Playing NSF/VGM music on FPGA/MiSTer? (re: sound chips, YM2151, OPL, etc)

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sofakng
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Playing NSF/VGM music on FPGA/MiSTer? (re: sound chips, YM2151, OPL, etc)

Post by sofakng »

I'm still researching this topic but it looks like there is a format called VGM (Video Game Music) which are recordings of the actual data sent to the original sound chips in arcade/console games.

If you have a device with an original sound chip (ie. TexElec SAAYM or TexElec OPL3/Adlib card), then you can use a player like VGMPlay or SGVGM to play these files back through an original chip for 100% accurate playback of the audio. There are also dedicated hardware devices like the Throwback Operator by Aidan Lawrence that uses real YMF262 (OPL3) chips to play VGM files on actual chips for completely accurate audio playback.

Does anything like this exist in FPGA (ie. Mister?)

I know that jotego has cloned the YM2151 in FPGA and it would be amazing if this could be used to playback VGM files.

Of course there are many other sound chips and formats (NSF files [Nintendo], YM2162/SN76489 chips [Genesis], etc) and something that could be used to playback sound files on FPGA cycle-accurate sound chips would be amazing.

Although, when the Analogue Mega Sg was released I believe a lot was said about it's audio chip emulation and the difficulty of recreating these chips I don't know if a truely accurate FPGA could even be created, but I'm extremely interested in this project.
slingshot
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Re: Playing NSF/VGM music on FPGA/MiSTer? (re: sound chips, YM2151, OPL, etc)

Post by slingshot »

There are utilities which embeds VGM/SPC/etc. files into native ROM files for almost all console.
Writing native cores for this job is not straightforward, first you need to parse the VGM (painful in hardware), then prepare all the chips involved (not all chips - actually very few - can be injected with a specific state).
sofakng
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Re: Playing NSF/VGM music on FPGA/MiSTer? (re: sound chips, YM2151, OPL, etc)

Post by sofakng »

Yeah, I don't know the details and I'm sure it's very difficult but hopefully with some of the work already completed (ie. the audio cores) that somebody will try to implement a player? Is it possible to use the Linux side of the MiSTer to decode/parse the VGM files and then send them to the FPGA audio cores for playback?

I've written to Jose on his Patreon and he mentioned that he actually started an enhanced Atari ST core with the purpose of a VGM player but hasn't continued work on it.
slingshot
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Re: Playing NSF/VGM music on FPGA/MiSTer? (re: sound chips, YM2151, OPL, etc)

Post by slingshot »

The ARM could unzip a vgz for example. But if you need it specifically for MiSTer, why don't you ask this on its forum? It's the MiST section, and the IO controller couldn't really help more.
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