Friday, June 20, 2008

Chip Tuning the Sega Master System

By following the link below, you can see the tuning of the PAL and NTSC Sega Master System as I have implemented it. To avoid confusion of the various ways of naming MIDI notes, I have shown the tuning in comparison to MIDI note numbers. The resulting PAL and NTSC frequencies are compared to 12-TET equal tempered tuning.

This comparison is in cents, and has been rounded to two decimal places. The lowest MIDI note number that the Master System can play is MIDI note 45 (an 'A' two octaves below a concert 'A').

The tuning of the Master System above around MIDI note 101 begins to go horribly pear shaped, but this surely forms part of the character of playing chip music on a machine such as this. I suppose this brings up the interesting topic of how the tuning limitations of a system influence the feel and aesthetic of the music that is made using it.

Link: PAL and NTSC Sega Master System Tuning

6 comments:

nak said...

Hi, are you custom programming a sega cartridge for this application?

I saw the video and the TV screen, so I'd assume yes :P

What kind of setup do you have to program your sega? I was at savers and found a sega genesis for $4.99 and had to grab it (no cables, no power supply, etc) and I really haven't been able to test the darn thing.

Keep up the good work, Chris

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Hey Chris, yes, I am programming a Sega cartridge in order to do this.

The setup involves a flash cart (which is the blank, black cart in the video).

Five bucks for a genny, huh? Thats awesome!

Juan Pablo said...

Hi Sebastian, did you recieve a comment from colombia?.

Sebastian Tomczak said...

I just emailed you.

Maxim said...

Did you see http://www.smspower.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=11185 ?

Sebastian Tomczak said...

Hey Maxim, no I have not seen this thread before but thanks for pointing it out!

Seb