N.E.S. Sound

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Deep End
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:12 pm

N.E.S. Sound

Post by Deep End » Wed Jul 09, 2014 9:21 pm

Hi everyone, I'm new to this, but could someone on here help me out with some pointers to achieve this specific set of generators/effects to get the sounds achieved in this video. See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ptUrLrGZqlY for reference.Seems like the poster went in only using the exact specs of the Nintendo chip 1 tri, 2 square, 1 noise and a DPCM. Thanks in advance!

twistboy
Posts: 33
Joined: Tue Dec 24, 2013 6:53 pm

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by twistboy » Thu Jul 10, 2014 1:32 am

Basically you can use standart generator -> distortion with lowered bitrate, just keep in mind that NES has 2 pulse channels with duty cycles of 12.5, 25, 50 and 75%. And for DPCM you can use a sampler (I believe famitracker can export dpcm to wav).

Also it is important to use only 5 channels in your song (two for pulses, one for triangle, one for noise and one for samples, you know the drill) and not to use any effects!

And finally I've attached a bunch of samplers I made from actual NES waveforms (by AdventureKid: http://www.adventurekid.se/akrt/wavefor ... -bit-free/). I think they give the most authentic sound :)
Attachments
2a03_waveforms.zip
(3.32 KiB) Downloaded 410 times

Deep End
Posts: 2
Joined: Wed Jul 09, 2014 8:12 pm

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by Deep End » Fri Jul 11, 2014 7:47 am

Hi, thanks for the help!

I am off to a great start.

Eazy123
Posts: 1
Joined: Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:19 am

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by Eazy123 » Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:37 am

Hi Deep End!

I am the author of the music in that video. I'm just getting back into using Sunvox after a hiatus and have since switched iPads so I cannot find the original file for those two tracks, but as far as I can remember here's what I did:

Since the pulse generators are at 12.5, 25, 50 and 75, I added three pulse generators and set the duty cycle for each at 12.5% of the way (125), 25% (250), 50% (500), and since to me the 75% (750 duty cycle) and tri generators sound identical, I just used those four generators, then played them side by side with actual NES music to fine tune and tweak the sounds to sound as identical as I could. The noise channel was used for the snare/hi hats, and DPCM for drum sounds that appeared in later NES games (such as the snare in Snake's Revenge). The kick drum I can't exactly remember how I did, but I believe I used a very, very short sustain on the tri (?) generator to produce the kick - I picked that trick up from some web page that went in-depth about how the original NES music was composed.

And like twistboy said - NO effects. The old NES composers were clever and in order to do something like an echo, they would have to play the same note multiple times at lower velocity levels, for example. There were no "effects" then!

Hope that helps - good luck!

tripflag
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:20 am

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by tripflag » Fri Sep 19, 2014 5:32 am

I tried to do a template for the 2A03 (NES) for a BOTB compo, and eventually ended up going for the japanese VRC6 expansion chip as well.
Instruments 01 and 02 are the 2a03 pulses, 03 is the triangle (using samples (sorry)), and 04 is an attempt at the 2A03 noise.
As for the VRC6 expansion, 06 and 07 are the pulses and 08 the saw.

The demo songs are imported from NSF files, so they play at native NES speed.
You can probably do most of the NES effects using sunvox like normal however!

http://a.pomf.se/gqdoxv.sunvox - NES only, demo song is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-J0H5ah1G7A
http://a.pomf.se/nkotfe.sunvox - NES+VRC6, demo song is https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K8C8vGRlxZM#t=2m1s

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CoByX
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed May 30, 2012 1:10 pm

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by CoByX » Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:16 pm

It's been a long time since the last post, but, well, better late than never. The triangle generator is kinda tricky. I tried connecting it to distortion module and changing the bitrate to 4, and that sound was closer than the pure triangle.

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swmps
Posts: 4
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2015 6:04 pm

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by swmps » Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:18 pm

CoByX wrote:It's been a long time since the last post, but, well, better late than never. The triangle generator is kinda tricky. I tried connecting it to distortion module and changing the bitrate to 4, and that sound was closer than the pure triangle.
Dirty generator with hand-drawn triangle waveform works nicely too!

tripflag
Posts: 20
Joined: Sun Dec 16, 2012 4:20 am

Re: N.E.S. Sound

Post by tripflag » Sat Mar 14, 2015 7:24 pm

Yes, the NES triangle has some very unique characteristics which are almost impossible to synthesize in SunVox. As you move down to lower notes, the waveform turns into something like an FM-modulated sawtooth. The only way to get it near accurate is by using samples (I ended up making one sample for each whole note).

The noise is also fairly difficult to get right, and almost as difficult to sample... But everything else is really easy to do with plain generators, as long as you remember the limitations of the soundchips. By the way, pitch and vibrato effects, and stuff like volume slides were available in the NES, so they're OK to use!

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