Philips Music Module MSX Audio upgrade - V1.3

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By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3473)

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20-10-2012, 19:00

@Meits

Don't worry, you were just trying to help. But I wonder why people always ignore the poor README files... Smile

By Meits

Scribe (6446)

Meits's picture

20-10-2012, 21:07

So do I... That's the place to get to know your equipment/software...

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

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20-10-2012, 23:46

Hi SD Snatcher,

You're right, I had not read through your read-me file, mainly because I didn't know that it existed until now. I have been to your site many times to read the bullet points about the differences between versions 1.2 and 1.3, I had not actually downloaded the 1.3 BIOS files with the read-me until today. I appreciate your letting me know about this and for providing so many programs and patches (especially for Turbo R) users from the FRS website.

So far, I've been able to run the OPLLOFF program just fine and for launching FireHawk and I can hear the difference in how the MSX plays the music, although in Firehawk's case, it seems to identify that that MSX-Audio Rom is there and plays both MSX Audio and MSX Music without the need of running OPLLOFF, whereas running OPLLOFF will only channel the MSX Audio music and not play the other music.

So by testing all of this with Firehawk, I can see that I can get the MSX Audio to work in either case, but when testing Golvellius 2, I still seem to only get MSX Music only. My process so far is to have OPLLOFF.com placed in the UTILS folder on my SD card inside me SD / MMC Interface, I turn R800 mode off (Standard Procedure), run OPLLOFF, then run Golvellius 2 either disk A or disk B under RUNIT like this:

D:\RUNIT\RUNIT \M GOV2ENA.DSK <= With the \M command to allow the software to look for the MSX Audio BIOS.

or

D:\RUNIT\RUNIT GOV2ENA.DSK <== Without \M

And the result is always the same, MSX Music only.

If I could somehow get into MSX Basic, CALL AUDIO and then without resetting get the Golvellius 2.dsk to start, I think that would probably solve the issue perhaps?

Thanks for your help SD Snatcher. : )

-Thomas

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3473)

sd_snatcher's picture

21-10-2012, 00:59

@SkyeWelse

FireHawk HDD don't need the OPLLOFF program: it has command-line switches that allows you to select which extension will be used.

The runit /M parameters is used to simulate the presence of the MSX-Audio BIOS on a Music Module without any BIOS. This is the equivalent of the POKE-54,35. Since your Music Module does have the BIOS, you don't need any of those. Maybe the help of the RUNIT command should be modified to explain that.

There are some strange things on your report:

1) Compile games will always have preference for the MSX-Audio if both MSX-Audio and MSX-Music are present. So, you shouldn't need to do anything special to disable the MSX-Music. Are you sure that the MSX-Music is being used? How are you checking this?

2) After running OPLLOFF no games should be able to detect the MSX-Music. If Golvellius is still detecting it after that, maybe RUNIT is doing some trick. Try booting the game directly from a floppy disk.

BTW, the CALL AUDIO command isn't necessary for any games. You should use it only with BASIC programs.

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

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21-10-2012, 04:24

Hi SD Snatcher, thanks for clarifying about OPLLOFF and FireHawk as well as the /M parameter being not something I will need to use if I am using a Music Module equipped with the Expansion Bios.

1. Regarding your first question, I'm not sure if I am or not, but to my ears the music that plays whether the Music Module is inserted or removed is the same. The music is also the same to my ears whether or not Golvellius 2 is played on an actual disk or through by using RUNIT.

I think if there is a difference that I should be listening for, it might help if I knew what it was supposed to sound like. Is there any Gollvelius 2 MSX Audio music that has been recorded? Or maybe I could set this up via an emulator with MSX-Audio settings just to hear what it would sound like normally.

2. As mentioned above I did already try running Golvellius 2 on actual disk media with the Music Module inserted into Slot 1. Good to know that I should only be using CALL AUDIO in MSX Basic for Basic programs only. That clarifies that at least! : )

-Thomas

By sd_snatcher

Prophet (3473)

sd_snatcher's picture

21-10-2012, 05:22

For non-trained ears the difference is really subtle, specially on Compile games. It seems that they really made the music to sound equal on both MSX-Audio and MSX-Music.

To check, use the Music Module audio-out connections. If the game is being able to output the music there, then the MSX-Audio is being used. If not, then the MSX-Music is being used.

After that, compare both versions. You'll notice that the Music Module sound is sharper and clear, while the MSX-Music has a more dull sound. This happens because the OPL1 uses a much better DAC, while the OPLL uses a very cheap DAC with a trick that output the channels serially.

If you had an OPL3 cartridge or a MoonSound+BIOS (configured to run on port C0h), you would notice that the sound would become even clearer and sharper. Again, this happens because of a better DAC and samplerate.

By Meits

Scribe (6446)

Meits's picture

21-10-2012, 12:32

It's indeed a good idea to connect your music module to an amplyfier by its rca outputs. Then you're sure you don't hear MSX music...

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

SkyeWelse's picture

21-10-2012, 19:00

I think I understand now you've both pointed out this very important fact. I had originally thought that I was hearing MSX Music though the RCA outputs of the Module since I couldn't hear a clear difference for Golvellius 2 between MSX Audio and MSX Music versions, at least for the opening location BGMs for the game and never really thought about why I might not be able to hear sound out of the same RCA outputs for other non-MSX-Audio compatible games. It never really occurred to me that "If" I hear any audio coming out from the Music Module, it would "only be MSX-Audio". So I've been hearing Golvellius 2's MSX-Audio music this whole time and never really realized it!

I do hear some differences now that I made it to other areas in the game, but just as SD Snatcher said, these were very subtle differences for sure! The only thing that is very different at least in my case is the clarity of the sound and the overall volume being higher when using MSX-Audio out of the the RCA outputs.

Thanks for helping me understand this. So simple, but I guess this point was just something I never really understood until now.

-Thomas

By Meits

Scribe (6446)

Meits's picture

21-10-2012, 19:57

Question for my curiosity to turbo R users: Is the built in MSX Music so soft on volume then? The Panasonic FM-PAC is way louder than the Philips Music Module. In SkyeWelse's story I make up that MSX Audio's volume is superior oO

By SkyeWelse

Champion (471)

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21-10-2012, 21:27

Hi Melts, it also could be the custom Audio cable that Repair Bas made for me that I promptly pulled apart one of the Audio wires and had to re-solder it back on, and I'm no soldering expert. I mean the sound itself seems to be fine, just the Module seem a few decibels louder and clearer. Could just be my custom cable though and the wire grade so I wouldn't take my circumstance as the standard for other Turbo R owners. Smile

-Thomas

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