Electric guitar (a good one) for MSX-Music?

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By DarkSchneider

Paladin (748)

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02-04-2018, 17:11

I wonder if a good electric guitar can be done with the 2 FM operators of the MSX-Music. It is supposed to include one, but it doesn't sound as an electric guitar to me.

I mean something like this (also FM chip, but with 4 FM operators):
https://youtu.be/oTQIiIKummw

I am looking at this OPLL info about operators but I think you must be a musician to understand how it works.
https://web.archive.org/web/20070111053610/http://www.smspower.org/maxim/docs/ym2413am/index.html

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By DarkSchneider

Paladin (748)

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19-04-2018, 13:14

Update, it seems possible! But I don't know the operators parameters.

https://youtu.be/BppqmQUuKdY

By wolf_

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19-04-2018, 15:24

Problems:

- In most situations, you'd want an overdrive or distortion effect. This is not really possible without a real effect like that.

- Even if you want a mere clean guitar sound, the trick is in the performance details. A fret noise here, a fret slide there, a finger vibration on one string, or a tremolo bridge for vibrato on all the strings, high playing on a low string, or low playing on a high string, certain low chords or lowstring combinations that can't be done, the time it takes to move from one position to another position etc. etc. There are so many ways to fail here. :-) let's not forget that a tracker with a maximum grid of 16th notes doesn't offer enough details for everything that happens with notes and between notes.

The only way would be to associate distortion with "a whole lot of mess 'n noise" and then make an FM voice with just the right amount of feedback and FM-level. But that's about it. It's far from the genuine "mess 'n noise" you'd get from a distorted guitar sound, played the right way.

By Meits

Scribe (5109)

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19-04-2018, 15:47

Wolf: You've to think 90s when you made the intro of MB Muzax 2. Not FM8 in combination with anything modern.
You did well on FM-PAC then. That intro still stands as a rock. That guitar could be usable in any fm tune that needs it. The rest is details which no one will ever care about if it's done on MSX Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9691)

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19-04-2018, 22:33

Yes, that's what I've pointed out with that last paragraph. If you're ready to associate 'distortion' with FM-mess, then you can fake around quite a bit.

Trivia: @UMF they kept resetting the MSX during that intro to snoop around the Music Module sample RAM, to see where the guitars were. ^_^

By syn

Paragon (1872)

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20-04-2018, 01:07

darkschneider you mean a lead guitar or the chords strumming/jamming thing (sorry im not a guitar player nor musician so I dont know the correct terminology)?

By Grauw

Enlighted (7407)

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20-04-2018, 01:18

Rhythm guitar? Smile

By syn

Paragon (1872)

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20-04-2018, 01:21

oh right brainfart, its late Tongue Cool

By JohnHassink

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20-04-2018, 06:07

The (absolutely fantastic) soundtrack of "Fighter's Ragnarök" has a song that pulls off a pretty convincing electrical guitar on OPLL, more or less according to the philosophy/technique already mentioned by wolf_ and Meits.
I've just made a video that first showcases the song fully, then plays the particular channels where it's in.
https://youtu.be/BoYfQG6FaYU
Wait for it a bit; the guitar lead I'm talking about is at the end of the song. After that, I've isolated the two channels where it happens. First you'll hear them both, then the main one alone, then the channel that serves for the delay (or reverb, if you will). You will notice that the delay channel deliberately modulates ('vibrates') differently (specifically: deeper) to create an even fatter sound.
(some loss of quality was inevitable as both Audacity as Movie Maker weren't too happy with the original formats)

So it's possible like this. But hasn't been done much. I have noticed that, especially in the beginning, MSX OPLL (and PSG) composers/arrangers would usually opt for not trying to approach the sound of a distortion guitar as close as possible, but let the specific parts speak for themselves.
The final battle theme of Ys II?. The listener will immediately recognize that this is supposed to be a piece of hardrock. Even in the parts where the 'guitar' uses only one channel instead of the two you'd normally think are needed to simulate a 'power chord'. And by the time the 'guitar solo' at the end pops up, we can rest assured that the listeners will fill in the blanks of the missing rhythm guitar with their inner ear. This arranger even went as far as sacrificing that precious 3rd channel just to echo the lead.
The PC-88 original didn't beat around the bush, by the way, but it didn't have to.

On OPLL, often the choice falls on either a pretty standard SW voice or just the HW "Harpsichord" preset.
A more obscure example from Compile with a SW voice:
https://youtu.be/eO8KtiqAuLo
And an example from Last Armageddon with the harpsichord:
https://youtu.be/fx4pwFWJuCo
Or who could forget about the Xak intro (which is done with a combination of PSG, the HW 'Electric Guitar' preset and that synth trumpet they use all the time):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhWYkmPCNAY&feature=youtu.be...

When I was starting up the (beta) basis for re-arranging this Compile song on Mega Drive to MSX OPLL, I wanted to make it sound pretty much as an MSX Compile OPLL song (you'll notice that the percussion doesn't follow the idiom) and thus also opted for just using the harpsichord:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ctdhPfSB-nI

I should leave this subject for now as I could keep going. :)

By wyrdwad

Hero (664)

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20-04-2018, 07:56

I quite like the electric guitar used in the OPLL version of the boss theme from Pumpkin Adventure 3, personally:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nFlnXwbmCDA

I assume that's the harpsichord sound John mentioned, but it genuinely sounds like an electric guitar here... at least, to me!

-Tom

By JohnHassink

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20-04-2018, 08:44

wyrdwad wrote:

I assume that's the harpsichord sound John mentioned

No, that's the "Slide Guitar 1", one of the pre-made SW voices that Moonblaster 1.4 provides.
The harpsichord that I meant is a HW preset. The one that's very prominent in that Last Armageddon song that I posted.

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