The SNES' sound chip is so great, at times I even think it sounds better than the N64. Is this just a question of sound design or was the SNES' sound chip superior in some ways? SNES sound/music thread? I'll start with one of my faves:
>posts 240p version
lol I see what you mean though, the n64 one is definitely more technically advanced, but i still think the snes sounds better, especially when it comes to f zero games
It all comes down to how good the sound technicians were.
I think in the end the N64 does a better sound, but both are good.
Well the n64 didn't really have a sound chip but in theory you could use all the CPU and the dsp for sound (obviously no one did that) while the snes could only produce sound through its sound chip (of course you can devote all the CPU to help, but you still have to play by the specs of the chip).
Yeah, after actually listening to those, they are poor quality links. That is what the games sound like though, I have both consoles.
The actual problem was that by the time the N64 rolled around, games just weren't as commonly using catchy video game music anymore. Licensed music was all the rage, and in the mid 90s that meant shit tier techno and garbage alternative rock. Whereas in the late 80s and early 90s they were emulating New Wave, Euro-pop, or New Jack Flash R&B. Better music in general.
When actually used to make good music, N64 is on another level. Same deal with the Playstation, and actually moreso since both SNES and PSX use similar Sony soundchips. Just listening to many Playstation midi tracks might lead you to believe that the SNES just has a flat out better card, but this isn't the case. The PSX was just misused to produce weak ass shit.
It's the worst sounding sound chip of any mainstream console. Even something as primitive as the AY-3-8910 sounds better:
64KB is far too small sample memory for wavetable synthesis. The S-SMP is a perfect example of Nintendo's problem with unrealistic expectations for underspecced hardware. It's why slowdown is such a problem with SNES games, it why N64 games almost all have unacceptable framerates, and it's why SNES music is all muffled shit.
>64KB is far too small sample memory
It's not even that, because it's shared with the note data and sound driver, and a lot of music didn't use the full 64K to save money on cart size.
>SNES music is all muffled shit
What you posted sounds great, but shitting on the entire SNES music library is kinda just being contrarian.
Never heard it before and I do frequent tech forums. In fact I just performer a search on various of these forums to check, and got 0 results. Got any examples? Google isn't helping either.
It sounds funny.
The N64's doesn't have a sound chip, everything is synthesized in software. Thankfully, the system does have a powerful vector unit (RSP) that can be taken advantage of so the quality can be extremely high (up to 48khz even).
Take a listen to the violin that starts playing part way in this piece and tell me if any SNES game could have this level of clarity
The downside to this way of doing things is that sound has to share resources with other things. The upside is the N64 isn't locked into any particular decompression codec like the PS1 was. So as time went on people could create more efficient music decoding systems on N64. Rare for example were able to port MP3 decoding to N64 which is tons more useful than ADPCM.
> it why N64 games almost all have unacceptable framerates
Unlikely, because RSP was usually not the bottleneck, it was probably the fastest part of the system relatively speaking.
Maybe it's rarer than I thought but I have definitely heard it before. Use whatever word you like to mean "specified to be too weak". The important point is that it's a deliberate choice, not an accident.
>RSP was usually not the bottleneck
I didn't say it was. I mean Nintendo has a habit of deliberately cutting corners on hardware and pretending it's no problem (and getting away with it because the fanboys keep buying).
All home consoles had short comings anon, if you want a real powerhorse, you buy a Neo Geo (and play mostly fighters and shmups).
All brands have their fanboys and I'll remind you that being an anti-company is also being a fanboy, in a way.
Nintendo sold because the systems did the work and there were developers that were clever and skillful enough to work within these limitations. Not because of "fanboy" boogeymen.
>it's why SNES music is all muffled shit
Only Japanese sampled orechestra soundtracks.
That track would almost be acceptable if it wasn't for the very bad sounding brass. Brass really doesn't work with small sample memory, and it's used frequently in the F-Zero soundtrack.
Best sound quality on the SNES is the Kirby games, because the staccato style plays well with the limitations of the sound chip.
>It's the worst sounding sound chip of any mainstream console.
>It's why SNES music is all muffled shit.
Listen to Jurassic Park 2, Turtles in Time, Dracula and Star Wars games. They sound great. 64kb is limiting but it can sound good. Most Japanese devs tried to fit the entire Roland Sound Canvas sample bank into it and that is indeed far from optimal. And also the reason loads of SNES music sounds the same/is so recognisable.
please don't forget about this
So it sounds muffled to you? Ok, i'm fine with this. The sound of the SNES was as unique as it's graphics. Every hardware has it's limits. Tim Follin was just the man to exceed them.
Don't mind me, just posting the best of the SNES
You done fucked up son.
I'd say Nintendo's own arrangements of Star Fox highlight the limitations.
well i can read and write german, english and french - nowhere near perfect, but it counts.
But i'm the guy how wrote "it's" instead of "its" due to a simple lack of attention.
Merci beaucoup pour votre soutien. Danke, ihr seid die Besten! Kampf den Grammatiknazis!
