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Sega Corporation
Founded 1940
Headquarters Ota, Tokyo, Japan

The Sega Corporation is one of the largest video game companies in the world. They are known for the creation of the Sega Master System, Genesis, Saturn, Dreamcast, and arcade machines. They are also known for their Sonic the Hedgehog, Space Harrier, and other games series.


Music Development

Sega Master System

The composers wrote their music in Z80 assembly macros using a sound driver by Kazuhiko Nagai.


The production of music and sound effects differed between Sega America and Sega Japan:

For Sega of America, the composers used a piece of software called GEMS (Genesis Editor for Music and Sound effects). The program worked like a basic MIDI editor, and users could either create their own instruments or select from the premade instruments that came with the software.

For Sega of Japan, the composers wrote their music in SMPS (Sample Music Playback System) on a PC-9801. There were three different types of sound drivers at Sega Japan. The first version was programmed by Kazuhiko Nagai. Then Tokuhiko Uwabo programmed the second version, which utilized Z80. The third version was programmed by Hiroshi Kubota which used 68000 and Z80. This sound engine was used primarily for Sonic the Hedgehog. The fourth and final version was written by Yoshiaki Kashima, being based on Kubota's sound driver. To utilize these drivers, the composers wrote in Music Macro Language on a PC-9801 computer. Then the music was assembled on the Genesis for playback.

Fortunately, both pieces of software have had their source code dumped and preserved online for download.

Sega CD

For their Sega CD titles, the composers at both the America and Japan branches pre-sequenced their music using their preferred set-ups, and then placed the finished music on the CD. The only real difference was that the America branch generally used the Redbook CD audio format, while the Japan branch placed them on the disc as PCM files.


For their first 32X title, Doom (32X), Sega of America used GEMS, which didn't support the 32X's additional sound capabilities. They later contracted Brian Schmidt to create a special 32X driver that fully utilized all of the add-on's capabilities.

Sega of Japan had their own sound driver for 32X games, which appears to have been derived from Yoshiaki Kashima's driver for the base Genesis.


The composers at Sega used Nintendo's MP2K engine.

Audio Personnel