New MSX-related tracks on Parn's SoundCloud

by Parn on 18-02-2020, 18:02
제목: Music
언어 설정:

MRC user Parn recently uploaded a couple of MSX-related tracks to his SoundCloud page. Here they are:

These arrangements were made for the NES (Famicom in Japan), but the Nemesis 2 one only uses the NES/Famicom 2A03 sound chip and tries to sound similar to the Gradius II soundtrack, while the Space Manbow one also uses the Konami VRCVI sound chip for a more complete sound.

Both tracks are also available for online listening and download.

댓글 (4)

By Pencioner

Paragon (1077)

Pencioner의 아바타

20-02-2020, 10:49

Very nice, enjoed it. Loved the sound of VRCVI - it has something of SCC hear-and-feel Smile But first 2A03 track percussion sounds too much "frosted"/"muffled" for me

By Parn

Champion (485)

Parn의 아바타

20-02-2020, 11:35

Thank you very much! I'm sorry for taking so long to post MSX-related tracks on my SoundCloud.

Yeah, about the muffled drums, personally I think that's kind of the appeal there. Most Konami NES games (like Gradius II, which I tried to emulate) from 1988 and 1989 have that same kind of percussion. Perhaps I should have gone after post-1990 stuff, which still sounds muffled, but better. But then I wouldn't have that sweet Gradius II sound. Tongue

By Pencioner

Paragon (1077)

Pencioner의 아바타

20-02-2020, 12:24

I bet that sound rely to use of low number of bits for sound encoding (optimizing the size), together with a low bitrate as well (yeah it sounds like an overcompressed mp3 by the way, like 8kbit/s one), so later ones just raised bitrate and sounded better Wink

By Parn

Champion (485)

Parn의 아바타

20-02-2020, 13:24

As far as I know, most Konami NES soundtracks really use DPCM in its highest possible sample rate, which is around 33kHz. However, sample quality is really low and I personally found that it's a pain to find pleasant-sounding samples which mix well. The main problem is that bitrate is extremely low and this makes the lower volume portions of the samples sound really bad. So a lot of drum pieces I tried tend to sound like a crunchy mess at the release end and everything gets noisy pretty fast. So you have to use mostly short samples and those tend to sound kinda opaque.

For example, Gradius II's snare drum has only 769 bytes and plays for .19 seconds. Now .19 seconds at 33kHz would require 6270 samples. Indeed, NES' DPCM uses only 1 bit per sample. It's VERY limiting. But if you listen to Gradius II's tracks while muting every sound channel other than the DPCM, you'll notice that the samples themselves aren't really that bad, it's only that they get more muffled when mixed with the other channels.

And for whatever reason, I can't think of any Konami soundtrack other than Gradius II that use such muffled samples. Almost anything else sounds clearer, like TMNT3, Contra Force and Wai Wai World 2.

EDIT: I love this kind of technical talk, but if it's too off-topic I don't mind moving the discussion elsewhere.