January 21st, 2013, 02:14 PM
SNES Sound Development
Can anyone shed any light on the process of implementing Sound and Music back in the day for SNES titles?
I understand Nintendo has kept a tight lid on that one, but as far as I could gather some fancy composer sequenced a piece of music, handed this music to the programmers and they dealed with implementing it in the source code to play on the SNES using 64Kb of RAM for loading samples and the famous SPC700 to play the music program... Sounds right?
But any other information would be much appreciated... What type of sequencer composers used? What kind of file did composers hand to programmers? Did programmers had to interpret all the music in ASM (going note by note) or did they have a special SDK to convert the music into SPC format? etc.
Thanks everyone for your help
January 21st, 2013, 07:18 PM
From my reading, (and I could be totally wrong on this...)
All music from the beginning of the arcades to the SNES days followed the basic, hard coded sound that was taken bit by bit (or note by note) and coded in to activate that tone. After a while there were most likely scripts that could be old school copy and pasted based on the notes and the time codes provided by the music. I am sure this does not help in any way, but it might be a step in the right direction.
January 22nd, 2013, 02:12 PM
Thanks Tallaaron76. It is most definitely an expansion to my view.
I can also add with the reply I got from a developer at EA. Apparently they had amazing audio tools back in '94. A composer could load in their MIDI in an in-house middleware tool and build the sound bank already the way it should be loaded into the game (just like programming synth patches in the DX7). Composers themselves would just worry about RAM space in the SNES and a Music Player (again proprietary, unfortunately) would stuff the right data into the right registers at the right time. This seems amazing to me because after a week searching on the internet for something like this I got the impression it was code all over and no SDKs at all.
Anyone else has other tales from the past about how composers and programmers dealt with implementing sound and music in the SNES (or any other console for that matter)?