SNES card sounds like shit, m8.
Synthesized music (notably FM synth) > low-bitrate, ultra-compressed, echo-y, loopy, stretched and muffled samples that was SNES music
Here, have some REAL music:
THIS is real music.
I think Fire Emblem: Genealogy of the Holy War has a good soundtrack. This first link is a chapter theme, the second is the recruitment theme, and the third is the battle theme that plays if you fight someone able to be recruited.
>Not officially released. I suspect this is pre-production work before it's cut down to fit the S-SMP.
What makes you think this hasn't been done on the actual chip? Haven't played enough SNES have you?
Haven't you heard other John Dunn and Dean Evans songs? Shouldn't Plok's soundtrack be proof enough as it is? I'm more of a YM2612 man but that doesn't make this any less fascinating to me
I think the best example of the SNES sounding better than the next generation is between FInal Fantasy 6 and 7. The strings in 6's soundtrack sound SO damn close to real, whereas in 7 Square did not have their shit together yet on this new hardware, and that entire soundtrack is clearly 100% synth.
Well, I think 7's music was better on paper, as in the newer orchestral versions sound better than if 6 had the same treatment. Still, 6 is pretty fucking excellent all around. Square Enix really knew how to make excellent Snes music.
My personal opinion is that the SNES is middle of the pack. Sounds better than PC-Engine, but worse than Genesis. But it has the ability to make much more ambitious music than the Genesis because it has more channels. I can't imagine the soundtrack to DKC 2 on the Genesis.
nah the contract Sony offered to Nintendo must have been so lousy that they'd made no profit at all. There are always two sides to it. But do you really think that it was for the best in the long run? Just imagine what might have become out of this Nintendo Devs / Sony tech jointventure in the future... Nintendo ist the only company left not to offer low-cost-pcs with the same titles all over. But they can't compete with the hardware ... Sony can. They should have gone through with this.
>Synthesized music (notably FM synth) > low-bitrate, ultra-compressed, echo-y, loopy, stretched and muffled samples that was SNES music
You're entitled to your opinion, but there's way more to songwriting than just sound quality dude.
I personally think that even though the sound quality could be questionable at times, the greater number of voices available for the SNES's sound chip allowed for more varied songs, many of which would either sound like muddled garbage, or at least not nearly as interesting on the Genesis.
I think FFVI has my favorite soundtrack of all time - it's just all over the place and it does everything it attempts really well, whether it's heavy metal, Morricone-inspired cowboy songs, military dirges, industrial, Highland ballads, etc. Uematsu was on point for this one.
genesis does what nintendoesnt do. but seriously the genesis shits on the snes low quality midi.
because it's from fucking Chris Hülsbeck. The legend.
But at least listen to it in better quality
But to be honest ... Turrican was meant to be played and heard on the Amiga. Just listen to this shit. whoa.
Stuff like this make me appreciate FM synthesis a lot better than the SNES soundchip, it just sounds more genuine, pure or whatever. I still like plenty of SNES tunes though.
>the SNES sound chip is great, because SONY is better at making hardware
Yeah, we can thank Sony for making the PS1 GPU having the most glitchy 3D graphics of all time, way more glitchy than Saturn.
The lack of floating point support on the GTE thing, Z-buffer, Bilinear filtering was more cost saving measures. The PS2 and 3 on the other hand was a total clusterfuck and they deserved to get called on it.
Official sound chip (and CPU with dedicated sound synth hardware) quality ranking:
YM2151 > YM2612 > VRC7 > SID > S-SMP (in theory) > HuC6280A > VRC6 > 2A03 > LR35902 > SAA1099 > AY-3-8910 > S-SMP (in practice)
This. The amount of Segafag butthurt in this thread is fucking unbelievable. For what it's worth, I like SNES music better than MD music, but still found the MD capable of producing so pretty goddamn sweet tunage.
It's bullshit, FMSynth has always been found to sound generally inferior when any other reasonably modern sound option is available.
I have a question, was it possible to have only the sounding samples in the sound RAM and swap them on the fly? For example, if the bass drum and the snare were meant to never sound at the same time could the driver swap the samples on the fly? Could they do it from RAM and cart memory? Was it viable, computationally expensive or just impossible?
64k for driver+samples sounds like too less for some of the tunes I am hearing here.
It's possible. Star Ocean and Tales of Phantasia both stream audio data from the CPU to exceed the normal audio limitations. It's somewhat CPU intensive but JRPGs don't need much CPU power. Some homebrew demos do it too.
No, sampled drums were extremely common. Eg:
Uses YM2151 + SegaPCM
Check out various games in MAME, you can see what chips they used and change the volume of individual chips. Pure FM percussion is rare.
I was talking about sampled drums not FM drums. The dedicated channel meant that one of the FM channels would be disabled and dedicated for PCM playback. YM2612 for example would have channel 6 disabled just for that.
It's like you want to start an argument. It may only of fixed squares and whatnot but it sounded better than what the pulsed 2A03 could achieve with a similar duty mode and had way more chromatic flexibility.
