Genesis - SNES audio comparison

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

Moderator: BigEvilCorporation

Huge
Very interested
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Post by Huge » Mon Apr 27, 2009 5:05 pm

There are signs that they experimented with using PCM for the complete soundtrack, but nothing came out of that. (some of the samples can be found in one of the beta versions)

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Thu May 14, 2009 2:33 pm

powerofrecall wrote:Digging up this thread but I have to put my two bits in--

I can't stand most SPC music out of the SNES, both real console and emulated. It's basically like a poor MOD format with teeny tiny looping samples. Some games sounded great but 90% of them sounded cheap. (To the SNES fanboys though, I guess it's a sound you get used to/nostalgic for.)

MD on the other hand was awesome at doing stuff that wasn't going for "realism." All the best MD VGM was stuff that sounded intentionally synthetic like Streets of Rage, or when it's really pushed into crazy territory like Batman and Robin. Well programmed FM has way more "oomph" than SPC/wavetable music does.

As for the output of the console I'd like to see an MD emulator emulate the non-linearity and generally low quality of the output stage. I think that is one of the big things missing from Sega sound emulation--YM2612 emulation is very close to perfect now but it's missing the harmonic distortion that comes out of the real console specifically on the low end. Kega's got that lowpass filter now that helps a lot but I think it could be taken further with a bit of DSP or maybe even speaker modelling to simulate the sound as it would come out of a TV or any other simulated device. Emulated YM2612 sounds way too "bright" and it's not necessarily a bad thing, but that kind of filtering would be an awesome option to have. Kind of like video output plugins but for sound.

(btw anyone that would wanna tackle a project like that I would be HAPPY to help with recordings from different MDs/Genesis, I have a home studio setup that could get some really good quality samples of it, and I'm no stranger to DSP)
Sorry I'm extremely late for this party. I agree on the Genesis emulation front. In fact, I think when this discussion comes up in threads today people are comparing ports and emulation of games on the Genesis and SNES and not the actual games on the actual consoles. This is going to be one of the major themes for my video comparisons in the future. I will be trying to prove that the games looked and played and sounded differently with stock parts on stock NTSC televisions.

It would be terrific if emulation was perfect, but as it stands I wish we would all consider games in emulation a PC port in reviews and comparisons.

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Thu May 14, 2009 2:43 pm

Scorcher for Saturn:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9W9x7Tmba1Y <- Oh my god... that sounds like ass.
That looks like another use of Scavenger's 32X demo from E3 '95. I love the music too. I'll have to remember to pick this one up next time I see it. A.M.O.K. is another lost classic that ought to have a good rep in here.

Snake
Very interested
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:01 am

Post by Snake » Thu May 14, 2009 10:24 pm

sheath wrote:I will be trying to prove that the games looked and played and sounded differently with stock parts on stock NTSC televisions.
For "Looked", we have Blargg's NTSC filter. It is not 100% perfect but most people won't notice. I discussed the remaining issues with Blargg a long time ago, but he has no time to work on this anymore. I know that feeling :(

"Played"? I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that.

As for "Sounded" - well - I don't agree about the speaker thing. Most cheap PC speakers are far worse than what was in any TV I ever owned, so there is no need whatsoever to start messing around modelling speakers. Half the problem is probably because you're used to hearing it in Mono, which makes all the volume levels sound odd. Doesn't make it right, though, does it?

No, the differences are not down to the speakers, but rather internal distortion, which, as I said, I do plan to get to at a later date. The majority of people will still turn it off ;)

Huge
Very interested
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Post by Huge » Fri May 15, 2009 3:42 pm

Snake wrote:"Played"? I'm not entirely sure what you mean by that.
Gamepads, probably.

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Fri May 15, 2009 8:57 pm

Let me start by saying I in no way intend to insult all of the great work that has been done on the emulation and homebrew front.

By played I was referring to the actual control pads having different/better sensitivity than PC gamepads, or KB/M for that matter. I can even tell the difference in Fusion or Gens with a Saturn pad and the actual Genesis game pads. First time players won't care, but if you ever got to know the game it takes some getting used to.

The sound issue is as you describe, in the case of the SNES the emulated games seem to sound better than on the actual console. In the case of Genesis games it is hit and miss, but overall PC emulators blow the socks off of whatever is being used in these compilation discs. Even still there are some games such as Alisia Dragoon, where the speed of some songs are off

I agree that I don't think it is a problem of speakers, it is the lack of distortion or filtering in the default settings. Again, new gamers won't care, but their opinions are being developed in an entirely different set of circumstances than the games were designed for.

