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Author Topic: Need help with the Genesis chip  (Read 4472 times)

Offline Baka94

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« on: April 04, 2016, 11:07:55 am »
I'm not new to FM Synthesis, but I have some trouble getting the Genesis chip to produce any proper sound. All I can get is either a sine wave or noise. Also, is there a way to pass the signal through one of the operators without altering the signal in case I only need two of three operators? Also, what affects the modulation amount? In all other FM VSTs/Chips I have used there always has been a separate modulation amount setting, but I can't find such setting in the Genesis Chip.
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Offline Alianger

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #1 on: April 04, 2016, 12:02:03 pm »
Someone else will have to answer specific questions but have you tried just downloading some existing instruments from the thread here? Play around with those and it shouldn't be too hard to figure out what each slider does.
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Offline Baka94

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #2 on: April 04, 2016, 01:58:58 pm »
Hmm, well I have now figured out most of them, but the naming is a bit unclear.
Using full names of the actual features would make them a lot easier especially for people who are new to DefleMask:
MULT -> Multiplication
DT -> ?
TL -> Volume
AR -> Attack
DR -> Decay
D2R -> Decay 2
SL -> Sustain
RR -> Release
RS -> Key Scaling
SSG-EG -> ?

Most DAWs use these terms, so I personally don't see a reason why they should be named any differently in DefleMask.

But anyway, can I write macro sequences for the operator settings? Begin able to make macros for the TL setting would allow you to make really cool sounds a lot more easily. Using the pattern effects is kind of a pain and you'd have to set the tempo really high in order to make it sound good.
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Offline Alianger

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #3 on: April 04, 2016, 03:44:59 pm »
DT=Detune, use it for kind of a "sway" effect in the pitch. SSG-EG is mainly for FM drums, for example check out Raijin's Shovel Knight cover. It can also be used for a kind of repeated retrigger effect.

I've uploaded the VGM MM tracker documentation since it explains some FM instrument basics I didn't see in the DM manual.
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Offline LordHypnos

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #4 on: April 04, 2016, 03:49:18 pm »
One thing I found very useful was this
Also it can be nice to start out with one of the basic FM waveforms instead of the default instrument or a premade instrument.

I think the most helpful way to think about things is that you have 4 operators. They are all sine waves and they modulate eachother in different ways depending on the algorithm. Usually OP4 is the last in the chain, so that's usually your volume envelope. The other envelopes control the volumes of the other operators, so if you want more of one kind of sound you can increase the volume (by decreasing the TL, aka Total Level 0 TL is the highest volume) of the operator that's doing what you want to do. Furthermore if you want one sound to fade in or out you use the Attack rate, Decay rates, Sustain, etc. That's about as close as you can get to a macro, with the Yamaha chips, if I'm understanding you correctly. Multiplier Generally changes the pitch, but it's not always quite that simple. Mostly it's changing it by octaves, but I think occasionally by other amounts (e.g. 5th or major 7th). This can be interesting when using Algorithm 4, but I'll get to that shortly.

FB (AKA feedback) can change OP1 from being a sine all the way to noise. At 4 it's a saw. FMS can also be cool to play around with. AMS only effects the Operators that you allow it to (AM check box). I think these are both Low Frequency Oscillator related, but don't actually fully understand that part. You can increase the strength of the LFO using a command (see manual).

If you want fewer than 4 operators, you have a few choices. You could do a cascade (Alg1) and turn the volume all the way down on the earlier operators depending on how many you wanted to use. For 2OP patches, most people use algorithm 4 which allows you to disregard (by setting TL to the highest number) OP3 and 4. This way you can still use the feedback so that you have the possibility of modulating with a saw or noise or sine or something in between. If you want you can also turn on the last two operators in Alg4 in which case you basically have two instruments. You can actually make them harmonize depending on how you set the multipliers. You can get fifths or thirds or probably be other things, but you're kind of limited to softer higher pitched sounds when doing this (well 5ths don't have to be all that high, but 3rds kind of do).

Does that help, at all?

