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Gink

Getting sound out of a Game(NES)

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How can a program or a person get the sound out of a file such as a NES .ROM? I'm pretty sure it's a MIDI file, but not sure how to get it. One alternative would be to record it, but that takes up much more space and i'd rather have it in the original format.

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Theres a program out there that rips the music out of nes games, into its own file format, and then I think you can get a plugin for winamp to play them.

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The NES's sound chip (the 'APU') uses a format which you might call MIDI, though they're far from compatible. In effect it has 5 fixed-function channels capable of generating various synthetic noises (two square waves, a triangle wave, a noise channel, and 1-bit sample playback). A few FAMICOM games also has an additional sound chip with added functionality on the cartridge.

The popular NSF music format (much like the C64's SID format) contains the actual machine code used by the original game, so the playerers are basically simply stripped-down emulators themselves. To rip the data in this format you'll have to know a fair bit about reverse engineering in general and specifically the 6502 processor and NES hardware.

Some emulators can also dump the actual notes themselves in simpler formats. iNES and it's PSG format is an example of this. There are various MIDI converters working on this level too, but keep in mind that the audio quality will never reach that of the NSF format and the wave-channel is completely unsupported.

On top of that you've always got the option of recording the output of your NES or NES emulator manually.

You should be aware of that all popular NES games (and most of the unpopular ones too) has already dumped as NSFs however.

If you intend to use the music in a game then I suggest using an existing NSF player or library to do handle the playback for you. I've toyed with blip buffer myself in the past, it's a quite a nice library with a clean interface and very good sound.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Quote:
Original post by Gink
How can a program or a person get the sound out of a file such as a NES .ROM? I'm pretty sure it's a MIDI file, but not sure how to get it. One alternative would be to record it, but that takes up much more space and i'd rather have it in the original format.


The music in a typical NES ROM isn't stored in format MIDI. It can be converted to MIDI with a little work. Here is a tutorial on NES Music ripping. There are a lot of sites with video game music, you could probably save yourself some time and effort by search Google. A quick search of Google turned up vgmusic.com.

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Quote:
Original post by Gink
How can a program or a person get the sound out of a file such as a NES .ROM? I'm pretty sure it's a MIDI file, but not sure how to get it. One alternative would be to record it, but that takes up much more space and i'd rather have it in the original format.


The music in a typical NES ROM isn't stored in MIDI format. It can be converted to MIDI with a little work. Here is a tutorial on NES Music ripping. There are a lot of sites with video game music, you could probably save yourself some time and effort by search Google. A quick search of Google turned up vgmusic.com. If you want more information on how the NES works try NESDev.parodius.com.


Sorry for the double post, I forgot to login and apparently links are disable when posting anonymously.

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