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PostPosted: Fri May 29, 2015 9:30 pm 
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Yes, I use a converter I got from Gyromite, and modded the converter to route the audio to the same expansion pin used by the PowerPak so it works with the NES audio mod.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 2:38 am 
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tadashibashi wrote:
@also rainwarrior: It's too bad TNS-HFX4 doesn't take 2a03 mixing for YMZ/5B into consideration, which is what you were mentioning earlier which makes 5B's sound subtly unique (compared to YMZ294) right? Maybe copyNES is the best solution afterall...

I think you can safely ignore that difference, though I haven't checked it in detail myself yet. As far as I know there's only amplification done on the sunsoft cart (other carts have filtering for example), and that can be adjusted using the mixing knobs on the HFX board. There might be clipping on loud levels (similar to the VRC7 cart) as rainwarrior mentioned, that's something I also want to investigate myself.

Since you have the Gimmick cart it'll be easy to adjust the mixing levels, play a Gimmick NSF rip and keep adjusting until it sounds the same as the Gimmick cart (there's a sound test mode in Gimmick, hold select and press start in the main menu). Then you'll also be able to evaluate any audible differences between the YMZ and 5B chip.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 1:13 pm 
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jsr wrote:
tadashibashi wrote:
@also rainwarrior: It's too bad TNS-HFX4 doesn't take 2a03 mixing for YMZ/5B into consideration, which is what you were mentioning earlier which makes 5B's sound subtly unique (compared to YMZ294) right? Maybe copyNES is the best solution afterall...

I think you can safely ignore that difference, though I haven't checked it in detail myself yet. As far as I know there's only amplification done on the sunsoft cart (other carts have filtering for example), and that can be adjusted using the mixing knobs on the HFX board. There might be clipping on loud levels (similar to the VRC7 cart) as rainwarrior mentioned, that's something I also want to investigate myself.

Since you have the Gimmick cart it'll be easy to adjust the mixing levels, play a Gimmick NSF rip and keep adjusting until it sounds the same as the Gimmick cart (there's a sound test mode in Gimmick, hold select and press start in the main menu). Then you'll also be able to evaluate any audible differences between the YMZ and 5B chip.


Thanks for the advice jsr, I was actually just doing that with all the chips over the past couple days. All chips ready to go! I'm not sure if there's any discrepancy between HFX boards but I can post the mixing levels. Maybe someone can share me theirs to confirm.
(I think just for sake of novelty, I might try to mod an NES some time in the future to run an nsf through Gimmick)


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:04 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
...I believe it has a hard clipping behaviour when the amplitude of the input signals gets loud enough...
...I doubt the TNS boards make any attempt to recreate this...


The HFC5 clips a few of the YMZ's levels if you set the mixing approximately to that of a Gimmick! cart, however, the HFX4 clips the YMZ when you turn it up really high (just past "Gimmick! level"). I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but they do clip.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:19 pm 
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tadashibashi wrote:
Maybe someone can share me theirs to confirm.

I might have bumped the volume of the YMZ just a tad (for preference, it's still way under what it would sound like on an AV Famicom)
Image

The knobs/chips:
YMZ - YMZ
SLOT4 - RP2C33
SLOT3 - VRC7
SLOT2 - N163 (varies according to channel needs)
SLOT1 - MMC5 (might be a little off since I'm using an NES cartridge for the expansion). Might change when I get a VRC6.
These are all mixed with the main "EXTERNAL VOLUME" pot perfectly centered.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:26 pm 
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ImATrackMan wrote:
The HFC5 clips a few of the YMZ's levels if you set the mixing approximately to that of a Gimmick! cart, however, the HFX4 clips the YMZ when you turn it up really high (just past "Gimmick! level"). I'm not sure if this is what you meant, but they do clip.

Everything clips if you turn it up loud enough, though. That's just a characteristic of anything connected to an amplifier.

Questions I need to answer:
1. Clipping of just the 5B, just the 2A03, or both together? (Can probably answer this by analyzing the circuit, visually.)
2. Is it hard or soft clipping, or more complicated than that? (Most likely close to ideal hard.)
3. What is the clipping threshold, and is it asymmetric?


Also, if you want a CopyNES that fits cleanly in a top loader, there's at least one option coming soon. Kevtris is making it part of his Hi-Def NES board: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=12019


By the way, would you mind replacing that image with a link? It's 4 MB large, and 5000 pixels wide.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:32 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
Questions I need to answer:
1. Clipping of just the 5B, just the 2A03, or both together? (Can probably answer this by analyzing the circuit, visually.)
2. Is it hard or soft clipping, or more complicated than that? (Most likely close to ideal hard.)
3. What is the clipping threshold, and is it asymmetric?

