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7800 Minnie Sound Processor


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On 7/8/2021 at 11:43 PM, Atari 5200 Guy said:

The 7800 8bitdev website just received some interesting documentation on the sound chip GCC had working before Atari fired the company.  It's an interesting sound chip and almost sounds identical to the sound chip Konami made for the NES games.

The 7800 Minnie sound chip - 8BitDev.org - Atari 7800 Development Wiki

 

 

good info, and thanks, jack blew it again!

 

lance

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If my math is serving me correctly...Minnie had 3 channels, 2 64-bit waveforms stored in the processor, and 3 waveforms.  3 channels?  I wonder if the other forms were separate channels or could be combined into the 3 main channels.  So that combined with TIA...is that 5 channels or is that 8 channels?  I don't count the 2 stored waveforms.  Either way, from the specifications listed, it was a more powerful sound processor than what Konami used on the NES games.  THIS chip sounds more interesting. 

GCC guys got to hear it.  I wish there was an audio recording we could all hear.  I mean 64-bit waveforms are nothing to sneeze at...that is impressive for 1980's technology.  64-bit waveforms, that I'm aware of, didn't come to the public eye until maybe mid 1990's ~ early 2000's on PC and Yamaha had a similar 64-bit sound processor in their PSR series electronic keyboards.

It would be neat if the schematics and die layers could be located and the chip made.  I'd love to hear it!  Impressive sounds are what helped many of the popular NES games reach that status.  They were not remembered for the game itself but also its soundtrack.  When you hear the name Super Mario, what is the first thing you hear in your head?  If you hum it then my point has been made.

That sound chip could have been the edge the 7800 needed to push it above the NES.  Well, THAT, and people willing to program for it whether in-house or third-party.  It definitely would have needed the support for a lot longer than Jack would have wanted.

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On 7/29/2021 at 2:18 PM, Atari 5200 Guy said:

If my math is serving me correctly...Minnie had 3 channels, 2 64-bit waveforms stored in the processor, and 3 waveforms.  3 channels?  I wonder if the other forms were separate channels or could be combined into the 3 main channels.  So that combined with TIA...is that 5 channels or is that 8 channels?  I don't count the 2 stored waveforms.  Either way, from the specifications listed, it was a more powerful sound processor than what Konami used on the NES games.  THIS chip sounds more interesting. 

GCC guys got to hear it.  I wish there was an audio recording we could all hear.  I mean 64-bit waveforms are nothing to sneeze at...that is impressive for 1980's technology.  64-bit waveforms, that I'm aware of, didn't come to the public eye until maybe mid 1990's ~ early 2000's on PC and Yamaha had a similar 64-bit sound processor in their PSR series electronic keyboards.

It would be neat if the schematics and die layers could be located and the chip made.  I'd love to hear it!  Impressive sounds are what helped many of the popular NES games reach that status.  They were not remembered for the game itself but also its soundtrack.  When you hear the name Super Mario, what is the first thing you hear in your head?  If you hum it then my point has been made.

That sound chip could have been the edge the 7800 needed to push it above the NES.  Well, THAT, and people willing to program for it whether in-house or third-party.  It definitely would have needed the support for a lot longer than Jack would have wanted.

hi Atari 5200 guy,

 

i doubt jack would have paid for it. bummer!

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

VIDEO 61 & ATARI SALES
www.atarisales.com
22735 Congo St. NE, Stacy, MN 55079
651-462-2500

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On 8/1/2021 at 12:41 AM, peteym5 said:

If Atari or GDC put it into the 7800, it would had been on par with the NES and Sega Master System. The 7800 Weakspot was the sound and music. 

 

correct, but that might have affected backwards compatibility. the pokey at the time was the safe way to go.

 

lance

www.atarisales.com

VIDEO 61 & ATARI SALES
www.atarisales.com
22735 Congo St. NE, Stacy, MN 55079
651-462-2500

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I would have said putting the sound chip in the cart would have made games more expensive but then again a lot of NES games had external sound chips and people bought those.

There might be another way to provide additional sounds without putting those in a cartridge.  Why couldn't you make an add on like the high score cart?  Plug a POKEY cart in the 7800 and a game on top of that?  Allow the game to determine the presence of that sound chip and use it if it is there.  That way you'd only need one POKEY per machine, not per game.

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