>better than 2A03
sounds like somebody grew up with a Master System, which btw released an add-on so games with more serious soundtracks didn't end up getting the marshmallow garden treatment
I don't really know how anyone in their right mind could make a boisterous claim
Even as a kid i hated how it sounded, verything sounded so muffled like if it was on another room or seomthing, once i got a PS1 and i heard how games sound, my first thought was "wow finally game consoles sound just like the arcade" maybe because im a music nerd i think that way.
>better than the HuC6280A
The N64 had some of the best music of any console ever. Off the top of my head, LoZ:OoT, Banjo-Kazooie, Extreme G, Castlevania 64. I also can't think of a single example of an N64 game that uses licensed music, so I don't get what you're saying. You also seem to have something against "techno"; let me enlighten you:
The song is completely upside down, with the bass and drums being louder than the actual melody. It's shit.
What the fuck is dynamic contrast? The Yamaha YM2612 doesn't seem to know.
Not as bad as the others, but a lot of the nuances of the varying instruments from the original version get washed out since everything sounds so samey.
Not gonna go through the other two videos point-by-point since there's a lot of stuff I haven't played, except to point out that the Athletic theme from Yoshi's island sounds like hot garbage and has too much going on for the YM2612 to properly reproduce, and a lot of my earlier complaints about improper mixing and lack of dynamic contrast still apply.
This board really needs to get of Sega's dick. The Genesis's FM synthesis card was fine, but the SNES's card had strengths as well. For example:
I'm sure if you're a sega fanboy that sounds just great, but it loses
>The contrast between the opening and the other movements, since the instruments are extremely similar
>The howling wind and laughing voice samples
>A lot of dynamic contrast within the main song (I keep bringing this because it keeps being true) which makes the whole thing sound much more thin and flat.
The N64 didn't actually have a dedicated soundchip. All of the audio processing had to be done using the main CPU. The Sony soundchip found in the PSX was the direct successor to the Sony soundchip found in the SNES. The N64 cartridge size also put certain limitations on its audio quality. It was definitely more capable than the SNES though.
Overall it varied a lot depending on the developer.
>Ocarina of Time
>All of the audio processing had to be done using the main CPU
It was usually done on the GPU actually, less often on the CPU. Sometimes the workload would be shared between the two.
He's right though, and the reason why it worked in the past is that they had brilliant game designers in the primes of their genius. Now that they're old and busted we have the Wii U flopping catastrophically and half the notable games in the 3DS library being remakes, mediocre sequels, or pokemon. Hell, now the consoles themselves (Wii U, 3DS, N3DS) are mediocre sequels. What's the native resolution of the N3DS again? And the PS Vita?
I'm going to add some to your list
>Conker's Bad Fur Day
>Star Fox 64
>Jet Force Gemini
>The Sony soundchip found in the PSX was the direct successor to the Sony soundchip found in the SNES
And it's great. Does the thing have a name?
>But at least listen to it in better quality
Genesis kids are seriously annoying.
Handled by the right person it could sound awesome.
I was trying to prove a point since many snes fans seem to be misinformed that the genesis cant produce similar songs to the snes or that the genesis cant produce orchestrated sound at all. Fm synth in general can produce better piano, bell, wind, and string instruments that are dynamic by nature because they are not samples. I have heard better CT remixes than the one you posted. The quality of the music is subjective to the ability of the composer. Truth is I like snes music but I feel the need to defend the genesis since so many shit on it. Also in the first video it shows that genesis can produce good quality samples.
>YM2612 vs. SPC700 is _legendary_ material on this board
While true, I'm pretty sure there's only the one butthurt sega fanboy in here, and he's not even trying very hard.
Personally, I prefer FM synths instead of wavetable ones, but you can do incredible things with both if you have competent programmers and good composers.
>Fm synth in general can produce better piano, bell, wind, and string instruments that are dynamic by nature because they are not samples
I'd agree with you on bell and wind instruments, but I was under the impression that FM was largely inferior at string (and percussion) instruments, precisely because those kinds of instruments tend to have more complex waveforms (which is easier to manage in a sample than in programming a synth).
Now, if you meant "FM is better at dynamic instruments because it's not using static samples" then you're not really saying much - that's like saying that walking is better transportation than sitting, because you can go places - I think that's obvious to everyone here.
The 1 or 2 with music degrees do. The toccata was most likely a transcription of a Bach violin piece, copied out and transcribed for organ by a lesser skilled pupil, who added in harmony to flesh the piece out for organ. Probably adapted by ~15 year old Johannes Ringk, whose copy is the only existing manuscript. Its full of errors as a 15 year old's copy of a score would be.
The redbook audio obviously sounds better in terms of pure sound quality, but I actually like the arrangements on the SNES game better (especially the first level music)
Anyway I'm glad both games exist, because I like both, since they're different games, and I like to have 2 different versions of the soundtrack. Dracula X also has some exclusive tracks like the map screen one.