Instruments used in MultiPCM games

Discussion in 'General Sega Discussion' started by SaturnJaguar, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Hi. I'm a trial member and even though I already posted here once, thank you for accepting my validation form!

    One thing that has always fascinated me is the "MultiPCM" sound chip that was used in several SEGA arcade games from the early to mid-90's such as Virtua Fighter 1 & 2, Daytona USA, Sonic the Fighters, Sega Rally, ect. Looking at some information for the Sega Model 2 hardware which used it, it's 2 PCM chips each with 56 channels allowing for sample playback of music and sound effects.

    A while back, I was reading on the forum about synths used in the Japanese Sonic CD OST and Rockman Zero talked about how the composers used a Korg M1 keyboard for "You Can Do Anything" and I clicked on the link that led a website featuring demonstrations of the preset instruments and found that the preset piano is the same one used in several arcade games!

    I was pretty excited because I absolutely adore the piano sound! I even found M1 piano samples online and whipped up these short demos in FL Studio based on songs that used the sound featuring "Advertise" from Virtua Fighter, "Theme of Lion" and "Afterimage" from Virtua Fighter 2.

    After listening to the instruments on the site, I realized that there are still plenty of other sounds missing like the the deep bass of Virtua Racing, the synth lead of Jacky's theme from VF1. and the drums and trumpets from Sonic The Fighters.

    With all this in mind, does anyone know what other kinds of keyboards or particular sounds that the composers used to make the music for these games? I would love to learn more about their origins!
  2. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    Cross posting because you may have accidentally discovered something:
  3. I saw the posts. Even though it's an old find, it's still pretty surprising nonetheless.
  4. amphobius


    doing more important things with my life Member
    It's highly likely that some of the usual sample CDs were in play as well - the infamous Zero-G Datafiles were definitely in use for Sonic CD, so it wouldn't be far removed to expect their use on other titles in the same time period. The Akai samplers were becoming very popular at the time, so around the early to mid 90s it becomes extremely difficult to "source" any main workstation.

    That being said, even then you're expecting your usual suspects. The Korg M1 was an extremely popular workstation, as was the WAVESTATION. You're likely to find their sounds everywhere even outside of Sega's jurisdiction; many SNES games use its sounds, a notable example would be Mega Man X sampling its slap bass.

    Best bet would be to look for the big sample CDs that were popular at the time and to look into the popular ROMplers other than the M1. The EMU Proteus(es) would be something I would try to look into as well.
  5. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
    I've toyed with the idea in my head of dissecting each of the songs in Sonic the Fighters and putting the findings on the Sonic Retro wiki. Although that was driven more by the fact I keep hearing it on the radio:


    I'm up for going a step further and analysing each sample, partly because these games haven't had their audio made freely available, but it's also an excuse to document those Zero-G Datafile discs properly (i.e. rip the discs, split the audio tracks into bits and say "#543 was used in x, y and z").

    It would come in exceedingly handy for projects such as... say... Sonic Mania, which probably had to its remastered music by ear.

    Unfortunately this requires a lot of brute force and dedication and I'm not much of an audiophile. Though it would be cool to know at the very least which synthesizers were used with each game.
  6. Shoemanbundy


    Chicago, Illinois
    selling shoes
    For anyone unaware, there's already a community full of people that look for the original samples to things. It started on the HCS Forums and there's even a main discord chat now which you can find a link to somewhere in there. I went in there once asking if anyone can identify Silhouette Mirage's instruments and they recognized at least one sound from the E-MU Proteus VX (which itself is based on E-MU's older rack units). They really know their stuff. Pretty sure more Sonic CD sounds have been identified before.
  7. I didn't find anything related to the arcade games, but you're right about Sonic CD. I typed in 'SEGA' and a bunch of results came up for sounds and samples used in Sonic CD and Sonic Mania.

    I'm sure the discovery of certain sounds is old news to some here, but it's still an interesting find nonetheless. Now that know that a Korg M1 was used in Mania, it proves that I knew I wasn't tripping when I thought this trumpet and organ sounded familiar.

    I also tried looking into the WAVESTATION and EMU Proteus 1 but I couldn't really find anything that sounded familiar in the arcade games. I'll ask the HCS Forums to see if they can find anything while looking around Synth Mania for more keyboards and ROMpilers.

    I also couldn't really find anything on the Zero-G Datafiles CD's as well. I can only really find snippets of the sounds online and not the full tracks because I guess the story goes is that they were intended for personal use which I'm sure is because of uncleared samples and sounds and most uploads of the CD's online resulted in dead links.
  8. bookman the stinky

    bookman the stinky

    literal trash Member
    the dong
    find motivation
    There's a bunch of sequenced presets from the M1 that are used in the US Sonic CD soundtrack, and the "title card" themes from Sonic Adventure.
    I don't remember which presets exactly, but it's easy to come to the conclusion Sega really liked their KORGs
  9. So I got a response from one of the members on the HSC Forums about "Course Select" from Virtua Racing:

    I found PopDrum Set 2 on Synth Mania from the JV-2080. There is an Organ 3 on the page and it kinda resembles the one used in the song.

    As for the Detuned EP2, the simplest demonstration I found from the HSC forums is from the Game Over music of New Super Mario Bros.