When people post videos of old games with PC Speaker music the sound is usually coming directly from emulation and sounds very harsh and garish.

This is actually different from how it used to be as this process ignores the environment the sound came from: A magnetically driven speaker internally attached to the metal case, creating a resonance that gave the pure 'beep' sounds more body and texture.

If you'd like to hear what it actually sounded like, this video got it right:

Compare with practically any DOSBox video that doesn't have this resonance:

I wonder if it's possible to apply this effect to the soundtrack using free tools like Audacity?

🔈 :blobthinking:

@polychrome I don't know if Audacity does it but writing something in python or node, or even in-browser javascript, that does it wouldn't be hard if there is specific information about the changes used. Signal processing is a big part of what I do and I like that effect.

I thought that the old games don't sound as good as I remember them because nostalgia. I hadn't really considered it past that

@polychrome sounds extremely dry, like i can hear my speaker cabinets it's so dry. i can't imagine the name of an effect that would replicate this. i'm pretty sure if you opened that up in audacity you'd see plain square waves.

also that version of the MI theme is heresy. adlib/opl is the only way to fly!

@polychrome I forget exactly, but I'm pretty sure that there's some PC Speaker emulation, either software or hardware, out there that I read about a month ago

@68kmentat I'd be very interested if you remember it at some point :blobcat:

@polychrome @68kmentat is a lovely (if not particularly cheap) VST effect that, among other things, emulates various speaker housings & PC background noises

@polychrome @68kmentat OMG I love that running drums through a Speak & Spell turns it into robot beatboxing

@polychrome @68kmentat ah, I just went through my search history and was a little off. I had been researching actual PC speaker solutions, and had found this funny "sound card" solution:
(use google translate from finnish)

@polychrome I actually hacked on a SID emulator that would load the measured impulse response of a real speaker to emulate the sound as faithfully as possible. Yet another project I never finished :V

@lachs0r neat!! maybe you'll finish it one day?

Is "impulse response" the technical term for what I was referring to?

@polychrome Maybe one day. Or I might contribute to existing emulators.

The impulse response is a characteristic of an audio reproducttion system. Everything between the DAC and the listener contributes to it. If the response of a system is known, it can be used to convolve a signal to reproduce its sound.

A different use case for this is digital room correction.

If you use Linux, you can use JACK+jconvolver to process any software’s audio signal in real time through such a filter.

@polychrome So yeah, it is the term for what you were referring to.

Also, I don’t know how all the mathy bits behind this actually work (because I don’t need to). But I got a measurement microphone for room correction. I don’t have an actual C64 or old 8086 machine with a nice speaker, but I could try measuring a GameBoy or something. Because GB emulators don’t sound like they’re supposed to either.

@lachs0r the good news are that your PC motherboard still supports the PC speaker pin outs and the speaker itself was just a bog standard magnetically driven speaker (unlike the crap piezos that replaced it in the early 00's) latched with it's face to the inner wall of the chassis so any non-piezo PC would do, or you could possibly hook one up to practically any box yourself.

The only issue with modern PCs is that cases are designed to keep things very quiet which might muffle the speaker.

@lachs0r @polychrome sorry for pulling this off-topic but shouldn't
- GB as heard through speaker
- GB as heard through headphones
- GB via Super Gameboy/Gameboy Player
be up to personal preference and not have differing levels of canonicity?

@jellypotato @polychrome Yes, of course. Not to mention all the different GB models which all sound very different, even on the headphone jack.

@lachs0r @jellypotato first step would be to pick one and run with it - and then when that works take the deep dive into the wonderful world of options!

🎮 :blobcatreach:

@polychrome @lachs0r best option is SGB routed into a proper Hi-Fi system with good Canton stereo speakers. Gives tracks like Castle Lololo in Kirby's Dream Land some good bass!
@polychrome @lachs0r And if you want to see the limits of Gameboy greatness in music, check out Nemesis II: Return of the Hero (aka Gradius: The Interstellar Assault). It's really really good.

@polychrome is the 50fps video encoding a nod to PAL systems?

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