Level 14 Chipist
Sega Genesis/MegaDrive

36th Σ5.539

14th Σ5.873

91st Σ4.972

13th Σ5.571

55th Σ4.960

Ocean Melody
  28th/365   Σ26.914   Feb 15th 2014 11:17am
Here is a song composed in VGM Music Maker. It is a highly experimental Sega Genesis Chiptune that will play as it sounds through actual hardware (samples et. al.)!

Warm yourselves this Winter with a cool Puertorican style island tune, as you walk the digital shores singing with Melodina, the lead FM vocal.

The intro is a recording of CSM (Complex Sinuisoidal Modulation) that I made note for note in FM Drive by Aly James. It is a hidden feature of the Sega Genesis to be able to synthesize voices. It sounds just awful, but it is cool that you can make the Sega Genesis talk and sing!

Can you figure out what Melodina is saying at the intro?

This song is 6:30m long. It does not loop like traditional shorter chiptunes. If you stop halfway, you will miss out on half of the song, and I have some cool solos at the end.

The mp3 will have the correct playing. The VGM file will not have FM playing from Channel 6. Whenever a sample plays in the VGM, FM will never be heard again. This is a bug in VGM Music Maker. So you may not hear a certain instrument, or the accordian will sound quieter on certain parts.

The French accordian, singing girl voice (Melodina), vibraphone, brass sectional, bass and snare drums, are all FM Synthesized.

The steel drums, seagulls, CSM voice, saxophone, violin, and flutes are all recorded samples.

Creative Commons License

previous entry
DalekSam - King of the Frozen Tundra

nextious entry
rushjet1 - Fight to Escape
Level 14 Chipist
post #37253 :: 2014.02.15 11:29am
OK, here is the VGM file.

Pretty terrible, I didn't want to post it as VGM Music Maker does a really bad conversion job. But I thought you guys might want to have it.

I'll be making a better version in the future using a superior method for Genesis music making. I plan to release it in a future album.
Level 28 Chipist
post #37254 :: 2014.02.15 11:41am
  raphaelgoulart and marcb0t liēkd this
I was hoping you would enter an sgen tune, as you took an interest in the other sgen entries here I thought it would be your specialism. This tune has got a lot of character to it, I really like it.
Level 24 Chipist
post #37257 :: 2014.02.15 12:17pm
  raphaelgoulart and marcb0t liēkd this
This is really good, I like the sample use and it just sounds relaxing overall. The VGM doesn't sound terrible to me (using VGM Input Plugin .40.3) but if there are inaccuracies I wouldn't be able to pick 'em up as I've only heard the song a couple times, though I did notice that the squares are a bit loud in the VGM.

also, "using a superior method for Genesis music making" - do tell.
Level 15 Chipist
post #37258 :: 2014.02.15 12:23pm :: edit 2014.02.15 12:25pm
  raphaelgoulart, Xyz and marcb0t liēkd this
This is pretty nice. It's good to see another person that has "4OP sounding" usage of a 4OP chip, instead of making it sound like OPL or GEMS.

Also, it's not that VGM Music Maker has bad conversion (well, it kind of does in some regard), it's just that VGM MM itself is so buggy and unfinished that everything in the tracker itself is inaccurate (e.g. out of date FM emulation, bad FM-PSG volume balance, very bad SSG-EG and CSM implimentation, etc.)
Level 14 Chipist
post #37261 :: 2014.02.15 12:38pm
  raphaelgoulart, kfaraday, cce and gotoandplay liēkd this
Greetings rushjet1,

Wow! That is quite the honor to be getting such comments from you. Thank you! Your music is quite outstanding, you're like a chiptune celebrity to me!

The "superior" method is tracking your song in a DAW using FMDrive by Aly James, and then converting the MIDI over to a VGM file.

Check out this link:

Aly and Valley Ball have made a superior version of the MIDI2VGM software which will allow for pretty accurate MIDI conversion to game data using FMDrive and Super PSG (for the PSG tones).

We're also talking about getting SID sounds out of the Master System and Game Gear with this method, and 4-bit waveform shaping through the PSG. (Also available for Genesis)

It's sounding great so far.

Also, Tiido is working on a superior and hardware accurate tracker for the MegaDrive. It's gonna do some pretty incredible things, and it's way more suitable for having your music (in-game). I plan to make some cool demo tracks for him!

There is much good in store for future Genesis music making!
Level 27 Mixist
post #37574 :: 2014.02.17 9:31pm
  raphaelgoulart and marcb0t liēkd this
really digging that stereo business around 3:35

good track, has a lot of feel to it
Level 14 Chipist
post #37588 :: 2014.02.18 4:38am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Thank you aji and Raijin!

