartesting' but I got my first feedhack on this project as well. I'm glad to report a
favourable response to the cities. Various suggestions were made for future additions to gameplay (they are a generous
lot with their thoughts!), and I returned with my brain full of the further ideas that occurred to me while driving
back up the motorway.
Today was spent working through various ideas with the sprite editor. The original craft design that I was so pleased
with may need rethinking. Although it's very detailed, using hi-resolution sprite overlays, the backgrounds cannot
achieve the same crispness using multicolour mode. The city has a soft focus look that is pleasing, but the craft,
being more sharply defined, appears to be closer and thus flying above the corridors rather than along them. Against
the background of 'space' this is not a problem, but unless I give an option to fly the present design is off to
the archive's for the present. I now fancy a spider-like design with animated legs!
|Friday 25th March
||More problems with the 1541 disk drive today. It's definitely got to go back again for repair, with the most difficult
of all faults to trace - the intermittent one! There are now three of my work disks that contain at least one file
that refuses to load; today a file refused to be saved at all, and the stage has now been reachedwhere I don't
trust the drive one little bit. Shouting at it didn't appear to help! Working with it any more is really like sitting
on a time bomb - sooner or later something really important will get corrupted or I'll explode! Unfortunately,
the previous time it was sent for repair at the beginning of February no obvious fault could be found. Let's hope
luck is with me this time, and the fault shows up while the engineer is watching!
At least things looked up later on - I got a novel idea for a new weapon. As your craft has an 'energy bar' a method
is needed to recharge after collisions or attacks. The obvious way to do this would be to give a full charge at
the end of each completed level, or to allow the player to discover energy banks in the city. Try this method for
size. You have a charger that can be launched from your craft to home in on the aliens. On contact it drains energy
from them on each pass until they are destroyed (unless it is destroyed first by a direct hit), and when fully
charged you can command it to return and transfer it's load to you. I intend to give it a main colour of white
(when in trouble send out the white charger, get it?).
|Saturday 26th March
||I started the day like a demon possessed, and completely redesigned my steel pipes. No tweaking - who am I trying
to kid? If any possible improvements are spotted I 'go for it'. On a production line you'd be able to spot me right
next to the huge bottleneck, but my bits would be neater! Anyway, as you progress with any graphic design, experience
grows and your more practised eye begins to notice the little deficiencies in the initial work. That's my excuse
After getting sidetracked, out came my book on Airbrushing. I don't possess an airbrush but the techniques of rendering
different materials are just as useful for computer graphics, dealing as they do with reflections and textures.
After much study, and not a little fiddling with the character editor, I amazed myself and produced a chrome pipe!
|Sunday 27th March
||Another big session with the sprite editor today. with no finished results. Groan! My main problem with sprite
design in this project is not having the black background of 'space'. Any colour shows up against a black surround
and realistic metallic shading can be achieved by using three other shades (like my metal cities for instance),
relying on the background colour being black for definition.
Sprites on the 64 can only have three colours. In space you can rely on black all round to add a fourth colour
for crisp sprite designs. However. against a complex backdrop, only two methods work. You can either surround them
with a black border (as in Slapfight for instance) or use a predomiance of white (as in Alleykat). Both methods
ensure that no part of the sprite will merge into the background as it moves around the landscape. The black border
approach can however look very 'blocky' and the all-white version simply does not look right with my metal cities.
I'm getting there, albeit slowly. but it's certainly tough going. Perhaps tomorrow?
|Monday 28th March
||Yippee! If only all working days could be like this. Today it seemed that nothing could go wrong at all. One of
the many nice things about dealing with Thalamus is the help and support they give the programmer during a project.
I now have a disk drive on loan while mine is returned for further scrutiny by Trilogic - no further corruption
in the Walker household (on my disks anyway)! Also, by lunchtime I had my first crispy sprite (and no, it wasn't
a takeaway!) and during the afternoon I got about four more, including some animated ones. They use black and white
for the common colours, and a variety of middling hues for the third. but still retain the colour shading which
add's so much depth and roundness. I'm very pleased, and the city now has its first inhabitants.
|Tuesday 29th March
||A good solid day of work. You can always tell when the project has some momentum. as you never even think of playing
a game - you're too busy working! This was just one of those sort of days. The Sprite Editor, having been reinstated
after yesterday's performance, produced a further selection of inhabitants (with just a little help from me).
|Wednesday 30th March
||Ho-hum! Another day out in the big wide world. Once again I trekked into another set of software outlets, in search
of paradise and the game of my dreams. Not even IO (Firebird) seems to be out yet. Nothing but row after row of
budget software, and just a few unknowns (no reviews yet).
