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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:24 pm 
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Does anyone know of anyone that is doing this? I know of Iron Goat's NES recordings at FFShrine.org and they sound AMAZING. I can't seem to find anywhere else on the internet though that has these kind of recordings.

Here's his equipment specs for his project btw:
SOURCE: Modded front-loading NES / dual-channel audio recorded directly from 2A03 chip
AUDIO CAPTURE HARDWARE: Amplified by FiiO E6, captured by Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro
AUDIO CAPTURE SOFTWARE: Audacity 2.0.3

http://forums.ffshrine.org/f72/iron-goa ... st-174131/

He seemed to stop doing these though. :(

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:40 pm 
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Do they sound different from what you'd get by using (e.g.) NSFPlay?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:45 pm 
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I just compared, actually, from reading the threads here. And yes.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:51 pm 
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Mainly, its a 'softer' sound with the emulated sets. and yes this is with any filtering completely off. I like the tone hell of a lot more on the hardware recordings. Personal taste; the NSFPlay plugin is very good.

http://www.mediafire.com/download/5htk6 ... _OST_(1988).rar
http://www.mediafire.com/download/ad8x8 ... _OST_(1990).rar

There's Contra and Silver Surfer so you don't have to register. Unfortunately the mono mixes are in mp3 format, and some of the levels are a bit off between the two channels in those mono mixes (the two channels being sourced directly from the 2A03 chip's output, then folded down to mono in software). I listen to the FLAC stereo versions myself.

So I'm guessing that means you don't know of anyone who's recording from the original hardware, which is my original question(?)

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 9:54 pm 
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(ninja'd; replaced content)

I think I saw jrlepage on the Famitracker forums doing Real Recordings of NES stuff, but almost exclusively for new compositions, not legacy ones.

It'd be more interesting to me to figure out why PlayNSF isn't to your liking; being able to use NSFs (or create FLACs for your own uses) strike me as a nice way to skip having to rely on other people.


Last edited by lidnariq on Mon Mar 09, 2015 10:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:11 am 
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I've often made recordings of my NES or Famicom in order to compare against the emulation in NSFPlay as I work on it.

For things that are more rare, like Famicom expansion audio, I've shared a lot of them here: http://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php?t=8639

For NES games I don't share them, because anybody with an NES and PowerPak can already easily listen to them on hardware if they want.


I dunno what you think sounds so amazing about hardware recordings, though. The only significant difference they have from good emulation is the interference buzzing/noise, which I hate to listen to.

If you like the separated stereo, though, some NSF players will let you adjust stereo panning to your liking per-channel (not just per APU-pin). The style of filtering and individual balance of APU pins is something that varies from machine to machine, too, so if your goal is to replicate a specific machine's sound you should adjust the settings to match it.

I must admit, I haven't heard anything from the link OP posted, because you have to register on that forum to read that post. I've spent many hours listening to hardware recordings though, out of necessity.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:43 am 
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I just noticed the Contra and Silver Surfer links the OP had made.

There is a coloration to the sound in these recordings. I don't know if the maker applied a filter in software after recording, or if this is a byproduct of the amplifier used, but you're getting a bit different frequency response than you would with a more direct recording. It's also very curious how low the noise level is for these; I've never heard an NES or Famicom even close to that. Was a special process used to isolate the APU sound, or is this the result of noise reduction applied by software after recording? (Noise reduction could also result in coloration of the sound.)

Anyhow, these really aren't a good reference for what "hardware" sounds like. Well, doubly so when you also consider the stereo mod. They do appear to be made from hardware, yes, but so much has been altered/massaged about it that it really has nothing to do with authenticity at this point. It's just a custom setup that this person liked the sound of.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:47 am 
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Turning off rendering and setting the background color to the "forbidden" black $0D minimizes crosstalk from the PPU.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 9:56 am 
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tepples wrote:
Turning off rendering and setting the background color to the "forbidden" black $0D minimizes crosstalk from the PPU.

It does, but not this low, in my experience. This is dramatically low noise.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 11:16 am 
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rainwarrior wrote:
There is a coloration to the sound in these recordings. I don't know if the maker applied a filter in software after recording, or if this is a byproduct of the amplifier used, but you're getting a bit different frequency response than you would with a more direct recording. It's also very curious how low the noise level is for these; I've never heard an NES or Famicom even close to that. Was a special process used to isolate the APU sound, or is this the result of noise reduction applied by software after recording? (Noise reduction could also result in coloration of the sound.)

He didn't seem to do anything other than getting the sound directly from the 2A03 chip itself. The amp would be rather necessary at that point because I would assume the output would be very low level, which isn't good for recording, as it's bypassing the NES' amp section (and also, the NES' mix down of the two channels into mono). That would technically explain why there's very low noise (it's the direct output of the chip itself).

"FLAC: Original dual-channel output from 2A03, full stereo separation*, recorded at 24-bit/96kHz"
(*I think which implies that he left the channels completely separated as well, as originally recorded from the chip, with no software mixing.)

Any coloration would have to do with his amplifier, perhaps. "Amplified by FiiO E6, captured by Sound Blaster X-Fi Surround 5.1 Pro". I don't think anything was done in software.

Thanks for the link to those reference recordings you made.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 10, 2015 4:14 pm 
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The amplifier is not necessary at all. The signal coming out is at regular line levels. It's not like a microphone or a guitar pickup that is trying to convert physical vibrations into electrical signals (physical sound is very low power).


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:52 pm 
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One could potentially socket the PPU and yank it out before music plays too, right?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 7:18 pm 
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You don't need the PPU at all to play NSFs: http://kevtris.org/Projects/hardnes/

I don't think you'd want to yank one out of a running NES. Also, I wouldn't presume that all of the interference is from the PPU, just that it's one of the louder components of it.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 9:22 pm 
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I'm more interested in hardware recordings for expansion audio, especially FDS.

With that said, how much :beer: do I have to pay for someone to do this for me / build me one? :wink:

Edit: And I killed this thread.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 14, 2015 3:28 pm 
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Jedi QuestMaster wrote:
I'm more interested in hardware recordings for expansion audio, especially FDS.

With that said, how much :beer: do I have to pay for someone to do this for me / build me one? :wink:

I can provide recordings from a TNS-HFC cart, with any type of expansion audio. I don't know how well it's compatible with game soundtrack NSFs, but if there's a particular one you'd like to hear then I can find out.


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