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Warning: Hacks with custom music break on real hardware
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Warning: Hacks with custom music break on real hardware
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As the title indicates, I have been testing various Super Mario World hacks on real hardware, and have run into problems with custom music. In many cases, it leads to horrid, grating noise.

As an example, The Second Reality Project Reloaded has many stages where the music gets to the end of track, and all music stops. Sometimes when this happens, the game will freeze if you pass the level/die.

Several other prominent hacks, such as SMW2+3- The Essence Star and Super Mario World - The Tale of Elementia also have sound issues on real hardware. I suggest in the battery of tests done on a hack, that it should also be tested on real hardware to ensure compatibility.
If your talking about actual SNES's then well alot of hacks have things the sense cant handle, thus why emulaltors are usally better for playing hacks.
That is a pretty bad way of looking at things.

Once the next version of zsnes comes out (someday), it will use the exact same sound engine as other emulators, and the sound in these hacks will be just as broken as in SNES9x and BSNES, as well as real hardware.

Compatibility with real hardware should always be the metric for testing hacks. If you listen to sound in zsnes 1.51, it is not correct, and I don't recommend it at all.
This thread may be related to your discoveries.

I'd assume that most hacks are not tested on the real SNES hardware due to a lack of the correct resources. Most of the userbase of this site are teenagers, myself included. I doubt that the majority of the people here would have a way to test their hacks on a real system.

For most of us, compatibility with an emulator would be good enough as it still allows us to play the hacks we make. I wouldn't think compatibility with real hardware is much of a concern to most people on the site.

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May we meet again outside the battlefield.
Oh boy, playing some hacks in bsnes' current version just brings tears in my eyes.

Then again, not everyone can test hacks on a real SNES. Even if they could, they probably didn't bother due to the thought that not many people will play SMW hacks on a real SNES.

When the SMW hacking scenes started, bsnes was early in development and wasn't too accurate I suppose. Making hacks for inaccurate emulators such as snes9x and zsnes was just inevitable which invoked the ear-killing results in the present emulator versions.

I think addmusic exists for like 2 years or more... I dunno. Maybe someone should fix the addmusics. It'd be sweet.

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My blog. I could post stuff now and then

My Assembly for the SNES tutorial.
With the easy of availability of flash carts now a days (some which can be purchased for as little as $75), plus with bsnes now providing a stable, accurate platform, there is really no excuse to make hacks that are broken.


The only way to future proof a hack is to make it compatible. Eventually new versions of emulators will come out that provide more accuracy.


It just is really a sad thing that the hacks that are considered to be the best have this issue.
What mainly causes these issues with "accurate" emulators (as far as I know), is that some songs have the echo set too high, causing issues with the echo buffer. Setting it to $04 or lower should fix the problem.
It's usually at the beginning of the .txt so do that with any echo song you use that's over $04 (insert bed "Over 9000" joke here).
Also, hacks might not be compatible with actual hardware if the ROM has been expanded. The original was 512kb, 513 if you give it a header. Most hacks are either 1,025kb, 2,049kb, or 4,097kb. Usually expanded either by Lunar Magic or by other tools, some requiring the ROM to be expanded for things such as custom music and ASM patches.

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Originally posted by badinsults
With the easy of availability of flash carts now a days (some which can be purchased for as little as $75), plus with bsnes now providing a stable, accurate platform, there is really no excuse to make hacks that are broken.

I'm pretty sure not everyone owns a SNES here. Some people don't have the CPU power to run bsnes even in performance mode, and only a small amount of people people can run the development mode. Even if they can, I'm sure the development mode will never emulate the original hardware perfectly. Though, bsnes still is the second most accurate way to test hacks as long as you have a good CPU.

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The only way to future proof a hack is to make it compatible. Eventually new versions of emulators will come out that provide more accuracy.

That's true, but *insert above mentioned things here too*. Using newer versions of emulators which are more accurate might break most of the hacks(' music), but I doubt the creators will care to be honest. I'm sure they will be already satisfied if a hack works on a single specific emulator (as long as they mention WHICH emulator I'm fine with it).

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My blog. I could post stuff now and then

My Assembly for the SNES tutorial.
Oh yeah - that's because the majority of people here I'm guessing test their Custom Music Submissions on emulators. Not a SINGLE emulator 100% accurately replicates the SPC700 that I'm aware of.

The easiest way to fix your problem is to replace those problematic songs you find with tracks that you know work. Sadly, this solution doesn't work on all hacks.
This has been known for a while. It has been responded to with resounding apathy.


To any hackers that care, you have two options:


Use Romi's and don't use the -se command (which iirc disallows ADSR).
Use AddmusicM and suffer some smaller glitches (namely sound effects sometimes sounding weird).



