SNES vs Genesis Sound

I think the issue with a lot of Genesis music, which causes people to think it sounds bad, is that the 16-bit era saw a transition to using lots of composers who weren't necessarily adept in the sound programming department. Of course that was a thing before the 16-bit era, but I suspect that as systems began to support more channels of audio, and MIDI became standard/ popular, a lot of game developers would hire someone to write the music and then hand it off to a sound programmer. Or to use tools that made it easier for the composer to 'not worry about it'.
Funny timing with your post, since I just listened to RGA's Sharp X68k podcast two nights ago. Great work on that!

I think more people are cluing into the respective strengths and limitations of the Mega Drive and Super Famicom sound systems these days. The level of work Savaged Regime and others are doing should encourage more chiptune interest, too.
 
DefileMask is really one of the keys to the kingdom when it comes to the future continuing to unfold apace---while it may get flak and drama from the Famitracker/LSDJ corners here and there over disagreements on how things get done, the absolute level and diversity of accomplishments it has enabled can't be understated.

The other key drivers are important folks/groups, but just the way things have paced out for time and momentum these past few years have really bolstered it beyond the rest in terms of gaining and holding ground even if just in and across fundamentals.

I'm not surprised folks continue to be drawn to this era and the SID before them---outside of some fringe darkhorses, this rough era of some home machines and arcade boards is the only place they can hear different/distinct music compared to year after year of relative homogeny as everything went full on full samples mad as synths got sealed up with the Saturn in a most undeserved fate. With the tools only getting better and better to make for the ease of rediscovery and original works, it finally stands more of a real chance for the world to see the true potential that was cut short.
 
Funny timing with your post, since I just listened to RGA's Sharp X68k podcast two nights ago. Great work on that!

I think more people are cluing into the respective strengths and limitations of the Mega Drive and Super Famicom sound systems these days. The level of work Savaged Regime and others are doing should encourage more chiptune interest, too.
Thanks! Steve still has a massive, growing list of X68k soundtracks, there's so many hidden gems in there- https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1d6n067uNaS1pIa8RVzR1T-icFUCqwD7Bl3FuChOAOew/edit#gid=0

I was just checking out some of Savaged Regime's stuff that was linked in this thread, it's very good!
 
Ys III: Wanderers from Ys is one of my favorite Genesis soundtracks. It's my favorite version of that particular soundtrack as well. I think it's much better overall than the SNES soundtrack, and the chiptune synth sounds are more likeable than the full redbook audio.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0CvTvcAYtS0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RHoFLQr__WQ
Have you heard the PC-88 (original) or X68000 versions? Those are both chiptune as well, and I find a lot of them to be among the best.

Morning of Departure (PC-88)
Believe in My Heart (X68000)
Wanderers from Ys (X68000)
 
at the time when the Genesis was released the music and sound were unmatched so my friends and I were impressed.. but then the SNES came out and it was even better... such is the way. lol
 
Ah, yes! The X68k version of the soundtrack is pretty solid. I haven't listened to the PC-88 version as much, I have to give it a closer listen.
The instrumentation is definitely simpler than the other FM versions (not too surprising, as it is the oldest) but it's got a distinct sound to it. It's not my favorite of Ishikawa's solo works of the era - that would be her work on the Sorcerian expansions, particularly Sengoku Sorcerian - but I definitely like it a lot.

Here we go: Mega Man X - Full Soundtrack (Sega Genesis)

And here is a .zip archive with all the tracks in .vgm format, completely playable on the actual hardware: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0ByppANKBZSvaNVhCcEF6WGZLVjg

Took about 2 months to do, and I learned some neat new tricks on the way like how to make orch hits completely in FM.
also, this is superb.
 
What? No, the SNES SSF2 soundtrack was a downgrade from the SF2T. It's the other way round.
Eh, I guess it's opinion. The quality of samples always seemed a lot better to me in Super, but I guess it's even further from the original arcade sound.

Both the SNES and Genesis versions of SSF2 sound like ass compared to the arcade version. CPS2 was just on another level.

