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Thread: Mega Man X & Sega Genesis

  1. #376
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert retronostalgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pyron View Post
    For great Justice!
    Thanks for linking to this guy's channel, very cool stuff!

  2. #377
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    I prefer pure chip sound (FM + PSG) or chip sound with minimal samples for games and the kind of style Savaged Regime tends to use isn't my favorate, but it would be a shame if that version (sample effects and voice and all) gets tossed altogether.

    I prefer Mega Drive sound that isn't trying to sound "realistic" or like anything else. That's why I love the sound of so many of the earlier games.

    Same with Neo Geo. We didn't get nearly enough FM heavy soundtracks before sampling took over.
    Yeah, I prefer the sound of "early" Genesis games too. Of course part of that is that more of the later games were western games with ear-bleed-inducing GEMS sound. But even among the Japanese releases, it's often the case that I think the earlier soundtracks just sounded better. Case in point, I strongly believe Phantasy Star II's soundtrack is higher-quality than Phantasy Star IV's. (Although the latter isn't *bad*, just not as good as PSII's.)

  3. #378
    Hero of Algol
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    I prefer pure chip sound (FM + PSG) or chip sound with minimal samples for games and the kind of style Savaged Regime tends to use isn't my favorate, but it would be a shame if that version (sample effects and voice and all) gets tossed altogether.

    I prefer Mega Drive sound that isn't trying to sound "realistic" or like anything else. That's why I love the sound of so many of the earlier games.

    Same with Neo Geo. We didn't get nearly enough FM heavy soundtracks before sampling took over.
    110% agreed.

    I think the previous version of the soundtrack was better and maybe it's also because it was originally composed for a sample-based system; but I really don't like PCM for instruments to begin with (I've stated this before in the Soundchip Tribute thread).

    One of the things that lets me down is the fact that you'll likely have a much diminished dynamic range with the PCM instruments and it just doesn't blend as well as the others do IMO.
    It's like having art assets of different resolutions and palette limitations mixed up; and I don't like that.

    With sample-heavy action games, such as Xeno Crisis, I think it feels OK while you're playing since there's a lot going on and with the XGM they didn't have to cut off the drums nor was the PCM quality so low or the playback so bad that you'd get annoyed by it.
    But once you hear the OST isolated, I think I'd prefer it with FM drums; as crazy as it may sound.

    Of the MD library, many western games from 92 and on were affected by having single PCM drivers and assigning them both to drums and voice samples (and some times sfx too); with the drums being cut off often; that sucks IMO.
    I'd prefer all those games to have FM drums instead and PSG-based sfx for the most part.
    This is basically what Terpsichorean games do and I think that was the best approach.

    Some of the higher-end GEMS games also make heavy use of the PSG and they sound great IMO, such as X-Men 2: Clone Wars.

    The Neo Geo games sounded awesome in the beginning and then they turned into pure shit IMO with the ADPCM streamed OSTs.
    One of the reasons why I never went the extra mile and invested in a real hardware setup for it.
    Last edited by Barone; 04-27-2020 at 03:39 PM.

  4. #379
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    For what's worth it, I've been working on a new sound driver the last few days (I'm not happy with Echo at all) and got 2ch PCM working (not sure if I'll ever manage to do 4ch)… but no promises because no idea when it'll be ready. And yes, I started working on sound code again because I had watched those videos a week or so ago lol

    Incidentally, some idea they gave me was doing guitars where the beginning is a short PCM burst but the rest of the instrument is FM (well, more like PCM+FM at the same time, but the PCM is just a small short sample to give it the initial attack).

  5. #380
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    While those arcade covers sound absolutely amazing, they are using ridiculous amounts of ROM space for all the PCM samples, since they need to store a separate sample per note.
    Hyper Duel is actually using PCM for the bass and is over 4 MB, for one song! You are not pulling that off in a game

    With AMPS you could play all those notes with one stored sample, though you wouldn't be able to fully reproduce the song since you only have 2 PCM rather than 4.
    While XGM can better reproduce those songs, with AMPS you might actually be able to do a cut down version that works in a game.
    This cases is a show off
    also with recent resourcers im sure thats in the future we could take more advantage on it.

    On real projets, we just can made a library with common pcm samples to use in every music, also you can had a rich soundtrack since you cannot use fm channels to sound effects. With wisdom xgm is a great tool.

    OFC AMPS sounds great too, in the end with more options on our disposal is good for everyone thats can chose what is the best for each project

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  6. #381
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    My biggest worry about AMPS is that it will get misused for sample heavy tracks like MarkeyJester's stuff (which is great but not what I want).

    I want stuff like this:



    Note the Delta-T channel, it's just one PCM instrument but it adds an extra dimension to the song. The 3 sample channels would have to be replaced by 1 PCM channel, 1 FM and the PSG, but it would be doable.

