calling all msx uk based users

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By l_oliveira

Hero (529)

Аватар пользователя l_oliveira

08-02-2015, 23:09

CX5Mer wrote:

The sound chip on MSX is the 8910 NOT the 8912 on the Amstrad CPC. The chips are similar specs, but CPC firmware routines allow the 8912 chip to play different sounds on the 3 channels at the same time, although not on MSX.

Basically: AY-3-8912 = cheaper version of AY-3-8910. (less pins)

AY-3-8910 and AY-3-8912 were the SAME CHIP to begin with. AY-3-8910 is the full version with the two GPIO ports connected to the package pins.

AY-3-8912 is a simplified version with one of the GPIO ports removed (B port is there on the registers but it has no pins connected).

A third one (AY-3-8913) which is only capable of producing sound (both GPIOs are not connected) exists in a 24 pin package.

All three are exactly the same in the regards of sound. What make them sound different on each platform is the program driving the chip (programming style).

By chinnyhill10

Rookie (29)

Аватар пользователя chinnyhill10

08-02-2015, 23:31

The sound amplifier circuitry also makes them sound different. A Spectrum +2 and MSX sound different to the CPC. CPC sounds much cleaner. Compare the CPC and MSX versions of the Milk Race music. MSX sounds slightly distorted. And I can assure the MSX was going through a professional audio mixer so whatever I recorded was exactly as it was coming out.

By l_oliveira

Hero (529)

Аватар пользователя l_oliveira

08-02-2015, 23:41

I could counter that argument easily. Only way it would affect the sound is making it muffled or too quiet.

It's all about programming.

I could give you another example. There's a lot of FM synthesizer chips on classic computers but they only "shine" to their maximum potential on Japanese computers. That only because Japanese musicians bother with creating voice algorithms for their songs. Most non Japanese composers just pick pre-made voices and make their songs with that.

No wonder a lot of people hate FM synth. They keep hearing "poo" songs (mostly because they have no option to hear anything else as Japanese software is difficult to use for non Japanese people).

The X68000 is an excellent example of that. It uses a sound chip that exists on the MSX as the SFG-01 or SFG-05 modules for the CX5M computer. With the correct sound driver you can use the SFG sound module to listen to X68000 songs on the MSX. It sounds exactly the same as it does on the X68000 because it's being played by the same chip.

It's the data that is fed to the synthesizer, not the computer being a CPC or a Spectrum 2+ which make it sound like it does. So in the end your argument is about how you feel about your favorite platform. Smile

(I don't want to diss on any platform, I am just stating the obvious logic)

So we have a cartridge for the MSX which has a MOS SID in it. We can simulate sounds from a C64 that way very easily. And it will sound exactly the same if the chip inputs are identical.

By chinnyhill10

Rookie (29)

Аватар пользователя chinnyhill10

09-02-2015, 00:36

I'm not saying the music is different. But the amplification circuitry certainly is.

This is an audio clip of the music from Milk Race. First half is recorded direct from a CPC, second half is recorded direct from a Hit Bit 75B

http://www.chinnyvision.com/milk.mp3

To me it sounds like the MSX suffers from exactly the same problem some of the Amstrad made Spectrums did, with the audio overloading in the internal circuitry when it is being mixed down to mono. And it is certainly happening internally because that was recorded through a mixing desk with more than enough headroom (and if it had been overloading I would have had warning lights flashing).

Same tune but a little bit crunchy. My Speccy +2 does a very similar thing and lets not go near the +3 with the horrible distorted sound those models have.

By flyguille

Prophet (3029)

Аватар пользователя flyguille

09-02-2015, 01:40

chinnyhill10 wrote:

I'm not saying the music is different. But the amplification circuitry certainly is.

This is an audio clip of the music from Milk Race. First half is recorded direct from a CPC, second half is recorded direct from a Hit Bit 75B

http://www.chinnyvision.com/milk.mp3

To me it sounds like the MSX suffers from exactly the same problem some of the Amstrad made Spectrums did, with the audio overloading in the internal circuitry when it is being mixed down to mono. And it is certainly happening internally because that was recorded through a mixing desk with more than enough headroom (and if it had been overloading I would have had warning lights flashing).

