What was that kind of Region in Nes?

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

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cell tennyson
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What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by cell tennyson » Tue Apr 28, 2020 2:25 am

Hi Everyone.

I am Indian and I used to play Nes games when I was a kid. Now Nes consoles are rarely available because of new technology advancement (smartphones and all). That time I had my very own nes console of which the most important feature about it, was the sound. The sound It had was simply the best and thats why i used to play it a lot. But Now, its too old and broken so my choice now is emulators. But Emulators do not produce the sound like my old console used too. In NTSC its too fast and in PAL the sound is just not like it at all, way too slow and distorted. Now Dendy is a new mode I found in emulators which is just like my console but still not 100% accurate. My old console's sound was still better though the speed was the same but its sound was still different. Now i am not so technically advanced and all but Emulators have 3 regions namely NTSC, PAL, Dendy. So is there any other region also that can replicate sound exactly like my old console used to?

Luckily I recorded sound of that old Nes in my phone so you can understand how it is and maybe some of you may know what kind of sound emulation that console had and how to replicate it in emulator. Its like Dendy but its different. Please listen carefully.

Listen here :- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cq6hFUg5MuQ

Please tell me if anyone of you knows how to get the console version (as in video) of music in Emulator or if it is possible. It would mean a lot to me. :)

Super Spy Hunter is all time favourite nes game because of its awesome music in my console. :D

NewRisingSun
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by NewRisingSun » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:23 am

You had a Dendy-like console with a CPU/APU revision affected by the duty cycle bug. Basically, the 50% and 25% duty cycles are swapped, so that the games don't sound as the composer intended.

Mesen emulates it: choose Options->Audio->Advanced->Swap square channels duty cycles.
NintendulatorNRS emulates it: choose Sound->Swap Duty Cycles.

Pokun
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Pokun » Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:44 am

NTSC Famicom/NES, PAL NES and "Dendy" (PAL Famiclones) are the only "regions" that are known by the community as those are the ones that has been reverse engineered. There are also supposedly NTSC Famiclones, but they are rare and I haven't seen emulator support for them. Since India is PAL I'd expect you had a PAL Famiclone though. How did it look like? There are Famiclone databases online where you probably can look it up. Here is one, and here is another.

One thing you can do is try the emulator Mesen and go into: Options -> Audio -> Advanced, then make a checkmark in the checkbox that says "Swap square channels duty cycle", and see if this helps sound like your clone.


Games are generally made with NTSC in mind, and PAL versions are sometimes but not always made to work better on PAL systems. But no licensed games are made to work in "Dendy" mode, which is a kind of hybrid of NTSC and PAL systems made by Chinese and Taiwanese companies, since 60-pin cartridges are generally for Famicom (or bootlegs of Famicom games), and thus NTSC.

You may want to try both the NTSC (Japan or USA version) and the PAL version of a game and see which is the one you are looking for. The right combination of settings and game version might do it.

Edit: Looks like I was ninja'd.

cell tennyson
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by cell tennyson » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:06 am

NewRisingSun wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:23 am
You had a Dendy-like console with a CPU/APU revision affected by the duty cycle bug. Basically, the 50% and 25% duty cycles are swapped, so that the games don't sound as the composer intended.

Mesen emulates it: choose Options->Audio->Advanced->Swap square channels duty cycles.
NintendulatorNRS emulates it: choose Sound->Swap Duty Cycles.
I downloaded Nintendulator but it doesnt have that option under sound option. It has only one option that is Sound Enabled. I downloaded it from here. http://www.emulator-zone.com/doc.php/ne ... lator.html

Is Nintendulator NRS different. Where can I download it. I tried finding it but couldn't get appropriate website.

