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Sega Master System music

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The only experience I have with SMS is hearing djp gush about it endlessly, hence making ReMixes for it, thus eventually inspiring me play the first Phantasy Star back in 2002 (on emulator, and once more in 2015 [on the same emulator for the most part, until I realized there are way better ones after more than a decade passing, somehow successfully transferring the save files over despite them being a different file type, by simply renaming it to them, with no guides on how to do that that I'm aware of]). I think it's equal to, or better (this, personally), than FF1 for the NES. I have not thought about listening to the rest of the system's library of music even once, though, despite really liking the music to Phantasy Star. Then I ran across this video with fully mysterious to me music, making it a nice treasure trove.

 

 

The music is really bright, less gritty than NES perhaps, making it relieving to hear, as a contrast I suppose. Maybe the NES has better variability, and sometimes layers, even smoothness (however, Galaxy Force is sounding really smooth right now!), though, and maybe some better musicians, overall, too. Maybe the atmosphere given as initial influence for the console's creation was primarily being overly happy-type music (also true since the samples bring that out), so that's the line artists went with, for a larger portion for its library. Yet there are still tense tracks, like the one at 25:35. Like the NES, it seems to require taking a break before listening to too much; but maybe a more refined or thought-out list could prevent that.

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The Master System is a great gem of a system which I had the fortune of owning back in the day in addition to a NES. The sound chip is not among my favorites though. It is quite rudimentary compared to the likes of the 2A03 for NES or SID for C64, with only basic square tones (you can alter the pulse width on the others) and a less flexible noise. It also has less pitch range than the others. This results in a fairly homogenized sound and lacks the different styles and character you could hear on the other systems.

 

It was quite an old chip though, developed in 1979 I believe so it predates the others by several years. The other chips were tailored specifically for the systems while this was third party technology which was implemented in several products, like the later models of the ZX Spectrum.

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