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Outside ears

Posted by atari2600land, in Game Boy development 13 February 2019 · 102 views

Huge thanks to carlsson. That is the kind of feedback I needed in regards to the music. As a result, I got rid of the bass notes. Hopefully that will help with the tunes sounding okay. So with one channel not being used for music, I decided to get rid of the evil sounding buzz when you get a junk food and replace it with a (hopefully) more pleasant sounding "burp" tone. Let me know if this is any better.
 
I do think though the notes did sound a whole lot better when they were higher in pitch. But I can understand how that would annoy some people.

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Yes, it sounds better since you don't have any harmony to grind it against but still I wonder if the Game Boy really has worse sound capacities than the Atari 2600 or even Odyssey^2? I don't know how you generate the sounds, if those are simply frequency tables you throw values at a register, or if you have to generate the square waves in software when you have cycles left to spare. It ought to be possible to make the Game Boy sound much better, even with simple resources but it never was a platform that caught my interest so I can't say for sure.
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It's done with registers. The separate notes are done using registers called NR13_REG and NR23_REG. I deleted the use of the second sound channel so I'm not using NR21_REG through NR24_REG except for the burp sound effect now.

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I'm tempted to look this up. Feel free to PM me a code example. Balancing frequency tables for music is something I've done multiple times.
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Oh, it seems it only got 4 bits of frequency resolution?! No wonder it sounds like a preschooler. Even the VIC-20 has 7 bits of frequency resolution (each voice one octave apart), the POKEY has 8 bits (can be combined into 1 or 2 voices of 16 bits), the SN76489 has 10 bits, the AY-3-8910 has 12 bits and the SID has 16 bits. I can't recall the frequency resolution on the NES but for sure it is far greater than 4 bits, which seems like Nintendo were putting up a joke back then.

 

Edit: Hm, other sources indicate to 11 bits which should be well enough to produce in tune music.

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