Aji, I pay careful attention to get the lower notes to come from the left side, and the higher notes to come from the right just like you would hear sitting at a real piano (middle notes centered of course)!

I used only 3 channels to make these 6 note chords... Possible by setting the operators to get a 5th partial chord using the multipliers. This is one of my favorite parts as well!

Raijin, yeah VGMM is buggy, and I wish I would have used Deflemask from the start, but the instrument editor is the best. By the way, I didn't even know it could do CSM mode at all. Special mode is nice to be able to at least use which I do play around with from time to time. I'll be using FMDrive for all that in the future, though.

4OP sound... yes there is so much potential in that. Also using 3 channels for single melodies with varying stereo and vibrato gets a really nice echo/reverb/chorusing effect.

Thanks again for all your support guys!
Level 27 Chipist
post #37805 :: 2014.02.21 7:37am :: edit 2014.02.21 7:37am
  marcb0t liēkd this
This is pretty lovely <3 Great job, I love the instruments.
I kinda found a workaround around vgm_mm's vgm export glitch, you just have to make different instruments do the PSG channels (including different instruments to PSG square / PSG noise), and then adjust the volume and test it in the export until it sounds satisfying. Worked with this song I made yesterday.
Edit: I nearly forgot to say, all 7s, this is GOOOD.
Level 14 Chipist
post #37835 :: 2014.02.21 10:59pm
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Hi Raph,

It is very nice to hear your feedback, and quite an honor. I really like a lot of your music, but have just recently been getting involved giving feedback and so forth here on BotB.

You know, I think you may be on to something with the PSG technique. I made the accordian instrument with FM, and I have it dual channeled, echo chorused using Channel 6. I could take the echo channel out of number 6, and use chorused PSG with rapid volume modulation to accompany the FM accordian. Thank you for that, great advice.

My ultimate solution will be Deflemask, FM Drive, and Tiido's tracker in the future, but it's great for making a decent VGM for my first version of Ocean Melody.

If you loved the instruments, you can get them here:

Melodina, French Accordian, Vibes, all that is my pleasure to share with you guys.

My friends and I really like your VGM tune, and I'm really glad to see you working your magic with Genesis/MegaDrive. Those drums, and that flute were just outstanding. Loved the chords too. Hope to hear more VGMs from ya in the future!

(By the way, can I call you Tails? He's my favorite!)

Thanks again for listening!
Level 30 Chipist
post #37843 :: 2014.02.22 5:24am
  raphaelgoulart, b00daw and marcb0t liēkd this
nice and chill journey
Level 27 Chipist
post #37852 :: 2014.02.22 7:51am
  marcb0t liēkd this
Yes, you can call me Tails :D Golgi (goluigi2196) calls me like that as well!
Reading your comment just put a big smile on my face :D I'm glad you and your friends like my music a lot!
If you have skype, you could add me if you want - my skype name is in my profile. :D
Level 15 Chipist
post #37866 :: 2014.02.22 12:39pm
  raphaelgoulart and marcb0t liēkd this
Sorry, I meant to say channel 3's multi frequency mode isn't implimented well (since you don't have full control of each operator), not CSM. CSM doesn't exist in VGM-MM.
Level 27 Chipist
post #37876 :: 2014.02.22 1:21pm :: edit 2014.02.22 1:31pm
  marcb0t liēkd this
Saw this comment in another sgen song, might interest you.
"Is the PSG at the wrong volume because you used VGMMM? You can adjust the PSG gain in the VGM with VGM tools (or just hex editing it)."
Edit: I've dl'ed these vgm tools but I have no idea on how to use them D:
Level 27 Chipist
post #37877 :: 2014.02.22 1:38pm
  marcb0t liēkd this
Oh and another thing, LOST.vgm is not my first sgen song - THIS is my first sgen song, also made in VGM_MM, but since I didnt want to deal with the volume levels glitch, I didnt use the PSG D:
Level 25 Chipist
post #37894 :: 2014.02.22 3:45pm
  marcb0t and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
This is rather epic!
Level 14 Chipist
post #37955 :: 2014.02.22 10:59pm
  raphaelgoulart and kfaraday liēkd this
OK, where to start.

Raijin, no need to apologize, my friend. It turns out you are right! Here's how, VGMM uses the MAME core for YM2612 audio emulation. It is a later one that was modified according to Nemesis's massive research on the chip (die cuts et al!) This included the information on how to access CSM and more hardware accurate timing for certain things.

