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Nintendo Sound Format
Developer: Kevin Horton
Header: Custom
Content: Programmatic
Instruments: Combined
Target Output
Output - Digital Audio.png Output - MIDI - No.png Output - FM Synthesis.png Output - PSG.png
First Game: N/A
  • *.nsf

The Nintendo Sound Format (NSF) is a container format, designed by Kevin Horton, that holds audio code ripped from the ROMs of games for the Nintendo Entertainment System. The NES had a pretty good sound engine for its time supporting 2 pulse-waves, 1 triangle wave, a noise channel, and DPCM channel which is a raw 7-bit counter raw sample playback. However, some games also included their own sound chips to improve their audio quality. The NSF files store the machine code that is sent to the audio chips which makes ripping the audio data a difficult process.

In order to rip audio data from an NES ROM, you must read through the machine code of the ROM and extract the information that gets sent to audio chip. It's a very tedious process.

There is an updated version of NSF called NSFE which supports an expanded header with metadata tags and timing. There is also a format called NSF2 which are NSF files which are used when a game uses certain features of the sound chip or NES that the regular NSF format cannot support. Currently, no players support this program and only the emulator Nintendulator supports little features of it. Currently, the only game ripped to the format is Rollerblade Racer (NES).

The Not So, Fatso! Winamp plugin is suggested for optimal sound and accuracy of NSF files.





NSF to ?

? to NSF



Nearly every game released for the Famicom, Famicom Disk System, Nintendo Entertainment System, PlayChoice-10, and VS. System can have their music ripped to NSF format.

How to Obtain

Ripping NSF files is an arduous process that requires an intimate knowledge of the RP2A03 (MOS 6502 machine code and the NES APU structure), but luckily, most NES games already have their sound ripped to NSF format and can be downloaded from the following sites: