4/9/15

Sega Master System FM Soundfonts


The Sega Master System is an often forgotten(outside of Brazil & parts of Europe) 8-bit game console despite having arguably better graphics than the NES and a pretty decent game library.  In contrast to the impressive graphics the standard audio chip of the Sega Master System is more limited than the NES as it uses the same chip as the Colecovision.  Sensing this flaw the Japanese added a FM synth into their version of the Master System which unfortunately never made it outside of Japan.   Consoles from other regions can be modded to add the FM synth as a number of games have FM audio soundtracks.


Unlike the Genesis FM chip which has a few VST emulations I haven't found any of the Master Systems FM chip.  Fortunately little-scale has sampled the sounds of the YM2413 and generously provided them for free so more people have the opportunity to make music using these sounds.  They're direct recordings of the YM2413 chip of the 15 unmodifiable preset "instruments" of the chip and the 5 "rhythm" sounds.  From what I gather the chip has 15 embedded preset "instruments" and 1 user programmable "instrument" slot available and is capable of having 9 "instruments" per track or 6 "instruments" when the "rhythm mode" is activated which gives you access to the 5 drum sounds.  If you want to make "authentic" Master System tracks with these samples I recommend going to SMS Power for more detailed information on the chip.


I've had these samples for awhile for my own personal use so I decided to share them as they may be useful for others as well.  I took the samples from little-scale and made soundfonts out of them so they're easier to load up and use.  The soundfonts are just the .wavs stretched over the full range of the keyboard with nothing extra added.  Originally I didn't have a soundfont made of the drums since they're just 5 different samples but I when I decided to post this it didn't really make sense not to include them as well.  Creating the drum soundfont probably ended up taking longer than it took me to create all the instrument soundfonts.   Instead of just doing a basic mapping I decided to make the best soundfont I could with the 5 samples.  I followed the General Midi standard for drums from "C1-B1" and repeated that from the C2-C5 octaves (GM drums usually start at C3 but some midi files start at different octaves.)


The drum map goes like this, midi standard in parenthesis.

C---Bass drum (Bass Drum 1)
C#--Snare drum pitched up (Side Stick)
D---Snare drum pitched down (Acoustic Snare)
D#--Snare drum pitched one octave down (Hand Clap)
E---Snare drum (Electric Snare)
F---Tom-tom pitched down (Low Floor Tom)
F#--High hat pitched up (Closed Hi Hat)
G---Tom-tom (High Floor Tom)
G#--High hat (Pedal Hi Hat)
A---Tom-tom pitched up (Low Tom)
A#--Top cymbal (Open Hi Hat)
B---Tom-tom pitched up more (Low Mid Tom)

In addition to the pitching I did for the standard type mapping I pitched the Bass drum sample lower below C2 & pitched the Tom-tom sample up from the pitch at B from B5 to F7 and pitched the Top cymbal down from C8 to F#7 and up from C8 to B9.  I don't know if the drum sounds of the YM2413 are able to be pitched or modified in any way but the C, E, G, G#, & A# keys from C2 to B5 trigger the unaltered samples if you just wanna use them.


DEMOS...

These aren't really intended to be "proper" demo tracks they're just tracks I did awhile ago that happen to use these sounds.


 Theirs a little bit of distortion added to the lead guitar sound and some filtering on the bass also the drums aren't from SMS and theirs some NES sounds included as well.
Download


 From what I remember this track is pretty much just the SMS sounds without a lot of processing or FX.
Download


DOWNLOAD LINKS...

Sega Master System FM Soundfonts 35 mb (50 mb unrar-ed)

Download Here


Sega Master System FM Soundfont Bank(All the soundfonts in a single soundfont file.) 50 mb

Download Here

 

NOTES...

Highly recommend you check out both little-scale's blog and SMS Power as both are excellent resources with plenty of interesting content.  I plan on releasing additional chip-music samples or patches in the future so stay tuned.

2 comments:

  1. Hey, could you do a Pristine Master system Soundfont with drums?

    http://little-scale.blogspot.ca/2012/12/completely-free-sample-pack-pristine.html
    http://little-scale.blogspot.ca/2012/12/completely-free-sample-pack-sega-master.html

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  2. Yeah, I can make another soundfont with those drums & I actually already have the Pristine samples as soundfonts in the PSG set I'll just update the PSG set to include the PSG/DAC drums.

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