Oh dear. There was a LOT of scratching my head with this unit!
I've never actually written music on the Sega Master System before. I read the approximate chip spec for the Texas Instruments SN76489 and thought I knew what was going on - but how wrong I was!
Can't explain. Basically you have no bass on the Master System because the chip is clocked so high. You can fudge bass out of it in a mode where the third squarewave channel acts as a periodic noise duty-cycle reset but 4 octaves down. But it's controlled by the pitch register of channel 3. So even though the SMS has "4-channel sound"... it's more like "2-channels of limited octave square... plus 1-channel noise with dodgy pulse wave mode... and don't touch channel 3!". Also, flipping between white-noise mode and duty-cycle reset mode seemed to take a number of screen refreshes to work, so doing quick snares, etc, just wasn't happening!!
Yeah. Very much an experiment. I've never really been a fan of the Master System - I had an inkling it would be annoyingly limiting and just piss me off - and it is indeed annoyingly limiting! If only it had a frequency divider to drop the clock speed to half....
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