SNES vs Genesis Sound

May 16, 2005
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People say SNES everywhere but I don't think that matters. It's all about what games had good music.
Of course a great artist can overcome limitations but in terms of pure sound processing its not even a fair fight.

Snes just flat out had better sound. No debate. Individual games is something different and would come down to individual artists.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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SNES had better orchestral type songs, while Genesis had better upbeat, pulse pounding type of tracks. SNES obviously had better vocals. Games that required emulating real instruments like rpg soundtracks were better on snes. Electronic type songs, like techno were better on Genesis. Why that is exactly, I have no idea.
 
Oct 23, 2012
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SNES had better orchestral type songs, while Genesis had better upbeat, pulse pounding type of tracks. SNES obviously had better vocals. Games that required emulating real instruments like rpg soundtracks were better on snes. Electronic type songs, like techno were better on Genesis. Why that is exactly, I have no idea.
SNES can play samples of instruments that the genesis might have more trouble reproducing, and a single sample can have multiple instruments or chords baked into it. This makes it easier to get a fatter, orchestra type sound out of it. The reason it's not as good at electronic styles is because the samples are heavily filtered and often low quality due to the small audio ram. Generally the audio coming out of a SNES doesn't quite have the punch of a Mega Drive.

for example



This is a pretty bad example for the snes I gotta admit, but I picked it because there's a big difference between the two in terms of clarity. Something like sunset riders is much better.
 
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Oct 29, 2006
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SNES can play samples of instruments that the genesis might have more trouble reproducing, and a single sample can have multiple instruments or chords baked into it. This makes it easier to get a fatter, orchestra type sound out of it. The reason it's not as good at electronic styles is because the samples are heavily filtered and often low quality due to the small audio ram. Generally the audio coming out of a SNES doesn't quite have the punch of a Mega Drive.

for example



This is a pretty bad example for the snes I gotta admit, but I picked it because there's a big difference between the two in terms of clarity. Something like sunset riders is much better.
Ironically this is one of the cases where I felt Konami did an excellent job with porting the arcade music to the SNES. In fact, in this case, it's like the SNES version is slightly soft but the Genesis version sounds, I dunno, compressed a bit, it's way too tinny.

I mean, compare the arcade version:

It honestly sounds like each is missing something the other lacks. This speaks well to them playing to their strengths.
 
Jul 5, 2010
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Ironically this is one of the cases where I felt Konami did an excellent job with porting the arcade music to the SNES. In fact, in this case, it's like the SNES version is slightly soft but the Genesis version sounds, I dunno, compressed a bit, it's way too tinny.

I mean, compare the arcade version:

It honestly sounds like each is missing something the other lacks. This speaks well to them playing to their strengths.
I made a quick and dirty mashup of both with Audacity and here's the result:

 
Oct 29, 2006
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I made a quick and dirty mashup of both with Audacity and here's the result:

This actually sounds really awesome!

There's an awesome genesis cover of neon night riders that incorporates some elements of the arcade soundtrack.
This actually doesn't sound too bad, but it's also missing so much oomph from the arcade and SNES versions. Arcade version is clearly the best, but the SNES did a ton of work with it. I'm wondering if maybe it being so complicated with the samples is why it didn't show up in Hyperstone Heist.
 
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Oct 23, 2012
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This actually sounds really awesome!


This actually doesn't sound too bad, but it's also missing so much oomph from the arcade and SNES versions. Arcade version is clearly the best, but the SNES did a ton of work with it. I'm wondering if maybe it being so complicated with the samples is why it didn't show up in Hyperstone Heist.
>SNES version
>oomph

whatever lol
and the arcade version is simply too busy

about the samples, maybe. depends on how much space was left in the cart i guess
 
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Aug 26, 2004
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Demolition Man has a great soundtrack on both consoles, i could not choose which is the better, the Genesis version retains some surprisingly good reverb effects, the Super Nes track sounds a bit more atmospherichal.

Genesis the 1:30 guitar sound is really great

Snes
last to this post but those tracks and especially that sound effect you pointed out reminded me soooo much of Shadowrun that I just had to say something. the effect at 2:10 or so too, could have mistaken it for Shadowrun.
 
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Nov 2, 2015
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last to this post but those tracks and especially that sound effect you pointed out reminded me soooo much of Shadowrun that I just had to say something. the effect at 2:10 or so too, could have mistaken it for Shadowrun.
Western Genesis ost's tend to sound very similar, but the Akklaim sound driver does a good job.

Genesis

Snes

For my taste this round goes to Genesis.
 
Oct 7, 2013
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Genesis did a few things better


Sound wasn't one of them.
This is just a bad example using todays HD tech. Considering we were all playing on 480i CRT TV's back then, you couldn't tell the resolution difference back in 94', all you could tell was the SNES version had better frame rate, better sound, better color, and in some cases more objects in the background (floating munks, ect).

Best way to describe the Genesis sound was it had no base and less instrumentals (if you wanna call em that) in the background. The sound effects were brutal aswel.

The only thing that Genesis did better then SNES was it's Mhz, it was double the speed of the SNES, this made sports games so much better/playable on Genesis. Play NHL 94 on SNES (or even Madden) and your gonna run into massive slowdown at times, Genesis was SMOOTH and fast, didn't skip a beat.
 
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