Breaking the silence: working on extracting RCP midi files from Micro Cabin PC-98 games

By sdsnatcher73

Paladin (752)

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23-01-2020, 20:05

Okay not strictly MSX but still very related and at least close to my heart Wink

I started working on extracting the RCP midi files from Xak III: The Eternal Recurrence and here is a first sound bite that should sound very familiar: Name that tune....

FYI, played back with openMSX FS-A1GT, ARMI.COM -> Munt MT-32 emulator

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By Parn

Champion (467)

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23-01-2020, 20:34

I'm kind of amazed about how good Micro Cabin music usually sound on our humbe MSX-Music. Xak and Illusion City are great examples of how MSX music can sound better than music from much more powerful systems with better sound hardware.

Their MIDI work, on the other side... It's kind of not good.

By sdsnatcher73

Paladin (752)

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23-01-2020, 21:53

Agreed, not sure why that was...

By Meits

Scribe (5734)

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24-01-2020, 09:36

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

Agreed, not sure why that was...

That's a combination of feeling, emotion, taste, acceptance and probably a whole lot of other reasons.
I do hate Italo music with every fiber that's me. When played by original performers on professional instruments. On the other hand do I love the music Impact gave us. Many of them are Italo covers.
It matters a lot what people can squeeze out of tiny music chips. The MT32 (and more from that generation) were trying to really mimic real instruments, in which they hopelessly failed, while PSG and MSX-Music have no chance to be remotely compared to existing instruments.
One accepts that MSX-Music sounds like it is but expects more of MIDI. At least in the case of Gazzel (intro) and Illusion City Micro Cabin proved they were masters in the MSX-Music/PSG combination, but that didn't translate well into MT32. It took the spirit out of the music.
I've seen some ports of Xak and Fray on other platforms as well. Platform with later generations of music chips. Imho they all lose of the MSX versions. Not just because it's MSX and I heard it earlier and therefore made it a benchmark, but simply because on MSX they weren't trying to mimic existing instruments.

Anyhoo, it's always quite tricky to release your software which supports midi music as a bonus. It happens too often that the end user uses a different synth than the composer which will destroy the joy of listening.

By sdsnatcher73

Paladin (752)

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06-02-2020, 19:43

Hey Meits, yes also I believe somehow the MSX programmers really were able to make OPLL sound so great because the low level access. On PC-98 MicroCabin games don't sound as good (in my opinion) as they do on MSX, but they have a more expensive and probably/arguably a bit better Yamaha OPN or OPN-A chip. One other reason they might have tried harder on MSX was the competition of Konami, with their SCC sound chip and great sounding music.

Anyway the Xak III: The Eteral Recurrence RCP pack is finished. They really sound quite good on my CM-64 after some getting used to...