Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

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Sonicx9
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Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

Postby Sonicx9 » November 18th, 2017, 12:11 am

I have noticed something interesting about both the Sega 32X and the Game Boy Advance is that both use PWM Audio mixed with older sound channels from older systems. Examples the Sega 32x PWM mixes with the Yamaha YM2612 from the Mega Drive, and the Game Boy Advance mixes with older Game Boy/Game Boy Color audio. But sometimes all of the audio is powered by only the PWM channels and sound much higher quality here are some examples. 32X PWM sample music: https://www. youtube.com/watch?v=GXwvwX87r14 and Game Boy Advance PWM Sample Music: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bhft6GcmQE. One question I have is the Sega 32X PWM Audio powerful enough to port Game Boy Advance PWM Sample Music to the 32X PWM channels, or would it be impossible?

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Stalvern
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Re: Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

Postby Stalvern » November 18th, 2017, 4:01 am

Sonicx9 wrote:One question I have is the Sega 32X PWM Audio powerful enough to port Game Boy Advance PWM Sample Music to the 32X PWM channels, or would it be impossible?

This is a meaningless question. PWM has one bit of resolution; what that bit can be used for is entirely up to the software. Both systems' audio hardware is equally "powerful", but the real work is all done by the CPU*. As the 32X is more powerful in this regard, the question should really be whether or not the GBA can produce 32X-quality music. The short answer is yes, since no 32X music uses anything close to the CPU's full power. The long answer is that in the context of an actual game, the share of CPU power that can be budgeted for audio will generally be a lower absolute amount on the GBA, so you wouldn't get the same level of quality in practice. A quick Google search tells me that 32X games tend to use a 22-kHz sample rate for their PWM audio, while GBA games usually make do with half that.

*While the 32X has two CPUs, only one is used in this context.

Sonicx9
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Joined: April 27th, 2015, 6:37 pm

Re: Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

Postby Sonicx9 » November 18th, 2017, 2:15 pm

Stalvern wrote:
Sonicx9 wrote:One question I have is the Sega 32X PWM Audio powerful enough to port Game Boy Advance PWM Sample Music to the 32X PWM channels, or would it be impossible?

This is a meaningless question. PWM has one bit of resolution; what that bit can be used for is entirely up to the software. Both systems' audio hardware is equally "powerful", but the real work is all done by the CPU*. As the 32X is more powerful in this regard, the question should really be whether or not the GBA can produce 32X-quality music. The short answer is yes, since no 32X music uses anything close to the CPU's full power. The long answer is that in the context of an actual game, the share of CPU power that can be budgeted for audio will generally be a lower absolute amount on the GBA, so you wouldn't get the same level of quality in practice. A quick Google search tells me that 32X games tend to use a 22-kHz sample rate for their PWM audio, while GBA games usually make do with half that.

*While the 32X has two CPUs, only one is used in this context.


The thing I noticed related to the Sega 32X PWM Audio capabilities was this, the only game that was released for the console that had 100% of its music done only with PWM channels was Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw which even though the game was terrible, it did have a good soundtrack thanks to the PWM usage.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxfL--H13Q And what I meant to say is would have it been possible to port GBA PWM music tracks to the Sega 32X PWM if homebrew communities tried like this example.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bhft6GcmQE. Because it does show how much missed potential the Sega 32X was in its hardware capabilities due to the short lifespan/problems the hardware had.

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Stalvern
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Re: Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

Postby Stalvern » November 19th, 2017, 12:24 am

Sonicx9 wrote:And what I meant to say is would have it been possible to port GBA PWM music tracks to the Sega 32X PWM if homebrew communities tried like this example.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bhft6GcmQE. Because it does show how much missed potential the Sega 32X was in its hardware capabilities due to the short lifespan/problems the hardware had.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. I answered that question: The answer is yes, and it would probably sound better on the 32X. That most 32X games just used the Genesis sound chip does not change the actual abilities of the system. You seem to point this out yourself when you talk about its "missed potential", so I don't see why you're repeating the original question, unless I'm just misunderstanding you (which I admit is entirely possible).

Sonicx9 wrote:The thing I noticed related to the Sega 32X PWM Audio capabilities was this, the only game that was released for the console that had 100% of its music done only with PWM channels was Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw which even though the game was terrible, it did have a good soundtrack thanks to the PWM usage.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxfL--H13Q

I had assumed that more was out there. Is that really the only one? That's disappointing, especially since it's all just drum loops; if that's the only thing the PWM channels are doing, why not play some sort of melody on the Genesis? I know that Chaotix does that.

Sonicx9
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Re: Sega 32X PWM Audio vs Game Boy Advance PWM Audio?

Postby Sonicx9 » November 19th, 2017, 12:31 pm

Stalvern wrote:
Sonicx9 wrote:And what I meant to say is would have it been possible to port GBA PWM music tracks to the Sega 32X PWM if homebrew communities tried like this example.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Bhft6GcmQE. Because it does show how much missed potential the Sega 32X was in its hardware capabilities due to the short lifespan/problems the hardware had.

I'm not sure what you're asking here. I answered that question: The answer is yes, and it would probably sound better on the 32X. That most 32X games just used the Genesis sound chip does not change the actual abilities of the system. You seem to point this out yourself when you talk about its "missed potential", so I don't see why you're repeating the original question, unless I'm just misunderstanding you (which I admit is entirely possible).

Sonicx9 wrote:The thing I noticed related to the Sega 32X PWM Audio capabilities was this, the only game that was released for the console that had 100% of its music done only with PWM channels was Brutal Unleashed: Above the Claw which even though the game was terrible, it did have a good soundtrack thanks to the PWM usage.: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JwxfL--H13Q

I had assumed that more was out there. Is that really the only one? That's disappointing, especially since it's all just drum loops; if that's the only thing the PWM channels are doing, why not play some sort of melody on the Genesis? I know that Chaotix does that.


For other Sega 32X games with PWM Audio usage here their are. https://youtu.be/IGy7HBG3I1c?t=3m18s and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QHgd_nu4m8o But most of the Sega 32X PWM usage for games was either certain music tracks using the full PWM. Or mixing the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis YM2612 audio chip with the PWM similar to how many Game Boy Advance games will mix the pre-existing Game Boy/Game Boy Color audio with the Game Boy Advances PWM. But their was still many games soundtracks on the Sega 32X that where only made using the outdated YM2612 with the PWM only being used for sound effect/voices.


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