Testing sound of different MSX sound chips and their FPGA implementations

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By Pencioner

Paladin (933)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

03-05-2018, 20:26

After i acquired some decent audio equipment I was very curious to make a comparison of different PSGs. Here is some recordings i made: PSG test

Obviously, the most beatiful sound comes from YIS503, and Panasonic internal PSG is getting very close (they have different MSX-engine chips, maybe that caused difference, or maybe just issues with Panasonic audio tract made the difference, dunno). MFR has low bass and a lot of buzzy treble in sound, and the Carnivore has perform less well than others.

I would like to hear some recordings from Flashjacks combo cartridge by Aquijacks if possible, i wonder if their PSGs do the job well or not. Anybosy has prototype and some soundcard? :)

UPD: The song used for playback was this vgm: http://vgmrips.net/packs/pack/sorcerian-selected-sorcerian-v...

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By Grauw

Ascended (8398)

Аватар пользователя Grauw

04-05-2018, 00:00

Nice comparison! Quite some difference… wonder if it’s just varying low-pass filters on the outputs, or if there’s other things going on.

By Pencioner

Paladin (933)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

04-05-2018, 00:19

It doesn't look (or rather sound, to be precise) like just filter issue for me. F.e. the high-freq fuzzy sounding of MFR PSG seemed to be similar to same thinig with the MSX-AUDIO emulated in GR8NET if you compare to the real Philips Music Module. And Eugeny said that this probably implementation-specific issue with DAC frequencies resonating with generated sound frequencies and sent me this link: Nyquist–Shannon sampling theorem so it might be much more complicated than just low-pass filtering. Actually, i'm going to do some comparisons to SCC and OPLL implementaions as well, but i need to select the tunes which will use most from those chips, to highlight the possible performance issues. Any suggestions, maybe? :)

By ren

Paragon (1219)

Аватар пользователя ren

04-05-2018, 10:37

Cool, thanks for sharing.
Perhaps interesting to do emulator recordings (captures) as well? openMSX, blueMSX, MAME and WebMSX perhaps?
(For openMSX, I'd set the resampler to hq.)

By Pencioner

Paladin (933)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

04-05-2018, 10:50

Yes, maybe, i will also add sound from Zemmix Neo when i'll get it back soon. I'll do a second round with other chips - SCC and OPLL when i get my Neo handy Smile And will include emulators (need to figure out how to record emu sound directly, without DAC/ADC, i guess we don't need to pass it over real soundcard for emus)

By ren

Paragon (1219)

Аватар пользователя ren

04-05-2018, 11:16

Nice. Hmm.. dunno what's better for (fair) comparison. Perhaps you should record the emu's from your mixer as well? (I don't think WebMSX can log audio anyway.)

By Pencioner

Paladin (933)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

04-05-2018, 11:30

ren wrote:

Nice. Hmm.. dunno what's better for (fair) comparison. Perhaps you should record the emu's from your mixer as well? (I don't think WebMSX can log audio anyway.)

Ok, that makes sense. So i will be routing sound from audio-interface output via mixer and back to the audio input Smile Funny, but should work. Just need not to forget to switch off the input monitoring (which feeds some input back to output) to not make a nasty loop Tongue

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (535)

Аватар пользователя sdsnatcher73

04-05-2018, 13:05

ren wrote:

Nice. Hmm.. dunno what's better for (fair) comparison. Perhaps you should record the emu's from your mixer as well? (I don't think WebMSX can log audio anyway.)

Not sure if this is really fair on the emulators. DAC and output stage will differ hugely between onboard audio, a budget sound card or a higher end model. This is also true for MSX computers of course but then we are testing PSG of different computers. It is fair to say that even the MFR and C2 PSG will sound different between different computers...

Will you test OCM and Zemmix as well?

By Pencioner

Paladin (933)

Аватар пользователя Pencioner

04-05-2018, 13:36

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

Not sure if this is really fair on the emulators. DAC and output stage will differ hugely between onboard audio, a budget sound card or a higher end model. This is also true for MSX computers of course but then we are testing PSG of different computers.

Ok, i will do both for emulators - with and without passing coundcard+mixer. Actually recording with just soundcard takes less time for me, as i don't need to install some virtual sound devices to my PC. That UCA202 interface is not super-high-end but it is semi-pro, so DAC/ADC should not add much distortion, but i wonder about mixer though.

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

It is fair to say that even the MFR and C2 PSG will sound different between different computers...

In my test MFR was connected to Modulon slotexpander, and the expander itsefl has RCA jack soldered instead of pin 49 connection to computer. So it only has been affected by Modulon circuitry, not the computer audio circuitry. The C2 has also pin 49 cut off and the 3.5mm audio jack soldered, so C2 sound was not affected at all (it has jack output on PCB so probably i was not mandatory to cut the pin off, but i did this cut off to reduce possible additional noise coming from that pin from computer btw)

sdsnatcher73 wrote:

Will you test OCM and Zemmix as well?

Only Zemmix Neo (i got no OCM and no real korean Zemmix) when i receive it back.

By Parn

Champion (401)

Аватар пользователя Parn

04-05-2018, 14:42

I like the MFR sound better than the WX one, but I was surprised at how bad the Carnivore sounds. Rounded waveforms, muffled frequencies, really bad. I would like to see more varied samples, especially with more volume variation and some noise as well.

By gdx

Prophet (2981)

Аватар пользователя gdx

04-05-2018, 17:08

You have probably reversed the carnivore file with the MFR file.

My top is that:

1. YIS503
2. FS-A1WX (filter too strong and frequencies a bit distorted)
3. Carnivore (good filter but frequencies distorted)
4. MFR (bad filter, we can hear the data transfers and frequencies very distorted)

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