Reader responds: Regarding MSX Audio...
2PLAYER answered my question. You can visit his tumblr here. Channels 7, 8, and 9 have 6 slots and are used to generate the 5 rhythmic sounds. Bass drum uses 2 slots with FM while the other 4 sounds are created using the OPL white noise oscillator combined with frequency data. So yes, you could make your own OPL drums with the 9 channels but this allows you to squeeze 5 drums out of 3...
A question for my readers: Regarding MSX Audio...
Hello everyone! A couple weeks ago I responded to a question about the sound behind the MSX and the Metal Gear 2: Solid Snake soundtrack. But there’s actually something regarding the description of the soundchips in MSX-AUDIO and MSX-MUSIC that I’ve never understood when reading about them. I’d be interest if someone can provide an answer. According to wikipedia and other...
NES Audio: Reinterpretation of The Exorcist theme
Visiting a friend in Washington, D.C. this past weekend, we happened to run into the staircase from The Exorcist when I stopped for gas. I was reminded of an arrangement I did of the “Exorcist theme” for the NES some years back. It’s not the entirety of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells, just the segment popularized by the movie: It was made shortly after I extracted the...
xitebike3000 asked: Can you explain how the MSX2 sound chip works? I was listening to music from Metal Gear 2 and it's got some great sounds.
The Legacy Music Hour - Episode 77: Sunsoft
Episode 77: Sunsoft I was invited via skype as a guest on the most recent episode of The Legacy Music Hour podcast. I talk a little bit about Sunsoft audio, their use of melodic samples, and a couple other things. It’s a great episode with some excellent selections by Brent and Rob. Episode tracklist: Gimmick! - Masashi Kageyama - Good Morning (Introduction) - Authentic...
NES Audio: The Arpeggio Effect
A brief explanation and several examples of the arpeggio effect. In an earlier post I talked about the arpeggio, and gave more specifics about how it works on the NES, although I wanted to make a youtube video with more examples. :)
The Legacy Music Hour podcast
http://legacymusichour.blogspot.com/ http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/the-legacy-music-hour/id405561057 The Legacy Music Hour podcast was created by Brent Weinbach and Rob F. for the purpose of sharing and talking about video game music from specifically the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. No remixes, no covers, no video game inspired music -just pure, original music from the NES, SNES, Genesis, and...
NES Audio: Legend of Zelda, video display of sound...
created by: 1ucasvb I found some cool videos that show the waveform display for each sound channel. It’s a very nice way of demonstrating how the music is arranged.
NES Audio: Rob Hubbard Sawtooth Wave
A method for generating a sustained melodic sound from the sample channel: As mentioned in the video, The Immortal by Rob Hubbard is the only soundtrack on the NES or Famicom I’ve found that uses this technique, and I’m under the impression that it is truly unique. Please send me a message if you know of any other examples! For the famitracker users, you can download an instrument...
NES Audio: Sunsoft Bass and Melodic Samples
A demonstration of how DPCM samples were used melodically on the NES. Ripped from the Gremlins 2 nsf, you can experiment with the Sunsoft bass using this .fti file for famitracker. (sorry for the zshare link, i’ll replace this with a better home in the future) Special thanks go to ~J-@Ð!~ for providing this handy DPCM frequency data chart. You can see just how much the intonation varies...
listening to NES music: an introduction to NSFs
I had someone ask me how I mute the different channels, and how they can do the same for the purpose of learning some parts more easily on guitar. This is a great question, and it makes me realize I should’ve made a post about this earlier. The best way to listen to and examine NES music is with NSF (nintendo sound format) files. Different NSF players have different options, but channel...
NES Audio: Duty Cycle Modulation
A quick explanation of the NES duty cycles and how they can be manipulated. Famitracker instrument data for the given examples. Gremlins 2: Volume: 12 12 11 1 3 Duty Cycle: 2 1 Alien 3: Volume: 0 7 6 5 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4...
megajesse asked: Hi! Don't mean to bother you again but can I request how Super Mario Bros. 3 does the whole bongodrum/steel drum like sound? You can hear it clearll at the end of the music that plays when you lose a life. Thanks!