1. Just the 5B
2. Hard clipped
3. Do you want the dB level or the "$0x" volume level?

rainwarrior wrote:
By the way, would you mind replacing that image with a link? It's 4 MB large, and 5000 pixels wide.

Already done. I though the forum would resize it, so it surprised me quite a bit.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:34 pm 
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ImATrackMan wrote:
1. Just the 5B
2. Hard clipped
3. Do you want the dB level or the "$0x" volume level?

I don't understand how you are answering these questions. You don't have a 5B, do you?


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 7:35 pm 
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rainwarrior wrote:
ImATrackMan wrote:
1. Just the 5B
2. Hard clipped
3. Do you want the dB level or the "$0x" volume level?

I don't understand how you are answering these questions. You don't have a 5B, do you?

Oh shoot, I though you were referring to the YMZ as "5B". I was answering with what happens with that. Carry on, then.


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 11:10 pm 
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ImATrackMan wrote:
The knobs/chips:
YMZ - YMZ
SLOT4 - RP2C33
SLOT3 - VRC7
SLOT2 - N163 (varies according to channel needs)
SLOT1 - MMC5 (might be a little off since I'm using an NES cartridge for the expansion). Might change when I get a VRC6.
These are all mixed with the main "EXTERNAL VOLUME" pot perfectly centered.


Thanks for posting these ImATrackMan!

Settings:
My YMZ294 setting is at about 47 degrees counterclockwise from 3 o'clock
FDS is at about the same level as yours
VRC7 is a slightly higher than yours
VRC6 is about 3 degrees
MMC5 is about 5 degrees, which is significantly lower than yours

Mine are also mixed with both External Volume pot centered.

Problems I had:
-N163 seems to be a bit quirky since the NSF of King of Kings has that horrible noise that comes from using all 8 channels regardless of volume setting. The actual King of Kings' in-game music is fine of course, so it must be a problem with the TNS board. (I made a test NSF that had only one channel of music and it worked.) Note to self: test more as I use it to compose.

-Also I read a thread about FDS NSF's not working due to FDS storing musical data in a different way, and it's true of both Zelda and Metroid. So what I did to test the volume was use Rainwarrior's NSFImport which located the data just fine (thanks Rainwarrior!), export NSF and re-upload them to the TNS and it worked :)


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PostPosted: Sat May 30, 2015 11:48 pm 
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The N163 always puts out that high frequency noise when enough channels are enabled. Because it's so high frequency, it's easy to filter out, though. Through RF out it's not very noticeable, though you said you're using an AV famicom? I don't know if that one has any kind of lowpass filter, but also your TV might have poor high frequency response, which would also reduce the noise. You hear it very clearly with the TNS thing because it's giving you a very clear, unmodified sound from the cartridge.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 12:00 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
The N163 always puts out that high frequency noise when enough channels are enabled. Because it's so high frequency, it's easy to filter out, though. Through RF out it's not very noticeable, though you said you're using an AV famicom? I don't know if that one has any kind of lowpass filter, but also your TV might have poor high frequency response, which would also reduce the noise. You hear it very clearly with the TNS thing because it's giving you a very clear, unmodified sound from the cartridge.


Oh wow, that makes a lot of sense. And yes, I am using an AV Famicom.
I actually fed the signal of the King of Kings in-game music directly through an Apogee Duet 2 interface (rather than a TV) and there was no noise. I'm wondering if there is some kind of LP filter that the cartridge activates during gameplay?

Edit: I just put a low-pass filter on the King of Kings TNS NSF playback, and it doesn't help. All that the N163 plays back is an extremely buzzy wave at about 55 Hz (it's a low A. This must be the lowest frequency?) I'm going to try to write an 8-channel NSF tomorrow and see what plays back.


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 9:09 am 
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tadashibashi wrote:
I just put a low-pass filter on the King of Kings TNS NSF playback, and it doesn't help. All that the N163 plays back is an extremely buzzy wave at about 55 Hz (it's a low A. This must be the lowest frequency?) I'm going to try to write an 8-channel NSF tomorrow and see what plays back.

Your problem seems worse than mine. I use a Youkai Dochuuki cart for my N163, and I get a similar nasty hum, however it goes away permanently upon playing any N163 NSF. There's a web page that has a list of mist of the Namco games and says whether there's noise or not. The "safe" carts are Rolling Thunder, Final Lap, and Kaijumonogatari


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 11:45 am 
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That ... kinda sounds like the memory inside the 163 is powering on with random values and it's interpreting those random values as data? Maybe?


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PostPosted: Sun May 31, 2015 12:16 pm 
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I seem to recall that both the NSFs for the 8 channel N163 games King of Kings and Erika to Satoru no Yumebouken are broken. The problem seems subtle on emulators (e.g. muted channels) but it might be worse in a hardware situation?


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