NES audio extraction - commission work

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

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MegaManisMegaCool
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NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by MegaManisMegaCool » Thu May 30, 2019 7:28 am

Hello!
I am looking for someone to extract NES/Famicom soundtracks directly from the original hardware and into WAV or FLAC files.
It would need to be from a modded NES with the 100% digital output audio. More or less, I am looking for the cleanest noise free soundtracks, pulled from original hardware.
I can pay via paypal.

Thanks!

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LightStruk
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by LightStruk » Thu May 30, 2019 8:39 am

MegaManisMegaCool wrote:Hello!
I am looking for someone to extract NES/Famicom soundtracks directly from the original hardware and into WAV or FLAC files.
It would need to be from a modded NES with the 100% digital output audio. More or less, I am looking for the cleanest noise free soundtracks, pulled from original hardware.
I can pay via paypal.

Thanks!
It is impossible to get digital audio from the original hardware. The 2A03 chip which produces the music directly generates an analog audio signal. If you mod it to get digital audio, for example, with an HDMI NES, then the mod is generating all of the audio, not the original hardware. At that point, it's no more authentic than just using a modern accurate emulator.

MegaManisMegaCool
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by MegaManisMegaCool » Thu May 30, 2019 9:08 am

Ok, I see what you are saying. I guess what I would say, is that during the analogue to digital conversion on a modded NES, this conversion can't introduce any timing issues or audio pitch variances that can plague emulated audio? So, even though it is technically not the original hardware, it is still more authentic than emulation?

tepples
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by tepples » Thu May 30, 2019 9:17 am

An FPGA famiclone, such as the RetroUSB AVS or Analogue Nt mini, is conceptually an emulator programmed in Verilog that runs on an FPGA. A modern emulator should exhibit comparable accuracy when told to "convert movie to video". So should rainwarrior's NSFPlay when rendering a ripped NSF to WAV.

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dougeff
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by dougeff » Thu May 30, 2019 9:51 am

Given the time involved in recording an NSF on hardware (actual NES) and processing it, song by song... the best bet is to automate with emulated audio, like an NSF player that can output a WAV file.

Personally, I would contact one of those YouTubers who make NES audio videos, as they would probably have all the WAV files sitting around from when they processed it in the past.
Last edited by dougeff on Thu May 30, 2019 9:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
nesdoug.com -- blog/tutorial on programming for the NES

supercat
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by supercat » Thu May 30, 2019 9:52 am

LightStruk wrote:It is impossible to get digital audio from the original hardware. The 2A03 chip which produces the music directly generates an analog audio signal. If you mod it to get digital audio, for example, with an HDMI NES, then the mod is generating all of the audio, not the original hardware. At that point, it's no more authentic than just using a modern accurate emulator.
A critical difference between a "modern accurate emulator" versus a hardware recreation is that systems using the latter can interact with the circuitry in cartridges and controllers in real time. If someone makes a cart with a new mapper, vintage consoles or hardware recreations will "just work", while modern emulators won't.

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rainwarrior
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by rainwarrior » Thu May 30, 2019 12:09 pm

MegaManisMegaCool wrote:Hello!
I am looking for someone to extract NES/Famicom soundtracks directly from the original hardware and into WAV or FLAC files.
It would need to be from a modded NES with the 100% digital output audio. More or less, I am looking for the cleanest noise free soundtracks, pulled from original hardware.
I can pay via paypal.
The NES is an analog audio source, not a digital one. There is a digital component underneath, but the only way to output that is through an emulator that reconstructs it for you.

However, there are some extremely accurate emulators, especially if your only concern is sound (see: NSF player). The most noticeable difference is usually just the lack of environmental noise and hum from the emulated output.

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toggle switch
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by toggle switch » Thu May 30, 2019 1:23 pm

in my personal opinion, emulators don't do a great job on sound. they do a completely acceptable job, the music sounds like you would remember it. but if you compare it to an actual NES i think it's a bit lacking. the emulators sound a bit sterile when compared to the real thing, IMO.

anyhow, i am interested in modding my NES for this purpose, not sure if any documentation on it exists or not.

i'm actually just getting ready to open up my DMG game boy and do a mod that cleans up the audio on that.