Same tune but a little bit crunchy. My Speccy +2 does a very similar thing and lets not go near the +3 with the horrible distorted sound those models have.

In that case, is a problem of especific msxs, where all three channel outputs are bridged together DIRECTLY, no resistors for balancing them, and later as amplifier is a normal BC547/8 (transistors), and there is other resistors that bring signal from cartridge sound output pin, and PPI click bit. And that is all in about most MSX1.

By CX5Mer

Champion (322)

Аватар пользователя CX5Mer

09-02-2015, 02:36

My point is about how Locomotive BASIC on the Amstrad CPC used the 8912 chip on the Amstrad CPC compared with the compatible 8910 chip on MSX. Here's a description of the ENT and ENV commands. These commands, as well as firmware routines to back them up, enabled this chip to produce three different instrumental sounds at once, compared to MSX BASIC being able to produce only one instrumental sound at a time on the three channels, except for the option of combining one or more of the three channels with noise on MSX. This was one of the main reasons I bought an Amstrad CPC, then only bought a Yamaha CX5M later on, especially for producing music. The details of the Amstrad CPC Locomotive BASIC commands are on the following link...

http://www.cpcwiki.eu/index.php/Locomotive_BASIC#ENT_.E2.80....

This has nothing to do with how the resulting music is recorded for a Youtube video. I originally played music on an Amstrad CPC using its internal speaker, but later on got the Amstrad speech synthesiser unit with its two stereo speakers. Of course, in the video of "Milk Race", the Amstrad CPC music doesn't make use of its facility to produce more than one instrumental sound at a time.

As for programming FM music, when I owned a CX5M, I often programmed my own voices and used them in my compositions. The Yamaha FM Voicing Program was produced in Japan, but wasn't in Japanese and I soon got used to using it.

By l_oliveira

Hero (529)

Аватар пользователя l_oliveira

09-02-2015, 02:52

I listened to the sample provided by chinnyhill10 and I could draw two interesting conclusions:

1st: Seems like the CPC be running the AY chip at 2mhz.(specified maximum clock by General Instruments) MSX does run it at 1.7897Mhz (NTSC color carrier/2) because the CPU clock in it is 3.579545(NTSC color carrier).

2nd: chinnyhill10 claim about crunchiness seem to be valid as it does sound like the Hit-Bit sound is clipping. I would say it might have capacitor problems. I never owned that particular computer so I have no idea how it's supposed to sound like. MSX is a standard so an manufacturer is free to do as they please with the analog circuitry on the MSX computers. MSX standard defines the general behavior of the computer but specifics such as audio levels and design of the amplifiers within the computer are sort of "up to you" for the manufacturers.

If you want I could try that game on one of my MSX computers and then post here how it sounds like.

Keep in mind that with MSX computers your mileage may (more likely will) vary on a basis of which manufacturer you pick for your machine.

By Grauw

Ascended (8515)

Аватар пользователя Grauw

09-02-2015, 10:21

CX5Mer: Sure it would’ve been nice if MSX-Basic offered support for software envelopes. Most games however don’t use Basic to replay music, and many of them use software envelopes freely.

But generally speaking, I think on MSX PSG music was relatively under-developed compared to other platforms because over the years a lot of very popular sound expansion cartridges became available (SCC, MSX-AUDIO, FM-PAC). MSX was a very musical platform in that regard. Whereas for platforms like Spectrum and Atari, the AY3 PSG has been all they had, so people went to fairly extreme lengths to get the most out of it.

By chinnyhill10

Rookie (29)

Аватар пользователя chinnyhill10

09-02-2015, 22:43

I can check for capacitor problems but to be honest it sounds like exactly the same issue the some of the Amstrad made Spectrums suffer from. I'm also told some arcade boards that use the AY chip do the same thing. It's down to a lack of circuitry when mixing all 3 channels down to 1.

By syn

Paragon (1920)

Аватар пользователя syn

09-02-2015, 22:50

Indeed, its amazing what the atari scene does with their ym2149! it almost sounds like a completely different chip lol.

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