(3 replies, posted in Sega)

Well, the Game Gear sound chip is essentially a modified version of the SMS sound chip. The main difference is hard stereo panning.

VGM Music Maker is a good option for stereo game gear music making. Just export to a .GG file. You can also export a .vgm file and convert to a ROM.

I wish Deflemask supported sampling and stereo support for the PSG. But so far that has not happened.

-"Periodic Noise" Mode. Would people also be interested in pitched white-noise mode?

YES! People indeed would be interested in this. Support as much of the basic square and noise channel functions as possible. Including the pitched periodic noise (nasal bassy sound).

Can those wavetable synth techniques really function in real hardware like what Snoozetracker has? I'm interested to see what you can do with all that! smile

People have been waiting a long time for a live performance tool for Game Gear that can rival LSDj... at least I have! XD

freezedream wrote:

Here's how I played some Sega Genesis / Mega Drive music live recently.

Freezedream, I found this performance quite pleasant. smile Thanks for sharing!


(55 replies, posted in Sega)

Whoa, coolness!

I'll have to pray about it.

But I've been working on doing FM drums with no PCM sample usage. So we'll see what happens.

BitCruncher wrote:

I claim that there is one waveform in particular responsible for the entire feel and aesthetic of chiptune. How can one sound be responsible? Perhaps it has the same affect on everyone who hears it.

If only it were that simple. It's not entirely accurate. Especially for the Commodore 64 crowd which pre dates the NES and Gameboy. That thing used PWM's all over the map, and other sound waves.

Also, what about all the chiptunes that don't use square waves at all for their composition? Many Sega Genesis and FM Arcade games that avoid simple square and pulse waves altogether. Yet they are entirely authentic chiptunes and have a unique "chiptune" aesthetic and feel without square waves.

My claim is that the "feel and aesthetic" of chiptunes is entirely subjective to each individual and what they grew up with. So your claim is incomplete, and does not apply to necessarily everyone, such as the demoscene crowd in the UK with their crazy C64 and Amiga music.

But technically, yes, if a person grew up with an NES and a Gameboy only, then the 50% square is commonly used on those game.

So I would agree that the majority of people in the US who were raised with only Gameboys might have the misconception that square waves are "defining" of chiptunes. The truth of the matter is that most gamers, at least, in the US have heard other chiptunes that don't make heavy use, or any use of square waves, like SNES, Genesis, Amiga, TB-16, etc.

(P.S. Yes, I know it's possible to produce 50% square waves on all those systems, but they were not used all the time like on NES and GB)


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Subway Sonicbeat wrote:

I thought everyone agreed chipmusic is a way not a genre. Wait what?

There are vaporwaves who grabs a little from chipmusic. And some would be called post-chip, with this definition proposed at the first post. Hell, some are chipmusic, at my book. (i don't have a book)

But this is nonsense. Do whatever, chip is not a genre, imo, but wtv anyway.

You'll find that nobody really seems to agree on what chip music really is. But that's what makes things so interesting on these kind of discussion threads.

Afterall, what would the world be without a little debate and discussion on subjective matters? wink


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

4mat wrote:

Chip sample tracker modules weren't called chipmusic because they used 'chips' of a bigger sound, it was because the small-form waveforms resembled the sounds from the old SID/AY etc. chips, rather than full samples.

Alright. Well does everything else I posted seem accurate to you?


(43 replies, posted in General Discussion)

That kind of tracker music that Kfaraday and Fluidvolt create, is in fact "chipmusic"... or the original definition of it.

Let me explain.

Amiga computers had a sound chip called "Paula" back in the mid 80's that was able to multitrack 4 pre-recorded sound samples to play simultaneously. So basically half the sound output as SNES. It is music produced from a specific sound chip with specific limitations.

It was back in those days that the first sample trackers were made for the average computer musician, for the Amiga computers. That's where the .mod file format comes from. Decades later, and there are modern renditions of these old skool trackers that are still capable of producing the same kind of music, and even music that is much more advanced. It was from those old sample trackers where they first started dubbing this style as "chipmusic".

I know that Kfaraday uses OpenMPT for sure. It is one of the modern sampler trackers that descended from that era. It is free to download as well.

They started calling it "chipmusic" because composers learned how to take a small clipping of a sound sample to make a more simple sound that would theoretically add more variety without using so much RAM and storage space. They took little "chips" of a sound sample to make new sound samples. Hence the term "chip" music.

Music made with the NES, Gameboy, and Sega Genesis can probably be better referred to as "chiptunes". But back in those days, such terminology did not exist. They just said "Nintendo" music, or "Sega" music. As far as I know. If I had time, I would post some resources you could refer to.

Essentially, the Amiga music was used to make "chipmusic" and at the same time it WAS authentic "chiptunes". So I don't have a problem with people calling all of it "chipmusic" or "chiptunes". Call it what you want, but that is the history in a nutshell.


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

4ormal wrote:

Technical discussions aside, I would have to agree with this.  I am in my mid 30s and didn't know anybody growing up with a SMS.  GG and Genesis/Medadrives were everywhere though. As a newcomer to the chip music way of production, the game gear seemed like it would be the next 'go to' platform.  Pokemon drives gameboy prices up, while game gear prices are dirt cheap.  Perfect ingredient for hobbiest/musicians.