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rainwarrior
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by rainwarrior » Thu May 30, 2019 1:33 pm

toggle switch wrote:in my personal opinion, emulators don't do a great job on sound. they do a completely acceptable job, the music sounds like you would remember it. but if you compare it to an actual NES i think it's a bit lacking. the emulators sound a bit sterile when compared to the real thing, IMO.
Well, there's emulators written with sound accuracy in mind, and there's emulators written with sound adequacy in mind. They're not all the same.

I know of several sound focused emulators that have very, very accurate reproduction of the sound.

I compare the NSF player I maintain to an NES very often, that's my whole point of reference. It doesn't have any job to do except be an accurate NES sound emulation, and it's good at that task. So are a few other NSF players I can think of. Famitracker is in this category too.

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toggle switch
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by toggle switch » Thu May 30, 2019 1:38 pm

it's my job oftentimes to program dsp, and often to emulate analog hardware. you can certainly come close but there is often a bit of character that is quite hard to nail down.

if you want to, for example, do a vinyl release of an NES soundtrack, you want to use the real thing as a sound source, not an emulator. since the guy is offering to pay, i assume he wants to do something along those lines.

anyway, it's just my opinion.

OP: i may be willing to help, let me see how this game boy turns out.

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LightStruk
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by LightStruk » Fri May 31, 2019 6:59 am

supercat wrote:A critical difference between a "modern accurate emulator" versus a hardware recreation is that systems using the latter can interact with the circuitry in cartridges and controllers in real time. If someone makes a cart with a new mapper, vintage consoles or hardware recreations will "just work", while modern emulators won't.
I know what you're saying and I agree with you. That said, when it comes to audio, there is one important wrinkle to "hardware recreations will just work with new mappers."

The HDMI NES, Analogue NT, and retroUSB AVS generate digital audio independently of any add-on audio hardware in the cartridge. In other words, if you're playing a genuine FDS or a vintage original copy of Lagrange Point (VRC7) on one of these systems, even though the game is generating analog audio, the console is mixing in its own implementation of that audio instead of mixing in the game's audio.

If someone invents a new mapper with new expansion audio capabilities, then the hardware recreations won't generate the new mapper's expansion audio until they get firmware updates.

It's not crazy to think a new mapper with new expansion audio will be invented. For example, there could be homebrew with an MP3 decoder chip inside, or a NES version of the MSU-1.

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B00daW
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by B00daW » Mon Jun 03, 2019 7:50 am

I remember back in the day that I requested from loopy to create a mode on his NSF replayer for PowerPak to disable the PPU during NSF playback. It did minimize some of the noise. Noise will come from the PPU unless you pull it out of the board. :/

The replayer should still be somewhere here on the board.

supercat
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by supercat » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:12 am

LightStruk wrote:It's not crazy to think a new mapper with new expansion audio will be invented. For example, there could be homebrew with an MP3 decoder chip inside, or a NES version of the MSU-1.
While the Famicom is factory-wired to provide an audio path from the cartridge to the TV, the NES is not. While it's possible to modify an NES to accept audio from a Famicom cart adapter, there's no way any mapper to generate analog audio that will work with a factory NES.

tepples
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by tepples » Mon Jun 03, 2019 9:29 am

Some would claim it's also not crazy to ship an external modification (compatible with front loaders) with every copy of an NES game.

1. Flip your NES-001 Control Deck bottom side up
2. Remove expansion port dust cover
3. Break off breakaway cover using a flat head screwdriver
4. Insert audio jumper board
5. Replace dust cover

Then the problem becomes one of either A. fitting audio in the same CPLD as the PRG bank, CHR bank, and interval timer, or B. justifying the bill of materials increase of extra ICs for audio.

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Memblers
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Re: NES audio extraction - commission work

Post by Memblers » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:10 am

LightStruk wrote: The HDMI NES, Analogue NT, and retroUSB AVS generate digital audio independently of any add-on audio hardware in the cartridge. In other words, if you're playing a genuine FDS or a vintage original copy of Lagrange Point (VRC7) on one of these systems, even though the game is generating analog audio, the console is mixing in its own implementation of that audio instead of mixing in the game's audio.
That's what the Hi-Def NES does (at least it's on the analogue output though), but the AVS uses an ADC to digitize the cart audio, and the NT Mini can do ADC sampling or FPGA synthesis. I asked kevtris about the NT Mini ADC and he said it's enabled on the Famicom carts but not for NES, and it might be possible to change that with a firmware update.

So thankfully, the audio support situation is pretty good. Until we come up with something that sounds bad through the ADC I guess, heheh.

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