Arcade
Genesis
SNES
Super definitely sucked on genesis, but SCE has my favorite versions of some songs. Arcade included.

Actually, the beta version had some really good ones too. Might've been my favorite overall it the drums weren't so loud.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-ar1rA6-Ck

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xz_OH3n7CUo
 
Txαi;244186794 said:
Here are a couple of Genesis covers by me.

Super Mario Kart - Rainbow Road

The Ninja Warriors - Skyscraper

I try to make them easier to listen to in a songwriting perspective.
Nice renditions! Specially Mario Kart you get perfectly the game atmosphere!

Now more Genny underrated stuff

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jfEIq6nrLyY&list=PL25A8DF19B1B05038

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1YWoim7jBk&list=PL25A8DF19B1B05038&index=14

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7KMWzd1So94&list=PL25A8DF19B1B05038&index=6
 
As a kid I'd go to my friend's place and play Top Gear 2 on his SNES. I freaking loved that game and its soundtrack, especially this track.

SNES version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7rDUrcNsGos

So I got the game for myself but since I only owned a Genesis naturally I bought that version instead. The music on Genesis, however, blew the SNES versions out of the water.

Genesis version: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdUXBeMnHNk

It's dirty and grimy which fits the music so much better. In all honesty though both versions have their merits and it comes down to personal preference in the end.
 
Happy to see this thread on the front page. I bumped lazygecko's Mega Man X arrangement on an actual Genesis thanks to an EverDrive recently and it's so good!
Does the stage clear track play alright to you? Someone else tried converting the soundtrack into a rom, but it would always freeze with a nondescript error message on that track. Not really sure what went wrong.
 
Does the stage clear track play alright to you? Someone else tried converting the soundtrack into a rom, but it would always freeze with a nondescript error message on that track. Not really sure what went wrong.
will check tonight and report back

edit. Plays fine! I used the latest version of MegaDrive VGM player to compile it (v3.30 for what it's worth).
 
Nice renditions! Specially Mario Kart you get perfectly the game atmosphere!
Thanks. That was my intention all along.

And speaking of Matt Furniss...

Mortal Kombat - Imaginary Critical Music

Short experiment where I composed imaginary critical themes for Genesis Mortal Kombat. Added them on top of the gameplay video above so you get an idea of how it'd work in practice. If you've played this game enough, you know it doesn't have that type of music.

Grab all tracks here
 
BEHOLD THE NEW DREAM---I. SAID. DAMN!~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqWR_RjvNzk Solar Modulation by Savaged Regime!

I would absolutely, and without question, place this within the exalted high pantheon that is the very best work of Koshiro and all the other classical legendary FM Synth composers/musicians/sonic conduits of goodness from both the heyday and Of All Time unto the present and beyond.

Burn that bright future into your very souls!
 
BEHOLD THE NEW DREAM---I. SAID. DAMN!~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqWR_RjvNzk Solar Modulation by Savaged Regime!

I would absolutely, and without question, place this within the exalted high pantheon that is the very best work of Koshiro and all the other classical legendary FM Synth composers/musicians/sonic conduits of goodness from both the heyday and Of All Time unto the present and beyond.

Burn that bright future into your very souls!
This track definitely gives me SOR3 vibes. Great work, lazygecko!
 
BEHOLD THE NEW DREAM---I. SAID. DAMN!~

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqWR_RjvNzk Solar Modulation by Savaged Regime!

I would absolutely, and without question, place this within the exalted high pantheon that is the very best work of Koshiro and all the other classical legendary FM Synth composers/musicians/sonic conduits of goodness from both the heyday and Of All Time unto the present and beyond.

Burn that bright future into your very souls!
amazing
 

Stinkles

Clothed, sober, cooperative
I just preferred the instrument sounds on the SNES chip. Less harsh, obviously better at horns and strings and so you got some better orchestral stuff out of it. I recognize the Genesis stuff for being awesome, but subjectively SNES always sounded better to me.
 