EDIT: Yeah, you should check out Raijin's Shovel Knight cover, that has some very good instruments. Actually, just in general I'd recommend checking out some of the demos. There's really a lot of good examples there of how to get different kinds of sounds and how to use effects.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2016, 04:01:01 pm by LordHypnos »

Offline 5alazar

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2016, 04:02:26 pm »
What LordHypnos said is spot on, only thing I want to add is that not only TL, but the values for all envelope settings (A, D, S, D2, RR, RS) are inverted in YM2612 / YM2151. Within all of these settings, the highest value is actually the lowest level setting, which makes it kind of confusing if you start out.

Offline LordHypnos

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2016, 05:27:47 pm »
^A very good point. lol. I probably should have said that.

Offline Baka94

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2016, 03:18:50 pm »
I got the instruments mostly working now. Next issue is that when a new note starts there is a "pop" sound.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 03:20:21 pm by Baka94 »
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Offline Raijin

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #8 on: April 06, 2016, 05:07:08 pm »
SSG-EG is the SSG Envelope Generator. It is carried over from the OPN/OPNA chips, but lacks the actual SSG that were in those chips, which were basically just an AY chip built in. The Genesis has the Master System PSG to make up for that.

FM is complicated at first, but I guarentee if you just fumble around and find out how everything works, like the Algorithms and how each can be used to make specific sounds, it all becomes easier, although still programming decent patches will take some trial and error.

I would actually suggest using VGM Music Maker to program patches, since it has an extremely easy to understand editor, then switch back to Deflemask when you learned everything, or you can just carry over VGM MM patches to Deflemask even (which is what I do. Sorry Delek!). Plus if you do that, there is a fairly detailed tutorial on the FM editor for VGM MM on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrw34nz5NkY

This is just a suggestion though. If you prefer ignoring VGM MM, that's understandable.

Offline Alianger

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #9 on: April 06, 2016, 05:14:39 pm »
I got the instruments mostly working now. Next issue is that when a new note starts there is a "pop" sound.

I'm not entirely sure what the cause of that is, but you can either mask it with other instruments or use the note cut (ECxy) command right before the next note plays and play around with the release (R) which affects how long it takes for the sound to die out after a note cut or note off (tab) command. Good for instruments with a slow attack like strings as well.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2016, 05:24:17 pm by Alianger »
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Offline Curriculum Crasher

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2016, 01:46:01 pm »
VGM Music Maker is great, but note the the numbers for the second and third operators are reversed if comparing with DefleMask; that is, OP2 for VGM MM will be OP3 in DefleMask and vice versa. Some of the acronyms for the operator settings are also different between the two programs.


I would actually suggest using VGM Music Maker to program patches, since it has an extremely easy to understand editor, then switch back to Deflemask when you learned everything, or you can just carry over VGM MM patches to Deflemask even (which is what I do. Sorry Delek!). Plus if you do that, there is a fairly detailed tutorial on the FM editor for VGM MM on Youtube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zrw34nz5NkY

This is just a suggestion though. If you prefer ignoring VGM MM, that's understandable.

I recommend making a list of some of your favorite instruments in various Genesis/Mega Drive games and then keep .TFI files for them handy in a folder. You can load the .TFI patch in the instrument editor, compare similar sounding ones to see what's different in the settings between the two, and then design your own as variations on them. As long as the link in this chiptune.org thread still works, you can download a collection of .tfi files organized by game:  http://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/9929/convert-hundreds-of-opms-to-tfis-in-one-sweep/   Although the process by which the .tfi files were pulled from the games and assigned file names removed redundancies among tracks, so you won't necessarily find all the instrument patches you would need for a particular track labeled with that track in the file name; you'll have to look at the instrument in files labeled with other tracks in that game.
Genesis Consoles:
MD1 VA2 Discrete YM2612
MD1 VA3 Discrete YM2612
MD1 VA6 Discrete YM2612
MD1 VA7 ASIC YM3438
MD2 VA1 ASIC YM3438
MD2 VA1 ASIC YM3438 (w/ Helder's MegaAmp)
MD2 VA2.3 Discrete YM2612
MD2 VA3 ASIC YM3438
MD2 VA4 GOAC YM3438 (MK-1451 Majesco)

Offline garvalf

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Need help with the Genesis chip
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2016, 07:36:07 am »
I've found some nice .tfi instruments on the page for the vst plugin FM drive: http://www.alyjameslab.com/download.html (search for "TFI GAME SOUNDS PRESETS PACK").