But its good to know the emulators can mimic that kind of sound I need.
Pokun wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 3:44 am
NTSC Famicom/NES, PAL NES and "Dendy" (PAL Famiclones) are the only "regions" that are known by the community as those are the ones that has been reverse engineered. There are also supposedly NTSC Famiclones, but they are rare and I haven't seen emulator support for them. Since India is PAL I'd expect you had a PAL Famiclone though. How did it look like? There are Famiclone databases online where you probably can look it up. Here is one, and here is another.

One thing you can do is try the emulator Mesen and go into: Options -> Audio -> Advanced, then make a checkmark in the checkbox that says "Swap square channels duty cycle", and see if this helps sound like your clone.
I didn't knew anything about that during that time as i was maybe around 7 years of age. :) That console was gift given to me by my uncle on my birthday. :wink:

NewRisingSun
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by NewRisingSun » Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:14 am

Is Nintendulator NRS different. Where can I download it?
Here.

cell tennyson
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by cell tennyson » Tue Apr 28, 2020 5:15 am

NewRisingSun wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 4:14 am
Is Nintendulator NRS different. Where can I download it?
Here.
Thanks. After enabling Swap square channels duty cycle in Mesen, the sound now does give the old console like music and feeling. Not 100% like my console still better But still is there anything else that can be done to make it more accurate like my console version. Because I feel like there were some channels in it that were enhanced like square 1 or 2 or maybe noise or DCM or triangle different than emulator that were making my console sound still better. Maybe I was playing it in those old Box like televisions that my console was giving sound like that.

Overall Thankyou So much NewRisingSun cause I am still enjoying the sound it is producing.

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Bregalad
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Bregalad » Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:56 pm

It's fun you mention this because today I just happened to re-discover the "famiclone-style duty cycle swap" option in an emulator, and played various games to test it.

Most games sounds worse with it (obviously), or in the best cases it doesn't sound either better or worse. But Mega Man games, all 6 of them, sounds way better with this swap enabled. Especially the sound effects, but the music too. It feels like Capcom developed the games for the famiclones...

cell tennyson
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by cell tennyson » Wed Apr 29, 2020 12:30 am

Bregalad wrote:
Tue Apr 28, 2020 12:56 pm
It's fun you mention this because today I just happened to re-discover the "famiclone-style duty cycle swap" option in an emulator, and played various games to test it.

Most games sounds worse with it (obviously), or in the best cases it doesn't sound either better or worse. But Mega Man games, all 6 of them, sounds way better with this swap enabled. Especially the sound effects, but the music too. It feels like Capcom developed the games for the famiclones...
Yeah i Know In this swap square channels duty cycle mode in some games the music can sound Bad but in some other games its just awesome for me. When in this mode(swap cycles enabled) I like the musics of Super Spy Hunter, Shadow of the Ninja, Ninja Gaiden 2 and Ninja Gaiden 3 and many more. I wish I could do something to further enhance the DMC channel in this mode.

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Bregalad
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Bregalad » Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:10 am

I guess it's a bias because you grew up with such a famiclone, so you miss that sound. We don't have this bias. Mega Man games are among the main ones using both identical sounding 25% and 75% duty cycles, there's many music parts with one channel of each which sounds more diverse with the famiclone bug, and there's even music parts where there is effects of switching regularly between those two (Windman's stage for instance), which is completely inaudible with an official Nintendo NES. So with the famiclone sound, we get new effects that wre lacking before and the music sounds better.

Many games are unaffected either because they use a lot the unnafected duty cycles, or they use the same duty cycles all the time so it affects the whole game identically. But also there's no reason to use both 25% and 75%, many sound engine will internally discard one of those since it's redundant so the glitch will either completely discard one possible duty cycle (the game will sound worse), or just swap two duty cycles as intended (the game will sound as good but different).

Sorry if I'm repeating myself but this is fascinating. It's such a shame Nintendo didn't allow 4 actually different duty cycles in the 1st place, that would have been so awesome.

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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Pokun » Wed Apr 29, 2020 3:33 am

You mean something like 87.5% instead of 75%? Wait would that be identical to 12.5%? In that case 37,5% or 62,5% instead of 75% might be better.
I would guess 75% and 25% are technically different in their implementation in the APU, but the audible result is identical due to how sound waves works.

