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Old games sounds and SFX

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How can you create old game sounds? Like mario in NES? or classic zelda or other SEGA or NES sounds? Are these sounds recordings that have been manipulated or are they syntesized sounds, created from scratch? Thanks in advance.

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The old game sounds were completely synthesized, usually just a combination of tones played in quick succession (or sometimes simultaneously) to get the sound they wanted. I don't know of any software that lets you do this, though I'm sure there are plenty out there (I'm too lazy to search Google). If all else fails, synthesizing them in your own software is easy, just create the PCM data yourself :)

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I know the commodore 64 used the SID-chip. It basically had a few hardware oscillators and a noise generator. Search on the SID chip, download a SID player and some songs.

The oscillators at this time were not sine-oscillators but pulse/square and sawtooth. This makes for more complex sounds. Then the program change the oscillator settings all the time to add more complexity to the sound. Sweep the oscillator pitch from max to min for a laser shot etc.

I belive this is how most game sounds (and music) was created in the 80:ies.

Basically dumbed-down analog synthesizers (Depeche Mode, Human League) etc. Try searching for "analog synthesis" for more references.

There are lots of software synthesizers you can use to create WAVE files with sound effects.


HTH


/Marcus

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A lot of the old NES music used 3 to 4 voices in a mod tracking format. It usually consisted of a few square waves and a percussion track, with a sound effect channel serving as the 4th track. At some point, the Nintendo engineers were able to include instrumentation on the 4th track (SFX) to make the compositions a bit more complex. If you want to create nintendo sounds, it depends entirely upon the format/ sequencer that you are using. There are presets and soundfonts available for a wide variety of music and sound platforms. I am assuming that the NES sound presets are generally very easy to create and therefore fairly easy to come by. Do you have any music/sound creation programs?

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Quote:
Original post by The C modest god
How can you create old game sounds? Like mario in NES? or classic zelda or other SEGA or NES sounds?
Are these sounds recordings that have been manipulated or are they syntesized sounds, created from scratch?


As mentioned above, the early sounds were FM synth waves (triangles, squares, sines, etc). You can find similar synths in todays mobile phones.

If you're looking to recreate those old sounds, just about any 8-bit synth should be able to create something similar. You just need to know a bit about synthesis. If you're not up for that, there has been a recent flush of audio plugins and sample libraries that can recreate these sonuds. For example, Discovery Sound has their 8Bit Family sample libraries which are a real trip.

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I dont know how to use these dll plugins in windows?
Is there a list of all the manipulation that can be done to the waves? Like fading, attack and etc? and how they are implemented?
I downloaded audiacity, and there is only saw, square and sine waves there. No triangle. So how can I create all the synthesized sound with that program?

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What defines 80's gaming music for the most part, is the heavy use of arpeggio to mimic polyphonic sound. By quickly changing the notes played, you could have chords and use only one sound channel. This results in a somewhat 'vibrating' sound that is typical to the era. I also used this myself in the early DOS days when only the internal PC speaker was available.

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Quote:
Original post by The C modest god
I dont know how to use these dll plugins in windows?


Typically you need a host program, like Sonar, Cubase, Nuendo....all those progs. But I found something I love to use that could benefit you if you wanted to try out those VSTs.

Try downloading this:

Tobybear MiniHost

What it does is allow you to open any VST .dll like it was in a host program. It has a lot of cool extras like direct QWERTY to MIDI input, an arpeggiator, chord maker, and you can record any of the sounds directly from within the program.

I use it when I want to go searching through all my VST instruments quickly and cleanly, like testing out stompboxes. Just pop those *.dll's in a folder, open up MiniHost and go to open VST and find that folder.

Best of all, it's free! Actually, after checking it out for only a few hours I sent in the recommended paypal "donation" of $20. Easily worth it's value I say.

You will need ASIO drivers, so if you need that you can try

Asio4All

Good luck!

Tony

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Guest Anonymous Poster
f for frequency
t is in seconds
a is amplitude

Would the triangle be:

g(t) = a*t*f*4 if 0

Would the square be:

g(t) = a if 0

And all the sounds in NES are of these two waves just with different f and a?
Also, you said the music is a fast sequence of sounds that does not intersect with each other (in respect to time)?
However, there are also acords? so there are blending of several different triangle waves with different frequencies?
By the way, the sqaure wave sounds horrible on high frequency so was it used only with low frequency?

