Oldschool music & sfx (like snes, etc.)


Hi! I am looking for a way to playback sound and music in the way it was done on old consoles like the snes, nes, etc. As example, you have the maximum of 10 channels(voices), and these are shared between the music and sfx, music could be an impulse tracker module for example that uses all 10 channels, while the sfx uses only 1 or 2 channels, but overlaps the sound of the playback-channel without interrupting the playback of the music or even stopping it. I want this because of how it sounds ingame, it’s has some kind of charm. It would be even greater if some of the 10 channels could have an effect like echo, to make it very similar to the snes, maybe through the use of directX effects in some way. It came to mind when seeing SDL_mixer using specific channels for playback. I hope someone may have an interest in this kind of stuff too. /ASIKWUSpulse


Hi, I am not entirely sure if I get you correctly but you may have a look into http://www.drpetter.se/project_sfxr.html and https://www.bfxr.net/

Hope I helped,


Hi! I was looking for a way to have the music and sound-effects to be played in the same style they were on the old consoles like nes, commondore 64, etc. Not only being quite Lo-Fi but aswell make the presence of hardware limitation, like limited sound-polyphony.

When you have 10 channels , you can only play 10 sounds (even the instrument sounds of, let’s say, a tracker module that is played at the same time, are using these 10 channels as well). When more than 10 sounds is trying to be played, the “oldest” sound is muted to be covered with a new sound.

I’ve decided to not go that way, because of that many find the “limited polyphonic sound” annoying. But I’m still interested in how to make this possible with software, in the way of making a “virtual audio-chip”.

I have tried sfxr before, a neat little program for making good retrogame sfxs :slight_smile: .


Sorry, but I am still unsure about this topic.

sfxr actually provides the code for sound synthesis and http://www.drpetter.se/files/sfxr-sdl-1.2.1.tar.gz is working SDL code.

For general informations on sound creation i think http://www.drpetter.se/article_sound.html is a good read.
But emlulation of classic systems like Atari 2600, NES or C64 has been done.

Like for the Atari device: https://stella-emu.github.io/

I got RetroArch on my machine to use some of those engines/emulators.
Algorithmic sound design is very interesting, that combined with chiptunes is awesome. But I think there are tons of ressources. Not to forget the tons of tracker- and synthesizer software outside.
Plus there is a lot of working code outside, I compiled 30 years old c-code from aminet and even dos-code compiles with only a little hazzle. That is the bless of C, despite all curses - it works. Try to compile or run that old ruby or C++ code. But maybe I am just not able to get your point =)