I listened to some Megaman songs using NSFPlay (which also supports swapping the 25% and 50% duty cycle options), and indeed some songs possibly do sound better with duty cycles swapped. Some do sound worse though.

The duty cycle bug in these Famiclone APUs at least doesn't mess with the pitch or anything, it just changes the quality of certain notes, which really is an arbitrary choice in many cases. I guess it's a problem in games that uses 75% and 50% a lot though. On a swapped duty Famiclone APU those two will sound identical although they might not be supposed to by the composer.

My sound engine allows for swapping the meaning of the square 25% and 50% duty cycle options on the fly via a flag, so that songs can be played on such a Famiclone without any change in the sound. I don't discard 75% either. 25% and 75% are both individually supported.

cell tennyson wrote: Not 100% like my console still better But still is there anything else that can be done to make it more accurate like my console version. Because I feel like there were some channels in it that were enhanced like square 1 or 2 or maybe noise or DCM or triangle different than emulator that were making my console sound still better. Maybe I was playing it in those old Box like televisions that my console was giving sound like that.
I'm no expert on Famiclones, but I've heard that cloned APUs indeed sounds different from Nintendo's APU, but I don't really know more than that. The swapping of the square 25% and 50% duty cycle options is the only thing that is known to be different on many clones, and the only APU-related Famiclone option supported by emulators and NSF players as far as I know. Maybe the superior sound you remember is a combination of a slightly different sounding APU clone, your TV speaker and childhood memories as is the nature of such things.

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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by tepples » Wed Apr 29, 2020 7:38 am

I'm guessing 37.5% was meant. The Nintendo DS PSG supports 12.5%, 25%, 37.5%, and 50% duty, even though it's rarely used because most games use sampled instruments.

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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by lidnariq » Wed Apr 29, 2020 10:29 am

Bregalad wrote:
Wed Apr 29, 2020 1:10 am
But also there's no reason to use both 25% and 75%
I asked a musician friend at one point, who pointed out that in the very specific and narrow case of using 25% (X) on one pulse wave channel and 75% (1-X) on the other, with two pitches that are only a tiny bit detuned, you get a nice PWM sound that can reach cancellation momentarily.

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Yave
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Yave » Fri May 29, 2020 8:53 pm

Might be Swap Duty Cycle famiclone, I call it "2nd Type Famiclone".
FCEUX 2.2.3 supports this, Config - Sound - Swap Duty Cycle.
.
But I want "1st Type Famiclone" effect, that includes "smooth square wave", like unchecked "Reset $4003-$4007 phase counter" in NSFPlay, but no emulator can do this.

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Fisher
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Fisher » Sat May 30, 2020 4:22 pm

As a kid who grew playing on famiclones, I remember that the voices sounded very soft on a friend's house I used to go play.
But that could be something related to the TV's volume or even how good the tuner was set to that specific channel.
I also remember to have played Gradius 2 on a console that simply messed up the voices.
Edit: I did a quick and dirty video showing these voices here.
That's weird, when it says laser I hear something like "lousa"...

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Yave
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Re: What was that kind of Region in Nes?

Post by Yave » Sun May 31, 2020 9:47 pm

Fisher wrote:
Sat May 30, 2020 4:22 pm
As a kid who grew playing on famiclones, I remember that the voices sounded very soft on a friend's house I used to go play.
But that could be something related to the TV's volume or even how good the tuner was set to that specific channel.
I also remember to have played Gradius 2 on a console that simply messed up the voices.
Edit: I did a quick and dirty video showing these voices here.
That's weird, when it says laser I hear something like "lousa"...
Close to "1st Type Famiclone", that includes:
- Smooth square wave
- Pop sound (unpleasure noise) on triangle channel
- Broken DPCM channel
- Left 7 cropped instead of 8

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