AddmusicM seems our best bet at the moment. It's still being worked on though, so a fully working addmusic simply does not exist right now.


For a semi-technical discussion on the matter, check out this thread.
Or use MSU-1. But I thought that you could still use MORE.bin with Romi's Addmusic by patching it with xkas instead of with the -se option?

In any case, yeah, I am of the opinion that we definitely need a properly-working Addmusic AS SOON AS HUMANLY POSSIBLE. Somebody should get on Twitter and contact Romi, homing, 757, gocha, Min, and anyone else involved in the making of Addmusic.
The question is, why are hacking utilities allowed on this site that break games on real hardware? Call me a purist, but I like playing SNES games on a SNES, and if I review any hack on my website, it will be panned if it doesn't work. And as I said earlier, once Zsnes 2.0 comes out, these hacks will not work in it either.

I don't see MSU-1 as an option either, as games designed for it won't work on real hardware either (unless someone creates some sort of special hardware, which I don't see happening).
Most likely because the majority doesn't care if it will or will not work on a real SNES, nor do they have any means to test on said console. We've got emulators to play the hacks with and people are content with it. Including me.

Also if I recall correctly, someone is already working on a cartridge with MSU-1 support.
Question that occured to me while reading this. You can port SNES ROM's over to homebrewed Wiis to play as VC but does this audio glitch happen on Wiis too or does the Wii fix these problems?
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Most likely because the majority doesn't care if it will or will not work on a real SNES, nor do they have any means to test on said console.

While I can't argue with your first statement (disappointing as it is), everyone has access to BSNES, which is about as accurate as you can possibly get with emulation.


Everyone has means to thoroughly test their hacks, even if they're on a netbook or whatever. I bought a computer ~5 years ago that was mediocre then, only dumping it for a new computer about a month ago, and it ran BSNES at 60 FPS (though I couldn't have any background programs open, heh).



Ultimately though it doesn't matter what the general populace thinks, what matters is what the hack moderators think. If they continue to accept hacks that don't work, then people will continue to submit them. End of story.
Or, at the very least, people could ask someone who has a flash cart (like myself) to test it.

In fact, I would welcome it. Not only should a game work on real hardware, but it should have the right gameplay balance that someone can beat it without using savestates.
Originally posted by badinsults
it should have the right gameplay balance that someone can beat it without using savestates.

Gee, and around here, hacks that fall into that category are almost as rare as ones that work on real hardware...
Originally posted by Kaijyuu
Ultimately though it doesn't matter what the general populace thinks, what matters is what the hack moderators think. If they continue to accept hacks that don't work, then people will continue to submit them. End of story.

Then complain about it where people can hear it. On another note, someone should start a petition...

Originally posted by badinsults
Or, at the very least, people could ask someone who has a flash cart (like myself) to test it.

In fact, I would welcome it.

If you are still active in a week or so, I will be asking you to test my CLDC level, since I am doing a lot of stuff with the hardware registers and whatnot (even though it does work in bsnes accuracy mode, I would like to know it works on a real snes).

In other news: This is my favorite new user ever.
I also think the music-issue is a problem. I'm aware of the problems in TSRPR since quite a while and I'm aware that there are some tracks which have the echo-setting too high. At first I thought that's easy to fix, but that wasn't the whole problem, since a lot of echo-related sound effects (throwing a shell) sometimes screwed up the game too. I tried a newer version of addmusic to see if that would change anything but all I got was a black screen.

But I'm sure carol and Romi already know about this since the presence of AddmusicM tells me that japanese hackers are aware of that problem as well, and my guess would be that carol and Romi are both working on a new version of addmusic. (Or do you guys really think AddmusicM will be the last we hear in that regard? I doubt that) - music hacking in SMW just has started and it's only natural that errors and glitches turn up at first. I'm confident that we'll have a working addmusic someday - so at the moment I don't see much sense in updating TSRPR (or most likely, fail trying to) when it's much easier to wait for a better tool. I would hate to go through TSRPR again only to realise that it was all for nothing - so at the moment I really would like to wait a bit before I fix this up. If you complain about the issues with the music, all I'm asking is please give the people some time to work on the problem. It's not that all that custom music tool stuff is easy to do, otherwise we would have something like that much, much earlier anyway.

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Or do you guys really think AddmusicM will be the last we hear in that regard? I doubt that

It's pretty ambitious, so if they work out all the bugs addmusicM will definitely raise the bar for music hacking. If a bug free version were released today I doubt anything better would come along for quite some time.


We'll see.
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Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Discussion - Warning: Hacks with custom music break on real hardware

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