Stephen Ruddy (NES Driver)

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Stephen Ruddy
Programmers Stephen Ruddy
Language 6502 Assembly

Stephen Ruddy is an unofficial name of the NES sound driver used at Software Creations. It was programmed Stephen Ruddy. The driver is known for its use by Tim Follin and Geoff Follin. To create music and sound effects in the driver, it had to be written in 6502 assembly, the standard way of writing music for games back then.

Stephen still has the source code to the sound driver, but has not yet released it.

Pictionary - NES - Song 1.png

Release History

The driver was used in 13 games, the first being World Games, and the last being The Incredible Crash Dummies. The driver was released in games for all three main regions; North America, Europe, and Japan.

Output

The driver outputs to the RP2A03 and RP2A07. When played on the RP2A07, music retains about the same tempo as the 2A03, but the pitch has been lowered a half-step. According to Tim Follin, the music he wrote is correct on the 2A07 and incorrect for the 2A03.

Sound

Stephen Ruddy's driver is known for having very good-sounding instruments. It is likely that the Follin brothers designed the instruments. The guitars in particular have a realistic sound to them, having a picking effect. This is done by playing the base note (A-3 for example) for one frame, playing a higher note (E-5 for example) for one frame, and then back to the base note. Also traditional with European composers was the Follins' major use of arpeggios.

The driver is also known for its realistic-sounding drumkit. This is accomplished by the triangle channel playing in conjunction with the noise channel. Of course, most of the time, the triangle channel plays the bassline, so when the triangle drums play, they interrupt the bassline. However, because the triangle drums play for only a few frames, it is almost impossible to tell, and almost sounds as if both are playing at the same time.

Games

Released Title Sample
1989-03-?? World Games (NES)
1989-09-?? Sky Shark (NES)
1990-03-?? Magic Johnson's Fast Break (NES)
1990-03-?? Target: Renegade (NES)
1990-06-?? Solstice: The Quest for the Staff of Demnos (NES)
1990-07-?? Pictionary (NES)
1990-11-?? Silver Surfer (NES)
1991-03-?? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade: Taito (NES)
1991-03-?? Kiwi Kraze (NES)
1991-10-?? Wolverine (NES)
1991-12-?? Tom & Jerry: The Ultimate Game of Cat and Mouse! (NES)
1991-12-?? Treasure Master (NES)
1992-02-?? Terminator 2: Judgement Day (NES)
1993-09-23 The Incredible Crash Dummies (NES)

Technical

Frequency Registers

The high-bytes are separated from the low-bytes.

B-8 = 07
A#8 = 07
A-8 = 07
G#8 = 08
G-8 = 08
F#8 = 09
F-8 = 0A
E-8 = 0A
D#8 = 0B
D-8 = 0B
C#8 = 0C
C-8 = 0D
B-7 = 0E
A#7 = 0E
A-7 = 0F
G#7 = 10
G-7 = 11
F#7 = 12
F-7 = 14
E-7 = 15
D#7 = 16
D-7 = 17
C#7 = 19
C-7 = 1A
B-6 = 1C
A#6 = 1D
A-6 = 1F
G#6 = 21
G-6 = 23
F#6 = 25
F-6 = 28
E-6 = 2A
D#6 = 2C
D-6 = 2F
C#6 = 32
C-6 = 35
B-5 = 38
A#5 = 3B
A-5 = 3F
G#5 = 43
G-5 = 47
F#5 = 4B
F-5 = 50
E-5 = 54
D#5 = 59
D-5 = 5F
C#5 = 64
C-5 = 6A
B-4 = 71
A#4 = 77
A-4 = 7F
G#4 = 86
G-4 = 8E
F#4 = 97
F-4 = A0
E-4 = A9
D#4 = B3
D-4 = BE
C#4 = C9
C-4 = D5
B-3 = E2
A#3 = EF
A-3 = FE
G#3 = 10D
G-3 = 11D
F#3 = 12E
F-3 = 140
E-3 = 153
D#3 = 167
D-3 = 17C
C#3 = 193
C-3 = 1AB
B-2 = 1C4
A#2 = 1DF
A-2 = 1FC
G#2 = 21A
G-2 = 23A
F#2 = 25C
F-2 = 280
E-2 = 2A6
D#2 = 2CF
D-2 = 2F9
C#2 = 327
C-2 = 357
B-1 = 389
A#1 = 3BF
A-1 = 3F8
G#1 = 435
G-1 = 475
F#1 = 4B9
F-1 = 501
E-1 = 54D
D#1 = 59E
D-1 = 5F3
C#1 = 64E
C-1 = 6AE

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