How Music Was Made On Super Nintendo

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A closer look at the sound system of the SNES!
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Matt Cherne, "PRISM"

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The Nerdwriter is a series of video essays about art, culture, politics, philosophy and more.




15 Aug 2018

the nerdwriternerdwriternerdwriter youtubeyoutube nerdwriternerd writernerdwriter1nerdwriter channelvideo essaysessayseducationeducation channelnerd writer essayssuper nintendodonkey kong countrydavid wisedonkey kongaquatic ambiancestickerbrush symphonybramble blastsnesnesnintendochiptune8-bitmusic tracker



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Dolphinboi Vor 10 Tage
Segue is still a really weird word.
AshtheRam Vor 19 Tage
"Super Mario World" *plays music from smb1 in smas*
yeah im riding through the area
david wise is amazing
Da__Kracken__Is -here
Armored armadillo from Megaman X
Sebastian Avila
Sebastian Avila Vor Monat
You should have included a small sample of the best snes tunes. Killer instinct, FF's, Megaman X series, etc.
Heartless Vor Monat
Whoa DK have the best soundtrack
Cole Vor Monat
at 1:19 you lied. mp3s are 1meg per minute at 128/44.1
Douglas Baker
Douglas Baker Vor Monat
I'm just wondering, who bothers to downvote this sort of video? Did it somehow not meet expectations?
lai saelor
lai saelor Vor Monat
Ty I learned something new today.
Yung Tabasco
Yung Tabasco Vor Monat
song at :18 seconds ?
Jez Creed
Jez Creed Vor Monat
Please forgive my ignorance but couldn’t 8 tracks in effect be ‘bounced’ on the chip, in some way, to free up a bit more room?
Luigi Pirate
Luigi Pirate Vor Monat
The title should be renamed to Donkey Kong water music
Rodrigo Sucesso
Rodrigo Sucesso Vor Monat
Awesome video!!
AweProd22 Vor Monat
0:17 *yes this is mario world.*
Trevor Lahey
Trevor Lahey Vor Monat
It was made on mario paint, duh
ERICtheLATE Vor Monat
Pilotwings had a trippy soundrack also, that sounded like award winning compositions from MarioPaint.
nicholas georgoudakis
The music was pretty amazing back then
nicholas georgoudakis
Back before Sony and Nintendo were on good terms with each other
nicholas georgoudakis
Sony chips lol
Makotroid ttv
Makotroid ttv Vor Monat
Now to find out how Uematsu fit that entire orchestra in that little chip.
Max Ron
Max Ron Vor Monat
4:32 T H I S
So how the Fucking Fuck did Nobou Uematsu make music for FF6 (snes FF3) jeezuzs man poor musicians.
Lucien Vanias
Lucien Vanias Vor Monat
0:16 Says Mario World *Is actually Super Mario Bros. from All Stars*
Diana Haines
Diana Haines Vor Monat
The soundtrack for donkey Kong country is my favorite
mars base
mars base Vor Monat
that was awesome!
corey333p Vor Monat
I thought I got several text messages. Shell Kick Sound.
StrayFire Vor Monat
Aquatic Ambiance is by far the best video game music piece ever created. But the best use of the SNES soundchip has to go to the "Beach" music from Plok! by the Follin brothers.
Maku Kenobi
Maku Kenobi Vor Monat
Good examples of dave wise legendary...
Dank Beats
Dank Beats Vor Monat
Man aquatic ambience the good old days
Miyamoto’s Apprentice Jim Vaughan
*amazing! Thx for sharing this was very insightful and interesting!*
El Jeje
El Jeje Vor Monat
>*tilte* super castlevania IV >*blur background* castlevania dracula X
LarryInc64 Vor Monat
Wow, I usually like your videos, but how poorly assembled and wrong a lot of the info is in this, and with no official comment or fix, is realy making me rethink the authenticity your other video essays. Other people went more in depth with errors, but many things are oversimplified at best, and wrong at worst.
José María Medina
What a beautiful video. Thanks for doing this!
Darth Nexus
Darth Nexus Vor Monat
Nearly 30 years later the snes sound chip is still pure magic
EagleGames Vor Monat
The fisrst music is sm - all stars not smw
QuiteTheHandful Vor Monat
There was about 30 seconds of actual information in there and 5 minutes of fluff.
QuiteTheHandful Vor Monat
Trash video truthfully.
Freshly Baked
Freshly Baked Vor Monat
Wu05 - The Beholder
Ethan Cannoy
Ethan Cannoy Vor Monat
Mubi is gone, Funimation is gone, tested is gone, nerdist is gone, drama fever is gone, geek and sundry is gone... oof VRV
Neil Bins
Neil Bins Vor Monat
Lets just talk about how David Wise is a legend.
Awesome video!!!!!
RedTony Vor Monat
For the Next Video, You Should take a look at the Sega genesis Sound Capability's!
The Sandman
The Sandman Vor Monat
Like how you used some of the best game music ever put out by the SNES from DKC! Loved that game for the music alone
Killer Frax
Killer Frax Vor Monat
Super Castlevania 4, but the video playing in the background is Castlevania Dracula X
Dronez Vor Monat
Buttlerr Vor Monat
0:16 that not Super Mario World music. It is Super Mario Sunshine music.
