Nikku4211 wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 25, 2020 9:35 pm
I guess my point is: how much of a difference does it make?
Sure, I can download the SPCs and disable the echo in SPCPlay, but I am aware that most of my opinions are... unpopular, so I want to know what other people think about the differences.
I can tell you what I think. I think the tunes I linked sound flat and dead without the DSP echo. The use of manual echo techniques helps some, but not enough. Perhaps it wouldn't be quite as bad if they'd been composed for an alternate-universe S-DSP with no echo feature, but I think it helps a lot to be able to use hardware echo.
They still sound nice dry once you get used to it, but turning the reverb back on breaks the illusion and shows you what you've been missing. I did that in the middle of Vigorous Town, and apparently SNESAmp emulates the echo even when it's turned off because the resulting sudden whoosh of audible space and reaction was breathtaking.
It is possible to come up with echo settings that sound good while playing, but not as an isolated reverb tail. Star Ocean has this problem, notably the track "Mother Ocean
", which is super spacy and amazing music but man
does it fall apart embarrassingly when the orchestra cuts out... I wonder if better filter settings could help smooth it out and shape the frequency profile a bit...
93143 wrote: ↑
Wed Nov 25, 2020 7:20 pm
SNES hardware reverb uses up valuable ARAM (that can be better used) anyway, so /shrug.
Not just ARAM. ROM. You need a separate sample (ideally a longer sample) for every reverb setting you want to use in the game.
How not? With DSP reverb, you can tweak it on the fly. With reverb pre-rendered into a sample, changing or removing it requires using an entirely different sample. Now you've got multiple samples instead of one, and since there's reverb on at least n-1 of them they're probably longer (perhaps a lot longer) than a dry sample would have been. If your game is 512 KB, this matters.
(Oh wait, I see the problem. I was unclear - it's not the DSP echo that eats ROM, it's pre-rendered reverb. Lazy phrasing.)
There's another thing. Sound effects and instruments can be (and on the SNES, often are) constructed out of raw samples by applying various synthesis techniques not expressible as linear filters, such as looping and modulation. Baking reverb into a sound produced in this way would typically require you to also bake in the synthesis process, potentially turning a short loop or two into a multi-second high-bitrate memory hog. Not only that, but any other
sound effect or instrument that used the same short sample(s*) modulated differently would have to have a separate rendered version, and this is before considering the possibility of using multiple reverb settings...
Now, I'm not saying you shouldn't
use pre-rendered reverb. It can be very effective under the right circumstances. But it can't do everything, not on a system as restricted as the SNES.
* You can play multiple short dry samples in quick succession and the DSP echo will smoothly span them all, but with baked reverb this requires either multiple channels or one giant sample.