SNES GSS (Game Sound System)
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SNES Game Sound System (or Solution)

v1.22 30.03.14 - sections list for easier navigation
v1.21 06.03.14 - volume scale dialog, minor fixes and improvements
v1.2  26.12.14 - volume column added, Vxx effect removed; Mxy renamed to
                 Vxy, old modules will be converted automatically;
				 panning support; optional sample loop unrolling for
				 better quality
v1.11 24.12.14 - FamiTracker text import feature
v1.1  07.09.14 - improvements to the order-less design
v1.02 25.08.14 - minor fixes, SPC700 driver improvements
v1.01 18.08.14 - important bug fixes, more features, transpose dialog
v1.0  15.08.14 - first release version, with all planned features
      22.07.14 - development of the new system has started
        ~06.11 - the old system, including spcbank, xm2data, and SPC700
		         code; the new system is based on its parts.

The sole purpose of this software is to make music and sound effects for
SNES homebrew games. It is not meant to be a stand-alone music authoring
software in any way.

The editor works in semi-interactive mode. This means that the result of
any changes (even mute controls) will only be heard after restarting the
song, you can't hear the changes immediately. It is supposed that during
editing the song is mostly played using the Enter key (play from current

The system architecture uses a single sample bank for every song and
sound effect in a game. The sound driver along with sample bank is fully
loaded at start up. Sound effects created as shorter songs (marked as
sound effect), they also loaded along with the driver. Larger songs are
loaded on a one-by-one basis. It is kind of MIDI concept, music files
only contain notes and commands, while sound bank contains the actual
sounds used by the music files.

It is supposed that WAV samples are resampled and looped in an external
audio editor, Wavosaur or similar. The samples should be 16 bit mono,
sampled at 8000, 16000, or 32000 Hz (the latter is preferable), with
melodic content preferably tuned to B (of any octave) +21 cent. In other
words, change pitch of a C-tuned sample 79 cents down. The reason behind
this is the BRR encoding that works with 16 sample blocks, with this
tuning a simple waveform will be a multiple of 16, improving looping
quality. Pitch table is calculated to map the B +21 sampled instrument
to actual C note on the C key, producing the standard tuning. To play
a sample close to its original sample rate, use B key.

The editor could be invoked as a command line application to perform
project file to set of resulting files conversion. Use snesgss.exe
filename.gsm -e [optional export path]

The MIDI import supports both format 0 and 1. It expects that notes are
placed in channels 1-8 (or 1-6 plus drum channel), and there is no more
than 1 note in a channel at a time. It imports notes only, with
instrument assigned by the channel number. If the drum channel is
present, it gets imported into SNES channels 7-8, channel 7 is used for
hats, and channel 8 for kick, snare, and toms. Instrument numbers
assigned to different drums are 10 for kick, 11 for snare, 12 for toms,
13 for hats.


F1 				Song editor
F2				Song list editor
F3 				Instrument editor
F4              Info

Song editor

Up,Down			Move the cursor one row up/down
PgUp,PgDown		Move the cursor one page up/down, the page size is set in the config file

Left,Right		Move the cursor between columns
Tab,Shift+Tab 	Move the cursor between the same columns of the channels

Numbers			Enter a number value (speed, instrument number, effect value)
Note keys		Enter a note in the song editor, or play a note in the instrument editor

Delete			Delete a note, a number, or selection without shifting other notes
Backspace		Delete a note field, shifting everything below and moving the cursor up
Insert			Insert a blank note field, shifting everything below down

Ctrl+F			Find section, shows list of all named and unnamed sections of the song
Ctrl+G			Edit current row number, to navigate through the song faster
                Pressing Enter returns the cursor back to the position where it was originally

Ctrl+1..8		Toggle channel mute
Ctrl+0			Toggle solo mode for current channel

[ ]             Change auto step, 0 to 16

Numpad / * 		Change octave, 1 to 8
Numpad 1..8		Set octave

F5				Play song from beginning
F7				Play song from current row
F8				Stop playing
Enter			Hold down to play from current row

Space			Set section break on current row
Home			Go to previous section
End				Go to next section
`               Enter section name, only used for easier navigation (see Ctrl+F)

Ctrl+[ ]		Change measure, each song has its own measure

Ctrl+Home		Set loop position (the row that will be played after loop)
Ctrl+End		Set song length (the last actual row)

Ctrl+Z			Undo last change in the song text, one step

Shift+Cursor	Set block selection for block functions

Ctrl+A			Select all channels, all fields. First key press
                selects current section (if any), next key
				press selects the whole song length
Ctrl+L			Select current channel, all fields, section or whole song

Ctrl+X			Cut selection
Shift+X			Cur selection and shift the rows below up
Ctrl+C			Copy selection
Ctrl+V			Paste selection
Shift+V			Paste selection and shift existing rows down

Ctrl+F1			Transpose selection semitone down
Ctrl+F2			Transpose selection semitone up
Ctrl+F3			Transpose selection octave down
Ctrl+F4			Transpose selection octave up

Ctrl+E			Expand selection
Ctrl+S			Shrink selection

Numpad + -		Switch between sub songs

Clicking on the pattern header changes the channel mute setting.
Left click toggles the mute for a channel, right click toggles the solo mode for a channel.

