I stumbled on a familiar sounding Nintendo song file from Famicompo 10, 016_UZPIPS.nsfe. It uses the Namco N163 expansion to emulate the FM piano sound. It turns out this is a cover of BIGCITY.MID, one of these early demo General MIDI files meant to showcase the technology. Check it out on 016_UZPIPS.nsfeby Xyz16th entry […]

Unlocking the Yamaha DSR-2000

I've been trying to reverse engineer the system exclusive voice dump format of the DSR-2000 keyboard. It is powered by the 4-operator Yamaha YM2414 OPZ chip, similar to the DX11, TX81Z, and a few others. The DSR-2000 is probably the most powerful FM keyboard Yamaha produced with the Portasound label (i.e., marketed to non-musicians), and […]

Fixing messed up VGM tracks from Shining Force

This is Elven Town, from Shining Force II for the Sega Genesis. Here's the beginning of the original track: It sounds kind of janky. Computer, isolate the bass line and slow it down to 65%. Yea, definitely some problem with that high note. The Sega Genesis sound chip (YM2612) has 6 FM channels; these bass […]

MEGAfm Teardown

Here is a look inside the Twisted Electrons MEGAfm. It is a nicely constructed boutique synth built around Sega Genesis sound chips. An upper PCB containing LEDs and audio/MIDI jacks has been removed in these photos. The dual YM2612 chips are clearly visible. The microcontroller is visible in the bottom right. The other ICs on […]

Hotkeys in Chip Player JS

List of super-secret keyboard shortcuts for Chip Player JS: Shortcut Action Media Keys Playback control is fully supported ← (Left Arrow) Seek backward 5 seconds ➔ (Right Arrow) Seek forward 5 seconds ␣ (Space bar) Toggle play/pause - (Minus) Decrease speed 10% = (Equals) Increase speed 10% Shift+- (Underscore) Decrease speed 1% Shift+= (Plus) Increase […]

Chip Player JS

Chip Player JS began in August 2018. Ten years ago, I stopped using Windows and switched to Mac. But I held on to a Windows XP virtual machine – for the sole purpose of playing ancient music formats in Winamp. Even while I was working at Spotify, Winamp was running in the background. Chip Player JS […]

Flat-Shaded Polygon 3D Games

I've started maintaining a list of flat-shaded 3D games from the 1980s and 1990s over here: Flat-Shaded 3D Polygon Games.

NES APU Note Table

The NES RP2A03 CPU clock runs at 1.789773MHz (NTSC). In producing audio, the wave period of the pulse ("square wave") channels is specified in timer units of 16 clock cycles. This means the period is quantized to units of 16/1,789,773 second. The triangle channel, usually used for bass lines, uses 32-cycle timer units, so for […]