Sunday, October 26, 2008

Sega Mega Drive II VS Twin Pad Player

This post is part of is an ongoing look between the sound output of various Sega Mega Drive-based devices (whether they are first party or 'clones'). The benchmark will be the PAL Sega Mega Drive II with an unmodified AV output, because this seems to be quite common (at least where I am from).

The Twin Pad Player (TPP) is a Sega Mega Drive-On-A-Chip (a Sega "clone") that has 20 games built in and is quite small in size (much smaller than a SMDII for example). It also features a cartridge input. This device was released in 2008.

In terms of source, I used the direct AV output.

The TPP is lacking in bottom end but seems to be a little clearer in the mid to high range. This clearness is also accompanied to some degree by added digital artifacts that seem to resemble alias frequencies or some other factor of playing back digital synthesis samples through a DAC.To put it frank, it sounds hollow and without soul. But that is a very, very subjective statement.

Another striking feature is the fact that the TPP is approximately four semitones lower than the PAL SMD II. The PAL/NTSC switch did not change the pitch at all.

The following examples have been normalised.

Sega Mega Drive II test example.

Twin Pad Player test example


SOPiiAC said...

Could you also do this with the Mega Drive and the Sega Nomad?

Sebastian Tomczak said...

My MIDI interface is not currently set up for use with the Nomad. Partly because I don't have one :(

Tyrell Blackburn said...

This is VERY interesting Seb.
I was also going to ask if you could compare other variants of the Mega Drive. I know someone who has two Nomads, but I'm not sure if he's willing to part with them. I can ask if you like. Maybe if he knows what you want them for he'd be more willing to sell you one. Remember there is also the Mega Drive 3, which I believe is a clone.

So I guess these are your own test pieces playing through the hardware?

If so, you mentioned that the TPP is four semitones lower. Does that mean you transposed your MIDI data up four semitones for the test?

It is indeed very interesting that the TTP is four semitones lower. Why do you think this is so? Could this be a result of different internal circuitry and/or was the difference in pitch intentional?

As for sound of the TTP, I guess if you want that sort of aesthetic then go for it, but I agree that it's difficult to look past the hollowness of its sound when compared to that of the SMD II.