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Musics in Open Surge


Musics in Open Surge are stored in the musics/ directory. The accepted format is ogg/vorbis (.ogg). To use play music ingame, you can:

  • Change the 'music' line in your level file (.lev) to read the music you wish to use. This is the usual choice. See also: Level specification.
  • Create an object that plays music: use scripting.

Suggested specifications

You are not required to follow these, but they are kept here as a reference.

  • Use .ogg format.
  • Musics below 2 MB!
  • The audio reproduction is limited to 10 channels of audio (stereo), and the chips are a Yamaha YM2612 (FM) and a SN76489 (PSG). They can be faithfully emulated by any hardware or software, including virtual instruments (VST) and audio trackers. (This specification is optional)
  • It is preferable music in "loop" or equivalent.

Producing Music

Recommended software (emulation)

There are several different software types available. These software are specialized in mimicking old hardware sound processors:

VGM Music Maker

VGM Music Maker is a tracker dedicated to mimic the chips included in the SEGA Genesis and Master system. The software is compatible with ripped sounds from the Gens+ emulator. This means that you can use the FM sounds from any Genesis game.

Download: Shiru's site

Fami Tracker

If NES music is your deal then Fami Tracker is the one choice for you. It mimics the standard chip, as well as the external add-on boards that the NES had available.

Download: FamiTracker site

Raster Music Tracker

For those who where kids in the 70's the famous Atari 2600 was a given entertainer in the homes. In the beginning of the 80's Atari launched several computers that used the POKEY chip, same as in the Atari 2600, to produce sound with. RMT mimics the POKEY chip and makes it available for Windows users.

Download: RMT's homepage

Configuring your software

This document will guide you through the configuration phase of your music software.

First thing first. You need to specify a sound driver to use with the software in question. Many software come prepared to use the default sound driver, which means that you don't need to get your hands dirty if you don't want too. There is however a good chance that the program is not properly configured for the specified driver.

Sound drivers

There are several different drivers one can use. Windows has a load of good drivers, and here is a small summary:


  • Primary sound device: This is the windows default sound system. Skip this one.
  • DirectSound: The default driver in most cases
  • ASIO4All: The recommended drivers for musicians

All programs have different places where they have the sound settings. The most logical place is in the preferences, but where the preferences is located differs from tool to tool.

Buffer issues

When you've selected your sound driver then you need to set some parameters. The most important one is the buffer length. The shorter buffer you use the more responsive the MIDI keyboard becomes. You'll find that recording live will vastly improve if you have a buffer length set to 3 - 5 Ms. However the chance that the sound stutters followed by under-runs is much more likely to happen.

Under-runs is what happens when the buffer is full, and new data is tried to be stored in that buffer. A good analogy would be that you have a big dish of your favorite food, you gulped down 50% of the dish, you're full, but want to eat anyways because it is so delicious.

And there is one more thing to keep in mind here, your computer speed:

  • The slower the computer the higher the buffer needs to be.
  • The faster the computer the lower the buffer needs to be.