I am simply learning how to make Genesis music, by trying out DefleMask tracker and listening to VGMs from Genesis games.  I also rip some instruments from classic game music to study them and see how they are made.

Anyway, I really like the electric guitar sounds in some of the Thunder Force IV (a.k.a. Lightening Strike) music.  I decided to experiment with an electric guitar sound from the Thunder Force IV Boss 2 music ("Attack Sharply").

When playing the game's VGM file for that track, the electric guitar sounds very "big" and fat.  However, when I use that sound in a VGM that I create, it sounds thin and weak.  I assume there is some sort of effect or part of the instrument which affects that, but I currently don't know what it is.  Both VGM files (Thunder Force IV and the one I made) have the same instrument, yet it sounds more powerful in the Thunder Force VGM.

As an example, here is a little VGM test I did; the guitar sounds pretty narrow/stuck too much in the center:  https://www.dropbox.com/s/zomh1thlb9ktk … t.vgm?dl=0

And here is what the Thunder Force VGM music sounds like:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w1JGsULXDSk

So, how do I use DefleMask to make Genesis VGM instruments that sound big and wide like in the Thunder Force music?

You're very close. The reason why it sounds wide like that in the game is because it has two channels of it playing at once in stereo. You'll want one channel on the left, and one on the right... you'll either have to change the parameters of the second channel slightly to get that effect, or it can easily be done by having the second channel play the same thing but delayed a note or two, that gives the stereo effect you're looking for.

You need to use the panning command, from the Deflemask help file:

8xx - Panning

Panning will change the sound output of the channel to the right or the left speakers, normally it is 0x01 right, 0x10 left, and 0x11 both. But some systems can change it behavior, you have to check the system's behavior to see if the panning is handled differently.

Last edited by CountSymphoniC (October 12, 2014 4:05 pm)

Soundwise, there are not many soundtracks to compete with Thunder Force 4! The whole soundtrack sound really fat and I think aside of panning, there are also a lot of layered instruments.
If you use Chipamp for playing vgm-files, you can simply mute individual channels and solo them, so you can get better grasp of what's going on in there.

It is as stated above, one of the reasons I hate on FM wink Use it carefully and deliberately because you'll eat up your voices quickly.

Algorithm 4.

Last edited by 5alazar (October 15, 2014 2:02 pm)

Some of the tracks in TF4 use as many as 4 channels devoted to rhythm guitar. The guitars are layered into low and high timbres, with one being very thin but sharp and the other having a lot more meat to it. Then those are double tracked and panned, just like in a metal studio production.

Hi guys n gals, I'm new here - About the guitars in TF4 ...I have tried but to no avail to replicate the guitars using TFI's in FM Drive but it doesn't sound close unfortunately & and i have no idea why this would be as in_VGM in Winamp is able to sound spot on ???

Guitars and FM?
In DefleMask I achieved the Time Trax guitar sound by ripping it with GensKMOD, playing with up-only/camel-sine vibratos and portamentos.

This is a video of an old version of deflemask.com but this demo module file comes with the current version too:

Last edited by Delek (July 5, 2016 9:05 pm)

NeoNut wrote:

Hi guys n gals, I'm new here - About the guitars in TF4 ...I have tried but to no avail to replicate the guitars using TFI's in FM Drive but it doesn't sound close unfortunately & and i have no idea why this would be as in_VGM in Winamp is able to sound spot on ???

Delek has good advice. However, if you are specifically trying to get the TF4 guitar sound from the VGI rip, then you will have to add a little vibrato to one of your echo channels.

You see, getting thick leads requires using more than one channel with the same melody. Then you slightly offset the other 2 or 3 channels to make an echo effect.

On those echo channels, give them a vibrato of about 444, 445, and try 434 for the 3rd one,  if applicable.

Make your second echo channel to be out of the left speaker, and your third echo channel to be from the right speaker. You will get a very thick spread lead from this.

Don't forget to soften the volume of your echo channels. Your main lead channel should be loudest for a clear thick mix.

When I get my computer set up again, I'll PM you a VGM Music Maker demo of what i'm talking about.