    The MD version doesn't sound nearly as good:



    And neither does the X68000 version:


  7. #382
    Master of Shinobi Pyron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Black_Tiger View Post
    I prefer pure chip sound (FM + PSG) or chip sound with minimal samples for games and the kind of style Savaged Regime tends to use isn't my favorate, but it would be a shame if that version (sample effects and voice and all) gets tossed altogether.

    I prefer Mega Drive sound that isn't trying to sound "realistic" or like anything else. That's why I love the sound of so many of the earlier games.

    Same with Neo Geo. We didn't get nearly enough FM heavy soundtracks before sampling took over.
    Agreed, well done fm music is outstanding, i prefer PCE games thats uses the internal chip than the CD ones in general,
    but in the case of the MD thats was weak in japan back in 90s we didnt got much love
    and the best composers didnt shows too much on scene back them.

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  8. #383
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    Well, about Viewpoint…
    https://twitter.com/may_crimson/stat...35388625231874
    https://twitter.com/may_crimson/stat...36598178566144
    https://twitter.com/may_crimson/stat...37462020689920

    The main issue with XGM is that the tools that come with SGDK are not optimal, e.g. it won't merge PCM samples across tracks (I've seen people use their own tools to merge samples which definitely helps save a lot of space). These tracks are made with mucomMD for context, but that requires MML knowledge and you won't see many composers willing to work with that. Without this stuff I've seen people easily run into way above 1MB worth of sound data though, enough to actually cause trouble fitting in everything in a game even with 4MB, so it's not a problem to scoff at.

    There's the other issue that the XGM format isn't exactly the most optimal (a raw stream of register writes), and the PCM code is unrolled so hard that there's no Z80 RAM left to improve anything, meaning that right now XGM is completely frozen and any "XGM2" that comes out will have to be a complete rewrite from scratch. That's not going to be a minor effort and Stef seems to be more busy working on improving other parts in SGDK.

  9. #384
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert retronostalgia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Incidentally, some idea they gave me was doing guitars where the beginning is a short PCM burst but the rest of the instrument is FM (well, more like PCM+FM at the same time, but the PCM is just a small short sample to give it the initial attack).
    That sounds like a genius idea. Do any games from back in the system's heyday do anything like that?

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    Outrunner Vludi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kamahl View Post
    My biggest worry about AMPS is that it will get misused for sample heavy tracks like MarkeyJester's stuff (which is great but not what I want).

    I want stuff like this:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JC6YvpQAp7o
    Note the Delta-T channel, it's just one PCM instrument but it adds an extra dimension to the song. The 3 sample channels would have to be replaced by 1 PCM channel, 1 FM and the PSG, but it would be doable.

    The MD version doesn't sound nearly as good:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L4xbd7meHZE

    And neither does the X68000 version:
    I actually dig the x68k version , the MD one isn't bad either even if limited.

  11. #386
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sik View Post
    Well, about Viewpoint…

    The main issue with XGM is that the tools that come with SGDK are not optimal, e.g. it won't merge PCM samples across tracks (I've seen people use their own tools to merge samples which definitely helps save a lot of space).
    Even with sample merging across tracks, you are using up way too much space on the samples for those viewpoint covers. A separate 14Khz sample per note is a lot.
    You're not doing this in a game unless the game's graphics are very basic, i.e. an oldschool arcady style game that always looks the same except for some palette changes and the music is the star of the show.

  12. #387
    Raging in the Streets Sik's Avatar
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    I mean, that didn't stop Skitchin', which not only needed one sample per note and couldn't loop (as far as we can tell), but also had to repeat many of them because all samples have to reside in the same 32KB bank (worst possible case ever). Don't forget you don't need to store many different notes (which may be shared across tracks if they reuse the same instrument even) and that in practice they aren't that long either (1-2 seconds at most, possibly less depending what kind of instrument it is).

    Mind again, XGM's approach isn't exactly the most optimal and uses a higher sample rate than usual, other drivers do it better.

    AMPS is also using DualPCM which can do variable pitch and looping for the PCM samples, which means there's actually only sample per instrument. The situation is actually a lot better in AMPS' case (albeit processing the stream on the 68000 may put off some people).

  13. #388
    Hero of Algol Kamahl's Avatar
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    I wonder if there's a way to have your cake and eat it too. 2 variable pitch channels and 2 fixed pitch channels.
    Since DualPCM is already fully occupying the Z80, maybe limiting the variable pitch channels to working on a single bank could help?
    Would save one bank switch which is over 100 cycles.

  14. #389
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingRoad Rasher
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    Quote Originally Posted by retronostalgia View Post
    That sounds like a genius idea. Do any games from back in the system's heyday do anything like that?
    That's the concept of LA synthesis. A few demos do this IIRC, but yeah it's a thing (attack phase of an instrument being the most complex to model)

  15. #390
    Hedgehog-in-Training Hedgehog-in-TrainingWildside Expert retronostalgia's Avatar
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    While we're all waiting for news on Tiago's project, I thought some of you might like TerminalMontage's latest:


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