MSU1 music too loud on SD2SNES clone

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MSU1 music too loud on SD2SNES clone Empty MSU1 music too loud on SD2SNES clone

Post by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 16:33

I got a "Rev.X" SD2SNES from Aliexpress a few days ago. Every MSU1 game I try has music either way too loud or slightly too loud, making sound effects hard to hear.

I've tried both new and older MSU1 audio packs.. everything is too loud.

e.g. I tried SF2 Turbo from here:
https://www.zeldix.net/f69-fighting
... and the sound effects are hard to hear against the music.

Photos of the PCB can be seen on the product page:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000527242500.html

Is this "new" clone really so old that it may need the hardware mod?? If so, buyers remorse, I should have bought an original one but I cheaped out.

Funny that the SD2SNES menu has an option to let you increase the MSU-1 audio volume but not lower it. Hmm.

Any advice greatly appreciated. Thanks.

(FWIW although the PCB says "Newest Pro version", the seller assures me that its not the pro version. Dead giveaway is the Altera II on the PCB rather than the Altera IV the Pro would have.)


Last edited by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 16:35; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Conn on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 16:35

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Post by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 16:37

Thanks! You replied so fast I think we went back in time. Spin

I will try it now.

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Post by JUD6MENT on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 16:38

Make sure you have a recent clean rom on a clean patch. If you are using the same patched rom from several years ago that will be a problem. If that does not work i am certain someone else will be able to help you out that has a sd2snes. I lot of people use sd2snes so it will work, you just have to figure out that thing that is causing it not to work.
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Post by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 17:40

Thanks again, this is having a good effect.

Most SNES games will want the normalization to be at either -18 or -21 dBFS, but some games require a different value, or different normalization levels for different tracks.

I've found that -28dBFS seems about right for the 3DO PCMs of Street Fighter Turbo. That said, Dhalsim's stage sounds too loud.. may need a different value. Ryu and Zangief stages sound right.. playing through to hear them all..

Also, is there any plugin for Foobar2000 to play PCMs?


Last edited by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 17:48; edited 2 times in total

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Post by Conn on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 17:46

Is there any plugin for Foobar2000 to play PCMs?

https://www.zeldix.net/t1543-msu-1-audio-player

@jud6ment:
I ccannot access the product page on aliexpress RowanBRR posted, but it seems to be a pirated sd2snes, so all our volume adjustments do not work and he needs to adjust them himself. But this is only my guess, that he doesn't use a "real" sd2snes, because of shipping from china and so.
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Post by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 17:49

Thanks for plugin link.

I wonder if the normalisation script could be updated to include a replaygain scan, i.e. to lower the levels of each track based on perceived loudness. Might give more uniform sounding results to sets? Hopefully thats a good suggestion and I'm not talking rubbish. Embarassed

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Post by Conn on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 17:55

There is a source on the normalization script, if you know programming python it's certainly worth if you can give it a try. The original author, Insidious611, of this script is unfortunately not an active member here and I would not know of somebody else who would be able to program that.
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Post by RowanBRR on Sat 7 Mar 2020 - 18:38

Not within my immediate realm of skills unfortunately. Turns out it was only Dhalsims stage track (and his danger music, when energy gets low) that needed further adjustment than all the rest.

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Post by Conn on Sun 8 Mar 2020 - 5:22

On a second thought, I do not think such a "perceived normalization" would be of much value, you see we adjusted the pcm to work well on emu and original sd2snes. You experience the problems with your clone, so no script could know the "best values" for this device. You can only try&error each track, or complain at the developers to adjust the msu output similar to sd2snes.
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Post by edale on Fri 13 Mar 2020 - 22:16

RowanBRR wrote:Thanks for plugin link.

I wonder if the normalisation script could be updated to include a replaygain scan, i.e. to lower the levels of each track based on perceived loudness. Might give more uniform sounding results to sets? Hopefully thats a good suggestion and I'm not talking rubbish. Embarassed
The normalization used in the renormalization script uses RMS normalization, which basically is a normalization based on perceived loudness (very different from peak normalization).

Replaygain is actually not compatible with MSU-1, as all the changes replaygain does are in the file's metadata, whereas MSU-1 audio is raw PCM audio, the only information in the 8-bytes of metadata is the loop point. Therefore any type of audio adjustments need to be made to the raw audio data.
ReplayGain software stores information in the audio file's metadata header rather than directly affecting the original audio information. This metadata allows audio players and sound systems that support ReplayGain to automatically adjust the volume to the correct level.

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Post by qwertymodo on Mon 16 Mar 2020 - 3:48

It's odd that the clone is too loud, the original hardware flaw was that it was too QUIET on the SD2SNES. Any chance you could post images of the PCB? Also, check in the firmware menu to see if the audio boost is enabled. If it is, you might be able to just turn that down. Current gen carts (Rev H or Pro, or modded older ones) should have the boost set to 0.
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Post by edale on Mon 16 Mar 2020 - 4:03

qwertymodo wrote:Any chance you could post images of the PCB?
He linked them in the initial post:
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000527242500.html
Both sides of the PCB are included in the item's pictures.

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Post by qwertymodo on Mon 16 Mar 2020 - 4:09

Yeah, but those aren't good enough to actually see the part I'm interested.  Specifically, the corner of the board with U341 and what looks like U342.  Being able to read the markings on the chips would be ideal. Also, the back side of the same area of the PCB so I can see the numbers on the resistors.
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Post by qwertymodo on Mon 16 Mar 2020 - 4:16

That thing is so freaking weird.  It's like some kind of weird hybrid of the original hardware, the pro hardware, and just... random crap thrown together.  It's using the lower-powered Cyclone II, so it's more like the original hardware than the Pro (and it won't ever be capable of the Pro-only features), which doesn't match EITHER the Xilinx Spartan in the original hardware OR the Cyclone IV in the Pro, it has a Max II CPLD instead of the NXP microcontroller that's responsible for the SD access and filesystem parsing.  I mean... I guess at least they included proper voltage level translation, but beyond that, I'm surprised the thing even functions at all.
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Post by RowanBRR on Fri 20 Mar 2020 - 20:15

qwertymodo wrote:Yeah, but those aren't good enough to actually see the part I'm interested.  Specifically, the corner of the board with U341 and what looks like U342.  Being able to read the markings on the chips would be ideal.  Also, the back side of the same area of the PCB so I can see the numbers on the resistors.

Hopefully this photo is better than the one from the product listing page:
https://i.postimg.cc/HLDv3k7R/IMG-20200321-001237.jpg

Back side:
https://i.postimg.cc/38HxVM5H/IMG-20200321-002532.jpg

Looks like:
U341 = 344C 1821
U342 = 9221 STEZ618

And yes, MSU Boost is set to 0 in the config.

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Post by RowanBRR on Sat 21 Mar 2020 - 9:42

This all said, I just tried UN Squadron (https://www.zeldix.net/t1557-u-n-squadron) and this seems fine, music and sound effects seem at about the same level.

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