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  • Writer's picturerehsd

Creating New Music for My 65816 Sound Card

Updated: May 27, 2022

I was getting a bit tired of the previous song I had been using for my sound card testing. 1SMHARRIS suggested a song to try out next. In the following video, I walk through the process of "programming" a new song for my sound card. It definitely has that 1980's game sound to it!

I have MIDI input support on my Dynamic Sound Editor (see the last video at Possibly, I could add MIDI input to this application. Long term, I am hoping to add support to convert MusicXML files into the appropriate binary format for my sound card.

The following music only took 15 minutes to build.

Additional samples (will add as I have more):

Here's a snapshot of file sizes for the ROM binary data for the songs above:

The above ROM data can be stored on the sound card's onboard media ROM or onboard SD Card. The onboard media ROM has 512 KB of capacity, while the SD Card I'm currently using has 64 GB. My plan is to store regularly used sound effects and system sounds on the ROM, and keep all music on the SD Card. With 64 GB, I should be good for a while. :) As far as system memory use (i.e., RAM), I am playing directly from the ROM or SD Card. I am not loading the media into RAM before playing.

Support for 18 Channels

I updated my Music Editor to support all six PSGs (18 channels). The editor allows me to specify the number of notes per measure and the number of PSGs I would like to utilize. The editor then dynamically generates the input form to match my selection. I can export song data in binary format, ready for my sound card to play.

Mario 12-Channel

The Mario 1UP! ROM image ended up at 64 KB in size.

Music Sequences and Playback


I have started experimenting with automated import/conversion of music in MusicXML format for my sound card. It's looking promising. This will allow me to quickly load existing music in a matter of a few minutes. It will also allow me to use much better software for creating new music, including MIDI input.

Rapid Music Creation with MIDI Keyboard (Importing for sound card with MusicXML format)

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