I checked some of the code used for VGMM, and sure enough, CSM is included. However, Shiru made no efforts to make this feature usable within his tracker so that we can play with it. This is technically poor CSM implementation.

Multi-mode is just a little limited, but the workaround is using the multiple knobs. I'm working on some songs that will use Special Mode in VGMM. Great for chilled jazzy 4 part chords, and still gives you 5 FM and 4 PSG channels to play with. Will hopefully have one for the Summer competition. Fun stuff!

Rainwarrior, thank you for listening. It means a lot coming from an experienced Chipist who has been around the block, as they say.

Warlord, same to you, and also really enjoy how you do your chilled funk and 4 note arpeggiations, especially your SGEN stuffs! I will certainly go through all you guys's songs to vote and post.

Tails, I have added you to my Skype contacts. I don't use it hardly at all, but I would like to say hi sometime... when there is time. Very busy day, and last night I worked 14 hours at my warehouse.

Yes, I remember your bossa nova SGen tune, I think I still have it on my iPod! It was "Boss" man! :) I forgot about that. My mind's in constant flux these days!

Thank you also for the links to the Valley Bell's VGM tools. Yeah, I found this before, but it's a good reminder that I need to look into utilizing these so I can optimize my music for future productions. I also not only turn the PSG balance all the way to the max, I also turn my FM instruments down a little so I can hear both the samples and PSG in better balance. It makes PSG very loud in VGM Play, though! ;)

We'll touch base through Skype sometime, maybe next Saturday... we shall see what life brings!

Take care everyone!
Level 14 Chipist
post #38007 :: 2014.02.23 9:05am :: edit 2014.02.23 9:08am
  kfaraday and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Hopefully, you will hear more in the future... time permitting.

Thanks for listening Kfaraday!
Level 25 Chipist
post #38192 :: 2014.02.24 3:50pm
  amazingfox, marcb0t and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
This is awesome; so much work and effort put into this and it shows. 6:30 does feel a little long for it (but then again, I might just be an impatient listener). High votes going for this, though :) I look forward to hearing more stuff from you
Level 14 Chipist
post #38220 :: 2014.02.24 7:49pm
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Whoa! Fearofdark! Your music is totally rad! I have your Early Works, and Motorway albums, and used to listen to them all the time! Great jazzy stuff man! It was one of my many musical inspirations.

This is a huge honor hearing your feedback. Thank you!

You know, I'm just not satisfied enough with a song unless it has a lot of variety and goes on for awhile. That's just my wiring. 4 minutes is like bare minimum for me. Plus I just like breaking unwritten rules and social norms of short double looping chiptunes. I want music with some meat on it! Hehe!

Don't worry, I plan on some shorter tunes in the future that double loop, but I also have planned lengthy orchestra style and jazz chip tunes as well. I want to have a little something for everyone.

I need to vote your stuff now too! Hope to chat with ya sometime. I'm on soundcloud and uCollective as well. Just look up "marcb0t", or maybe I'll just follow you on there.

(Hey, you big hypocrite! I just saw the Motorway song being clocked at 7:53m... Not surprising it's my favorite track on the album. ;-P
Beautiful, sentimental, reflective song!)

Take care,
Level 27 Renderist
post #38225 :: 2014.02.24 8:07pm :: edit 2014.02.25 9:17am
  raphaelgoulart hæitd this
to be a valid entry, it must be entered as some sort of sequence of code readable and playable by the MD's hardware. On top of that, it also practically covers 10CC's "I'm Not In Love" at times. < reference material.

i like this song, but it's technically not valid.

might need discussion.
Level 25 Chipist
post #38255 :: 2014.02.24 9:51pm :: edit 2014.02.24 9:54pm
  raphaelgoulart and marcb0t liēkd this
I think I hear "playa" and "melodia" in the voice but can't really make out much in it. Good sound designs. I think the melodic idea was improvised accidentally, which can happen, but the binary submissions are an important part of our competition. Please read the instructions carefully, we are happy to help if you have any questions about the rules.

This is a very pretty song that would have qualified as wildcard and done well there.
Level 14 Chipist
post #38281 :: 2014.02.25 5:50am :: edit 2014.02.25 5:50am
  Xemogasa, kfaraday and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Wait a minute!

1. I had a problem when submitting the file initially, and confused the vgm upload for an mp3/wav upload. I was never able to get back to submit the .vgm file to the SGEN download option.

Do you know who can post this .bin file I just made to the SGEN downloader button link?

Or should I post a link for my optimized .vgm file?

