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MSU1 Discussion
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In order to not turn BMF's hack showoff thread into a discussion about a completely different topic, I thought it might be a good idea to create a new thread for that.

Originally posted by BMF54123
bsnes supports a (currently) fictional SNES expansion chip called the MSU1, which is capable of playing WAV audio or streaming data from external files, similar to how the unreleased SNES CD addon would have worked.

In a nutshell: WAV music in SMW. Feel free to talk about it here.

My opinion on the matter:

Originally posted by WhiteYoshiEgg
It would sound like an SNES all right, but I doubt it'd feel like one too. The music isn't technically in the ROM, the SNES doesn't seem to be capable of supporting that, and you'd be playing the hack with that in mind all the time. Knowing that what you play wouldn't be possible on a real console - which is what hacking is all about, after all - would really ruin the fun for me. If too much revolutionary stuff is added, beyond the limits of the SNES, and the hack feels too "modern" overall, I might as well move on to making real PC games.

Now, I'm not saying that MSU1 feature is a bad thing - It's really amazing of whoever did it (byuu?) to pull off something like that, in fact. All I'm saying is that nostalgia and "retro-ness" (can't explain it too well, but you know what I mean) play a great role in hacking, and having limitations is actually fun if you consider that your game would have been playable on a real SNES. Just getting rid of those limitations would simply ruin the feeling of hacking.

tl;dr: I'm not keen on this MSU1 thing, since it kind of ruins the fun for me. If only one or two hacks use it, though, I guess I'll be fine with it.

(I know by know that a real SNES would actually support it. That doesn't change my opinion about it feeling unreal though.) And again, I'm not telling anyone to not like or use it, but I most likely won't be using it.

So yeah, continue the discussion here.


Err, wouldn't this belong in "emulation"?

Ether way; My opinions about the MSU1 are actually quite varied. On one side I find it awesome, seeing how it can make standard roms run wave format music and sounds. But on the other hand, like you said, it removes the retro and nostalgia feeling that the musics for addmusic have =/
Thanks for making a separate thread, I hate to keep derailing BMF's hack thread. Bound to happen for the first hack, but still unfortunate.

I'll answer any questions you guys have about it here, ask away!
Actually... I'm quite hyped.
Byuu knows that well about how i like it.

I have a brain that likes retrogaming, and lives with it.
I did a MSU Player SNES Homebrew, and a 21FX (predessessor to MSU1) Game hack for FlashBack.

It's enough to say : I like MSU1, and i want to use it.


My Bandcamp, with my albums!

Does the MSU1 convert the wave files to a sound format compatible with SNES, or is it just the emulator playing the sounds separately?
(From what I've gathered it should be the former, but I want to reassure =P)
The MSU1 shares the Super Game Boy sound mixing code.

It runs a separate coprocessor at exactly 44.1KHz, and mixes one audio file sample with the SNES sound output in real-time.

This allows for save states, fast forwarding, rewinding, and pausing to all work seamlessly. Something a standalone music player couldn't do.

And LuigiBlood, appreciate the support. I know the API and everything keeps changing, but we're getting close. The MMIO registers are 100% finalized, and the next release should have a finalized music format with looping support.
I think it's a fantastic feature. I get what you mean WYE about it not being "as nostalgic." However the fact that I can now put my techno hits into my hack seems way more efficient than using a music port.

The whole idea of a "port" in video games is taking one or all aspects of a game on one platform and moving them to a different one; like moving Doom from the PC to the SNES for example. The system processes it differently to fit it's capabilities.

Until now, people have had to make ports of music from other games and platforms. To be honest 75% of the custom music here seems butchered when compared to it's original. So the fact that we can just have the songs we want to begin with, really eliminates the middle man, and gives us the sound we really wanted in the first place. That, and the technical details behind it are quite good. I think byuu deserves around of applause.

Also, question for byuu, I heard in the future you were going to expand and make it .mp3 compatible, is this true? It doesn't really matter to me that much considering you can just convert the files in seconds anyway, but I was just wondering.

I am actually moving the audio format to a headerless WAV, or in other words a raw PCM file with a loop position value. There's just no universal way to do WAV looping that works everywhere, and all that flexibility in the header would just lead to balkanization between different implementations that implement MSU1 differently. The last thing I want is "use bsnes for this MSU1 patch", and "use FSNES for that MSU1 patch."

My "ultimate idea" is to have a cross-platform tool that takes a configuration file, some music files, and some video files (if you like), and spits out the appropriate MSU1 data.

So you would distribute this tiny utility along with your MP3s and AVIs, and the user would run the "setup.exe" prior to using it. All highly compressed.

