as you already know, our project aims at getting the best audio quality out of our favorite 16-bit games and in an effort to provide you the best sounding soundtracks while maintaining 100% accuracy towards original hardware, today our chain underwent another small but significative step forward:
The European Mega Drive Model 1, VA4, got replaced with a Japanese Mega Drive Model 1, V1.
What’s more, I believe that this MD was hardly used at all as all the components inside were in pristine condition and, as such, we can move another tiny step towards complete accuracy as I won’t need to change capacitors on this one, retaining the original ones.
Audio quality wise, the sound coming out of the VA1 (and VA0 and VA2 for that matter) is cleaner and with a harder hitting bass, although less muffled. This, on the first listen, might mislead the listener into thinking that there’s less bass than our previous MD: this is not true, it’s simply a cleaner and more controlled bass which I’m sure you’ll all come to love.
Anyway, life is not a bowl of cherries: the Japanese VA0, VA1 and VA2 were plagued with a design error in the amplifier section: the gain is too high
(well, actually the problem is that the Reference Voltage -Vref- is too high) and due to this loud games might sound a bit distorted. This becomes quite evident in tracks that have a predominant bass line such as Boss 1 in Sonic 3D.
While a bit of background noise/hiss is tolerable, distortion is not welcome in our prestigious audiophile family,
and as such I’ll make a small mod to lower the reference voltage thus fixing the distortion problem (I just need to put a bigger resistor, that’s pretty much it, no big deal).
EDIT: actually Vref is ok, it seems that the signal is too strong when getting into the amplifier chip. Thanks to the guys over at sega-16, especially Ace who came up with the fix in the first place!
This also mean that tomorrow I won’t be able to record a new release which will get shifted to the next week.
Also, I do believe this is the right moment to talk about the Remasters I wanted to do: our recording chain underwent a lot of changes and we’ve got really far since the first release, Sonic 2.
At this point I feel the urge to start doing these remasters as the quality have changed quite a bit and I was thinking of modifying our release schedule this way:
Most voted request -> Oldest request -> Most voted -> Oldest -> Remaster -> Most voted -> etc…
Every two cycles I’ll put a remaster in so that requests will also have priority.
Oh, and from now on, if you want you can also request a Remaster!
Just put it this way in the request thread:
[REMASTER] Game name
so I’ll immediately recognize it and when the time comes to release a remaster, I’ll take the most voted one.
And that’s pretty much it, maybe I’ll post some photos of the new Mega Drive later and update our Equipment page!