If only you could have games demonstrators (the good old days!) we would all have fewer disappointments when we
get home with a new piece of software. You know the feeling - shall I make a cup of coffee first or load it up
straight away? The mounting anticipation as the loading music strikes up (or buzzes into action as the case may
be). The impressive loading screen. And then, when your excitement reaches a peak, and you press the fire button
to start... your mouth hangs open in shock as you realise you have just wasted your money. Yes, I've got a few
of those in my collection. Nowadays I wait for the ZZAP! review - keep up the good work guys!
|Thursday 31st March
||I've just emerged unscathed after completing a wonderful game of Delta. After all this time I still come back to
it, and thanks to an unmentionable rival magazine (hi, Gary) my backup version now has infinite weapons as well
as infinite lives. Even loading the cassette to instill the new 'POKE' routine gave me a chance to play with the
amazing mix-e-loader once again. I still rate the Delta title music and ingame soundtrack as the best thing ever
done by Rob Hubbard. Come back to England all is forgiven!
|Monday 4th April
||What a weekend too. On Friday my friend Chris Paynes from Manchester arrived to stay for a few days. Amongst many
other enjoyable diversions we had a marathon 11 hour session of playing games and looking at software in general
on the 64, Atari ST and the old Atari 800, as well as Chris's new Apple Mackintosh. It was very revealing, to say
He brought some borrowed ST software, which we looked at first of all. What a let down! Rolling Thunder on the
ST has a playing area of 1/4 screen but looked as if it were being scrolled from Basic! And how about this for
realism - if you are shot while jumping you lay down and die in mid air!!! I couldn't believe it! Then we attempted
to play Dark Castle on the ST (a great medieval platform game on the Mackintosh). After loading and swapping between
three different disks before we could start at all, I went left on the first screen instead of right and we had
to swap disks two more times before we could start again! And, during all this time, because I have a 1 mb ST there
was 512K of empty memory sitting there unused! Surely someone must soon realise that it is easy to check for extra
memory and use it as a Ramdisk!
Honestly, we had more fun playing simultaneous two-player games on the old Atari 800 - Basketball and Dandy (NOT
the Electric Dream's version but the original - copyright 1983). It just shows that gameplay is far more important
than advanced graphics and megabytes of memory. As Julian said in last months editorial - with a few honourable
exceptions there's little on the 16-bit machines at present that is that much better than what is already available
on 8-bit machines. Long live the 64!
Issue 39 - July 1988
Month four: the story so far - Harold has met Daphne while on a fishing
trip in the country. They've sworn their unrequited love for each other and plan to get married and live a life
of bliss. However, Pablo (the half caste) has traced them to the small hotel in which they're renting rooms. Unbeknown
to our hero he has taken an adjoining room and plans to surprise them when they return. Little does he realise
that Harold has returned to London unexpectedly after receiving a mysterious call in the night. Daphne has fallen
from her horse while out riding, and is being tended in a crofters cottage by the local doctor who happened to
be passing at the time. Meanwhile we join Harold at an address in Knightsbridge... Wake up... Wake up Martin...
WAKE UP MARTIN! It's time to write your diary!
|Monday 18th April
||Well, it's been
a funny month. After yet another compliment to Rob Hubbard in last months diary I got to thinking that writing
a music player might be a sensible idea, now that he has moved to sunnier climes. So, to cut a long story short,
this month has been spent mostly away from the game and into aural territory (ears to you).
Since this entailed many days of brow beating monotony as I grappled with the idiosyncrasies of variable depth
vibrato and pulse width modulation, I've decided for this month only to adopt a free form approach to the diary,
and only write when something more interesting happens. Don't worry coders, the game will be back with its bit-twisting
and byte-shifting next month. So, pull up a comfy chair, fluff up the cushions and relax. Off we go!
|Tuesday 19th April
||Have you ever attempted to order software over the telephone? Not with a modem I hasten to add, but simply using
a credit card to get a new title that either hasn't arrived in the local shops yet (and maybe never will!) or to
take advantage of an unmissable discount price. Well it's not always quite as easy as it sounds. I tried it this
month. One morning I decided that I just had to get Oids for my Atari ST. My 64 software is always obtainable locally,
but finding ST title's is tricky to say the least. Anyway, I ordered said title and sat back.Three days later I
telephoned again to find out why it hadn't arrived, and discovered the sneaky bit, The number for enquiries is
different, and it takes an hour to get through. 'No, the person who told you it was in stock could not possibly
have known - the warehouse is at another address. No, it wouldn't be sent out next day -it takes that long for
the warehouse to have your order passed on'.
