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Topic: Did any other retro systems use that extra sound channel thing like Famicom?

Posts 1 to 11 of 11

Zeldafan79

I was looking through a list of games that took advantage of that feature and thought I'd ask. Hope that's not a silly question. I was just curious and can't seen to find an answer.

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

KingMike

Does the Sega CD count?
Supposedly it was possible for a cart game to access the CD, and the unofficial game Pier Solar reportedly supported that (allowing the user to burn their own soundtrack CD and play it with the game).

KingMike

Zeldafan79

Finally a response! Yeah any game system from the 80's or 90's that utilized an extra sound channel, chip or whatever would count. I was asking because I'm looking into getting some imports for the original famicom that might have been better than their Nes counterparts such as Contra or Castlevania 3 due to the better sound quality. The list i found didn't seem to be very long though.

Was there anything like that on super famicom or beyond?

Edited on by Zeldafan79

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

Atariboy

Atari 7800 cartridges had the option of including Atari's Pokey audio chip from their arcade hardware for enhanced audio capabilities.

Sadly it obviously increased the cost per cartridge, so only two games were released by Atari that took advantage. The rest of the library had to deal with the internal audio hardware that consisted of the TIA chip that was present on the system to enable Atari 2600 backwards compatibility (It was a custom graphics chip for the 2600 that generated the 2600's screen display, sound effects, and served as the controller interface).

Sort of like the Game Boy Advance. Apparently many GBA games utilized the Z80 processor for some or all of their audio (primarily included to enable Game Boy and Game Boy Color compatibility since it was the CPU for those two systems). And much like the 7800, the lack of modern dedicated audio hardware meant the audio capabilities weren't quite up to par.

Edited on by Atariboy

Atariboy

Zeldafan79

@Atariboy
You don't hear much about Atari 7800. All anybody ever talks about is the 2600. I never had a 7800 myself but by the time i knew it existed they kinda vanished.

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

Matt_Barber

There was a 2600 game that included a sound chip on the cartridge in the shape of Pitfall 2.

Since the 2600 didn't have a dedicated audio pin on the cartridge port it had to poll the bus once per scanline to retrieve the audio data. This works but chews up a lot of CPU time and has somewhat limited fidelity, hence the much better solution offered with the 7800.

Matt_Barber

Antiriad2097

Zeldafan79 wrote:

Finally a response! Yeah any game system from the 80's or 90's that utilized an extra sound channel, chip or whatever would count.

If you're counting any sound add-on, then a number of Atari ST games produced audio via their native AY chips by default, but also offered the option of connecting a synthesiser for a much richer audio experience since it had MIDI ports built in.

Mind you, MIDI connections can be found much further back - Sandy White's Zombie Zombie on the ZX Spectrum can be connected to a synth for MIDI audio playback using a cable, the wiring diagram for which was included with the game.

And since we mention the ZX Spectrum, the original 16/48k models only had a beeper for sound, so several companies marketed audio expansion cartridges, including curios like the Specdrum or the Currah microSpeech.

Speech synthesis from a cartridge was a thing back then, Texas Instruments, creators of the Speak and Spell, also had a speech unit for their TI-99/4 systems.

Antiriad2097

Zeldafan79

@Antiriad2097
Yeah i remember being impressed whenever a game on Nes had actual voices in them. It was rare though. I think Bayou billy if you've heard of that one had talking at the title screen and i also heard it on a jeopardy game. It even sounded like Alex Trebek rest his soul.

Edited on by Zeldafan79

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

Krull

This is not my area of expertise, but does the Sega Master System count? The Japanese version had an FM sound chip that was superior to basic one in the worldwide release.

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Zeldafan79

@Krull
Yeah that counts. I think one of the wonderboy games had that feature.

"Freedom is the right of all sentient beings" Optimus Prime

sdelfin

The PC Engine CD(AKA TurboGrafx 16 CD) was similar to the Famicom disk system in that, aside from the difference in storage method, the only hardware upgrade it offered was additional sound channels. This is unlike the Sega CD, which did add additional hardware capabilities and faster CPU. The PCE CD just added a CD-playback channel and a PCM channel to play back stored samples, as I recall.

sdelfin

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