View Full Version : Genesis sound capable of reverb?
11-08-2009, 10:28 AM
So I received my mint copy of splatterhouse 3 this weekend, and I noticed something with the sound. Many of the voices and some of the songs sound like they are using re-verb. I know that you need a dsp like chip to create such effects, like the snes, but I never thought the Genny was capable of that effect.
At first I though that okay, they must have sampled some of the voices with re-verb already in place, but then I heard it in some of the songs, not the whole songs mind you but some of the instrumentation..... Any Guesses?
Samples can be preprocessed, but for FM and/or PSG, you need to use 2 or more channels to simulate the effect, often called "Fakeverb" by chipmusicians nowdays.
11-08-2009, 10:37 AM
So the system technically is not capable of it, but can simulate the effect? Gotcha, but I wonder why no one else did it, I mean, some songs would have benefited greatly from the effect.....
11-08-2009, 12:51 PM
Many MD games feature echo effects in their FM/PSG-based music and sound effects, reverb was afaik only done like TmEE describes, and not nearly as common.
You can easily spot echo effects using the in_vgm plugin to listen to MD music because it allows you to turn individual channels on and off.
Why it wasn't more common has to do with composers not being able to adjust to the limited number of channels on the MD. Compare 6 (5 if drum samples were used) FM channels to the SNES 8 channels that could all have reverb and echo on them. The 4 PSG channels add some harmonies and 'warmth' to MD music, but they're very limited in terms of timbre. You can't make them sound like non-electronic instruments.
Just to clarify, an echo is the duplication of a sound while reverb is a rooms immediate reflection of it, blending with the original sound.
11-08-2009, 02:25 PM
This effect is also used in a couple NES games, like the Mega Man games. You can even simulate echos in one channel if the notes are staccato; it would be like shorter notes with the same tone but decreasing volumes.
11-08-2009, 02:26 PM
With only 5 FM channels, do you really want to waste a channel just to do some tight or loose reverb? Regular echo effects can be done on a single channel, but it's not the same as reverb. And of course, as someone else has pointed out - you can have reverb already in the PCM sample.
IIRC, SNES has reverb option for all channels and up to 4 layers (would be equivalent to 32 audio channels). It uses a small buffer and remixes the sound back into the corresponding channel.
I'd rather have real pan stereo than reverb on the Genesis, any day.
Hmm, if you simplified each operator as a carrier for a channel, you could do a 4 depth reverb, but you loose any of the timbre effects that make that FM style of sound. You'd have sterile sinewave tone output, but with reverb.
what SNES is doing is a bit difficult to call reverb... its still echo, no matter what settings are used.
and I use nearly always 2 channels for same sound, I want my sounds to be "fat" and reverby :P
11-09-2009, 12:19 PM
Yeah, most high quality MD soundtracks I can think of use 2 channels for leads. And/or some PSG reserve power :)
Some composers were skillful enough to do semi-stereo effects at the same time, like those in Gauntlet IV and Alien Soldier.
I think the reverb effect on SNES often sounds a bit cheap in comparison, for example on the guitar leads in the Mega Man X series.
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