Chase The Brawler
Buttlerr It’s from the Super Mario Allstate actually
A J Vor Monat
The size issue is what made donkey Kong country such a masterpiece. When it came out, my brothers and I were blown away by the music.
Koodge Vor Monat
gotta love korg
Koodge Vor Monat
3:40 nifty, you can do this stuff with renoise
1983parrothead Vor Monat
A spiritual successor to this would be the internal soundchip of PS1.
red crimson102
red crimson102 Vor Monat
Well i guess devs were super creative back in the 90's because super nintendo games had many great soundtracks as well as the original nes, impressive indeed
Mr.Sauce Vor Monat
How are you going to bring up snes music without mentioning megaman x ?🤔
Owen Driscoll
Owen Driscoll Vor Monat
just realized this is the video that introduced me to mama said knock you out lol. i love this video.
ZockAmigos Vor Monat
What a fantastic Video! Thank you very much!
SanicStudios Vor Monat
*not super mario world*
RecklesFlam1ngo Vor Monat
This is video is honestly pretty badly informed and incorrect about a few things, not one of your best. :/
RecklesFlam1ngo Vor Monat
@Philipe A look at the comments, they explain everything (cant be bothered typing in everything :P)
Philipe A
Philipe A Vor Monat
Which informations are incorrect?
FloydTaylor Vor Monat
Watched this close to 10 times. Glad it reached 1m. Despite the feedback below think it gave alot of people who know sweet fuck all about how it was done a great perspective. My fave Nerdwriter video by far!
My Name
My Name Vor Monat
Amazing video great work!!
e h/mixxc
e h/mixxc Vor Monat
This was... bad.
Reddy Vor Monat
This might be just a coincidence but: I have been thinking about how this was done for about a week now, but this came up in my recommendations (out of like 2 million (at least) videos.) AND THEN the comments told me this video was maddeningly inspecific (commenter Sinny said that this video was like "How Music Was Made On Super Nintendo? Uhh so there are sound chips... and wave modulation... some tracker thing... let's just appreciate Aquatic Ambience again okay?") Did DE-vid purposely put this in my recommendations to infuriate me? And have they been tracking my mind? (This happened when i was thinking about Pixel Gun 3D and a day later i got a pixel gun video (but not maddeningly inspecific))
Jacob Nemyer
Jacob Nemyer Vor Monat
I believe there were different models of the SNES motherboard, that each had a different way the sound chip was placed.
Nothing\ Vor Monat
This video wasn't really that informative. You're on the right track with the format, but you need to check your facts and include more in depth information instead of just saying a few vague things without actually explaining anything. Look at Retro Game Mechanics Explained for some ideas, if you want. And please don't cut content because people are too lazy to watch a video more than 5 minutes long that contains technical information. Unless that's what you're going for, and that's fine if it is. It's your channel after all. I'm not trying to tell you how to run your channel, so you can ignore this if you want. But the comments seem to indicate I'm not alone in thinking this. I see a lot of potential here. Best of luck, mate. Cheers.
Marcos Mello
Marcos Mello Vor Monat
"64 KB had to hold all the music and the sound effects for the entire game" No sure this is right. Main game code (running on the 65C816) can load audio data on demand to the SPC700. So more than 64 KB of audio data can be stored on the cartridge.
Sarthak Panda
Sarthak Panda Vor Monat
Cinder from killer instinct intensifies
GG Vor Monat
Haven't seen earthbound in your entire life?
grandmajones Vor Monat
Kinda personal but Wise's music has inspired me soo much that i want to name my first kid Wise.
Mason Vor Monat
Snoley Games
Snoley Games Vor Monat
David Wise is that guy! Koji Kondo, Nobuo Uematsu, Michiru Yamane, Hideki Naganuma, Soichi Terada... There are too many too name that are considered the GOAT! Awesome video fam, much love and appreciation. #Respect
King of Anvils
King of Anvils Vor Monat
The Mario soundtrack you showed at the beginning isn't from Super Mario World... It's from the SNES port of Super Mario Bros.
Karmic Wheel
Karmic Wheel Vor 2 Monate
Greetings you fabulous Earthlings and Happy Friday! 👋👽
db Vor 2 Monate
A video about SNES music and no examples from Earthbound? For shame!
HaleyHalcyon - Gaming Channel
> Super Mario All-Stars SM1 Overworld > “Super Mario World” You are disqualified forever to speak of Super Mario
kiki muscles
kiki muscles Vor 2 Monate
I actually didn’t realize that some of these songs were from the snes
Karcsi Kiss
Karcsi Kiss Vor 2 Monate
It is a very inspirational video. Thx!
McBuffenFitness Vor 2 Monate
