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What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s?

Posted By: faustus

What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 01:44 PM

Hello! I'm an italian fan of arcade music games! I have a question for Belmont. What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid 1990s in terms of sound quality and samples frequency? And also what's the worst of this?

Yamaha SCSP from Sega
C352 from Namco
K054539 from Konami
Ensoniq ES5505 from Taito
DCS Sound System from Midway
CAGE Sound System from Atari

I believe that the best is the SCSP but I'm not sure, and I don't have any idea what is the worst.

I want also the tecnichal specs and information for these sound chips.

Thanks,
Faustus.
Posted By: ElSemi

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 04:03 PM

I don't know about the other chips, so I can't compare, but I can tell you the SCSP specs:

- 32 digital audio channels
- supports 8 and 16 bit PCM samples
- simple, reverse and ping-pong loops
- 4 stage (ADSR) envelope generator for each channel
- programmable channel output feedback for modulation (FM sound slot simulation)
- 3 programmable (count,prescaler) timers + 1 fixed timer running at the playback speed (1 interrupt per sample generated)
- programmable DSP for sound post-processing (reverb,echo,pitch slide...)
- 44.1Khz (I forgot to write it the first time)
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 07:19 PM

C352:
- 32 digital audio channels
- supports 8-bit PCM and muLaw samples
- 4 channel output
- simple and reverse loops
- 42 kHz native sample rate

K054539:
- 8 digital audio channels
- supports 8 and 16 bit PCM and 4-bit ADPCM
- programmable reverb
- simple loops
- programmable timer
- 48 kHz native sample rate

ES5505:
- 32 digital audio channels
- 8 or 16 bit PCM samples
- simple, reverse, and ping-pong loops
- envelope generator per channel
- digital filter per channel
- 44.1 kHz native sample rate

DCS & CAGE:
- Pure software (not a chip) playing 4 channels of mono MPEG data at a 32 kHz sample rate and a low bit rate.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 08:20 PM

Thank you very much ElSemi and Richard!!

Then in terms of sample rate the K054539 is the best, but in the complex the best sound system is the SCSP and the worst is the DCS (quality of music in Cruis'n series isn't very high!).
Posted By: Sixtoe

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 09:49 PM

The thing is, you have to take the whole system into consideration as well in most cases.

As an example the ES5505 is a monster, and the Taito F3 with both the ES5505 and ES5510 running full tilt probably outstrips everything else sound quality wise.

It also depends on the quality of the music as well, and if it was specifically written for that particular hardware.
Posted By: Slick Mandela

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 10:19 PM

I like Midway Digital Compressed Sound myself.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 10:20 PM

Yes it's true! In fact Sega SCSP music and sounds are better than Taito F3 music and sounds but the ES5505 is a very powerful sound chip.

Also the C352 isn't a very powerful sound chip (42KHz sample rate, only 8-bit rate not 16-bit supported) but the quality of sounds in Namco games is very high! Expecially I love Ridge Racer/Rave Racer, Soul Edge/Soul Calibur, Point Blank, Time Crisis and Tekken 1/2/3 sounds!

Oh I forgot the "Q-Sound" chip from Capcom. What about this chip?
I like also the music in CPS-2 games expecially in Marvel Super Heroes, Super Street Fighter series and Mars Matrix.
Posted By: ElSemi

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 10:47 PM

the qsound chip is a simple sample player (apart than the qsound spatialization effect).
Just 16 voices of 8 bit PCM sound with simple loop.
All the pitch effects and envelopes are done by changing the appropiate channel registers in real time. It doesn't even have a timer, in cps2 there is a fixed interrupt to the z80 derived from the sound clock by discrete logic circuits.
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/13/05 10:47 PM

QSound:
- 16 digital audio channels
- 8 bit PCM supported
- simple loops
- Native sample rate is 32 kHz (I think, it's not clear from the emulation)

And Six is right - the total hardware matters, as does the composer. A lot of my favorite tunes are on the Konami GX hardware (dual 54539s plus an effects DSP). On paper it's somewhat above average, but the results they get out of it are frequently spectacular.

Also, the C352 isn't as bad as it looks - 8-bit muLaw has an effective audible dynamic range of 14 bits. Fighting Layer uses muLaw almost exclusively and it sounds fantastic.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/14/05 12:48 AM

Oh! Q-Sound is so "simple" chip? I would have never excepted it! Only 32KHz sample rate? I think it was about 42-44 KHz! However the sound in CPS-2 games is pretty good!

