Technically impressive FM synth music

Announcements, advice, random banter, unrelated discussion, et cetera.

Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Snover » 2008-8-13 @ 05:00

Hello forum-goers.

I'm looking for examples of impressive sounding music generated by FM synthesisers. Specifically, FM synthesisers of the era around the YM2612 (OPN2), YM3812 (OPL2), and YMF262 (OPL3). Show me what you know!
Snover
l33t++
 
Posts: 5207
Joined: 2002-6-30 @ 04:47

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby leileilol » 2008-8-13 @ 05:12

Zone66 is pretty cool sounding, good luck trying to bypass sound blaster detection in it though (if you don't have an adlib. The game uses drum samples)

starfm.cmf is a classic opl2 example.
User avatar
leileilol
l33t++
 
Posts: 8782
Joined: 2006-12-16 @ 18:03

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Snover » 2008-8-13 @ 05:39

I'm looking for things that really pushed the limits of what the hardware was capable of, not just OPL versions of the Star Wars theme. ;) I'll check out Zone66 though.
Snover
l33t++
 
Posts: 5207
Joined: 2002-6-30 @ 04:47

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby ADDiCT » 2008-8-13 @ 09:34

Hmm... In my memory, the FM-music in "OPL/DOS era" games was always sub-par, compared to SID music, or Amiga mods. There are certain highlights, though - Tyrian's music comes to mind, although i don't like it very much composition-wise.

Maybe you should have a look at demo scene music from the time. A good place to start would be pouet.net. The problem will be to actually run the demos, as you probably are already aware. Another place to look are the various "chiptunes" sites.

I don't think there's much space to "push the limits" with FM synthesis. I mean, the OPL's are not like the SID chip, where you had to use nifty tricks to achieve sample playback, or more voices than the hardware would allow originally. As the OPL's provided adequate playback at the time, there really was no reason to do technical tricks. You may want to look for good composition instead. (;
User avatar
ADDiCT
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1170
Joined: 2007-2-02 @ 15:07
Location: Retroland

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Zup » 2008-8-13 @ 10:34

Well, Knights of Xentar had a nice "meows" in catgirl's town...
I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!
User avatar
Zup
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1026
Joined: 2003-10-04 @ 12:16

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2008-8-13 @ 12:47

Dune 1 music (Cryo) comes to mind. I even bought the original soundtrack on CD.
Intel i7 5960X
Gigabye GA-X99-Gaming 5
8 GB DDR4 (2100)
8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6451
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby 5u3 » 2008-8-13 @ 17:46

I like the OPL2 works of a demoscene musician called Phandral. Check out his musicdisks:
Sanxion Adlib Musicdisk #1
Sanxion Adlib Musicdisk #2
User avatar
5u3
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1567
Joined: 2005-9-06 @ 12:23
Location: Vienna, Austria

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-14 @ 02:37

Snover wrote:I'm looking for things that really pushed the limits of what the hardware was capable of


Have you tried the 1992-remake, DOS version of Laser Squad? I was really amazed when listening to the game music on the first place. Domark's Mig 29 Fulcrum also has impressive opening theme.

EDIT: Bargon Attack also has quite impressive soundtrack, but I'm not sure if it's really FM --sounds more like tracker music to me.


eL_PuSHeR wrote:Dune 1 music (Cryo) comes to mind.


Seconded.

eL_PuSHeR wrote:I even bought the original soundtrack on CD.


Were the songs recorded from FM?
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2008-8-14 @ 07:25

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
eL_PuSHeR wrote:I even bought the original soundtrack on CD.


Were the songs recorded from FM?


No, they had a more professional approach. They sound more realistic, more MT-32 alike + professional voices.
Intel i7 5960X
Gigabye GA-X99-Gaming 5
8 GB DDR4 (2100)
8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6451
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-14 @ 08:36

eL_PuSHeR wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
eL_PuSHeR wrote:I even bought the original soundtrack on CD.


Were the songs recorded from FM?


No, they had a more professional approach. They sound more realistic, more MT-32 alike + professional voices.

Kewl. What's the exact title of the CD? I've been looking for one on ebay, but the search result always gives me the David Lynch movie soundtrack instead.
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby eL_PuSHeR » 2008-8-14 @ 09:10

I think it was called Dune: Spice Opera

Yes, unfortunately it's currently unavailable on Amazon right now

:dead:
Intel i7 5960X
Gigabye GA-X99-Gaming 5
8 GB DDR4 (2100)
8 GB GeForce GTX 1070 G1 Gaming (Gigabyte)
User avatar
eL_PuSHeR
Moderator
 
Posts: 6451
Joined: 2003-6-20 @ 16:39

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-15 @ 02:14

Have never found it on ebay either :dead:
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-15 @ 02:19

Back to the topic, I think Turrican 2 has quite impressive music, especially the one at first level. I think the music is FM, but the drum samples sound more like wavetables --how did they manage to do that with FM chip?
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby leileilol » 2008-8-15 @ 04:48

They didn't. You're hearing a hybrid mix of FM and PCM. Wing Commander 3 does this as well
User avatar
leileilol
l33t++
 
Posts: 8782
Joined: 2006-12-16 @ 18:03

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby lightmaster » 2008-8-15 @ 21:31

Snover wrote:Hello forum-goers.

