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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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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KemicalKiddMUSIC Vor 5 Stunden
you know another game that had good soundtrack for a SNES? Megaman X1
grimm hades
grimm hades Vor 5 Stunden
Oh the Donkey Kong aquatic ambiance track, I used to leave the game on there and fall asleep to that track. Great video!
generic mexican
generic mexican Vor 6 Stunden
Thank you donkey kong composer you made my life
Xklusiv Vor 6 Stunden
Do one for genesis
Loreee_ Vor 13 Stunden
very informative
DrewTube316 Vor 17 Stunden
Childish Gambino Sampled Aquatic Ambiance. de-vid.com/video/video-DvGJ5KtR4QY.html
Oscar Thompson
Oscar Thompson Vor 22 Stunden
not that its not a rad track but like i dont think aquatic ambience is the best example to use, it doesn't really use the affordances inherent to the medium the innovation is how he managed to hack it into the system but i thinks its more interesting when composers use the limitations as a kind of aesthetic of its own
BloomSTRAD Vor 22 Stunden
It's a shame people have forgotten about how sound trackers are way better at compressing sound without sacrificing quality. This method of composition was widely used in video games until last decade, a good example I can think of is Bejeweled 2. The whole soundtrack of the game is contained within a single file.
Jemone Durante
Jemone Durante Vor 23 Stunden
i absolutly love this video. The way the words fade in, the timing of the voice over. the information its just awesome! if youre going to talk about SNES MUSIC what better way to explain than the best music on the platorm??? DK COUNTRY SERIES of course!
Kupo Vor Tag
this video was in my recommended for a while, so i caved and decided to watch it not a very good first impression for this channel ngl
Space Case
Space Case Vor Tag
Cameron Cowles
It's depressing how much smarter than me people are
Enrique Romero
David wise is a godly composer
Silas ofNj
Silas ofNj Vor Tag
Excellent Excellent video. Thanks.
Stefan Richmond
So much nostalgia
Abendigo Vor Tag
This stuff interests me so much ❤
cutcc Vor Tag
Man people back in the day were super dedicated and resourceful--I love it. Very appreciative of their hard work =).
cassio lenno
cassio lenno Vor Tag
Oh my God! this is the best Nerdwriter video.
BubExpress Vor Tag
The snes had the best sound chip back when
Lord LunaEquie is me
A lot of my childhood in this video, including that Mark Rosewater quote. Also, as others have already pointed out, you're either misrepresenting the SNES or didn't do enough research to say that all the music and sound had to fit inside 64 KB of RAM. That's just not what RAM does.
flyboy1c Vor Tag
Limitation breeding creativity was the force behind the genius of Vine. 7 seconds to fit as much of a story on video as possible. Think of the amount of different types of vines and their impact... all because a limit was placed.
Joseph Cserepes
Joseph Cserepes Vor 6 Stunden
Genius?!?! All I saw was cringy edits of other crap.
kirby poyo
kirby poyo Vor Tag
pitrox Vor Tag
thanks to sony for snes sound chip
Shark Dude 7
Shark Dude 7 Vor Tag
Street Fighter music is where it’s at
Josh Anderson
4:23 It's Stickerbush Symphony. Not Stickerbrush. Unfortunately it's a painfully common mistake. Everyone gets it wrong.
sukhWins Vor Tag
Man I have now more appreciation for the Aquatic Ambiance!!
FGC_ Roofer_07
I Wonder how they managed RoboCop 3's theme on NES...
The Littlest Giant
It’s insanely impressive how *good* a lot of the music on SNES games was, even when they were so limited by that system’s capabilities.
joeresio Vor Tag
I make video game music!! I use wave and midi! My dream was always to make music for video games. I have all my VGM on my page.
Pär Moberg
Pär Moberg Vor Tag
The SNES and the Amiga had really similar sound system.
Matty Furious
Brilliant video, very well edited aswell. Subscribed.
Mats Berglinn
I hope in the future that you will make a video how Nintendo 64 graphic works as well as the sound and the general function of those games as there are differences between pixels and polygons (not only just the looks).
