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WeeklyBeats.com / Music / cTrix's music / Master Whoops (Sega MasterSystem)

Master Whoops (Sega MasterSystem)

By cTrix on April 17, 2016 3:34 pm

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!
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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!!
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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....



This submission is licensed by author under CC Attribution Noncommercial No Derivative Works (BY-NC-ND)

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April 18, 2016 1:33 am

I hear some bass going on there.  Sounds like you thrashing on this thing! Super crunchy!

April 18, 2016 8:25 am
NWSPR wrote:

I hear some bass going on there.  Sounds like you thrashing on this thing! Super crunchy!


That's the hack on the noise channel!  Super thin pulse wave  (well, noise pulse) so it's pretty ugly :-P  I actually just poked around until something sounded about right.  It certainly wasn't what I was intending to write!!  Cheers

April 18, 2016 8:09 pm

It blows my mind something this good could come from this hardware. Excellent work!

April 19, 2016 9:32 pm

April 20, 2016 9:12 pm

You make it sound so easy!  Congrats on hacking the heck out of this thing.  I can hear some bass!

April 25, 2016 11:14 am

Whoah, man. THe result is amazing, and I hear a lot of bass. I guess you're now about to throw the Master System out of the windows now smile (That beautiful love-hate relation with limited systems... I'll give you my Roland SP-808 so you built a master piece with it and I don't smash it on the ground)

What did you use it to program the song. Any DIY music cartridge like the one Little Scale built, or you made all the low level programming.

Amazing tune, and amazing results considering the limitations. Kudos and my deepest respect!!!

May 1, 2016 7:58 am
laguna wrote:

What did you use it to program the song. Any DIY music cartridge like the one Little Scale built, or you made all the low level programming.

Deflemask to compose.  Compiled for SMS but only had a Everdrive for Megadrive... it seemed to run the code ok.  Thanks mate!

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