Here a nice Genesis rendition of the "Morning Sunlight / Peaceful Days" theme from Chrono Trigger, this BGM make heavy use of brass instruments, strong point of the SNES soudchip.

I am particularly impressed, listen and draw yours conclusions.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYZ_OBoY0eY
To me it sounds like there's too much polyphony going on for it to be authentic. Since the video description says it's based off a MIDI it probably doesn't conform to hardware channel limitations.

I just preferred the instrument sounds on the SNES chip. Less harsh, obviously better at horns and strings and so you got some better orchestral stuff out of it. I recognize the Genesis stuff for being awesome, but subjectively SNES always sounded better to me.
I think what you're really trying to say is it does those instruments better at scale. With samples you can just bake entire sections playing in unison into a single "instrument" and easily convey that big feel, which is important for orchestras. But as for individual solo instruments, then it kind of falls apart as the memory limitations ensure you don't have the width needed for expressive performances. After all, the system has that somewhat infamous solo horn/trumpet sound which is so static and simplistic. This is actually where the Genesis has a distinct advantage since you can just program a virtually infinite amount of variation in how the instrument is used. Not that there are many existing soundtracks that actually take advantage of that, but it's certainly very feasible in theory.
 
I know I've had this particular discussion before, but, as someone who's played trombone for over 30 years, I'd rather listen to brass reproduced by the Genesis rather then the SNES. SNES brass samples (and many samples of "real" instruments) tend to one of two categories: The attack, and the sustain.

This was necessitated by the tiny size of the amount of RAM the SNES had for samples (I still contend that the SNES should have opted for 256k or maybe push for 512k for it's sound memory then the 128k it had...would have been one less bottleneck).

Capcom tended to use the attack portion of the sound sample. It was punchier, but tended to have intonation problems (thus sounding out of tune). Square, OTOH, tended to use the sustain. Stayed in tune, but robbed the sound of some of its character, sounding a little thin. In my experience, good sounding brass samples are much more difficult/expensive to pull off compared to strings. Note that I'm saying "good," not "great."

Great samples are more work/more money across the board ;)


Anyway, the Genesis can synthesize the nuance of a brass instrument's sound waveform in a more total way...so I prefer it.
 
Made some videos showing what some snes games sound like with interpolation disabled.

Super Metroid

Star Fox

Doom
It's like looking at filtered and unfiltered pixel art, in audio form. I can completely understand WHY someone would prefer to hear all the details in the music, but the low quality nature means you 'cut your ear' on the jacked edges of those waveforms. Just as I'd prefer a good CRT or scanline filter on pixel art, I'll stick to interpolation on the audio.
 
It's like looking at filtered and unfiltered pixel art, in audio form. I can completely understand WHY someone would prefer to hear all the details in the music, but the low quality nature means you 'cut your ear' on the jacked edges of those waveforms. Just as I'd prefer a good CRT or scanline filter on pixel art, I'll stick to interpolation on the audio.
Dat bass in super metroid though (the brinstar red soil track). I think some things definitely sound cooler. Star Fox though, for the most part is worse. Maybe they had to go with lower sample quality in that game for some reason.
 
Super Metroid without interpolation sounds awful.
Honestly I thought Star Fox took the biggest hit. Super Metroid has some really cool growly sounding bass. I mean, yeah the noise is pretty bad unfiltered.

The pitch bend effect in Doom's Suspense sounds completely bonkers with interpolation turned off.
Yeah pretty weird. I don't think it's an emulation issue since I was playing these using blaarg's s-smp emulator, which is supposed to be super accurate
 
To me it sounds like there's too much polyphony going on for it to be authentic. Since the video description says it's based off a MIDI it probably doesn't conform to hardware channel limitations.
Indeed. Do you have plans for one day convert any Chrono track for Genesis soundchip?

I'ts defiant, but i believe on yours incredible skills.

Speaking about Genny adventures on more orchestrated tunes, the Pagemaster OST is fantastic.

Nice brass instrumentation for Mega Drive sounds organic
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Lkk96aA0eE

The Snes tracks sounds flat in comparision
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o_nAaQAHDCk