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JonnyBritish

Atari 7800XM and the Yamaha YM2151 sound chip

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It depends how often you need to update the sounds and how complex the tracker(s) (if any). The 7800 can cope with RMT (from the A8) easily even with 100 updates a second.

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I was just thinking if I had my way with the 7800 and the XM I would just use the 2151 for music only, use the Pokey for sound effects, and the TIA for voice synth when and where ever possible. I just finished listening to some of the demos that came with Adlid 2... I would love to see that kind of quality of music come from the XM. I think it would be worth making Adlid 2 formated music files compatible with the XM. I've yet to find a better OPL music tracker short of some VST plugins that only emulate DX style sounds for other music programs, but is not suited for composing music for the real OPL chip.

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POKEY can also play samples if that's what you mean by voice synth. I have briefly looked at the source for Adlib and it doesn't have many comments so it might be an uphill struggle to get anything going on a 6502 machine.

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Just had a look at the file a2replay.pas in the Adlib sourceforge source code zip file and the first few lines state that it needs 100k of conventional memory and 2MB+ of extended memory. Without a much deeper understanding of the tracker file format and the fact that a 386 seems to be the minimum spec I don't think the tracker can be used as is. A better way forward would be to develop a tracker (like RMT) that can produce files that can be used on a much more constrained system like the 7800.

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Here's a couple of YM2612 trackers for the Sega Genesis... I think MVS can be used on the Neo Geo, but it's not nearly as attractive as the TFM Music Maker. TFM looks very user friendly more so than Ablid 2 tracker.

 

TFM Music Maker (This one looks very promising. It includes source codes for the Genesis Z80 processor to control the YM.)

MVS Tracker (I've seen this one in Neo Geo dev tool links)

 

Now this tool, I think is a vst plugin for other music programs; I don't recommend this as a possible candid as sound driver/music player for the XM... But what I do understand is that this tool can be used to create instruments for Yamaha DX style music chips. Personally I haven't used it; I don't have a music program that will except vst plug-ins so I can't vouch for this program... The website is in Japanese so you'll need Google to translate the site.

 

VOPM-Virtual fm synthsizer, like OPM(for Win)

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Unfortunately I haven't written Z80 code for a very long time so I'm not going to be able to help convert it to 6502 assembler. Looking at the code for the sound driver it doesn't look very complex so you might be able to port it with a Z80 CPU data sheet and a programmers model.

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Hi,

 

I've attached YM2151 datasheet with this as PDF, might be helpful, got some difficulties to find it

so thought to share it here (too).

 

 

-jp

YM2151_datasheet.pdf

Edited by jp48

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More YM synth goodness from a Konami game using the "VRC7" cartridge (it was only released in Japan). According to wikipedia "TinyToons 2" used the cart as well, but never took advantage of the extra synth sounds... :dunce: I guess they didn't want to use the extra hardware I suppose?

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I should probably mention that the ym2151 is my fave soundchip, I grew up hearing it in the arcades. I use it all the time with that VST,

 

Here is a patch bank of instruments I've ripped/created from several games:

http://rocko.thiscom...c/r0cko_FXB.rar

 

Here's some examples of some arcade music remakes I've done(some are rough around the edges and mixed with none OPM intruments):

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/Rolling%20Thunder.mp3

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/Mercs.mp3

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/RR%20CD/720%20Degrees%20Song1.mp3

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/RR%20CD/Hippodrome_Boss.mp3

 

Mercs was the first time I used it, and Rolling Thunder the second. They are pure OPM besides the drum samples in mercs.

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/RR%20CD/Super%20C%20-%20Great%20Heli.mp3

 

These are all located at rocko.thiscomic.com/Music

 

I didn't realize a player would pop up in the link.

Edited by rockfistus

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More YM synth goodness from a Konami game using the "VRC7" cartridge (it was only released in Japan). According to wikipedia "TinyToons 2" used the cart as well, but never took advantage of the extra synth sounds... :dunce: I guess they didn't want to use the extra hardware I suppose?

The VRC7 mapper (it's not really a cart) is based on a different YM-series chip, the YM2413, which was an add-on for both the MSX and Sega Mark III. The YM2151 is a little more sophisticated as it's a 4-operator chip, whereas the YM2413 and VRC7 are 2-operator chips.

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Yeah, you can make some killer sounds with it. The only weak point I've had with the 2151 is Drums. It's hard not to make hollow sounding toms and weak kick drums. It's freakin awesome for metallic sounds.

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Yeah, you can make some killer sounds with it. The only weak point I've had with the 2151 is Drums. It's hard not to make hollow sounding toms and weak kick drums. It's freakin awesome for metallic sounds.

 

I think it's all in the volume... If you can get the volume just right provided that the song is top quality in composition, you can always tweak the volume just enough to fool the ears into believing it's hearing good drumming when infact it's just the work of some clever volume control. If the music is solid, all there need to be done is to tweak the volume just right.

 

Mercs was the first time I used it, and Rolling Thunder the second. They are pure OPM besides the drum samples in mercs.

http://rocko.thiscomic.com/Music/RR%20CD/Super%20C%20-%20Great%20Heli.mp3

 

These are all located at rocko.thiscomic.com/Music

 

I didn't realize a player would pop up in the link.

 

This song sounds a lot like "Super C" boss music for the NES.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p9BDah-gh1k

Edited by philipj

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Yeah, you can make some killer sounds with it. The only weak point I've had with the 2151 is Drums. It's hard not to make hollow sounding toms and weak kick drums. It's freakin awesome for metallic sounds.

 

That's probably true of all Yamaha sound chips.

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That's probably true of all Yamaha sound chips.

 

Actually, I own a Yamaha DX-100 FM synth, and wasted most of my youth programming sound patches on it. One of those was a really fat sounding kick drum patch which has ended up being used in a lot of my synthpop music. So it's possible, with the right programming.

 

As an example, here is one of my tracks. The kick drum in this is my Yamaha DX100. The YM2151 chip is very similar to what's used in the DX100, maybe it's possible to recreate this kick drum patch?

 

Edited by Synthpopalooza
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Atari Games used the YM2151 extensively. Originally, they were going to decide between the YM2151 and the AMY but then the AMY didn't get produced so they went with the 2151 and Bob's your uncle.

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Here's a little something I ran into concerning the YM2151... I haven't looked at it or anything, but it looks promising for programming the 2151 chip. I can't program, but I'd help anyway I could; the website is in Japaneses language so you'll need a good Google translator plug-in if you're using Firefox internet browser.

 

http://mml.o-oi.net/opn-fm%E9%9F%B3%E6%BA%90/fm%E9%9F%B3%E6%BA%90%E3%82%A8%E3%83%87%E3%82%A3%E3%82%BFym2151-opm-%E3%83%A2%E3%83%87%E3%83%AB

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Just posting a song composed by "Tim Folling" for the Sega Genesis; it used a similar chip like the YM2151... The guy was a musical genius.

 

Edited by philipj

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When I ran into this YouTube video, for some reason I thought about this old forgotten topic. It's not really XM related, but just a very interesting video about the very rare "Yamaha DX-1" synthesizer. It's got a great little part on how the DX sound works giving some simple explanations that's easy to understand. Of course the YM2151 chip will never sound nearly as good as the full on DX-1 keyboard, but 9 out of 10 there's probably more than a couple of those chips inside the synthesizer. 

 

 

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