If people wanted good quality music so badly, why not program games in C++ or something?
Please pardon me for ranting, but this really strikes a nerve. If you want better music, there are two options:
One: spend years porting an entire game from the SNES to the PC. Disassemble the entire game, figure out every last algorithm, every last random number generator, every last damage calculator, every last power-up generator, everything. Spend months getting the physics exactly right, spend months essentially cloning the SNES PPU to get effects like the ghost houses exactly right. Spend weeks ripping every last sprite and re-inserting it. And realize that no matter how much work you do, you will never recreate the original gameplay balancing, mechanics and physics 100% perfect.
Once you're done with all of that, now you get to port it to every system ever made. And now you get to spend another several months taking bug reports because JoeSixpack's Turtle Beach Santa Cruz and Hercules ISA graphics card have problems with their drivers. But the users blame you, so you get to work around it. And now you get to rewrite all your video, audio and input code for what the PSP uses, for what your cell phone uses, for what OS X users, for what Linux uses, for what FreeBSD uses, and of course for whatever API Windows uses this week (XAudio3D Pro 11?). And you'll have to keep porting it as new operating systems and hardware comes out, forever and ever.
And two years in when you realize how much work it is and want to stop, you'll have to make up an elaborate lie about how Company X's lawyers threatened to sue you if you don't discontinue the work prior to release.
, two: spend ten minutes overriding the game's "play music track #N" command with "is there an MSU1? Play PCM file #n. Otherwise, play music track #N". Ten minutes, and you have the game, 100% correct with all algorithms and levels and physics, etc.
You don't have to do any video/audio/input drivers, or any operating system ports. There are SNES emulators everywhere, and they will get fixed and ported for you. Your hack is every bit as portable as a real SNES game.
Note how I said to play audio above: by falling back on the old SPC code when you don't detect the MSU1, you'll even get full audio everywhere. You just have the option of some special enhancements, if you so choose, by using an MSU1-capable emulator.
Frankly, you're out of your mind if you recommend someone to go with option one.
That said, I totally understand the nostalgia factor of limiting yourself to just the S-SMP. By all means, I'm not asking everyone to use this in their hacks. It's just there if you want it.
the SNES doesn't seem to be capable of supporting that
The SNES, even without special chips, is perfectly capable of it. Take a look at this ROM:
(warning, it is a 64MB download)
That does not use MSU1 at all, it only uses the S-DD1 memory mapper. Listen to that sound quality. Not impressed because of the ROM size?
2.9MB, and this streams a true, CD-quality, 16-bit stereo, no ADPCM compression, song on stock SNES hardware. You can run that right now on your SNES.
The only reason this isn't possible in stock games is because of ROM size costs. So don't say it's about technical limitations, it's about cost limitations. If you don't like MSU1, then your hangup is that it would cost too much to make in the 90s.
if so it would be possible to insert dialogues with voices in a hack, no?
Yes. There is only one stream for MSU1, though. So you would have to do your music on the SMP, and your voice tracks on the MSU1. Or you would have to intermix the audio and voices and time everything.