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Retro Game Audio Podcast - New weekly thing I'm doing with Ap0c


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#1 bucky

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:28 PM

Hey guys!

 

Though my old youtube channel and tumblr are long dead, I've been wanting to do more stuff relating to VGM again for a while. So I decided to resurrect the short-lived blog in podcast form!

 

https://soundcloud.com/retrogameaudio

 

It's discussion of classic VGM with an emphasis on exploring sound design techniques. The first two episodes are up, which cover the Magician and Wai Wai World soundtracks. Hope this is something you'll enjoy!


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#2 mig50

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:37 PM

B

 

U

 

C

 

K

 

Y

 

 

L

 

I

 

V

 

E

 

S


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you mean you forgot cranberries too?

#3 Demonstray

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:39 PM

YASSSSSSSSS something to listen to on my walks between work and home!


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#4 ErichWK

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:25 PM

Hey guys!

Though my old youtube channel and tumblr are long dead, I've been wanting to do more stuff relating to VGM again for a while. So I decided to resurrect the short-lived blog in podcast form!

https://soundcloud.com/retrogameaudio

It's discussion of classic VGM with an emphasis on exploring sound design techniques. The first two episodes are up, which cover the Magician and Wai Wai World soundtracks. Hope this is something you'll enjoy!



No fucking way. we talk about bucky at the stream yesterday and here he comes.
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I play drums, Make Video Games, and eat Hamburgers.


#5 pingosimon

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:32 PM

THERE you are!


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#6 pingosimon

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:41 PM

But srsly I can't wait to listen to this.  I loved your blog, and your spot on Legacy Music Hour.

 

 

 

bucky: why are NSFs at such weird tempi, like 180.55?  Is there a weirdly-timed clock somewhere in the production line?  Or is it an error with NSF emulation?

 

Help us bucky.  You're our only hope.


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#7 bucky

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 11:19 PM

Thanks pingo! That's a great question, to which I don't totally know the answer! But I will hunt down someone who's got a good explanation and report back on the podcast!


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#8 jmr

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:01 AM

I think I can answer that.
Most games use an audio engine that is tied to the NES's frame rate, which due to the way the NES is clocked is something like 60.0988... fps. This means that each "tick" of the audio clock is 1/60.0988, or 0.016639... seconds.

Each beat has to be a whole number multiple of that length, and if you want to divide the beat nicely into 1/16th notes it'll have to be a multiple of four. (For consistent 1/32th notes you'd would need a multiple of eight, etc).

Doing the math....
16 ticks per beat = 225.3705 bpm
20 ticks per beat = 180.2964 bpm
24 ticks per beat = 150.247 bpm
28 ticks per beat = 128.783 bpm
32 ticks per beat = 112.685 bpm
36 ticks per beat = 100.165 bpm

I'm pretty sure that covers all of the common NES tempos. :)

 

EDIT: I forgot to mention: you're not necessarily bound to using an even number multiple of ticks. If you're willing to sacrifice some accuracy (in the sense that all of your shorter notes are not the same length) you can hit tempos that fall in between the ones I've listed about above. Offhand, I can't think of any games that do that, but I use that technique in Marshall Art songs from time to time... 

Caveats:
All of the above applies to NTSC games only. PAL games use 50.something fps so the tempos a PAL console can accurately hit are different.

Some emulators round the frame rate to either 60.002 fps or an even 60 fps. As well, some NSF files override the default refresh rate (which some players ignore) so depending on what software you use you'll get different results.


EDIT2: Brad Smith tells me that nearly all NTSC NSFs specify 60Hz in their timing field, instead of the more hardware-accurate number. If the NSF player you're using actually uses that timing value, it'll play marginally slower than the actual game would (150bpm instead of 150.247bpm, 180bpm instead of 180.2964bpm.)

Things like the PowerPak apparently use different timers for NSF file playback, so again you can see slight variation between playing an NSF file versus playing the actual game.

It is also possible to choose arbitrary engine speeds. Famitracker for example lets you choose anywhere from 30-400 Hz. Not all NSF players support that, and I don't know of any games that do that either.


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#9 DiscountBabyJam Mike

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 08:36 AM

Ugh I already learned more things from a Shizz thread today than I've learned in the last week or three months.


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#10 pingosimon

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 12:41 PM

Daaaaaamn thanks JMR! Wow, that's exactly what I was wondering.

 

 

THESHIZZ


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#11 SSS key

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:30 PM

Awesome. I've always found it difficult to achieve certain desired tempos when writing an NES song, going as far as programming notes at abnormal lengths. Like when one sixteenth note is set to last 7 cycles, and I want to emulate 32nd notes, every two notes, one lasts 3 cycles and one lasts 4 cycles. I think I remember sequencing a song where the sixteenth note was 6.5 cycles, and there were lots of sixteenths and thirty seconds. That was fun. Anyway definitely going listen/follow. Hopefully a lot about the creation of certain sounds been experimenting a lot with this lately.
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Bingo... O ho ho ho!!

#12 bucky

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:33 PM

Amazing answer from JMR! I remember reading a little bit about the tempos a while back but this is much clearer/ easier to understand than what I saw in the past. Looking forward to sharing that in the next episode.


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#13 Sam

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 09:49 PM

I'm just thrilled at all of the old Shizzies turning up again.

 

Sam, the Neon Orange Knight


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Perhaps the same can be said of all birth control. But enough posting- have at you!


#14 Jace

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 10:00 PM

Patrick, this is amazing.  Pray tell, what on earth is the gorgeous tune that opens the show in ep. 1 (haven't had a chance to listen to ep. 2 yet to know if it's the same song.)??


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#15 jmr

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Posted 06 February 2016 - 11:17 PM

It's one of Ap0c's original songs: https://ap0c.bandcam...k/unterbrechung
(he's playing at MAGFest btw  :))


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