Markus Machado
David Wise was already a respected composer but now sir you just made him a freaking legend. The guy was crazy
Max Valley
Max Valley Vor Tag
Donkey Kong country soundtrack is amazing. How did they make Yoshi's Island music though?
luca simonelli
Lol it feels like they put more effort in the music than in the actual game xD
opsimathics Vor Tag
Art from adversity.
JMD Vor Tag
64k is not even enough for a decent mod file, i expect there was some bank switching involved to load several sets
Big LeBAUSki
Big LeBAUSki Vor Tag
I always was interested in this topic, thx!
Eleman Vor Tag
Genesis better///
Spunky Animations
All you had to say was David Wise and I would have understood perfectly.
Chiyo Late
Chiyo Late Vor Tag
Respect to the old game developers. Current game developers can't/won't bother optimizing their game and will just eat any resources thrown at them.
D C Vor Tag
Aquatic ambience is my wakeup alarm music
Salih Khamees
The keyword here is DEDICATION folks
Adalberto Rodriguez
Goosebumps because this music. Even those limitations you feel the the power of creativity The most memorable gaming OSTs were composed based on those systems.
Meister Oogway
Loved the editing of this video.
2:20 oh that's blank banshee
Raymond Day
Raymond Day Vor Tag
Super video. I did not know this about the SNES. Only 64K. I can relate to this knowing about the commodore 64. I program in that so know how the hardware works. But I did not know this about the SNES. I only know if made good music. Watched this video the other day and the old Aquatic Ambiance song was in my head. Looked on my Logitech Media Server and found the CD I ripped years ago. DK Jamz the number 8 song.
ftw420anon Vor Tag
Thank you for reminding me of the great video game composer, Nobuo Uematsu. He has composed music for every Final Fantasy game (including XV) and was currently working on the score for FFVII Remake. Unfortunately, a Google search revealed that he is experiencing health problems and will be taking the rest of the year off. I will be sending my best wishes to him and his family.
Γιάννης Γαλάνης
Best game musics ever!
killerpot. stuclaire
who's the 579 asshole who put thumb down you pice of trash probably shitty kids dumb ass "millenium" generation they call it yeah pice of trash generation!
killerpot. stuclaire
i love aquatic ambience since i was a kid this guy is a fucking genius!!
iulian ispas
iulian ispas Vor 2 Tage
The snes sound was awful only really annoying hy pich sounds no bass at all ...
interghost Vor 2 Tage
Donkey Kong Country... easily the best video game music ever!
Gambit Vor 2 Tage
David Wise is a genius. Amazing soundtrack
I thought the best song from Donkey Kong Country 2 was the credits music
Plasticina verde
Plasticina verde Vor 2 Tage
secret of mana
hoshnasi Vor 2 Tage
That DK Country sound track, so slippery. Awesome.
Sinead De Jager
Sinead De Jager Vor 2 Tage
All your videos are brilliant epiphanies for millions! Thank you! You are wonderful!
brucekentallen Vor 2 Tage
I didn't understand. They would play on that Korg and then see a source code and input it into the game chip?
Christopher Alan Sosa Mejia
, the súper Nintendo was not a límited at all in the sound department. The sega genesis was!!! Because IT could not sample sounds by itself. Programmers had to built sound engines to sample voice to 11khz. So musicians pretty much had beeps and boops to work on or built a sound engine that ran in the 68000 to créate the waveform and then pass it up to the sound chip. The Benefit it this is more clear sound and you dont have the shitty has muffled sound like the súper Nintendo had. But, that part pretty much relies on the musician. I think it would have been more more interesting how the game boy advance worked in the sound department becuase oh god, that shit sucks soooooooooooooooooo much in that regard
Michael C
Michael C Vor 2 Tage
Amazing Stuff right here!!! 👌👌
theFizzyNator Vor 2 Tage
> Super Mario 1 theme from All-Stars > “Super Mario World” gg downvoted
Pro Cow
Pro Cow Vor 2 Tage
When you mentioned castlevania 4 in the beginning you showed footage of a different castlevania >:(
Min Lungelow
Min Lungelow Vor 2 Tage
Your visual effects and Aesthetic piss me off, but the content is nice.
