Is there any tracker for MSX-Music that exports in FM-BIOS format?

AxelStone

Posted 4 months ago

According to MSX-Datapack MSX-Music section, the MSX-Music has a native music format that can handle directly by hardware with the built-in BIOS player. I think that have a standard format is a great advantage since you only need to program one universal driver, no mather what tracker is used.

But here goes the problem: I don't know any tracker that exports in this format. I can't understand it, since it should be really helpful for programmers, so I'm going to ask. Is there any tracker that can handle this format?

Thanks!

Replies

As far as I know there isn't any.

I've never heard about this FM-Bios replayer before, until you mentioned it on MRC. I guess there are reasons it is so obscure/unknown. Do you know of any software that uses it? Or maybe it was not used often because of possible limitations or perhaps it is somewhat of a CPU hog?

I'm so surprised why it has not been used, it seems that we (MSX comunity) enjoy reinventing wheel instead of using available resources.

I've not noticed any limitation in this format, I've been working on it during last weeks and can handle every resource of FM. The player is a hardware player, so no CPU usage: you only pass start address of music to the player routine and don't need to do anything more, FM does all the work. For our engine we have developed a tiny FM driver using this BIOS routines and has several advantages against software replayers:

  1. Don't need to know tracker format, less work for programmer.
  2. Really tiny, about 1Kb compared to moonblaster one (about 4,5Kb).
  3. No CPU usage! MB player can use up to 20% of Z80.

It's really a pity that any tracker has considered export in that format.


I've not noticed any limitation in this format, I've been working on it during last weeks and can handle every resource of FM. The player is a hardware player, so no CPU usage: you only pass start address of music to the player routine and don't need to do anything more, FM does all the work

That sounds amazing (no pun intended). I didn't know about this replayer either. I'll have to take a look at the MSX Datapack, because to be honest, I don't know anything about how MSX-MUSIC works internally.

I tried the MML compiler for FM-BIOS before. You can download it from the following page.

http://www.gigamix.jp/ds2/download.html

MCMP210F.LZH in DS2UL-3LZH

The document is written in Japanese.


The advantages of FM-BIOS you say are certainly useful. I think the disadvantage is that it lacks support for PSG that other music engines have.


Doesn't Synth Saurus have such an export feature?

I can imagine people not being very fond of using the FM-BIOS, since it requires interslot calling to it, which is CPU intensive its own. Someone once thought it was too CPU intensive for the game and patched the code running on the interrupt to not use it, which causes the FM part to be disabled completely.

R-Type uses the FM-BIOS to play the FM music and sound effects.

I can imagine people not being very fond of using the FM-BIOS, since it requires interslot calling to it, which is CPU intensive its own. Someone once thought it was too CPU intensive for the game and patched the code running on the interrupt to not use it, which causes the FM part to be disabled completely.

I didn't know that @BiFi, anyway I'm going to try to compile again lastest version of MB replayer. Could yo provide me lastest link and some compiling instructions?

Thanks.

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