Why and how was MSX-AUDIO failed?

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By janghang

Expert (115)

janghang's picture

17-02-2013, 03:45

I often listen to songs created by MSX-AUDIO, the Y8950. I am always so fascinated by its sound. It even includes PCM! Why and how was this awesome sound card failed and why couldn't it be a real standard? I really hate MSX-MUSIC and FM-PAC whose sound is so terrible and the poorest FM sound ever.

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By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

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17-02-2013, 04:30

MSX-Music and FM-PAC? LOL! It's the same thing.
By the way, can't say I agree. Depends on how you use the chip.
MSX-Audio has always been a bit too 'crude' for my ears.
Regarding your question - probably not as promoted/endorsed by Matsushita/Panasonic.

By yzi

Champion (441)

yzi's picture

17-02-2013, 09:33

For some reason, Panasonic chose the inferior OPLL chip for their computers. I guess it was just cheaper.
http://www.faq.msxnet.org/fmpac.html

By anonymous

incognito ergo sum (109)

anonymous's picture

17-02-2013, 10:12

FM-PAC Inferior?

I'd say they're different, but you can't put 'm on the same scale when measuring differences. It's true that the MSX-Audio has fully custom voices per channel, a PCM channel and some more differences. The FM-PAC however has an extra waveform per operator, and that does make a difference (slightly different sound, slightly warmer). The FM-PAC especially shines when used in combination with the PSG, as Micro Cabin has proven more than once. I mean, whatever negative sides the FM-PAC has, it didn't stop them from making these:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1XbUwamuHU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETJUr4UTqPg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1Nw7xpPtjI

And then there's also this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N3bjnoOLtrg

By Meits

Scribe (5538)

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17-02-2013, 11:07

In Moonblaster both chips fill each other's gaps. MSX Music makes it sound a bit warmer, while MSX Audio makes it sound more diverse.

By syn

Paragon (1920)

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17-02-2013, 11:28

It was mainly because of the price of the chip that it wasnt chosen as standard. Besides, ram was expensive too back then, so having sample ram would have increased it even more.

By Meits

Scribe (5538)

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17-02-2013, 11:32

Is sampleRAM required for MSX Audio? Toshiba did not put it on their cartridge...

By syn

Paragon (1920)

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17-02-2013, 11:35

wolf_ wrote:

The FM-PAC especially shines when used in combination with the PSG,

Maybe the music module would have shone more in combination with psg? although we will probably never know unless someone creates a sick advanced tracker Big smile

On msx audio vs msx music who is inferior, well for me personally I hated the crappy cheapsounding FM-pac drums when i was a kid, but I guess ive grown used to them i thinkWink Same as the relatively small "palet" of instruments.

By syn

Paragon (1920)

syn's picture

17-02-2013, 11:37

Meits wrote:

Is sampleRAM required for MSX Audio? Toshiba did not put it on their cartridge...

The OP mentioned sample as well. And with my post i meant it would bump up your msx computer's price even more if you choose to include the sample part.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9769)

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17-02-2013, 12:03

syn wrote:

Maybe the music module would have shone more in combination with psg? although we will probably never know unless someone creates a sick advanced tracker Big smile

My Music Module has a low volume compared to PSG, when I use my monitor output.. So I would have to connect both the MSX and the Music Module to a mixer.. The FM-PAC has a normal balance compared to the PSG, give or take the odd PSG balance on some MSX modules (8250/55/80, to name some). Maybe it can be tweaked in hardware, dunno, but then you run the eternal MSX risk that one person has a different configuration compared to the other, making it hard to predict what your artwork will sound like. (these differences among MSX systems and expansions are one of the major cons of MSX btw, the defined 'standard' was way too small)

Quote:

well for me personally I hated the crappy cheapsounding FM-pac drums

True, but that's a matter of changing some registers, like Micro Cabin did. And the PSG actually complements the FM drums greatly.

Quote:

Same as the relatively small "palet" of instruments.

In a way that is true, but it's not much of a bother for me. Again: Micro Cabin uses that same chip.. you feel their music lacks behind?
Still, the sentiments you vent have some fundamentals. With software like Moonblaster there's not much we can actually do, other than note-on and note-off. We have volume, the software voice also has brightness, we can pitchbend and vibrate but that's about it. If you'd have precise control over volume, pitch, note lengths etc. at interrupt level, your whole chip would sound fresh again. With the Music Module you'd compensate that (a bit) by changing the voice data, which the FM-PAC can't do for its hardware voices. It may be that this particular situation in MB has such a big impact on people that it'd be easy to rate the Music Module a great deal higher than the FM-PAC.

By Meits

Scribe (5538)

Meits's picture

17-02-2013, 12:19

wolf_ wrote:

My Music Module has a low volume compared to PSG, when I use my monitor output.. So I would have to connect both the MSX and the Music Module to a mixer.. The FM-PAC has a normal balance compared to the PSG, give or take the odd PSG balance on some MSX modules (8250/55/80, to name some). Maybe it can be tweaked in hardware, dunno, but then you run the eternal MSX risk that one person has a different configuration compared to the other, making it hard to predict what your artwork will sound like.

Possible, and worth it if you don't have a mixer or balance knob on your amplifier...

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