Graphics I mostly just care about the color count comparison. You just can't see the "flaws" on the original hardware like you can in emulation. This, I suspect, is helping editorialists and system fans alike to leap to incorrect conclusions about which systems were more technically advanced. As we have discussed in here several times, the actual comparison between hardware in the same generation is far more technical than one being clearly "best".
Last edited by sheath on Sun May 17, 2009 8:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Snake
Very interested
Posts: 203
Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2008 1:01 am

Post by Snake » Fri May 15, 2009 10:47 pm

sheath wrote:Let me start by saying I in no way intend to insult all of the great work that has been done on the emulation and homebrew front.
Oh, of course, no worries man.
sheath wrote:By played I was referring to the actual control pads having different/better sensitivity than PC gamepads
Ah, ok. So we just need to wire original pads up to the PC, then :)
sheath wrote:Even still there are some games such as Alisia Dragoon, where the speed of some songs are off
Ah, that's just an NTSC vs PAL issue. Set the country code correctly and it's fine.
sheath wrote:You just can't see the "flaws" on the original hardware like you can in emulation.
Hmm, that one is harder. Blargg's filter goes a long way to solving this, but really, the only way to solve it 100% is to just plug the thing into an old style CRT TV.

Huge
Very interested
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Post by Huge » Sat May 16, 2009 12:44 pm

Snake wrote:
sheath wrote:Even still there are some games such as Alisia Dragoon, where the speed of some songs are off
Ah, that's just an NTSC vs PAL issue. Set the country code correctly and it's fine.
It may also be a rom issue, my copy of alisia dragoon plays the music at the same speed in both 50hz and 60hz mode (even if I switch during the game).

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Sun May 17, 2009 2:22 am

The european rom I had for Alisia Dragoon played the title song slowly no matter what region I selected. The US rom I just tried works fine though. I hadn't tried multiple region roms before, good call.

As for wiring original pads, I think it is safe to say that the average person using an emulator is going to go with the lowest common denominator. We'll be lucky if they'll hook up a USB gamepad, much less try to get original hardware to work.

The video issue is stumping me at the moment. I'm vacillating between posting minimally compressed DIVX videos or attempting to use Virtual Dub filters to approximate the look of an SD TV. Subjective decisions like these drive me crazy because literally next week a new capture card could drop into my price range that totally changes it. I feel fairly confident that the avermedia card I am using, combined with the filters and settings, is doing an adequate job at demonstrating the games in their original context.

The filters I've selected work across over seventy games on the Genesis and SNES without losing any details as far as I can see. Since I know that most capture cards employ native filters anyway, I shouldn't feel so funky about using my own thoroughly tested open source filters. I'm sure this group will have valuable advice on this topic as well.

Huge
Very interested
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat Dec 13, 2008 11:50 pm

Post by Huge » Sun May 17, 2009 11:18 am

Last time I checked (in 2003, mind you), there were no european dumps of Alisia Dragoon, only a Japanese and a UE one.

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Sun May 17, 2009 12:38 pm

The one I was using ends in (E) [!], it can be found at the top of the list for alisia dragoon at www.emuasylum.com. The second one I downloaded, which works fine, ends in (U) [!]. That indicates that the first one is supposedly a good dump of a European rom, and the second is from the US.

sheath
Very interested
Posts: 141
Joined: Wed Aug 15, 2007 1:44 pm
Location: Texas
Contact:

Post by sheath » Sun May 17, 2009 9:07 pm

Snake wrote:
Let me start by saying I in no way intend to insult all of the great work that has been done on the emulation and homebrew front.
Oh, of course, no worries man.
Good deal. I honestly consider the work in here more legitimate to gaming overall than the efforts made on the latest titles.
Ah, ok. So we just need to wire original pads up to the PC, then :)
If that is necessary. I would have assumed that the USB Saturn gamepad converter out there should suffice. I'm still noticing timing differences between emulation, using my second gen Saturn pad and playing the game on the actual console. These tests are even performed on the same TV set.

I might not know enough yet to really say what the difference is. The effect is the same as playing the same game at 60FPS and then 30FPS. I have ingrained reactions to some of these games, and they just don't work quite as effectively in emulation.
Hmm, that one is harder. Blargg's filter goes a long way to solving this, but really, the only way to solve it 100% is to just plug the thing into an old style CRT TV.
My RPTV displays the 8-bit and 16-bit systems just fine with composite cables, although they have noticeable line scrolling issues. This is the same set I have a PC hooked up to with component cables. The same PC has the avermedia video capture card that I am recording my videos with currently. I haven't tried hooking this PC up with its composite output, but S-Video was significantly degraded and made selecting roms in emulation programs next to impossible. This was because of the blurriness of the screen.

I have noticed that video card output resolutions differ between manufacturer. On a television set especially, each card seems to prefer certain resolutions over another. This complicates the matter even further if one were to encourage a relatively technical person to forgo playing these games on the actual consoles in favor of an "HTPC".

Post Reply