NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Discuss NSF files, FamiTracker, MML tools, or anything else related to NES music.

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OneCrudeDude
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NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by OneCrudeDude » Sat Oct 25, 2014 5:59 pm

Early emulators and several clone consoles seem to mix up two of the square wave's duty cycles, making the sound sound off. However, I must be in the minority since I actually like the inaccurate, inverted sound, and I believe certain songs sound better (Over Horizon stage 1, for example). So instead of me busting out a clone console, what would be an emulator (for Windows) that doesn't accurately emulate sound? I tried Nesticle, but it doesn't work on my computer, probably cause it's so old and probably cause it was made for DOS. If NES emulators with inaccurate sound are now extinct, is there any way to make an emulator sound inaccurate, or at least swap the duty cycles around?

lidnariq
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by lidnariq » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:09 pm

puNES added a setting for that.

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Memblers
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by Memblers » Sat Oct 25, 2014 7:58 pm

NESticle will run in DOSbox, if you really want hear it. It's sound emulation isn't all that bad (for it's time), most noticeably the DPCM was loud and unfiltered-sounding, and I think triangle channel was an actual triangle, not made of steps.

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DragonDePlatino
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by DragonDePlatino » Sat Oct 25, 2014 8:09 pm

I'm aware this might be a bit off subject, but concerning NES emulators with inaccurate sound...

Does anyone ever have any problems with FCEUX? It's my emulator of choice, but sadly it faces a lot of crackling in it's audio while changing the focus of the window. Is anyone aware of how to fix these issues? I've tried altering everything from buffering to the output quality, but nothing seems to work. Oftentimes I'll mute the emulator entirely because of it's crackling.

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rainwarrior
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by rainwarrior » Sat Oct 25, 2014 9:45 pm

NSFPlay has an option for swapped duty, which I put in because there are many European clones of the NES that did this. It's a good option if you just want to listen to the music.

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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by thefox » Sun Oct 26, 2014 5:32 am

DragonDePlatino wrote:I'm aware this might be a bit off subject, but concerning NES emulators with inaccurate sound...

Does anyone ever have any problems with FCEUX? It's my emulator of choice, but sadly it faces a lot of crackling in it's audio while changing the focus of the window.
I thought I didn't have those problems with FCEUX, but now that I tested it, I can get it to crackle pretty easily for a little while after moving the window. Or minimizing the window. Or maximizing the window. It could easily be a bug, since Windows exhibits some funky behavior when the window is moved (the window message loop is blocked), maybe they didn't take that into account.

I've had much more severe problems with audio in Nestopia. It's very easy to get the audio to hiccup severely. NSF playback in particular seems to be broken.

Of course none of this really is about inaccuracies in sound emulation.
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OneCrudeDude
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by OneCrudeDude » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:00 pm

Alright, thanks for the responses folks! Granted I don't have much to say, but I figure I should show my gratitude.

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rainwarrior
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by rainwarrior » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:31 pm

For what it's worth, I find that using vsync with FCEUX creates a crackle, but if I turn off vsync it plays okay.

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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by koitsu » Mon Oct 27, 2014 8:46 pm

Yeah, the "static" in FCEUX during play is a result of odd synchronisation/timing issues pertaining to audio/video drivers and/or latency (regardless of what audio card I used (onboard Realtek or an Audigy SE)). So it makes sense Vsync enable/disable would affect it. Some of it has been fixed using FCEUX 2.2.3 SVN (I get binaries from emucr.com) and setting Vsync to "Lazy Wait for Vblank" and setting DirectDraw to "No hardware acceleration". I have similar synchronisation oddities in other emulators, which is mainly why I use Nestopia when actually wanting to play a NES/FC game, and FCEUX +other emulators solely for debugging/development. That's just me though.

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rainwarrior
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by rainwarrior » Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:42 pm

Yeah, same. I use FCEUX for debugging. Nestopia for playing (or, more often, NES + PowerPak).

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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by Bero256 » Sun Feb 02, 2020 4:45 pm

Actually, the Nesticle DPCM sound emulation was accurate on the digital level, it just wasn't low-pass filtered, which is apparently also a thing on several famiclones. And IIRC Nesticle x.xx has accurate triangle wave emulation.

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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by rainwarrior » Sun Feb 02, 2020 5:44 pm

IMO Nesticle's most glaring sound problem is the noise channel, which doesn't account for anything going on above the 44.1kHz samplerate. The noise channel goes up to about 450kHz so there's a big disparity between how that sounds with and without that.

DPCM is affected by the same problem, especially at its higher rates, but not to the same degree. All of the channels get aliasing from this problem, but the noise is where the difference is most clear I think.

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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by Bero256 » Tue Feb 04, 2020 12:47 pm

Update: tried Nesticle x.xx and can confirm the triangle wave is properly emulated. I did find some inaccuracy in the SMB death theme. You can hear a 12.5% duty cycle pulse wave in the end which shouldn't be there. And the Dracula laugh in Castlevania 3 is just static for some reason. Overall, a casual player probably wouldn't even notice any issues in the sound emulation in Nesticle x.xx most of the time.
Also, jNES has problematic VRC6 emulation. The duty cycles are off. And VRC7 audio is nonexistent...why tf did The Emulator Zone, a few years ago, recommend this over VirtuaNES is beyond me. VirtuaNES has correct VRC6 audio emulation and at least existing VRC7 audio emulation and overall better audio emulation. But, then again, the same site put zSNES on top at that time.

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Yave
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Re: NES emulator(s) with inaccurate sound

Post by Yave » Mon Feb 10, 2020 5:03 am

Windows: FCEUX (>=2.2.3), Mesen.
--Windows NSF Player: NSFPlay, foo_input_nsf for Foobar2000.

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