2. Boodaw, this is certainly NOT a cover of anyone's song, but from my own head. I never sat down to listen to the song you posted, and had nothing to do with Ocean Melody... aside from the fact that the main tune sounds similar to only a fraction of my song.

To say that it "practically covers" is a pretty big exaggeration, if you ask me, and I'm a little offended by this assertion.

Please do help me get this .bin file posted so it can be declared a legitimate entry. I was a n00b when initially posting this.

Thank you,
Level 27 Chipist
post #38283 :: 2014.02.25 6:19am
  marcb0t and kfaraday liēkd this
marcb0t I believe the best option would to upload the .vgm file, but since the submission period is over, that's a kinda... impossible task. I really hope some admin help you out, I don't want to see this being downvoted for a simple mistake (I know I won't, my 7s are still there). In fact, I wanna see this WINNING. At least the sgen category :D
Well the best you can do for now, it seems, is leave a link for the .vgm file in the comments.
Good luck buddy :D/
Level 14 Chipist
post #38298 :: 2014.02.25 12:24pm :: edit 2014.02.25 8:59pm
  amazingfox and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Thanks Tails. Actually I posted a link on one of the first posts I left on this page. I can post a better vgm file later today and will try to get ahold of admin asap. I believe I left the first post with the vgm l link before submission period was over. Thanks for your help again!

EDIT: Here is the best .vgm file I've been able to produce of my song so far:

I used 22KHz for the samples, so it's a little big! But it works waay better than my first posted one.

Tails, I e-mailed puke7 this same .vgm file so he can hopefully associate it with the SGEN downloader.
Level 27 Renderist
post #38372 :: 2014.02.25 10:55pm :: edit 2014.02.25 10:57pm
Level 22 Mixist
post #38375 :: 2014.02.26 2:50am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
this is great! fantastic sound design for the mega drive
Level 14 Chipist
post #38385 :: 2014.02.26 5:43am :: edit 2014.02.26 5:45am
  raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Thank you DalekSam. Unfortunately, the samples don't convert over too well for real hardware. They are a bit detuned when playing it on a real machine. It's partly VGM Music Maker's fault with the Global Sampling (bad method). However, finding the detuned amount will help me to correct this issue in the future.

Somebody took the time to analyze my song on real hardware and here's what they found:

Thank you b00daw for your help in this.

I was actually wanting to say earlier, that I did not intend to snap at you, and I think I got a little bit over defensive.

It just seemed like you were attacking my entry and insinuating that I was copying other people's stuff, and that I did not make a hardware compatible song. But I can understand what led you to think that now.

Really, I don't mind if you send me a link of a song that you think has a similar melody, or progressions in it. (Anyone, please do!) I actually find that amusing in and of itself. I guess the delivery of your original message put me on the defense.

I will make sure to post my .vgm's or other data files correctly in the future when I upload entries from this point forward. If I mess anything up, I'll let someone know right away (I am a bit flaky from time to time :-)

I'm not surprised there are other songs out there that have similar tunes to mine. With only 12 notes in western music, there are bound to be "twins" or like sounds. For me it was purely coincidental. It was weird and shocking to hear the song you sent me, but kind of cool at the same time. It's a nice melody/progression if you ask me, though I've never listened to the 10CC's. I like that classic '70's sound, though.

I do appreciate your involvement with the Super NSF format. I intend to make some multi-samples tracks for the NES sometime in the future. Tell me, was it ever decided if a non-expansion chip SuperNSF song can be a legitimate entry in the NSF category for a Winter or Summer Chip contest?

Your demo tunes for that were really sweet!

Take care all,
Level 27 Renderist
post #38399 :: 2014.02.26 8:01am :: edit 2014.02.26 8:20am
  anewuser liēkd this
SuperNSF is legitimate for non-expanded NSF, yes. However, in other competitions and OHBs, not everyone will allow it. If you participate in an NSF OHB and someone doesn't explicitly state that SuperNSF or PCM is not allowed, then you can use it. Some people might downvote you anyway because they just plain don't like PCM in NSFs for whatever reason. (Doesn't make sense to me. It's about what sounds good and the intention of composition for me.)

marcb0t, I'm not necessarily a nice person, but I mean well and love all people. I wanted to goad you into making it right and shape you well into our community so your talents could fit in with others'. :)

Let me know if I can help you with anything else. I have experience in most to all formats and almost an unlimited library of unfinished and experimental material for technical reference, including source code.

