My Sega Master System FM Unit Cover of Dance of Gold from Castlevania Symphony of the Night

March 1, 2022 0 By retrogamingdev

My Sega Master System FM Unit Cover of Dance of Gold from Castlevania Symphony of the Night
Here’s my Sega Master System FM Unit cover of Dance of Gold from Castlevania: Symphony of the Night. This was created in the paid version of Deflemask and as always runs on actual Japanese SMS or Mark III + FM Unit hardware.

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I used multidumperGUI to break the channels into individual wave files and I then used Corroscope to create the oscilliscope views for those channels. I edit all my videos in Davinci Resolve.

Notes for this one… hoo boy. I was excited to see the latest version of Deflemask added support for the SMS FM Sound Unit (FM2413). Couldn’t wait to try and do something in it, despite the pain from surgery still being fresh and persistent. I spread this out over a few days so I could rest my arm between sessions.

So, I thought this would be a relatively easy copy/paste job from the Genesis version. Much like with the SMS PSG version where I thought that, I was completely wrong, of course. Why? Well strap in and I’ll explain!

The Sega Master System FM Sound Unit is very different from the Genesis’ YM2612. How different? First, it has 9 FM channels. That’s right… NINE! Which is awesome. Unless you need to use percussion. Then you lose three of them while percussion is playing (channels 7, 8 and 9). And let’s talk instruments. All the instruments are predefined like a music keyboard, you just pick the one you want and go. You are also allowed to manually define ONE instrument of your own. And those instruments only use two operators and are a lot simpler than the 4 operator sounds you can create with the YM2612.

Oh and percussion? That’s pretty nuts. You get just a handful of predefined percussive sounds. A kick drum, snare, tom, cymbal crash and hi hat. That’s it. And they all SUCK. Oh, well.

You might be wondering “Hey, can you use the SMS PSG at the same time as the FM Unit?” Well that’s interesting. On the Mark 3 where the sound unit is an add-on device you CANNOT use the PSG and FM Unit at the same time. On the Japanese SMS with the FM unit integrated into it… you can! But no commercial games did. In Deflemask you can use both at the same time. just keep in mind that work on everyone’s actual hardware.

Other than that, I had to figure out some of the idiosyncrasies of how this stuff works on the 2413, there are some weird drum kit bugs that can create extra sounds by accident. I got all of those cleared up except one, but it sounded OK where it was so I left it in. And apparently the chip decides which channel, 7, 8, or 9 the percussion sound plays in. Despite this, you can’t use say one drum channel and 8 FM channels. You either get 6 FM and 3 drums or 9 FM and 0 drums. Just how it is.

It was fun to mess around and learn this despite the problems and I’ll probably do so more here and there, but will continue to mostly focus on Genesis stuff.

Anyway, that’s about it for this one.

Oh, and don’t forget to check out and sub to my (mainly) retrogaming channel!

Catch you in the next one!

#castlevania #chiptunes #segamastersystem #danceofgold #markIII #deflemask #SMS #SMSmusic #FMsoundunit #FM #mastersystemFM #ym2413 #vgm #gamemusic #sega #8bit #chiptune
via YouTube