The reason to use these lossless formats for the raw data is so that things like the real-life hardware implementation of MSU1, as well as other emulators, can implement MSU1 with a lot less code. You only need ~4KB of code to do it with lossless implementations.

Anyway, the configuration file is what will make the editor really nice. You'll get a nice GUI that has names for each audio track, and it will let you import or export them as you please.

That's the goal. I don't know the first thing about MP3 at the moment, and video playback is going to need some library code, so we'll see how it all goes.
Feels like a dumb question, but is that "MSU1" logo used on SMO could be the official logo ?


My Bandcamp, with my albums!

Personally, I don't really like this whole thing. If we keep on coming up with stuff like this, SMW hacking just won't be fun anymore. I mean, its more fun to actually recreate a song for SMW then to just download an MP3.

If everyone starts using WAV files instead of actually putting work into the music, the music won't seem that amazing anymore.
And just imagine what horrible things that joke hacks will put in. *shudder*

Also, the folder sizes would be humongous, perhaps reaching into the hundreds of megabytes.

Professional frame-by-frame time wizard. YouTube - Twitter - SMW Glitch List - SMW Randomizer
It doesn't exactly have the feeling real SMW music has, and according to byuu, ZSNES and Snes9x will never adopt the MSU1 sound chip anyways. It really can't become widespread unless bsnes suddenly becomes a much more popular emulator then ZSNES anyways.

That doesn't mean I don't like it, I love it! The only real problem is that it'll be inevitable some n00b will use this to throw in music he really likes even though it doesn't fit just 'cause he can.

... and the awful sounding hacks that'll pop up, ugh...

Good fucking bye.
People, first of all, this isn't released to the public, in full just yet; from what I can understand anyway. Plus, SMO has a huge filesize partially because of this but because it also has tons of ASM work put into it as well. Plus, do you really think noobs are going to adopt this method so quickly? Most of them don't even know how to insert custom music. So setting up bsnes like this would be too much of a task for them.

Also, I made a video.

<object width="465" height="280"><param name="movie" value=""></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="465" height="280"></embed></object>

Holy shit. So technically, I can have actual people speaking words by converting the MP3 I want into a .WAV in Audacity. That's fucking awesome. I may use this when it's ready to be used on all major emulators.
molten-It's NEVER going to be used in other emulators, the Zsnes and Snes9x devs don't care about the advances in bsnes. And according to byuu, to have vocals, since there's apperently only one stream in MSU1, you have to play the vocals in MSU1 and the music in SMP. Or something, I don't really know anything about emulators, this is all according to byuu.

Good fucking bye.
MIDI's can be easily converted to wavs.

screw music porting, we now have wav
I think it's quite ridiculous. If you really need to remove a limitation, why even hack SMW?

I honestly wonder if we'd even be having this discussion if the SNES CD made it to production.

Think about it: if I were to hack Sonic the Hedgehog to use the Sega CD's audio capabilities, do you think anyone would complain?

The only difference here is that the Sega CD was released. The SNES CD wasn't. The MSU1 is simply filling in that gap, albeit a decade and a half late.
Originally posted by BMF54123
I honestly wonder if we'd even be having this discussion if the SNES CD made it to production.

Yeah, we probably wouldn't. But since that SNES CD has never been made, people grew up thinking "Hm, samples, channels and stuff, that's all that console can do." Seeing this now, regardless of whether it's possible or not, seems pretty unusual to me. Despite sounding awesome, no doubt about that, it's not something I would expect from the SNES.

...Gah, I'm running out of valid argments. You're right about everything, but I somehow prefer the "old-fashioned" music, at least in hacks. Can't explain the reasons too well though, even less so in English.


I absolutely love this method of using music in hacks now because I absolutely despise music ports. 90% of the ports I have heard just suck ass and don't work with SMW instruments at all. If atleast the sample utility would be used more, but not even that is the case (unless I missed the wave of songs which suddenly all make use of new samples).

To put it simply, ports suck, using WAV is win. File sizes will probably skyrocket with this new technique if many people adopt it, but it'll also allow for more high quality hacks.
Originally posted by BMF54123
Think about it: if I were to hack Sonic the Hedgehog to use the Sega CD's audio capabilities, do you think anyone would complain?

I know I would.

Unless you made it so that it worked on an actual Genesis + Sega CD system.

And the same thing applies to this MSU1 thing.

Originally posted by Weeabuu
File sizes will probably skyrocket with this new technique if many people adopt it, but it'll also allow for more high quality hacks.

Originally posted by Weeabuu
but it'll also allow for more high quality hacks.

Music quality defines the overall quality of a hack? Wow, I never knew.

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