Click left mouse button and move the mouse while holding the button to make a block selection.

Double click on a channel selects a section in that channel; if the Shift key is down, it
selects the whole song length.

Row fields


RRRR is the row number
SS   is speed, could be set per row, 1 to 99 (fastest to slowest, default is 20).
CH1..CH8 are note fields, see below

Note fields


C  is note (# sharp)
ii is the instrument number, 1..99
VV is the volume, 0..99 (lowest to highest)
E  is the effect name
vv is the effect value, only editable if the effect is specified


All effect values are decimal, in 0..99 range.

All effects applied to the channel continuously. To turn off an effect other than the pan,
use it with 00 as value

Txx is (de)Tune, sets constant pitch offset that is applied to all following notes
Uxx is Slide Up, 0 is none, 1 is slowest, 99 is fastest
Dxx is Slide Down
Pxx is Portamento, 0 is note, 1 is slowest, 99 is fastest; has priority over the Slide
       P99 is legato mode, pitch changes instantly, like on a new note, but without key on
Sxx is Pan, 0 is the leftmost, 50 is the center, 99 is the rightmost positions
Vxy is Vibrato, x is speed (1 slowest, 9 fastest), y is depth (1 min, 9 max)
R.. is Repeat, it repeats previous section in current channel, from beginning of the section

Note keys

1 or A is the rest note

Current octave

 S D   G H J   L :
Z X C V B N M < > ?

Next octave

 2 3  5 6 7  8 9

Export and use

When all music and sound effects created, the project can be exported
(File>Export) for further use in a SNES program. The editor exports
a number of files:

spc700.bin -  contains compiled SPC700 driver code, samples, sound effects
              data. This means you don't need to use a SPC700 assembler.

music_N.bin - contains music data. Each sub song that is not marked as a
              sound effect will be exported into separate file. This allows
			  to save room for more sample data, while music data is only
			  loaded when needed.

sounds.asm  - contains incbin's in the WLA DX format, considering LoROM

sounds.h    - contains automatically generated aliases for every sub song
              and sound effect, as well as sub song names.

The latter two files aren't necessary, they meant to be used in a specific
SNES dev environment. The interfacing part of the environment is provided
along with the editor in the /snes/ directory, it consist of two files,
sneslib.asm and sneslib.h. There are 65816 assembly functions to load the
SPC700 driver and communicate with it, as well as C interface to these

You can either adapt provided code for your purposes, or create a new one,
using the code as a guide. spc700.bin loading and starting address is
$0200. When the driver is loaded, communication is done through APU ports
using the communication routines (see snes/sneslib.asm:542 and beyond).
Driver loading code is in snes/sneslib.h:774. 'Play a sound effect'
function is in sneslib.asm:842, it also uses spc_command_asm routine
(uniform for most commands), which is in sneslib.asm:658.

The spc700.asm file in the /snes/ directory is only provided for reference,
in case you're interested in internals of the driver. It does not need to
be compiled or otherwise used in a SNES program.

Take a note that, unlike the editor or exported SPC file, driver starts in
mono mode, for compatibility reasons, as many old TV sets does not have
stereo, and some part of the sound would be missing. To get stereo output,
the stereo enable command must be sent first.

Music data format


+0 1 how many channels in the song
+1 2 absolute address of the first channel
+3 2 absolute address of the second channel (if exists)


Series of bytes interpreted as follows:

  0..148       short delay
149..244       note in semitones (C-1..B-8)
     245       keyoff
     246,L,H   long delay, followed with two bytes of the delay duration, up to 65535
247..253       song effects:
     247,V     volume, byte of the volume is 0..127
	 248,P     pan, byte of the pan is 0..255 (128 is center)
     249,D     detune, byte of the detune
     250,S     slide up or down, byte of the slide is signed -99..99
     251,P     portamento, byte of the slide is 0..99
     252,M     vibrato, byte of the vibrato parameters (high nibble is depth 0..9, low nibble is speed 0..9)
     253,L,H,C reference, next three bytes are reference absolute address and reference length (0..255 bytes)
     254,I     instrument change, followed with byte of the instrument number 0..99
     255,L,H   loop, followed with two bytes of absolute address of the loop point