PCE audio research..
Doing a little researching into PCE audio engines of games today (again). Found some interesting things.
First, Devil’s Crush. Looks like some of the instruments on a channel are receiving small channel buffer updates. Very small, but enough to slightly change the timbre of the sound. Channel 6 of track 2 of the HES, you can hear it if you listen long enough. The timbre scales with the note in some parts, instead of a flat timbre to note scale. Another odd thing with Devil’s Crush, is the whole note system is detuned from the standard table. The WHOLE thing. Appears to be detuned by about -27 cents. Although this doesn’t scale too well (it’s about -20 cents just 2.25 octaves higher). I think there was another instance where a few high notes use a slightly different waveform. Gives it a nice but subtle effect (a nice peak to a build up).
Second, Afterburner. Uses sharper or duller versions of the same instrument to scale the timbre up and down selectively. At the beginning of one track, the intro part is very quick changing waveforms (as fast as every 3-4 frames).
I’ve already RE’d Bonk’s sound engine (the first game in the series). Pretty simple engine, yet it sounds soo great IMO. Love those trumpets, even though they are nothing special technical wise. I have enough info to reproduce a player and rip some songs. Anyway, it’s a simple vblank tick engine. No TIMER resolution. Only a few effects. Channel 1 is used for sample playback, but the sample rate is only 3.5khz. Strange they’d use such a low frequency. Oh well, they sound pretty good for what they are.
Edit: Heh, while just recently browsing wiki for something else, I came across a little bit of info I didn’t know about. Apparently “heavy metal” bands would down tune from concert pitch. I don’t think this is a coincidence on Devil’s Crush side as the music is interpreted as just that…. but PCE-fied.