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Ideal sound/music solutions?
Sound has been a pretty frustrating point in NGPC development for me.

I like some sound effects from the sound generator, but can't use them if I'm using the neo tracker sound driver, and I can't play bgm if I'm using the sound generator.

I can get good BGM from Neo Tracker, but I can't get it to generate worthwhile sound effects.  Admittedly, I don't understand most of the options in the voice editor.  The 4th channel being set to noise seems to only make one sound, regardless of note.

Then there's wav playback.  I can get it to play any sound effect I want, at the extreme cost of processing time.  Even in an emulator, playing a wav file in my game throws off the hblank effects during playback...  Undecided

Is there any way to play back a wav file without it killing performance?  They did it in Metal Slug didn't they?

In fact, they figured out a lot of this in the commercial games, but I'm kind of at a loss figuring out the best direction to go for ngpc sound development.

The best I can figure out in Neo Tracker makes me think I should stick to a scifi theme.  I can generate any number of sounds that would be appropriate for that theme, including something akin to a theremin.

Has anyone else done extensive custom sound/music or is it more common to pull the data from a commercial game because of the complexities?
There is some doc on sound here (by mic_):
and his awesome music players: (search for NeoGeo Pocket / Color)
I've done some tests/demos on my side an YM player with my 1st game Columns (tlcs900h code sending data to z80) and a mod player based on timer0 interrupts.
I think the DMA stuff is the best solution (mic_'s doc and his ym player).
Maybe you can mix ym/vgm music playback and sound fx or stop music while playing sfx (mix can be: play music left side and sfx right...).
But yes, playing music this way will consume cpu time that won't be available by your game.
I am wrapping up development on a new driver and library for VGM file playback that supports BGM and SFX simultaneously. So far it is working out well for me for my purposes and ends up being a superior experience to the existing methods. I hope it will become the ideal sound/music solution.
I published my vgm player library.  Details in this thread:

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