After five days of patient waiting I thought of sleeping on the front doormat - but I didn't want to wake up and
find a letter in my mouth. Anyway, the package finally arrived seven days later, addressed to Carltenham in Gloucestershire.
No, I haven't heard of it either. To make the story even sillier, two days later my credit card receipt arrived
separately! The moral of this tale is that once you find a speedy and reliable mail-order supplier, don't be tempted
to go to somewhere else just because they're 50p cheaper - it would cost me more than 50p to replace all the hair
I tore out waiting!
|Thursday 28th April
||A chance to restart the normal diary format after three weeks of aching ears and twitching eyeballs the music player
is finally complete, or at least in a suitable state to start writing music. Using it is by far the best way to
find where improvements may be needed.
There are two things that always appear at the top of the list if you hope to produce music for other people's
games - the size of the code ('I've only got 2K of spare memory left and I must have a 20 minute in-game soundtrack')
and how little processor time it takes up ('I'm running 100 enemy bullets on the interrupt but there's only 8 scan
lines left to run sound effects and music!'). Spending four hours and managing to trim 18 bytes off the length
of the code and 1 scan line off the interrupt time is rewarding in the end. but not much fun to read about. I've
now finally returned calmly from my ordeal, but the household is much noisier!
|Friday 29th April
||A great start for the music player - heavy metal guitar, with whistling harmonics and bending strings. I'm pleased
with the snare drum sound as well, as this is the backbone of most game music. The first piece is well under way,
and small refinements can now be made to the code to make it easier to work with. The first one came today when
it was discovered that 64 bytes for a sequence is sometimes not enough, so the entire memory map had to be reorganised
and all table references revised (There, I told you it would have been boring to hear a blow by blow account of
the everyday activities!). When all the pieces of music for a game are complete the code can be compacted, so not
a byte will be wasted.
|Saturday 30th April
||A slow start - the volume control on my amplifier finally needed sorting out before music writing could
commence at all today. You know how it goes. First the control crackles a bit when you turn it, then if you leave
it for long enough it will eventually develop one or two spots where the sound cuts out altogether. Well, has anybody
ever had one like mine that has been left crackly for so long that it refuses to work anywhere on its rotation?
It's a good job I used to be in electronics - I unearthed a suitable replacement from my bits box and soldered
it in and for the first time in months I could have music at any volume - not just where the crackle. free spots
The solo section of the piece took shape quite quickly. With two lead guitars it sounded a little like the old
Wishbone Ash - anyone remember them? Incidentally, talking of guitars, did you know that the Sensible Software
crew are also musicians? The music for Wizball (by Martin Gaiway I believe) also has some rather tasty tiffs hidden
in the game (and I don't mean scratch 'n' 'sniff packaging for computer games - now there's an idea! Hang on a
while I fill out this copyright application).
|Sunday 1st May
||I wish I could use the filter a bit more. Commodore in their infinite wisdom decided to fit components which give
a 20% variation in filter frequency between different 64's. This means that a filtered sound that sounds wonderful
on one machine may be inaudible on another. Try listening to a well known game on a friend's machine - you may
get a surprise! Archer Maclean tells me that International Karate on my machine misses out many of the bass notes
because of this. Anyone would think it was my fault! Many computer musicians refuse to use the filter at all because
of this, as it can wreck the sound balance.
The alternative is to come up with ways of modulating the sound using different waveforms with time, or changing
the note itself as it progresses. My 'heavy metal guitar' sounds a higher harmonic for a fraction of a second as
the note starts, to simulate the attack that you get using a guitar plectrum at high volume with overdrive (on
the guitar you fool). Using the plectrum at different points along the string encourages different harmonics to
sound. When you know what you're doing you can consistently get those amazing high pitched feedback notes like
Van Halen (not me - I only play keyboards and the fool). The great thing about computer music is that I can hit
them every time while playing a frenzied solo. I work it all out on paper first. I suppose that's cheating really,
but who cares as long as theend result is good. It's only like using a sequencer or a drum machine - the musical
part is knowing what to type in!
|Monday 2nd May
||Today is a bank holiday. and also Belinda's birthday, so I've promised not to switch on the computer all day.
|Tuesday 3rd May
||The first piece of music got finished today - I'm well pleased with it. Anyhody fancy heavy metal title music for
their next game? I resisted the temptation to add those predictable synth drum patterns. You know the sort of thing
I mean. Dibby-dibby-dobby-dobby-dubby-dubby-blat! I spent my time on getting a good snare sound, as in most cases
this is all you need to add punch. The characteristic sound of the snare drum comes from the rattle of the snares
against the bottom head. If memory serves well, most drummers seem to tune the two heads something like a third
apart, so overall there are three sounds to simulate. The best sound I got rapidly swaps the waveform between a
triangle and noise, to get the head sound and rattle going together.
