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Jaxxoon R

In-Progress Genesis Music Port[s]

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So I've been experimenting with mid2smps, and so far they've been successful experiments. My latest is a port of the All Stars version of the Super Mario Bros. Overworld theme to the Genesis. I'm pretty satisfied with what I have so far, but something still seems a bit off, so maybe someone with keener ears can weed it out.

VGZ:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/161031419/Overworld.vgz

MP3:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/161031419/Mario%20Bros%20Genesis%20Remix.mp3

I'm thinking the steel drum could use some tweaking, maybe I could look to some other Genesis games for better instruments to rip?

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I think it'd be fun to see a "Mega Mario Bros." sort of deal.

Maybe use Super Mario Advance as the basis for the SMB2-USA portion of the collection as it has interesting gameplay additions and feels slightly more authentically "Mario" than the original design. I personally would prefer SMB2-J as the general basis for player movement physics in all games. It'd also be a nice opportunity to include the levels and items of the obscure and semi-official 'Super Mario Bros. Special' made by Hudson Soft for a handful of contemporary Japanese home computers.

The Mega Drive is a better console than the SNES, there, I said it. The SNES is a slow and clunky POS that just happens to have fancier dedicated graphics hardware. While it's harder to screw up sample-based music, it takes a lot more memory to get even remotely acceptable quality samples, and even then there's an unavoidable built-in lowpass filter in the SNES. SNES is harder to screw up aesthetics on, but the Mega Drive has far greater potential when used correctly and also undeniably runs more demanding games. You think they could've done something like Gunstar Heroes or Dynamite Heady on the SNES without seriously compromising the sheer speed of its experience? Nope.

Huh, well that was a whole lot of rambling addressing no one in particular. Whatever, I like to hear myself talk. :P

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@Sodaholic Pretty much my thoughts exactly. Even though the SNES has some features that sound cool at a glance, the Genesis has far more competent system architecture. The rather generic nature of its processors also meant that programmers could take up the hardware without too much of a learning curve.

@fraggle Yeah, thought so. The only ones I can think of being wrong is the PSG, as I had to re-sequence those channels by hand. Is it the beepey instrument near the beginning? It might be that way in the original song, maybe its just too loud here. Or maybe the instrument itself is a bit atonal. Maybe I forgot to shift them up a bit. I'll tweak it a bit more.

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the all-stars version of the overworld definitely has an extra harmony added that doesn't fit in at all. it's just not as prevalent as in your remix. it should probably be removed or tweaked altogether, as it doesn't sound too good. other than that, i feel it's a good start though. could probably do some tweaking, as it sounds a bit messy (probably because the SNES has so many samples playing, which becomes a bit messy when playing back on the Genesis), but other than that i dig it.

i definitely prefer the sound of the Genesis over the SNES, but the SNES ultimately had more interesting games overall to me. i really hated the filtered sound of the music, though.

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Okay, so I balanced the volumes a bit, created a more steel drum-like instrument replacement, and swapped out the older trumpets for a more soft-sounding set (Slightly more warbley, too!). I'm thinking of removing the FM orchestra hits that accompany the PCM one, or at least getting rid of that screechy sound.

I've gone ahead and uploaded the MP3 link. Tell me what you think, is this better?

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@Jaxxoon R
I would use a different instrument set, preferably one from the Sonic games. Some of the sounds you used are a bit grating on the ears. It would be cool if you used the percussion from the NES version as well.

@Sodaholic

You think they could've done something like Gunstar Heroes or Dynamite Heady on the SNES without seriously compromising the sheer speed of its experience? Nope.


I don't think it's been updated for a while, but someone attempted a SNES Gunstar Heroes conversion.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XegYQSUTtEA

You can get experiences like that on the SNES, it just takes a lot of programming. It all depends on how you use the hardware, not on what hardware is available. Most third party developers at the time didn't do that.

It would occur to me that you haven't played Axelay or one of the Super Turrican games. I agree that the Genesis had better sound though.

And before you ask, I'm a fan of both consoles.

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Its a good thing you brought up the percussion, because I forgot to map the pedal high-hats XD

Although, the NES original didn't really use the PCM channel at all if I'm not mistaken, so all the drums are just bits of noise. The closest thing I can think of to emulate that is to use FM 1 for certain drums, and I'm already doing that.

About the instruments themselves; I felt they were fine, but I went ahead and tweaked them a bit anyways. I even got someone to listen to it and they said it wasn't at all grating. Are you sure you're listening to the MP3 link? I haven't touched the VGM one at all since it's a bit trickier to work with.

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I listened to the instruments again and I take back what I said, they're good though I think the bass instrument could be better chosen.

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Jaxxoon R said:

Although, the NES original didn't really use the PCM channel at all if I'm not mistaken, so all the drums are just bits of noise.

You are mistaken, there are many games that use it (though not as common as games that don't). SMB3 seems to use it for some of the drums, Journey To Silius uses it for some kickass bass and there are some creepy Sesame Street games that use it for the characters talking.

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Sodaholic said:

You are mistaken, there are many games that use it (though not as common as games that don't). SMB3 seems to use it for some of the drums, Journey To Silius uses it for some kickass bass and there are some creepy Sesame Street games that use it for the characters talking.

Gauntlet II uses it for not only the arcade speech, but also a bunch of sound effects directly recorded off the arcade hardware, rather than trying to recreate them on the NES sound chip. It sounds surprisingly good.

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Oops, I worded that wrong. I really meant that Super Mario Bros. doesn't have any real drum samples to speak of, just the odd "pshk-tssk" things. They're all probably being played off of the PCM channel, though.

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