Wow! Lots of dedication towards making music like Donkey Kong Country and all other games on the SNES! Thanks for the vid :)
thatguy928 Vor 2 Monate
This channel seems to be for people looking for superficial prepackaged answers for things they can regurgitate to their shallow friends for attention. And your florid language is all the more reason to distrust what you say. Little substance behind it all.
Michael Benson
Michael Benson Vor 2 Monate
I fucking love Donkey Kong and David Wise!!!
Alexander Vor 2 Monate
You can still buy songs on iTunes?
Jesus Rojas
Jesus Rojas Vor 2 Monate
David Wise music give me chills, thats how you know it´s good!!!
Kevin pro the best gaming
0:14 oh god, sony in nintendo stuff! Am getting the Nintendo play station vibes here
NameIst Unbekannt
NameIst Unbekannt Vor 2 Monate
"hexadecimal Code" xD
Amazing!! David Wise is A guy I take my hat off to. Great video dude... didn't realise how much effort went into the music production of A game that holds fantastic childhood memories for me and millions of people.
Carlos López
Carlos López Vor 2 Monate
Vaporwave King
FrawsGasm Vor 2 Monate
Trackers > Sequencers. btw good misinformation you have
Paul Castillo
Paul Castillo Vor 2 Monate
It's awesome how this held up with the Genesis even though it's lemitations were very small.
AA Barbone
AA Barbone Vor 2 Monate
Enchanted Wood is usually my go to song whenever I'm stressed the fuck out. David Wise is a king
Eli Malinsky
Eli Malinsky Vor 2 Monate
The tracker wasn't a piece of software or tool, it was simply a predifined space in memory where you basically had to write assembly code that dictated which samples will play at what pitch, duration, speed etc. and also their allocation in channel and time stamp among other things. It was part of the hardwired microcode of the system, which was pretty much just down-to-the-metal assembly.
Adam Estrada
Adam Estrada Vor 2 Monate
Damn I'm glad I watched this. I don't play video games much any more but I keep a playlist of David Wise's music to listen to when I work, including tracks from DKC1 and 2. More than anything, I consider DKCs tracks to be masterpieces in their own right.
JPL Toy Experience
JPL Toy Experience Vor 2 Monate
David Wise........ is wise
Crayo Popp
Crayo Popp Vor 2 Monate
This is fake news,Super Nintendo music was made using magic
ZiKoN22 Vor 2 Monate
those snowstorms in between songs is extremely distracting.
Discern 7
Discern 7 Vor 2 Monate
Cool video.
Jestex Garcia
Jestex Garcia Vor 2 Monate
I can appreciate ALL the hard work and editing and work they put into the SNES video game music
Luis Vor 2 Monate
I know this is a few months old, but. I love people liek you. Thanks for expanding my knowledge on things I was always interested in, but never knew about.
Nothing\ Vor Monat
In that case, forget everything this video said.
Timothy Isenhart
Timothy Isenhart Vor 2 Monate
Actually the SNES had more RAM dedicated for sound. The Genesis/Mega Drive had a total system RAM of 72KB that was shared by every component. The SNES had a total of 256 KB of RAM, 128KB of System RAM, 64 KB of Graphics RAM and 64KB of Sound RAM.
Clarissa McPigeon
Clarissa McPigeon Vor 2 Monate
It's incorrect to say that SNES games had to fit the entire audio into 64Kb. That's just the audio RAM on the console itself - you could store extra soundbanks on the cartridge and swap them in and out. The audio subsystem also supported a number of other effects such as echo etc.
Applesgosh Vor 2 Monate
fmontserrattube Vor 2 Monate
LEt me sumarize: mexicanochingon.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/tipos-de-flautas-de-pan.jpg
SkyCharger001 Vor 2 Monate
AFAIK the 64K ram limitation was for what the audio-system could directly access, some games used dynamic loading to not be hampered by it. (instead of having all samples in RAM, only the used-in-this-level samples were loaded into RAM)
Ryan Freer
Ryan Freer Vor 2 Monate
They mentioned that David Wise took inspiration from the Korg Wavestation. This might be true, but the Wavestation wasn’t the first wavetable synthesizer by a long shot; and it’s likely that Wise knew it. The PPG synthesizers were using this exact tech-moving through single cycle waveforms in succession-all the way back in the late 70’s, starting with the Wave Computer. Then later in the 80’s came the PPG Wave, the Waveterm and Realizer. These were all high-end and expensive instruments however. Other companies also built wavetable synths through the later 80’s, like Waldorf from one of PPG’s cofounders, Ensoniq and Sequential Circuits. All more within the financial reach of most musicians. Still, the 90’s Korg Wavestation was probably among the most affordable and commercially available.
StormlitAqua Vor 2 Monate
That's not Super Mario World music! That's not Super Castlevania IV music! Aaaack!!!
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