All in all, I am more enlightened on the subject.  Thank you gentlemen smile

Well, I'm glad some of us could be helpful. Actually, SMS/GG music is a great place to start with basic chiptune composition. It'll break you in to the concept of limitations, and working around them with composition.

However, Gameboy and NES are also good. I'm not dissing on those. I started with NES myself.

If you are looking for a good chiptune tracker, Deflemask is the way to go. You'll be able to program for NES/Gameboy/SMS/GG/MegaDrive/TurboGrafx/SID/YM2151.

It's up to you, where you want to start. There is no "right" or "wrong" chip set to start with, really. I just don't like people doggin' on SMS/GG and making uneducated claims about it's capabilities. That kind of talk keeps Gamegear trackers from becoming a "thing", and stifles the pursuit of creativity. I used to own a Game Gear back in the 90's, and there were many great soundtracks with that old chip that I enjoyed. "Sonic Triple Trouble" soundtrack was a work of art, for instance:



(7 replies, posted in Releases)

Very nice. Haven't I heard your song "Chill" before? Did you enter it into a Famicomp contest one time?

It still sounds good, just curious. tongue


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

One final note:

To say that a chip is "not as powerful" is a sorry excuse for why nobody wants to mess with it. Unfortunately, it's a common excuse based on ignorance.

The truth is that more people had a Gameboy back in its primetime, and not as many people even had a chance to play Gamegear, and even less so the SMS. Most SMS/GG games used only the basic features of the chip, and not even the melodic noise portion. People do not realize what it can and can't do.

Also, a good musician can make good and powerful music out of anything. Even if limited to 3 square channels and monotonal white noise. Become a good composer, and you will make the SN76489 chip incredibly powerful.

Has anybody bothered listening to the music that Tomy has produced with it?!?


https://tomy.bandcamp.com/track/dive-bo … ine-ver2-2

Keep in mind that you could add stereo to all that music through a Game Gear.


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

yoyz2k wrote:

Powerfull as a c64 ? Ok you like your  sn76489, but listen to this :

Definitely no, the c64 has a filter which sound really cool. ok there is one more channel on the dn76489... but It is not as powerfull....

gg soundchip

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Texas_I … ts_SN76489

Number one, I like the SID chip, and I know it's powerful. I have nothing against it.

Number two, that Wikipedia article has very basic information. It ONLY scratches the surface of what the Game Gear soundchip can really do. There's better sources out there, and a VSTi that faithfully emulates the SN76489 using the Hblank video refresh oscillation in order to modulate the Pulse Width of all 3 square channels more smoothly than a SID. Check it out:



(23 replies, posted in Sega)

4mat wrote:

err.. it's not more powerful than a c64, no.

1. Each square channel can be modified to produce a smoother PWM phasing effect than a SID chip.
2. You can also do wavetable modulation with the right programming.
3. There is a 4th channel that produces the noise which can do a melodic 6.15% PWM noise.
4. GameGear varition can do hard panning stereo for all 4 channels.
5. Each square channel can output 4-bit PCM, or be combined to output a louder PCM sound at any sample rate (beyond 44KHz) which is theoretically only limited by how much RAM and data is in the system and cartridge.

IF the SN76489 is not more powerful than the SID, then they are neck and neck. Like comparing Sega Genesis power to the SNES. Genesis technically is slightly faster in overall horsepower, but there are some things the SNES is able to do more easily, and vice versa.

Example, SID can do HP/LP Cutoff and Resonance filtering.
However, the SN76489 can do stereo, and has a 4th dedicated channel that can do white noise and melodic PWM wave, even though pitch control of channel 3 square is sacrificed.


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

4ormal wrote:

I didn't realize the GG/SMS hardware was so weak. The lack of interest in home-brew development makes total sense. Did the SMS do FM via a special add on chip or am I making that up?

No, GG/SMS hardware is NOT weak. First of all, a chip is only as weak as the composer's skill.

Second, the SMS chip can do smooth PWM modulation when you use the video Hblank as an extra oscillator. You can also feed 4 bit samples through any of the 3 square channel. Hear the full power of the SMS hardware:

Listen to DEMO Rob0t In Action by marcb0t #np on #SoundCloud

The problem is that no one wants to make a portable tracker to produce this live. Although, it should be possible.

Basically, GG is more powerful of a soundchip than Gameboy and C64, when operated at full strength.


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

You can also get a 25% PWM sound by using 2 channels playing the same note at once, with one note an octave higher. It's cool to interchange and mix your square waves in an additive synthesis style. Gives much more variety to your tracks with that chip. It's like sound gradients.


(23 replies, posted in Sega)

radian wrote:

But thats below human hearing, so: why?

Use as a low frequency oscillator when you use an additive technique. The clicking from the low frequency will interfere with other sounds, audibly. But that is more for like creative expression.

There's always a use for any frequency in a chip. Even the ones we can't really hear by themselves.