SNES Slap Bass

Don’t ask me why I did this, but some time ago I found the BRR sample for that silly slap bass instrument used in early SNES games (you know, the bwoo bwoo bwoo one), and did a pattern search on the entire archive for files containing a portion of it.

I remembered this sound as being kind of ubiquitous and inescapable on the system, but to my surprise, there weren’t as many matches as I thought there would be. 27 out of over 1500 SPC sets.

There were a few problems with my methodology:

  • The sample could be in an SPC file (in SNES sound RAM) but never actually be used by a track.
  • The sample could be modified slightly, still be recognizable as the bwoo bwoo bwoo we all love/hate, but still no direct match would be detected.
  • Any SNES soundtrack that is incompatible with the SPC dump format (ie any game that uploads new audio data mid-track) won’t be in the archive and therefore won’t be detected.

As an example: there is a slap bass sample in ActRaiser (Filmore) that sounds very similar, but didn’t count as a match. I’m not sure if it’s the same sample though. Paperboy 2 also seemed to dodge the list. Bwoo bwoo bwoo.

I could be missing significantly more, then. In any case, here is the list:

Darius Twin
Dungeon Master
Gan Gan Ganchan
Genjuu Ryodan
Hit the Ice
Hokuto no Ken 6
John Madden Football
Magic Johnson's Super Slam Dunk
Michael Jordan - Chaos in the Windy City
Might and Magic 2 (Japanese Version)
Mega Man X
PGA Tour Golf
Raiden Densetsu
Shinseiki Odysselya
Sonic Blastman
Soul Blazer
Spark World
Super E.D.F. - Earth Defense Force
Super Off Road
Super Soccer Champ
Vs. Collection
World Class Rugby

And here’s a list of matches for the individual SPC files.

(e 19/Mar/2017: Wording)