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MOD to PSG Converter


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About a year ago, I ported a playback library for the Master System called PSGMOD - it was a beautiful tracker system with ADSR-like instrument support and all kinds of effects. The playback library, unfortunately, was a little heavy-weight and saddled with non-commercial licenses. Also, the skill required to make good use of it was apparently a bit much for most people.


One thing this tracker did that I liked, but it didn't do very well, was convert 4-channel Noisetracker MODs. It has perpetually frustrated me that the very little tweaks I'd like to make to his converter were not available to me. So finally I went ahead and did my own.


I don't output PSGMOD format, but VGM, which has two main impacts. First, the files are larger than they would otherwise be, because they are a raw recording of soundchip data. Second, pretty much no CPU is needed to play them as a result. In fact the TI's console playlist routine can play these sounds, even though they sound pretty complex!


A nice side-effect of VGM format is that you can play the files on your PC to quickly listen to the results. A downside is that every soundchip byte needs a VGM command byte, so the file is twice the actual data size plus a 64 byte header. Of course you can easily strip this once you have a file you like. If you are clever, you might even find simple ways to compress the audio data (especially by compressing the wait bytes like the TI playlist routine does - the simple converter I did outputs one byte for every end of frame, even if the frame was empty).


So how's it sound? Well, not bad! Most MODs are recognizable. You lose all bass, because it's just converting frequencies. Complex samples are gone, which means that everything from distorted guitar to church organ becomes a single-tone square wave. And you have to tell it which samples are drums, which means a little manual pre-processing (my included sample has this done for you already). And sometimes you need to tweak the volume of channels or instruments. But in the end, you get a tune which is definately related to the original MOD, and sometimes pretty darn decent!


There's detail in the readme.txt about how it does its work, and what options you have for improving the conversion. There's also a sample - Arkanoid.mod, and converted to Arkanoid.VGM (with default settings). I also include links to Windows tools you can use to play both, if you don't have any.



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Bravo. :thumbsup:


As far as I remember, there are trackers, converters and tools out there, making it possible for us to enter and modify music in music staff sheet style - or any other style.


Can't wait to play any self composed freestyle live 3 finger experimental crap on my synthesizer keyboard and put it thru the process.




Edit: Excellent results. :thumbsup:

Edited by sometimes99er
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  • 2 weeks later...

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