
DevelopmentSega Master System / Mark III / Game Gear 
Home  Forums  Games  Scans  Maps  Cheats  Credits 
by andete. Original documents available at: https://github.com/andete/ym2413/tree/master/results
<< YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes 20150409  YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes  YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes 20151201 >>
It's been over half a year since I last worked on analyzing the YM2413. Today I finally continued. So let's restart with something simple: amplitude modulation.
Each operator (modulator or carrier) has one bit for amplitude modulation (AM). The YM2413 application manual only contains this:
As a secondary source of information we can look at the Y8950, YMF262 and YMF278 application manuals. These mention the same frequency of 3.7Hz and in addition they specify the modulation depth is either 4.8dB or 1dB (can be globally selected). On YM2413 the modulation depth is not selectable. As we'll see later it's also 4.8dB. The YMF278 manual even has a small graph showing that the amplitude modulation varies between 0dB and 4.8dB in a triangular shape.
4.8dB /\/\ / \ / \ \ / \ / \ / 0dB \/\/\/
I started by looking at some emulation code (YM2413 or other). All emulation cores more or less use the following schema:
Cycling through the full table takes 64 x 210 = 13440 samples. And when clocked at 3.57MHz this results in an AM frequency of
(3.579545MHz / 72) / 13440 = 3.699Hz
This matches the 3.7Hz from the manuals.
Notice that most values are repeated 4x in the table, so they last 256 samples. Except value 0 which is repeated 7x (thus lasts 448 samples) and value 26 is only repeated 3 times (lasts 192 samples). In hardware this table can be generated using an updown counter (no need for a ROM).
The YM2413 emulation code follows the same general approach with one difference: each value from this table is immediately divided by 2 (IOW the last bit is dropped). This gives only 14 different values (0..13), and:
Now let's verify this with some measurements. I measured these settings:
Operator  AM  PM  EG  KR  ML  KL  TL  WF  FB  AR  DR  SL  RR 

modulator  0  0  1  0  00  0  63  1  0  15  15  00  15 
carrier  1  0  1  0  01  0  0  15  00  15  00 
reg#0x10 = 0x02  fnumlow=2 
reg#0x30 = 0x00  max volume / custom instrument 
reg#0x20 = 0x10  keyon / block=0 
This is a sinewave (or a good approximation, see earlier posts for details) played at a very low frequency of approx 0.2Hz. This frequency is (intentionally) so low that each of the 1024 entries of the sinetable is repeated 256 times. In other words we expect the output to remain constant of at least 256 successive samples (and more near the peaks of the sine).
The captured data looks like this (to reduce measurement noise I averaged 64 successive samples, this detail in not important, except when interpreting the values on the xaxis):
This shows approximately one period of a sine. Because the frequency of the sine is so low compared to the AM frequency, we can clearly see the effect of the AM. Notice that the amplitude is indeed modulated (=multiplied), meaning large amplitude values are affected more than low amplitudes (in absolute terms).
When zoomed into the region marked in green we get this:
This confirms the modulation shape is triangular with (only) 14 different levels (0..13), so the YM2413 indeed seems to drop the lowest bit of the 'am_table' (or more likely doesn't generate this bit in the first place).
Using this graph I could also measure the duration of the top, middle and bottom parts of the triangle (marked respectively in yellow, green and red). This gave:
top (yellow): 960 samples (15 x 64) middle (green ): 512 samples ( 8 x 64) bottom (red ): 192 samples ( 3 x 64)
And this exactly corresponds to the above (truncated) table.
In the above (zoomed) image we can also approximately measure the modulation depth. When the top of a triangle (more or less) coincides with the top of the sine we get the maximum amplitude and as expected we measure an YM2413ADC value of 511 (this corresponds to +255, see earlier posts). The ADCvalue at the bottom of the triangle immediately left or right of this top is approximately 400 (corresponds to +144). So that gives:
20 * log10(144 / 255) = 4.96dB
Though our measurement is an overestimation because at the bottom of the triangle the sine is no longer at its peak. When we take this small error into account, the result matches well with the documented value of 4.8dB.
Let's now plug this into our YM2413operatormodel.
In earlier posts we already found that the output of an operator can be modeled like this:
expTable[sineTable[phase] + 128 * volume + 16 * envelope] phase: 0..1023 volume: 0..15 envelope: 0..127
We now need an additional term for AM.
expTable[sineTable[phase] + 128 * volume + 16 * envelope + 16 * am] am: 0..13
I found the factor '16' by experimentation: it must be a powerof2 and '16' makes the model very closely correspond to the measured data.
In fact let's see at a wave that is generated using the above model:
You can see it's very close to the measured data. But it's not identical because:
<< YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes 20150409  YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes  YM2413 Reverse Engineering Notes 20151201 >>