Oh yes the Konami tunes are simply fantastic! I love very much the music in Gokyuou Parodius, Sexy Parodius, Twin Bee Yahoo!, Salamander 2, Winning Spike, Lethal Enforcers 2 and in all Beatmania Games! Very very good sound!

In conclusion here the classifies of the best sound chips for me. Thanks for the information! :

1st Yamaha SCSP & K054539 (equal merit)
2nd Ensoniq ES5505
3rd Namco C352
4th Capcom Q-Sound
5th DCS Sound System

P.S.: The music present in Midway DCS games isn't bad but in terms of quality isn't very high for a mid-1990s arcade game.
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/14/05 02:20 AM

DCS wasn't so bad in real arcades, although I think a lot of Midway's in-house stuff on it ended up kinda generic. The killer apps for DCS turned out to be Killer Instinct/KI2 and Crusin' USA/World, all developed outside of Midway.
Posted By: Reznor007

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 09:13 AM

If you play the DCS tunes on a good stereo system it sounds pretty good. You can tell it's not perfect, but for 1993 it wasn't too bad.

For DCS2 were there any more additions than 44.1KHz and stereo? More channels/etc? And what about the 5.1 system used for Rush 2049, is that considered DCS3?
Posted By: Sixtoe

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 11:53 AM

5.1 is CAGE afaik?
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 08:41 PM

Another question for Belmont!

The C352 emulation in MAME in some games is "bad" for example in Point Blank and expecially in Point Blank 2. Listen and compare these MP3 files:

Point Blank sound from MAME
Point Blank sound from PSX version

Note that the MAME version of this tune is noisier than in PSX counterpart.

Point Blank 2 sound from MAME
Point Blank 2 sound from PSX version

Note that the MAME version is one semitone lower than PSX version and in MAME version some notes are jarred!

My question is this: These sound bugs depends by "not perfect" emulation of MCU or "not perfect" emulation of C352 sound chip core or both?
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 10:14 PM

Posts exclusively about MAME are off-topic here and subject to deletion. Also, console versions frequently have different/remixed sound (it's guaranteed in this instance since the sound hardware is completely different) and are not acceptable comparisons for emulation problems. (In particular, the C352 uses 8-bit samples which are often noisy and the PSX SPU is 16-bit). PCB recordings or OSTs, those I'll listen to.

Furthermore, the only feedback I've recieved since adding that sound support has been negative (aside from a nice comment by Aaron Giles). It appears a great many people preferred those games silent, and I can certainly arrange that for 0.101.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 11:11 PM

Excuse me, I'm sorry! Yes C352 uses 8-bit samples and PSX SPU 16-bit samples, but I've original Point Blank arcade PCB and the music in that stage isn't so noisy as in MAME.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/15/05 11:31 PM

But do you want to remove C352 sound for 0.101?
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 12:07 AM

OK, now we're getting somewhere. Post some recordings from the PCB (use the sound test mode).

It may just be slight differences in the sequence format though, so until/unless we can get a real BIOS dump for those games I'd be happy there's sound at all.
Posted By: faustus

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 12:30 AM

Sorry, unfortunately my Point Blank PCB is broken, and temporarily not working! But I assure that the sound in the original PCB isn't noisy than in MAME. For this reason I posted PSX version of Point Blank sound, because is identical to real PCB version (I listened them!)
Posted By: Sixtoe

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 01:39 AM

I think the word you're looking for is "Similar"
Posted By: Mr. Do

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 03:58 AM

Quote:
Originally posted by R. Belmont:

Furthermore, the only feedback I've recieved since adding that sound support has been negative (aside from a nice comment by Aaron Giles). It appears a great many people preferred those games silent, and I can certainly arrange that for 0.101.
Not true! I gave you the orange dancing thingy :p
http://www.mameworld.info/ubbthreads/sho...part=1&vc=1

I had a ball this weekend.

Damn!! And in the middle of typing this, you fixed Speed Racer. Rock on
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 04:16 AM

Yeah, but that orange dancing thing scares me. (So does Sixtoe, but for different reasons) :pac:
Posted By: Sixtoe

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 02:30 PM

That's because I've got the Bone .
Posted By: Sixtoe

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 05:51 PM

BUT NOW I'VE GOT IT EVEN MORE!!!!!111oneeleven
Posted By: R. Belmont

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/16/05 07:04 PM

Oooooh. Best news I've seen in a while :-)

Wonder if Treasure's developing it again.
Posted By: Hammy

Re: What's the best arcade sound chip from the mid '90s? - 09/25/05 03:36 AM

>Sorry, unfortunately my Point Blank PCB is >broken, and temporarily not working!

what's the problem with it wink i bet i could help (at least a bit wink )
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