Nerdy Nights-style music tutorial for the Sega Genesis

For anything related to sound (YM2612, PSG, Z80, PCM...)

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walker7
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Nerdy Nights-style music tutorial for the Sega Genesis

Post by walker7 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 12:12 am

First, take a look at the Nerdy Nights music system for the NES:
http://www.nintendoage.com/forum/messag ... adid=22484

I think this tutorial for NES music-making is interesting. It is very well put together. There are 10 parts (to get to the next part, just click the link at the bottom of each post).


Would anyone like to make a similar tutorial for the YM2612, PSG, and Z80 on the Sega Genesis? Music-makers for the Genesis could definitely use this style of tutorial.

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Post by TmEE co.(TM) » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:13 am

The big problem with FM is that its just so complex. The sound of NES and PSG is just few registers and you have sound, but FM has a ton...
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walker7
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"Sega Genesis Music Tutorial" on Wikia

Post by walker7 » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:28 am

TmEE co.(TM) wrote:The big problem with FM is that its just so complex. The sound of NES and PSG is just few registers and you have sound, but FM has a ton...
How about if this tutorial could be put on Wikia? Anyone can contribute. Then, each section can have its own page. You could even have a page talking about the complex features of the FM.

You could call this wiki "Sega Genesis Music Tutorial," and make sure you give credit to Thomas Hjelm (MetalSlime on the NintendoAge boards) for the inspiration to this tutorial.

Here's a link to the wiki: http://sega-genesis-music-tutorial.wiki ... orial_Wiki

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Post by foobat » Sat Dec 14, 2013 1:48 am

It's not easily distillable into a wiki page. The NES has a square and triangle wave generator with 5 channels, and that's all you get. The YM2612 is basically a synthesizer with a real ADSR envelope and LFO and feedback and everything that goes with it. In order to make a wiki page with the same level of completeness as that forum topic on nintendoage.com, you'd have to explain FM synthesis and link the datasheet for the part (which doesn't even exist anymore, and we have to make assumptions based on the tech documents for *similar* parts).

You're not going to get less complex than sega2.doc, which has an excellent transcription here at http://www.smspower.org/maxim/Documents/YM2612

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Post by powerofrecall » Sat Dec 14, 2013 2:14 am

Writing even terrible sounding music for the Genesis is actually more difficult than making a good sounding 2A03 tune. As others have said, the level of complexity between the two isn't even comparable. The Genesis YM2612 on its own is in fact a very capable, complete 6 voice FM synth. FM synthesis isn't as simple as adjusting the duty cycle of a square wave to make different sound. Every channel has 4 operators and 4 ADSRs that interact with each other in different ways depending on the algorithm chosen. There are further parameters to tweak each operator as well. Practically every single parameter of the FM chip will affect the sound coming out. On top of all this complexity, the richer tones of FM also bring other factors into consideration--to make good sounding music, the various FM patches have to go together and "mix well" which isn't as much of a consideration when it is just square and triangle waves. You could gather all this information and put it on a wikia or whatever but most of the pertinent info is going to be in things like sega2.doc. This is of course not even getting into the necessary software to actually drive the chip to make it do something--there's a reason Sega put a dedicated Z80 and RAM in there. All this, and that's not even getting into playing samples through FM channel 6 (very complex) or even using the PSG.

If you want to make a wikia about this I would suggest you focus on something like DefleMask as all the other methods of making music on Genesis are more complex and would probably be more at home with the coder types.

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