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I'll just leave this here

The mystery of FM synthesis compels you!

Discussion about the original classic Genesis/Mega Drive game. Posts about the GBA remake belong in the forum below.

I'll just leave this here

Postby Flygon » Thu Mar 24 2016 5:45am


First 5 channels, from Left to Right, descending Downwards, are the FM channels. 6th channel is the DAC, playing the Drum Samples.

Bottom two channels are the PSG.

This is one of those things you never knew you wanted to see, until you actually saw it. :excited:

I actually got the idea from a YouTuber called KapteinKUK. While I can't actually send him messages thanking him due to my YouTube account not being linked to a Google+, I really wish I could thank him. He supplied the SidWiz tool that made this possible.

The SID, of course, being the soundchip inside the Commodore 64. Enjoy. :shifty:


tl;dr: I made a video showing what one of Shining Force's musics looks like. :thumbsup:
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Re: I'll just leave this here

Postby SaladinTCO » Sat Mar 26 2016 7:26pm

Thats pretty cool. I've always found cymatics to be quite interesting, I remember at uni we did that experiment using corn starch and a sub woofer (before "Big Bang theory" did it).

Makes me think of a question about MIDI sound in the Megadrive era. I remember my original megadrive had its sound chip kind of seperately, as in there was seperate volume controls and a 3.5mm headphone jack in the console itself, suggesting that the audio was generated live alongside the game. However, when the Megadrive II came out, replacing that god-awful power switch and dodgy reset button with less breakeable buttons, they removed the sound controls and headphone jack. Does this mean that the MD2 "emulated" the audio from the ROM? Or was it still generated live from the console just without any controls?

Or, most likely, am I completely wrong in every way and not knowing what I'm talking about?
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Re: I'll just leave this here

Postby Flygon » Sun Mar 27 2016 12:16pm

I don't really want to say that you're completely wrong, but, there is a lot of clarification that needs to be cleared up.

All Mega Drive's have two sets of sound chips inside, the FM based one, and the PSG.

The FM based chips were either YM2612 units, for first 'model' Mega Drives (ie. the original case design); or YM3438 units, which were basically used on every other model.

The quick rundown is, with these two, is that the YM3438 is an 'improved' clone of the original, fixing a few bugs, and overall having better quality. But a lot of Mega Drive II's had crap sound mixing circuitry (used to mix the PSG and FM sound together, entirely in analog), hence why they have a bad reputation. They found fantastic with improved circuitry, such as the MegaAmp mod. :thumbsup:

The PSG is, in product number terms, a SN76489. It's the soundchip from the Master System. It's inflexible, it has no bass, the Square Waves have no Duty Cycle control, no Envelope control, the volume control is Logarithmic... you don't have much flexibility, is what I'm saying. And, chances are, that's all going over your head anyway! :shock:

But, it's the same soundchip used on the Game Gear, as well. Difficult to port orchestral pieces over to! To segue into that, though, I have posted waveform videos for Final Conflict. Frontline and Flashback.


Basically, the tl;dr is, practically all 80s and 90s Mega Drive hardware, both official, and clone, created all their soud through hardware synthesis! :biggrin:



Edit: Looking at my avatar, I just realized young Bleu actually has 'bone' horns, not 'skin covered' Charizard ones! :fear:
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Re: I'll just leave this here

Postby Lobo » Mon Mar 28 2016 5:33pm

Awesome! :excited:

Can you do that for the other musics? :shifty: :blush:
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Re: I'll just leave this here

Postby Flygon » Tue Mar 29 2016 1:17am

I have done two more Shining Force based ones, Shining Force II's Final Battle, and Final Conflict's Distant Journey Calls aka. that really cool theme from II with the really cool climax chopped off.

There's a fair few other videos, too (yo, I heard Chamber of Secrets had a really good RPG!), but... they're not directly Shining Force related! :shifty:
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