Edit: Well, when in Rome and when ranting is a la mode. ;)

Why not use or find direct file hosts? I'm still not used to clicking download links and either needing to be a part of a club that leeches my personal metadata, enter a capture code, yadda yadda, etc. The Internet never used to have that sort of bullshit. When you clicked on a link with a binary, you downloaded it. People used FTPs too! FTP clients are as easy to use as a Skype client or a Facebook client. You're a smart guy. Smartlink. :) Hell, you probably even got my email address from accepting your link. You can email me files time to time until you find some sort of direct file hosting alternative and I have two of my own that I can mirror links for you. Myself and other people run too many damn GreaseMonkey scripts to get around metadata-leeching, ad-blasting, fucking asshole corporation filehosts. Keep it indie, brother. Again, let me know if I can help you in any way. :D
Level 27 Chipist
post #38521 :: 2014.02.26 6:09pm
This same problem with the PCM sample killed off my interest for the same reason: I realized there were playback differences in the samples.
Level 15 Chipist
post #38531 :: 2014.02.26 8:16pm
Samples from VGM Music Maker modules don't initiate on hardware at all. It's a bug with VGM Music Maker, so I don't understand how the samples are playing on a real machine.
Level 14 Chipist
post #38545 :: 2014.02.27 5:02am
  b00daw and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Good morning b00daw,

Thanks for your comments, and the info.

"I have experience in most to all formats and almost an unlimited library of unfinished and experimental material for technical reference, including source code."

Hmmm.... that actually piques my interest quite a bit. I will keep this in mind because I get really curious and into hardware. I've only scratched the surface of what I intend to do with the Genesis, let alone NES, SN76489, and other chipsets.

Also, PCMs on NES are totally legit. People need to stop whining over that. Yeah, I know you can't necessarily use that sound with a game playing, (too much CPU for the sound), but if I want to make a game friendly soundtrack, I will. If I want to push the audio to the extreme, I'm willing to sacrifice the former. Just depends on what mood I'm in.

KungFuFurby, my interest is not killed off yet. I'm dead set on tweaking my song until I get it sounding just right on hardware. I think the research site said that the PAL Mega Drive is detuned 53cents off for samples (that's quite a bit), so I will experiment until I detune my samples in just the right way. Then I will share what the perfect settings are, and the easiest method for doing so with everyone.

Raijin, I have also heard this, but then I discovered that setting VGM Music Maker to convert to VGM 1.5, and building an optimized ROM with Michael Stamper's Deadfish Rombuilder will allow for sample playback, miraculously enough. So I guess that myth is nixed!

So I can raise the tuning of my samples, and eventually I can get them sounding right on hardware using VGM Music Maker. Yes, it is possible afterall, and I'm pretty stoked!

Take care all,
Level 27 Chipist
post #39010 :: 2014.03.03 12:30pm :: edit 2014.03.03 12:30pm
  marcb0t and Slimeball liēkd this
I keep coming back to this almost daily, I really love this <3
I hope this wins the sgen category ;3
Level 20 Chipist
post #39024 :: 2014.03.03 3:20pm
  marcb0t and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
this song's cool, and i'm not really hearing the similarity to the 10cc song either melodically or harmonically
Level 21 Criticist
post #39402 :: 2014.03.08 12:00pm
  marcb0t liēkd this
I reverberate Raijin's first comments
Level 14 Chipist
post #40002 :: 2014.03.14 7:03pm
  kfaraday and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Thank you guys for all your votes and support! Bronze for SGEN is still good in my book for such a late entry that might not be in line with everyone's tastes... let alone b00daw scandalizing my song. ;-P

As they say, no publicity is bad publicity! Seriously, though, special thanks to b00daw, puke7, Jredd (look him up on Soundcloud), Groovemaster 303, Robugga, Tadpole, Tiido (a cool cat from Estonia), Raphael "Tails" Goulart for his friendship and support, and everyone else who listened and voted (especially positively :D)

As I've said elsewhere, I'll be out of the music making loop for maybe months, but I'll be listening in and saying hi from time to time.

Take care everybody!

Kindest regards,
marcb0t A. Sciborge
Level 22 Mixist
post #89156 :: 2017.08.14 3:45am
  marcb0t and raphaelgoulart liēkd this
Wow marcb0t, I really admire the way you take the time to write back to every comment. You truly seem like a really cool guy. ^_^ thanks for offering to do the soundtrack for my game!
Level 14 Chipist
post #89169 :: 2017.08.14 1:46pm
Hehe, thanks. I try to respond to everyone. Although, I fail sometimes. I'm not very good at replying to lengthy messages very quickly.

Check your Discord. I posted some sample tracks that could possibly work with your game idea.
Level 27 Chipist
post #114627 :: 2019.10.07 5:46pm
this is still really lovely

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