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Crappy 7800 Sound


Joey Kay

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A couple thoughts on the sound on the 7800...

 

Yes, the sound chip in it is crap, but with the right programmer, it isn't THAT BAD (ie- Food Fight) (Note - I'm not saying the sound is that great, either!)

 

Here's a thought for you techies, though. With a POKEY sound chip on board, is the 7800 able to use both the system sound chip and the sound chip in the cart (in essence giving it 6 channels of sound?)

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Interesting question, although I'm not sure it'd be worth the trouble for six channel sound if you had access to a POKEY. As I said in another thread, I can't believe Atari didn't just stick a POKEY in the 7800. Probably the only time in videogame history where a console developer took a giant step backwards with regards to sound capabilities when developing their next generation console. I wonder how much it cost developers to include a POKEY chip in the cart.

 

..Al

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In answer to the question regarding the channels...the answer is yes.

 

Proof is in the Mess emu. Commando and Ballblazer both have Pokey chips in them. But the Mess emu doesn't support the pokey sound just yet. however, the rest of the sound works just fine.

 

Keep this in mind...Mess doesn't support POKEY on the 7800 games...and yet we still can hear about 75% of ballblazer music!!..Meaning that all of it...except the countermelody is being done via the TIA!!!

 

That...is programming!!!

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quote:

Originally posted by Albert:

I can't believe Atari didn't just stick a POKEY in the 7800.

 

 

You probably already know this, but after 5200-zilla the designers decided the next system was going to be a lot smaller. So small, in fact, that they couldn't find room for the Pokey.

 

You probably also know better than I, but I'm under the impression that the sound lines on the 7800 would, theoretically, allow you to plug in any sound device you could cram and power on a cart.

 

Eric

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Actually MESS does support the POKEY in the 7800 emulation. Ballblazer does all of it's sound output through the POKEY. You wouldn't hear anything without this chip. Commando on the other hand only uses the POKEY for the music. The sound effects are done through the TIA. I know this because I have tried both games on my POKEY-less RAM cart, and unfortunately these were the results I got.

 

 

Ciao, Eckhard Stolberg

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Eckhard,

 

I won't disagree with you on the pokey support in MESS...but if it is supported then is counter melody on BallBlazer not heard in MESS? I didn't even know the counter melody was there until I got my own copy for my 7800 and heard it for myself. I also noticed it when using Atari800win Plus and played BallBlazer on the 5200 side of things I noticed the countermelody there as well.

 

Fire them up and check it out. If Pokey is supported...then it isn't support completely.

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The POKEY is DEFINITLY supported in MESS, I know, I put it there The Pokey emulation in the MAME/MESS core is pretty accurate so the POKEY emulation in the 7800 driver should be complete. I will have to checkout Ballblazer on my real 7800 to see what you mean about the music.

 

Also, as Eckhard indicated the audio line coming from the cart (where the pokey is) does get mixed with the audio from the TIA so you can get 6 channels of sound.

 

I have often thought about why Atari didn't include a Pokey onboard. Space was definitly an issue, the 7800 logic board is pretty tight and the POKEY is a 40 pin IC so the would have had to increase the size of the board.

 

I may have also been for economic reason. Since they would have had to make the board bigger it may have increased the cost more the just the price of the POKEY chip, and at that time, they selling price of a console was a very important issue. Putting the Pokey on the cart on the other hand didn't really hurt Atari much since most carts had either extra ROM or RAM on them anyway (POKEY carts had neither) so the cost to make any supercart would have been about equal.

 

Dan

 

[ 02-18-2002: Message edited by: Dan Boris ]

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Okay Dan,

 

I am not trying to start and flames or piss anybody off. I for one appreciate your 7800 efforts more than most I think. Without your current support there would be no 7800 emulation.

 

However, if the pokey is 100% then there is a another counter melody missing on Ballblazer that is in the rom itself...

 

Also where is the music for Commando? There is a pokey on that cart yet there is no music in the game on emulation? I didn't even know the music was there until I got a commando cart myself. I knew there was a pokey on it...but didn't know what it was doing. Now I can hear it! So either we have bad dumps or there is still something amiss in the 7800 driver on Mess for the Pokey support.

 

I am going to say that is might be a bad dump. That being the case I will try and remember to dump those two myself tonight and add the headers to them to see if they play the background music correctly or not.

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quote:

Originally posted by -^Cro§Bow^-:

Okay Dan,

 

...or there is still something amiss in the 7800 driver on Mess for the Pokey support.


 

 

Most likely this is the problem. It's unlikely that a bad dump would only cause music to be missing. I'll have to find some time to take a look at this problem.

 

Dan

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Regarding the POKEY-less 7800...

 

Perhaps someone at Atari thought that if they didn't include a POKEY onboard the 7800, they could either license the POKEY chip out to 3rd party software manufacturers or have third party games go without good sound.

 

Does anybody have an idea about this?

 

Cheers!

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Ballblazer - I get the music in MESS - compared to the 800XL cart I have it seems exactly the same...

 

I can't boot up a 7800 - mine is PAL and I don't have a PAL TV here in the US yet....

 

I've not heard any TIA sound in Ballblazer - the SFX etc all sound "pokey" to me (thank god)...

 

BTW - I can't get COmmando to run under MESS - does teh latest version have some issues with some carts??

 

sTeVE

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Yes...the latest version of mess broke support alot of other games even though it fixed support for Tower Toppler, and Winter/Summer Games...

 

so you have to use an older version of Mess to play most of the other games.

 

Basically if you left BallBlazer's title music play long enough...there is a whole other melody that plays ontop of the main one. You have to let it run for more than just a few seconds though...

 

And yes, Commando has a whole background music that plays in the background...but is completely missing in Mess.

 

I wish I had an easy way of hooking up the 7800 to record the sound from it. Basically if you load up BallBlazer in a 5200 emu and listen the whole track...then listen to it in Mess for the 7800 rom you will hear the difference in that the 7800 version is missing a second overlaying tune.

 

I can try and record the samples under atai800win using the 5200 rom image and then the 7800 image...because they do not sound the same.

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