NES Audio: Asterix Noise Instruments
Hello everyone! I had a couple people ask me for pointers on making noise instruments for NES music. It’s a little difficult to answer this question, because there’s no definitive answer on what makes good drums. There are three main things to consider when making a noise drum. Volume, pitch, and duration. The “duration” is how long it takes for the volume to fade over...
NES Audio: Triangle Kick Drums
Pitch bends can be used to create heavier drum sounds with the triangle channel. I’ll save triangle kick drum instrument data for a future post. Right now, the best way recreate the examples in famitracker is with v0.3.8 beta. They’re adding new options to the arpeggio envelope that will allow you to fix pitches that aren’t relative to the starting note. Just learned this...
kentendo64 asked: Hey now. Interesting reads. I've never seen anyone go into depth about old game soundchips. What's your favorite music from an old game? Like what inspired your band?
Sega Game Gear: Zan Gear soundtrack
This is a pretty cool soundtrack for the Sega Game Gear. It’s composed by Motoi Sakuraba, who recently did the music for Dark Souls. I like how the tracks have a sort of through-composed style, going through many sections before repeating. The music may be a bit over the top at times, but it delivers a journey of tension and triumph. The Sega Master System and Game Gear use the...
stridersubzero asked: Hi, love the blog. I was wondering, is there anyway that you can utilize the actual sound chip for a video game system to create a synth? For instance, to make something like the Atari Punk Console but with the Sega Genesis' YM2612 chip?
new cheap dinosaurs video
Hello everyone, I play drums in an instrumental prog-rock group called Cheap Dinosaurs. We’re based out of Philadelphia and use a game boy with live instruments to create psychedelic and colorful music. We have a new video for Rootie that I wanted share- And here’s an older game boy camera video- You can stream the album [here http://store.datagarden.org/album/cheap-dinosaurs],...
NES Audio: Single Channel Echo by Neil Baldwin
The previous example of single channel echo was applied to sustained notes. Using the music from Hero Quest, we can see a different way to create echo for faster, changing notes. Visit the composer’s website here: http://dutycyclegenerator.com/
megajesse asked: Hey! I found you via Kotaku and I really think you're blog is awesome! I understand you might be busy with your own schedule and all, but do you think you could explain something like how a game like MC Kids makes a Commodore 64-like wiggly sound? Im not sure what it's actually called but specifically the Level 4 theme shows it well. I think it'd be great because I always wondered...
vgsoundalikes asked: Hey! I think this site is a great idea. Really interesting stuff. I enjoy using Famitracker, but have been staying away from using the DPCM because I'm too scared of messing up my bass volume. I know it's unavoidable, but if you have any tips regarding the DPCM channel, anything from finding and loading sounds to minimizing the loss of bass, I'd love to hear about it in the future!...
NES Audio: Review of the Sound Channels
Before jumping into more details, I wanted to take a step back and share a quick review of the Nintendo’s sound channels. In the future I’ll make similar videos for other systems, but since I started with the NES I’m going to stick with it for a bit. :)
NES Audio: Single-channel Echo by the Follin Bros.
This video demonstrates a couple single channel echo effects used by Tim and Geoff Follin in their NES soundtracks: This is a neat trick that allowed the composers to cram an echo effect into a single channel. The freedom gained from fitting an echo into one channel grants the composer more room that would’ve otherwise been taken up by the effect (like the Ducktales example below that...
NES Audio: Demonstrating Reverb/ Echo with...
Hello everyone! I decided to start a tumblr to talk about sound design in classic video game music. For my first post I figured I’d tackle a basic concept used in chipmusic: The 2-channel Echo. A common method for creating a reverb or echo effect works by doubling up a melody with a delayed and quieter version of itself. Here I use the African Mines theme from Ducktales to demonstrate how...