Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Come here for topics reviewing and sharing songs, tracks, music, synth demos, etc.
Post Reply
User avatar
bendragon
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:08 pm
Real name: Ben
Gear: Novation Launchkey 49, Korg Monologue, Roland TR-8, Roland TB-03, VPROM 2.0, VSDSX, Behringer DeepMind 12

Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by bendragon » Tue Jun 22, 2010 5:18 pm

I've had these tracks for quite a while and were originally made for fun to mess around with that little 6 voice FM Chip inside the mega drive (or an emulation of it at least). CBW remains one of my favourite tracks and the bass-line in Reboot is still probably one of my best.

Reboot - plus a C64 for the voice and some drum samples, all loaded onto channel 6 (the PCM channel)


Clear Blue Waters - 100% FM, PCM disabled to give a 6th channel of FM - EDIT: Forgot to mention that I made use of the SN76489 sound chip in this (the mega drive had two sound chips)


Ya don't see many chippers on here... its still synthesis after all, and vintage, can't see why it shouldn't fit. :b
Last edited by bendragon on Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
crystalmsc
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 2861
Joined: Thu Jul 13, 2006 7:15 am
Gear: uWaveXT,uQ,Pulse+;Ion;MiniBrt,Karma,Mntrb,Volcas,01R;Venom,NordModular,L2X;Evolver;JP8080,MKS70,JD990,D50,MC909,MC80ex,Microcon2;TG77,RS7k,AN200,AN1x
Band: Crystaline
Location: Synth Garden
Contact:

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by crystalmsc » Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:09 pm

Great tracks, I enjoy the FM percussion part in Clear Blue Waters and Reboot is cool!
Kaossilatron - Voicillator
http://crystaline.bandcamp.com
Station: Ableton Live 10 Suite, Obscurium, Push 2, Ultranova, MS-20m, Wavedrums

User avatar
Synthaholic
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:43 pm
Gear: Motif XS6, TX802, D-550, A6
Location: NH

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by Synthaholic » Wed Jun 23, 2010 6:18 pm

I like both of those! The bass patch in CBW brings back memories of my old SoundBlaster Pro, which was my gateway drug into synthesis. ;)
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

User avatar
Composition86
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:05 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by Composition86 » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:06 pm

Nice tracks and very good sounds too. ;)
I didn't know that the chip inside the Mega drive had such huge basses, not to mention the wonderful cutting lead in the second track.

User avatar
bendragon
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:08 pm
Real name: Ben
Gear: Novation Launchkey 49, Korg Monologue, Roland TR-8, Roland TB-03, VPROM 2.0, VSDSX, Behringer DeepMind 12

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by bendragon » Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:15 pm

crystalmsc wrote:Great tracks, I enjoy the FM percussion part in Clear Blue Waters and Reboot is cool!
Percussion was the hardest part. FM drums are a pain to do :B
Synthaholic wrote:I like both of those! The bass patch in CBW brings back memories of my old SoundBlaster Pro, which was my gateway drug into synthesis. ;)
God I remember the MIDI music on that thing |: Like two nails being forced into your ear drums XD Once you got to programming the chip directly though 8-) oh yes.
Composition86 wrote:Nice tracks and very good sounds too. ;)
I didn't know that the chip inside the Mega drive had such huge basses, not to mention the wonderful cutting lead in the second track.
The chip inside the Mega Drive is a 6voice Yamaha 4op OPN2 FM synthesizer - The YM2612. Its the same chip (or similar) to the ones used in the DX21 and the DX100. The DX100/21 can load patches from the YM2612 and vice versa. So almost anything you can do on a 4op DX synth you can do on the MegaDrive :)

User avatar
Synthaholic
Expert Member
Expert Member
Posts: 1206
Joined: Tue Aug 21, 2007 5:43 pm
Gear: Motif XS6, TX802, D-550, A6
Location: NH

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by Synthaholic » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:10 am

bendragon wrote:God I remember the MIDI music on that thing |: Like two nails being forced into your ear drums XD Once you got to programming the chip directly though 8-) oh yes.
Windows' MIDI presets for the FM soundcard chips were awful. I used to have a utility that could edit the patches and create CMF files that contained the MIDI music + patch data, so I could dial in my own (in a DOS environment using the playcmf program that came with the SB Pro).
The chip inside the Mega Drive is a 6voice Yamaha 4op OPN2 FM synthesizer - The YM2612. Its the same chip (or similar) to the ones used in the DX21 and the DX100...
I need to start playing with my DX100 some more! :mrgreen: It's probably not the same chip since the DX21/27/100 has 8 voices instead of 6. EDIT: DX100 has YM2164 chip. I just looked at a pic I took of mine when I had it apart. ;)
Two VCO: thanks to the push rods, one can choose several forms of waves at the same time!
(from a Babelfish translation of a Jupiter-6 site)

Yamaha: Motif XS6, TX802 Roland: D-550 Alesis: A6 Andromeda

User avatar
Composition86
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:05 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by Composition86 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:02 am

bendragon wrote: The chip inside the Mega Drive is a 6voice Yamaha 4op OPN2 FM synthesizer - The YM2612. Its the same chip (or similar) to the ones used in the DX21 and the DX100. The DX100/21 can load patches from the YM2612 and vice versa. So almost anything you can do on a 4op DX synth you can do on the MegaDrive :)
Once I had a dx7IId: certainly it has a quite different chip inside, but when I got it I could not be able to create any sound similar to those in your tracks, expecially basses, they were so dry. There should be a lot of things I don't know about FM synthesis.