Mostly it's down to experimenting. unless you want to go the whole hog and use a sampled sound, and these eat memory
and processor time. This is all right for a title screen but more rarely used during a game. Mega Apocalypse is
a worthy exception, and very nicely done too! A typical in-game sample, for example a digital grunt in IK+, might
need to have its sample updated 5000 times a second (that's 100 times every TV frame!). Although the actual code
to do it each time is very short, it's unlikely to leave enough time to scroll the screen as well, so don't expect
many sampled sounds in shoot'em ups, not on the 64 anyway!
|Wednesday 4th May
||Another day spent updating the sound effects in Armalite. I suspect that by the time it's released it will render
most other progressive shoot'em ups totally obsolete. Never before have I seen so many moving sprites on the screen
at once! It makes you wince when a new alien formation comes on screen - and that's even before they start firing
Out came the sound effects editor. It's strange that since so much time has been spent with music this month that
even the effects are ending up more musical. Eight more alien firing sounds blasted their way from the speakers
before I retired exhausted for another cup of coffee, and a re-bore for my ears.
|Thursday 5th May
||Back to the music player. The second piece is off to a flying start with a haunting main theme and some strange
backing 'instruments'. Because the sounds can be changed in pitch during their duration it's possible to produce
multiplexed chords by swapping between several notes every 50th of a second (although this produces disturbing
low frequency rumbles unless you're very careful). Another new breed of sounds (as far as I know!) are 'two-tiered'
sounds which start on one note and continue on another. Both techniques produce the effect of more than the usual
three channels playing, and fill out the sound very effectively.
It's great to be using my old keyboards for work again - they may not be MIDI (it wasn't even thought of when they
were purchased) but they've been well played-in during the ten years or so I was involved with bands before my
computing bug struck. After blowing away the dust and cobwebs I'm blasting forth in earnest, and with the 64 music
roaring out of my 'stack' as well I'm having to think about complaints from the neighbours about noise for the
first time in ages. Great stuff!
|Friday 6th May
||A hearty thank you to all those readers who voted Hunter's Moon into the ZZAP! Readers Charts recently, especially
so for the mammoth leap of 13 places up the ratings in May's issue. It's nice to know that you enjoy playing it.
If the interest is there, then there's always the possibility of another 128 levels or a construction kit in the
Back to work, and a new instrument for 'piece two', again using the two-tiered system. it really sounds like several
people playing at the same time. The nicest thing about all these discoveries is that they don't only apply to
the SID chip - all could be used in music players designed for other machines too. Who knows what machine I might
end up working with and writing for in the future?
|Saturday 7th May
||A whittling operation took place this afternoon. After a sudden insight into a different way of producing vibrato
(frequency wobble) I set to and managed to trim about 20% off the maximum processor time taken by the music player
when all three voices are 'wobbling'. I suppose the technical boffins would call it an optimised algorithm. The
longest time ever taken now is about 26 scan lines (just over 3 characters deep) on the interrupt. Even if I put
the music player on a starvation diet I doubt that much more could be tweaked off, but looking at the time taken
by some other people's routines I don't somehow think I need worry about it!
Another voice and theme for piece two evolved in the evening. This one definitely sounds as if it escaped from
a Peter Gabriel album - unison wood chimes in a repeating rhythm. It's amazing just how many new and different
sounds are possible on the 64. why didn't I do this last year?
|Sunday 8th May
||Yet more sounds! A multiplexed chord using one channel, and a new smooth bass sound (at least it was designed with
that in mind, but it will probably be used at higher frequencies for other things). The piece two continued, and
grew into something I wasn't expecting.
At first, when the multiplexed chords were added to the unison wood blocks, it sounded really big. Then the masterstroke
- a riff that sounded like four instruments at once. It sounded bigger and bigger as the piece went on, and when
I introduced double speed bass with hi-hat as well it suddenly dawned on me - Tubular Bells! Not a ripoff of the
riff, but that lovely section where Viv Stanshell introduces each instrument in turn, and it grows and grows. Although
there are still only three channels on the 64, towards the end it really does give the impression of about eight
instruments all playing at once! And with that rewarding thought this month's diary must fade into the sunset.