openMSX 0.6.3

by mth on 11-12-2007, 22:41
Topic: Emulation
Languages:

A new version of openMSX, the multi-platform emulator that aims for perfection, has been released! A lot of work has gone into this new version, resulting in -among others- many new sound related features. As usual, this emulator comes without system ROM's. If you don't own these essential ROMs, you won't be able to use all the possible MSX configurations and extensions. For this reason, C-BIOS ships with openMSX, a legal alternative, enough to play all the essential ROM's. Also included in the package is Catapult, the user friendly launcher for openMSX.

As mentioned, openMSX 0.6.3 contains several new features and improvements related to sound. All sound chips are emulated at their native frequency and resampled using advanced resampling techniques to the desired output frequency (typically 44.1 kHz). The advanced resamplers improve the sound quality a lot, because they are free of aliasing distortion.

There are three resamplers you can choose from: "fast", which produces approximately the same results as previous openMSX releases, "blip", which produces better sound and is still quite fast and "hq", which produces the best sound but takes a lot of CPU power. Since the quality difference between "blip" and "hq" is very small and the speed difference quite large, "blip" is the recommended resampler and the new default.

More sound related improvements include stereo balance settings for each sound chip and the ability to record individual channels of sound chips. This is a feature that may well serve people who make remixes and/or remakes. For PSG two brand new effects have been added: vibrato and detune. As many of the more recent games have vibrato in their PSG player, the effect may not be suitable here. For older games however -including games from Konami-, the effect may make the sound much richer and more pleasant to listen to. Try this in games such as Penguin Adventure and Vampire Killer. Detune is all about slight fluctuations in the frequency of individual PSG channels. This effect mimics the human errors from a real performance. A simple PLAY "L1c","L1c","L1c" in MSX-BASIC should make everything clear. To make usage of all these new PSG settings easier, a few common PSG profiles are included as console command.

Thanks to the blueMSX Team, the openMSX team was able to quickly bring on some new features: emulation of the VLM5030, the sample chip used in the unreleased Konami game Keyboard Master and emulation of the synthesis part of the Yamaha SFG-05 sound module (keyboard and MIDI support is still missing).

Also on the non-sound department, the code of the blueMSX Team has enabled the openMSX team to add some new features: Gouda SCSI, MEGA-SCSI, ESE RAM, ESE SCC and WAVE SCSI. Note that the SCSI emulation is still experimental, so make sure you don't use it to store data of which you don't have recent backups.

Last but not least: a lock-up bug was removed from the Windows version, which could occur on Dual Core and Hyper Threading CPU's.

All the essentials in a nutshell:

New or improved emulator features:

  • Several resampling algorithms now available: hq, blip and fast; the first two eliminate aliasing
  • Channels of sound chips can be individually recorded and muted
  • Sound chips now have a stereo balance setting instead of a left/right/mono mode
  • PSG sound effects: vibrato and detune
  • SDLGL-PP renderer (OpenGL 2.0) can now do RGBTriplet scaling in hardware
  • Several small optimizations, mostly in SDLGL-PP renderer and CPU emulation
  • Many new game trainers

Home-grown MSX device support:

  • Improved accuracy in SCC emulation
  • Support for password cartridge
  • Support for the Super Lode Runner mapper

MSX device support ported from blueMSX:

  • Partial support for Yamaha SFG-05
  • Support for Konami's Keyboard Master
  • Support for ESE Artists' Factory devices: MEGA-SCSI, ESE RAM, ESE SCC, WAVE-SCSI
  • Support for Gouda/Novaxis SCSI
  • Real support for the Halnote mapper

Build system, packaging, documentation:

  • Added support for building a statically linked executable on Windows
  • Added support for building a backwards compatible executable on Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard (thanks to BouKiCHi)
  • Added support for DESTDIR, which should help packagers

For the complete list of changes, please read the release notes. You can download openMSX 0.6.3 from SourceForge; source, Win32 and Mac OS X (universal) packages are available. Andete made packages for Debian Etch and Ubuntu Gutsy. Packages for Debian Lenny and FreeBSD 6 should be available soon in their respective repositories.

Relevant link: openMSX website

Comments (15)

By mth

Champion (480)

mth's picture

11-12-2007, 22:47

Many people helped us with this release. Special thanks go to:
- blueMSX team, for their code (SCSI emulation, among others) and good cooperation in general
- Mars2000you for many new game trainers
- Blargg, for explaining in detail how his Blip_Buffer works
- Wolf, for providing feedback on the audio improvements
- BouKiCHi, for helping with Leopard build support and SDL 1.2.12 problems
- TFH|Fony, for providing a PC to do the Windows build on

Also thanks for everyone who helped test various development versions of openMSX. And to everyone else who helped in one way or another.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9747)

wolf_'s picture

11-12-2007, 22:50

right! (sorry, no grtz & TY's in newsposts ^^) And now: Running Naked in a Field of Flowers with a vibrating PSG Big smile

By tfh

Paragon (1722)

tfh's picture

11-12-2007, 22:51

You're welcome. Glad to be of help Smile

By Vincent van Dam

Hero (513)

Vincent van Dam's picture

11-12-2007, 23:08

Congratulations guys, on both openMSX and having probably the largest newspost on msx.org so far LOL!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9747)

wolf_'s picture

11-12-2007, 23:15

Last year, for a moment snout wanted this one on the frontpage.. it eventually ended up in the forum.. :P

By mth

Champion (480)

mth's picture

11-12-2007, 23:17

Wolf: No problem, but I wanted to thank them anyway, so now I just used a reaction for that.

Vincent: The original submission was a bit shorter, but apparently Wolf likes writing about sound tech Wink

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6174)

ARTRAG's picture

11-12-2007, 23:44

Any SCC improvement ?
Do you emulate the weired behavior of SCC that produces sound distortion when you change a sample in wavetables while playing the part of buffer where the sample it?
http://www.msx.org/forumtopic7875.html

By mth

Champion (480)

mth's picture

11-12-2007, 23:59

ARTRAG: In the ChangeLog there is an entry "Fixed detail in SCC rotation mode: if deform bits 7-6 are 10, wave form 4 rotates at freq5 speed" and a link to the same discussion. So I think it is fixed.
Edit: Hmmm, that's a different bug, I'm not sure about the one you mentioned. Wouter or Manuel should know though.

By ARTRAG

Enlighted (6174)

ARTRAG's picture

12-12-2007, 08:20

Yes, I mean the SCC bug, that causes distortion in audio while updating the wave tables.
Accurate emulation implies also you modeled the SCC bug, that is not that easy Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (15371)

Manuel's picture

12-12-2007, 08:44

I don't think we have a model of that bug, so it's not possible to implement it yet.

By ro

Guardian (4074)

ro's picture

12-12-2007, 09:35

Does that vibrating PSG come with batteries included?

nice work folks!

By Samor

Paragon (2020)

Samor's picture

13-12-2007, 14:05

great; nice to see the windows version still made it Smile

By Manuel

Ascended (15371)

Manuel's picture

14-12-2007, 12:46

It made it this time. For next time, something will have to happen, which has not happened yet... (as explained many times before: someone who feels responsible for the Windows port should step up and join our IRC channel.\)

By Ivan

Ascended (9073)

Ivan's picture

14-12-2007, 23:19

In my humble opinion, the Windows version of openMSX is very important -crucial I'd say. Windows holds a 90% on the desktop market share.

By Ivan

Ascended (9073)

Ivan's picture

14-12-2007, 23:28

I am very pleased to see the collaboration between the openMSX and blueMSX teams. They are bringing us the best MSX emulators ever made to date!