If none of this makes sense, don't worry. I'll give you the knowledge and resources, and the VGM Music Maker software. Then you'll know! ;-)

Hi Delek and Marcbot

thanks for your help !  It not so much leads which I'm ok with - it's specifically getting those palm mutes on 'metal squad' stage 8 that's impossible with the vst's I have just now - they either sound too harsh or something is not right with the key scaling or the envelopes
And It's just one channel doing the intro !   please re listen to it and you'll hear what I mean it's awesome work, I just wish i could get close

NeoNut wrote:

Hi Delek and Marcbot

thanks for your help !  It not so much leads which I'm ok with - it's specifically getting those palm mutes on 'metal squad' stage 8 that's impossible with the vst's I have just now - they either sound too harsh or something is not right with the key scaling or the envelopes
And It's just one channel doing the intro !   please re listen to it and you'll hear what I mean it's awesome work, I just wish i could get close

Hi NeoNut,

When I have a chance, I'll check out the track you mentioned, and see if I can recreate the sound with my tools.

Just a side note, FM Drive will give you the most accurate sound in terms of timbre, and it's a wonderful tool. However, timing, tracking, and technique depends on how you use and time your channels and notes. Keep in mind, the note off command is a secret weapon for skilled chip and MIDI musicians.

What DAW are you using, by the way?

marcb0t wrote:
NeoNut wrote:

Hi Delek and Marcbot

thanks for your help !  It not so much leads which I'm ok with - it's specifically getting those palm mutes on 'metal squad' stage 8 that's impossible with the vst's I have just now - they either sound too harsh or something is not right with the key scaling or the envelopes
And It's just one channel doing the intro !   please re listen to it and you'll hear what I mean it's awesome work, I just wish i could get close

Hi NeoNut,

When I have a chance, I'll check out the track you mentioned, and see if I can recreate the sound with my tools.

Just a side note, FM Drive will give you the most accurate sound in terms of timbre, and it's a wonderful tool. However, timing, tracking, and technique depends on how you use and time your channels and notes. Keep in mind, the note off command is a secret weapon for skilled chip and MIDI musicians.

What DAW are you using, by the way?

Hi I'm using Renoise , but tonight i went back to Ableton and used VOPM - It seems to output the most authentic tone and was easy to get it 99% there, problem is it crashes Renoise sometimes so thats why i used Ableton to host VOPM, I still thin FM Drive isn't imposting the correct setting for the TF4 distorted guitars, cause it sounds different in VOPM and in YM2612 vst  & Genny beta

Genny and YM2612VSTI are the same tool from different points in production. It had a name change. Made by Super Joe Bob.

VOPM is actually emulating the YM2151 chip, and NOT the 2612. Two of the operator orders are reversed in that one. So some sounds that you import on that won't sound exactly the same as on YM2612. But most will.

Now the problem could be that the TFI import does not record ALL the settings of a complete YM2612 preset.

I can analyze the vgm data in the Genskmod debugger, and see if there's some data we're missing from the past you're trying to use.

FM Drive will give you the most hardware accurate sound, but only if your preset has the complete settings data, which TFI may not. So there may indeed be missing LFO, SSG-EG, vibrato,  or other envelope related parameters you're missing.

marcb0t wrote:

Two of the operator orders are reversed in that one. So some sounds that you import on that won't sound exactly the same as on YM2612.

Doesn't that mean swapping through the algorithms until it sounds right will work around?

chunter wrote:
marcb0t wrote:

Two of the operator orders are reversed in that one. So some sounds that you import on that won't sound exactly the same as on YM2612.

Doesn't that mean swapping through the algorithms until it sounds right will work around?

Quite possibly. The key IS to play around with it. Of course, VOPM does not have SSG-EG, and some musicians for those classic Genesis games used this feature to further shape their instruments (Shining Force 2, for example).

Besides, I'm assuming our friend would prefer a faster and more accurate method.

However, I am still in the process of moving and setting up my new room. So it may be a couple of nights until I can mess around with it.

You guys have a good night! heart