User avatar
bendragon
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:08 pm
Real name: Ben
Gear: Novation Launchkey 49, Korg Monologue, Roland TR-8, Roland TB-03, VPROM 2.0, VSDSX, Behringer DeepMind 12

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by bendragon » Thu Jun 24, 2010 9:34 am

Composition86 wrote: Once I had a dx7IId: certainly it has a quite different chip inside, but when I got it I could not be able to create any sound similar to those in your tracks, expecially basses, they were so dry. There should be a lot of things I don't know about FM synthesis.
FM is, in short, a b***h. In long - Its an easy synthesis method to understand but Yamaha's implementation of user interface is absolute garbage. I can fluently program my DX9 now via said front-panel interface but I still find it much easier to program a MegaDrive with a GUI infront of my face on the computer. The DX7 is often sucked into that cliché of cheesy 80s nonsense, but they are surprisingly nice units when you spend time with them.

Not all DX synths used the same chips. Yamaha produced many models of the things. The megadrive uses OPN2 chips and therefore shares patch compatibility with 2nd generation 4op Yamaha DX synths. The DX21, DX27 and DX100.

multipackvitamin
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 174
Joined: Wed Aug 17, 2005 3:23 pm

:):)

Post by multipackvitamin » Thu Jun 24, 2010 12:20 pm

:):)
Last edited by multipackvitamin on Mon Jan 13, 2014 11:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Jun 24, 2010 1:51 pm

Doesn't matter much.

Chips back in the days did FM, analogue style synthesis, (short) sample replay. The exact same things you can do these days. The style of chip music (as far as I would describe it) has its origin in the limited number of voices of such chips, not so much in the sound of such chips.

Take this example:

This is 6 2op FM voices (15 fixed tones and one custom voice), with FM drums in addition and 3 PSG channels (3 square waves and noise, the noise being used in the snare drum of which the basic 'sine' burst is one of the FM drums). So, that totals 9 channels, noise and drums. What you hear in the video is almost symphonic in nature.

While this:


..is only the PSG chip, so 3 square waves and noise. The non-square tones you hear are the result of amplitude modulation.

The difference in style is obvious.

So, take any freebee vst, and it'll sound like a chip tune when you compose it as a chiptune. It typically does when you stick to a voice count of 3 or 4..
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
bendragon
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 124
Joined: Wed Oct 22, 2008 8:08 pm
Real name: Ben
Gear: Novation Launchkey 49, Korg Monologue, Roland TR-8, Roland TB-03, VPROM 2.0, VSDSX, Behringer DeepMind 12

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by bendragon » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:30 pm

@CS_TBL
The big different here is that I can actually playback these songs on a real megadrive. The patch bank of each song can be exported as an OPM file and loaded into a megadrive ROM image for use with a flash cartridge. Then all I'd need is some kind of MIDI control system to sequence the notes. Or if I felt particularly suicidal, load the patches into TFM and export as a complete song. Also note that you can't just grab any old FM VST, there is a big difference in sound between the different FM chip models, OPN/2/3, OPM, OPL/2/3/4, OPLL etc etc. and FM VST all simulate the chips used in the more pricey DX range such as the 7, 11, 5 and so on. The -only- VST I've found which simulates the MegaDrive accurately with the ability to export/import patches to/from the megadrive is VOPM. Which is what I have used. Granted, VOPM does not handle PCM but with the MIDI system Little Scale is cooking up which has sample support, I would be able to compose an entire song in MU:LAB using VOPM and some crunched samples, and then transfer it all over to the megadrive with no problem

If I simulate hardware to create a chiptune, I -always- make sure than it can be played back on a real machine. I do it with all my chip music - C64, NES, GameBoy, MasterSystem and MegaDrive. Compose on the computer in a modern environment which is far easier to use, then copy it over. Simple. :)

Also, yes you can grab any old VST with a square wave but you'd be surprised by the sound differences and characteristics of many old chips. Listen to the square waves from a NES, then from the Master System - yeah they're both square but they sound very different at the same time.

User avatar
CS_TBL
Synth Explorer
Synth Explorer
Posts: 1677
Joined: Wed Jul 12, 2006 3:47 pm
Gear: All "In-The-Box"
Mainly FM8
Location: NL
Contact:

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by CS_TBL » Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:50 pm

In that case: grab an FM synth, as it features tons o' tiny square'ish shapes by varying operator levels, feedbacks. Use an FM synth containing a filter for even more tonal shapes, use an FM synth which also adds an effects section (EQ etc.) and you can shape 'm even more.
"You know I love you, CS, but this is bullshit." (Automatic Gainsay)
s: VSL/FM8/EWQL/LASS h: DX7/FS1r/VL70/SY77/SN2r/JD800/JD990/XV88/Emu6400/Poly61/Amek35:12:2/genelec1030 r: Violin/AltoSax/TinWhistle c: i7-4770/RAM32GB/SSD
FM8 vids

User avatar
Composition86
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 135
Joined: Tue Jun 13, 2006 6:05 pm
Location: Italy

Re: Sega Megadrive FM anyone?

Post by Composition86 » Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:57 pm

bendragon wrote: FM is, in short, a b***h. In long - Its an easy synthesis method to understand but Yamaha's implementation of user interface is absolute garbage. I can fluently program my DX9 now via said front-panel interface but I still find it much easier to program a MegaDrive with a GUI infront of my face on the computer. The DX7 is often sucked into that cliché of cheesy 80s nonsense, but they are surprisingly nice units when you spend time with them.

Not all DX synths used the same chips. Yamaha produced many models of the things. The megadrive uses OPN2 chips and therefore shares patch compatibility with 2nd generation 4op Yamaha DX synths. The DX21, DX27 and DX100.
Ok, thanks for the informations, this is very interesting: for example in the past I loved the smoothness of nes chip's square waves (Zelda's tunes are the first I can remember), also c64's basses and leads are amazing, so deep and sharp respectively. The Mega drive is a new entry for me.
Keep working on, I will listen. :)

Post Reply