Adam Averhart
Adam Averhart Vor 2 Tage
Lol if you read those chips correctly, you may now thank Sony for making all of this possible.
Thomas Schmitz
Thomas Schmitz Vor 2 Tage
David Wise is a legend.
disparityband Vor 2 Tage
The part where it says SC4 is Dracula X instead, but I'm pretty sure the music is wrong too!
Jimmy Ellis
Jimmy Ellis Vor 2 Tage
Yo this was cool. This is really beautiful mini documentary on video game music
Gui de Guinetik
Gui de Guinetik Vor 2 Tage
The Stickerbrush Symphony inspired me as a kid to learn to play the piano. I remember loading DK2 and going to that level just to listen to the music while I was doing something else. powerful stuff
Jesus Meneses
Jesus Meneses Vor 2 Tage
blackcat19 Vor 2 Tage
So basically what I got from this video is that every great SNES soundtrack is something utterly impossible that nonetheless exists. Magic.
al ubaldini
al ubaldini Vor 2 Tage
dkc,dck2 killer instinct zelda link to the past , skyblazer , dracula bram stoker alien3 super metroid super castlevania 4 contra 3 top gear 1 super street fighter super bomber man super turrican , chrono trigger the music was amazing
Kevin  DeLuna
Kevin DeLuna Vor 2 Tage
I lived through those games in the 90s love it and nostalgic
Mike Reyes
Mike Reyes Vor 2 Tage
Fantastic video!
INFINI S.A.S Vor 2 Tage
but.... how much music was made for the super nintendo?
PCGamesF1Tech Vor 2 Tage
Wow, how brilliant they/he made it! Thanks for reminding me of the great aquatic soundtrack of DK!!
Erist Tänzer
Erist Tänzer Vor 2 Tage
Fucking amazing
Disgusted Dedede
Disgusted Dedede Vor 2 Tage
Super Mario world *music from mario all stars*
Baqir Mayumaionipad
Disgusted Dedede true
bone Vor 2 Tage
Woah I had no idea. So awesome how creative David got
Pixie Panda Plush
I know VRV, it's a services I can't use.
Donkey Kong did has some amazing music, some of the best
Naifer :v
Naifer :v Vor 2 Tage
500 mega hyper stupid people dislike this awesome video lmao
Krystal Myth
Krystal Myth Vor 2 Tage
Was hoping for a bit more examples than just David Wise. Pretty much anything in Chrono Trigger would have been nice.
OliKad Vor 2 Tage
0:20 >Dracula X music plays >Says Music is from Castlevania IV u wot m8
Caithe Raith
Caithe Raith Vor 2 Tage
B is byte but b is bit. So kb is kilobit where MB is megabyte. Thus, the SNES has 16 kilobits of sound processing.
Alano Morito
Alano Morito Vor 2 Tage
Dkc 2 ost invincible
AdamProGamingTR Vor 2 Tage
1:06 so this is why emulators sounds better hmmmmm now it makes sense
quietboygonewild Vor 2 Tage
David Wise was wise :3
Guillaume Galienne
StickerBUSH Symphony. Best SNES track after Big Blue from F-zero.
My First Nintendo
this video explain that program better than the instruction video great info man!!!
It’s a me Mario
0:17 that’s not super mario world
Jesus Marquez
Jesus Marquez Vor 3 Tage
U won a subscriber good sir
gollumondrugs Vor 3 Tage
You compare a modern mp3 at 6mb, but this is actually a compressed waveform. In reality it is around 40mb uncompressed, for a 3.5 minute song.
AspleniumHexe Vor 3 Tage
Not at all that accurate information in this video.
El Hombre Bush
El Hombre Bush Vor 3 Tage
Me iba a suscribir a este canal porque vi que tenía contenido interesante y tienen subtítulos en español, pero al parecer solo era en este video :( Aún así, excelente tema. DKC, de los mejores soundtracks de la historia.
Cleen Vor 3 Tage
obviously snes music was all made in mario paint dumbass
Alan Emeritus 669
You make me cry :( the music of DK is the best of SNES in my opinion :)
Anonymous Vor 3 Tage
What’s the ambient music at the end of the presentation?
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