Also, how do I make the white noise?

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Guest Anonymous Poster
It didnt present the formula correctly
(Why there is no preview to anonymous posters?)

The triangle

g(t) = a*t*f*4 if 0<

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Last try:

Triangle:
g(t) = a*t*f*4 if f*t in [0, 0.25]
a*(1-(t-0.25)*f*4) if f*t in [0.25, 0.75]
a*((t-0.75)*f*4-1) if f*t in [0.75, 1]

Square:
g(t) = a if f*t in [0, 0.5]
0 if f*t in [0.5, 0]

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[quote]Typically you need a host program, like Sonar, Cubase, Nuendo....all those progs. But I found something I love to use that could benefit you if you wanted to try out those VSTs.[quote]


Not to sound completely stupid- but I've never had much luck with VSTs and Sonar. I have Sonar 4 Studio and and downloaded things like Peach and Toad (popular NES-like VSTs) and never got them to work properly.

I've tried looking in the help section- but can you give me some clues?

Thanks!

Nathan Madsen
www.madsenstudios.com

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Well you need to use a VST wrapper. Pretty sure the Cakewalk one is on the disc. You run it, point it to the folders where you downloaded the VST .dlls and it pops them in Sonar.

Then start Sonar, go to INSERT > DXI Synth > VST

Then all the VST's that the wrapper found will be accessible to the prog. You'll see your DX instruments there regardless of where they are on your drive.

FUNFUNFUNFUNFUNFUNF

Tony

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I have a request.
I want to download music and effects files (preferably .wav not mp3) of super mario bros or any other old nes sega game.
I want it so I can see how the waves look in these songs, so I better understand this subject.
I looked in the web, but it is full of garbage sites about mario music, and I cant find anywhere to actually download thse files.

I would appreaciate your help.
Thanks in advance.

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Grab an emmemeulatoar...sorry

an emulator. If I recall, NESticle had a wav output function that recorded the output from within the emulator and stored the file in a folder. And you could solo each channel to hear what was coming from what and record that also.

Tony

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Quote:
Original post by The C modest god
I want to download music and effects files (preferably .wav not mp3) of super mario bros or any other old nes sega game.
I want it so I can see how the waves look in these songs, so I better understand this subject.

You really don't need to analyse the file to see what a square or triangular waveform is, since they really are as trivial as they sound.

click here.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Ok thanks.
I did thought they look like this.
From watching the recorded wave of mario music I noticed two things.
First, some notes have their amplitude decrease linearly, so I applied that.
I also noticed that some effects have their frequency change linearly, so I changed that as well.
However, some things remain different.
The waves I created were perfect. The mario waves are not so perfect, this might be due to noise as a result of something.
Also, there are some SFX in mario, like of a flying fire ball (not the one mario throws, a bigger one).
It has some sort of effect and I dont know how to recreate it.
Also, I dont remember now, but I think there are in some games also drum like sounds.
So how did those games created drums like sounds?

I would appreaciate your help.
Anonymous C dude.

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Guest Anonymous Poster
Usually drums were made from a white noise generator with high attack and decent rates.

These could also be used to make fire and crowd effects quite well.

Something I havent seen mentioned in previous replies is the ADSR envelopes.

Also, try googling the Yamaha YM-2149 sound chip. This was used in a number of early computers (e.g Amstrad, ST) and is very similar to the sound chips used in the NES and others.

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Attack is similar to amplitude at the "press" of the note, if you will. Its like plucking a string on a guitar. It sounds loud for a split second in the beginning (attack) and then decays to nothingness.

If you REALLY wanna know how these kinds of sound generators worked, look online for a "555 Schematic" (a common oscillator at the time) which produced square waves, and trianglular waves as well with a little tweaking.

It kinda seems like you're making it harder than it really is. Now days people just use samples (wav files and what not) and plug them in to tracking and sampling software (like modplug and renoise).

Anyways, goodluck!

Cheers!

-Dyamios

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Quote:
Original post by Dyamios
Now days people just use samples (wav files and what not) and plug them in to tracking and sampling software (like modplug and renoise).


All synthesis here, baby. Learn your oscillators and envelopes! What's the differnce between VCA and VCO? Find OUT!!!

Tony

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