Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

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Ronian53
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Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Ronian53 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:11 am

In a lot of Genesis to SEGA CD ports, for some reason the sound effect samples are actually downgrades instead of upgraded or left alone. Why is this? For example, Sonic CD jump sound sounds lower quality than Sonic 1,2,3 jump sound.

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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by tepples » Thu Dec 17, 2020 12:12 pm

I seem to remember reading on Plutiedev that Sega CD sound drivers used the PCM chip and the FM chip instead of the FM chip and the PSG.

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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:37 pm

bro they gotta save space for dem fmvs boi

dat fmv me boiii
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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by tokumaru » Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:38 pm

Sonic jumping on the Genesis uses the PSG, but on Sega CD they went with PCM.

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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 5:38 pm

tokumaru wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 4:38 pm
Sonic jumping on the Genesis uses the PSG, but on Sega CD they went with PCM.
And there was no excuse, either.
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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Gilbert » Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:15 pm

Nikku4211 wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 1:37 pm
they gotta save space
Using PSG should take up (much) less space than low quality PCM samples though.

I think apart from the driver thing (even if there is no PSG driver in the BIOS you can just sneak in the drivers used in cart games, so there is no excuse here) they (Sega? consumers? developers?) probably had some high hope on whatever new features introduced by the CD add-on. For example, they (falsely) hyped on the FMV trend popular at that time (which was never a major thing in the whole life of the PCE CD system) and produced a lot of grainy looking 'masterpieces'. They probably also thought the use of prerecord samples for all the SE was an advancement (since old games/systems lacked memory and power, so they're 'forced' to generate 'non-real electronic' PSG SEs). This may be true when you really need to depict some real life recording of sounds (such as speech), but the muffled samples of simple SEs were actually more annoying than good compared to cleanly generated PSG.

No offense, but I started to think Ronian53 is bot, starting all these threads asking different questions but (almost?) never response afterwards. It's still cool though, as it seems that these posts were not edited with spam links yet.

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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Nikku4211 » Thu Dec 17, 2020 9:34 pm

Gilbert wrote:
Thu Dec 17, 2020 8:15 pm
I think apart from the driver thing (even if there is no PSG driver in the BIOS you can just sneak in the drivers used in cart games, so there is no excuse here) they (Sega? consumers? developers?) probably had some high hope on whatever new features introduced by the CD add-on. For example, they (falsely) hyped on the FMV trend popular at that time (which was never a major thing in the whole life of the PCE CD system) and produced a lot of grainy looking 'masterpieces'. They probably also thought the use of prerecord samples for all the SE was an advancement (since old games/systems lacked memory and power, so they're 'forced' to generate 'non-real electronic' PSG SEs). This may be true when you really need to depict some real life recording of sounds (such as speech), but the muffled samples of simple SEs were actually more annoying than good compared to cleanly generated PSG.
Yeah, muffled sounds are especially dumb when you're using PCM to convey things that could be done just fine by PSG, like computers, lasers, wind, static, sirens, mechanical doors, keypads, bells, magic, and I guess explosions too.
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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by TmEE » Fri Dec 18, 2020 3:41 am

One problem is that the MD side sound becomes crippled in MCD environment. Due to timing problems Z80 can no longer access what normally is cartridge area so it becomes confined to its little 8KB sized world (and timing problems prevent 68K RAM from being used too, reads do not work and writes produce a value you didn't write so only one way comms are possible).

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Re: Why did Sega CD games have lower quality non-music samples than Genesis games?

Post by Gilbert » Fri Dec 18, 2020 11:36 pm

Ah so that's the reason.

I've heard some of the cart games (Golden Axe, Bare Knucle, etc.), when included in MCD compilations, had low quality PCM samples instead of the original SE. That's unfortunate.

This is somewhat like when a Japanese FC game that used expansion audio was ported to the NES something had to be changed. I remember reading that the cart version of Zelda changed some of its SE to DPCM to match as close as possible to those generated by the FDS extre channel.

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