I'm looking for examples of impressive sounding music generated by FM synthesisers. Specifically, FM synthesisers of the era around the YM2612 (OPN2), YM3812 (OPL2), and YMF262 (OPL3). Show me what you know!


d00 and d01 format by JCH of Vibrants Demogroup!!!

grab 'em @ ftp.amigascne.com/ folder mirrors/ftp.modland.com/pub/modules/ adlib /d00 /d01
User avatar
lightmaster
Oldbie
 
Posts: 605
Joined: 2005-10-01 @ 12:09
Location: Sol III(¡¿

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Amigaz » 2008-8-16 @ 07:44

leileilol wrote:They didn't. You're hearing a hybrid mix of FM and PCM. Wing Commander 3 does this as well


Isn't it pure .mod music? the Amiga music sounds idendical and it's .mod
Image

Image
User avatar
Amigaz
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1696
Joined: 2007-3-03 @ 09:01
Location: Stockholm, Sweden

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-16 @ 09:49

Amigaz wrote:Isn't it pure .mod music? the Amiga music sounds idendical and it's .mod

I was thinking the same thing, but the wind instruments sound too sterile for tracker music.

Besides, I remember downloading Turrican 2 MIDI some years later (although they don't sound quite the same when played with WinXP soft synth).
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby ADDiCT » 2008-8-16 @ 14:53

Dear lord, what a buch of newbie noobs! (;

The music for Turrican on the Amiga was written by Chris Hülsbeck, in a format called "TFMX". The only reference i could find was on German Wikipedia. I'm not sure how the music was adapted to other systems, but i think the same technology was used for the PC port(s).

TFMX is more a tracker format than a synth one. I'm not 100% sure, but i think i read somwhere that the TFXM format would allow samples and synthesized sounds to be played back (synth sounds are, after all, just commands to play certain waveforms in certain frequencies at certain lenghts - this should be possible with every sound chip, within its technical limits). I believe the correct techincal term for what i call "synth" is "FM" (Frequency Modulation).

Oh, and btw: i don't know what Mr. (or Mrs.) Know-It-All leileilol wants with his/her PCM (Pulse Code Modulation). As you can read, PCM is nothing more than a technique to store and playback digital sounds. I'm not the technical guy, but to me, this sounds like a way to "encode" digital sound, similar to WAV or MP3. The point is, "PCM" is not a method of sound creation, it's a method of storing digital sounds. Sorry, had to get that off my chest. (;

OK, to get back to the original post: so "FM synth music" is any music generated by a computer chip, without using digital samples. So i'd say, if you're looking for impressive FM synth music, look at the C64 SID sounds! The cheap and simple piece of silicone called SID was able to produce incredible music, in the right hands. Don't go for an emulator, btw - head over to SOASC (the SOASC project is crazy - make sure you check out the pages with the descriptions of the hardware that was used to create all the MP3 tracks) or the SID Recording Archive for authentic sounds. Some very good composers are Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, Maniacs of Noise, or alot of people from the demo scene, like Mitch and Dane, or kb.

Btw, if you want to know what a PC can do with FM synthesis, look for a piece from kb called "Candytron" (it's available as an MP3), or download the Windows demo "fr-030: Candytron" by "farbrausch". Both the demo and the soundtrack are amazing! The demo runs OK on slow-ish P4 machines, and it's only 64k (!).

In case you didn't notice: i'm a complete computer music (as i call it) nut. I have a _huge_ collection of game soundtracks, mods, and synth tracks converted to MP3. It's amazing to be able to see how that kind of music has progressed over the years.
Last edited by ADDiCT on 2008-8-16 @ 15:11, edited 2 times in total.
User avatar
ADDiCT
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1170
Joined: 2007-2-02 @ 15:07
Location: Retroland

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-16 @ 15:08

ADDiCT wrote:TFMX is more a tracker format than a synth one. I'm not 100% sure, but i think i read somwhere that the TFXM format would allow samples and synthesized sounds to be played back

Does it depend on OPL3 FM synthesizer to play the synth part, or is it "synthesizer-agnostic" (using the CPU instead) like tracker music? If it comes from Amiga, then I guess it's the latter, isn't it?

By the way, while we're at it, how do they generate impressive sounding music from OPL-based FM synth? Take a look at Laser Squad or Dune, for instance; how did they do it, exactly?
Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....

Say no to online installer.
User avatar
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman
l33t
 
Posts: 2807
Joined: 2006-11-15 @ 06:44
Location: Indonesia

Re: Technically impressive FM synth music

Postby ADDiCT » 2008-8-16 @ 15:54

Hmmm... As i said, i'm not the world's most technical guy. But i think it is a misconception to believe any sound or music is generated by the CPU. You'll always need some kind of sound chip - a chip that will transform digital signals to analogue waveforms we can hear. Old sound chips can only be programmed to playback FM sounds, and modern ones are able to also playback digital samples (or "streaming" music). So the limiting factor is the sound chip, not the format the music is stored in. The Amiga had a sound chip called "Paula". "Tracker" is just a term used for a certain type or mode of composing. Most tracker music is based on small samples, but there are also chiptunes in tracker formats (i'm not sure if these tracks use "real" FM synthesis, or playback samples of FM sounds). It's also possible to playback tracker music on sound chips that do not support playback of samples, like the Gameboy's sound chip. On that kind of hardware, the player routine has to do some kind of magic to "convert" the samples to FM sounds.

I'll check out the two games, didn't play them yet. I think they came out at a time where i was still a happy Amiga user. (;
User avatar
ADDiCT
Oldbie
 
Posts: 1170
Joined: 2007-2-02 @ 15:07
Location: Retroland

Next

Return to Milliways

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 2 guests