Separating Audio Tracks from NES Games

This is going to be a wacky as hell blog. Bear with me.PC users only. I can’t find any MAC friendly emulators. I’m sure they exist but not for me!

I love video game music, especially music from the 8-bit era of video games, I.E. Nintendo. Nintendo music is some of my favorite music ever, and that’s a pretty might claim to make if I must say. I love Nintendo music so much, that I want to recreate and remix it just to entertain myself. I have since found a way to separate the audio tracks of a Nintendo game’s music that I am listening to in-game. From there I could record the specific tracks to manipulate or just listen to one track specifically to get a better idea of what it sounds like.

If order to do this, you need a specific Nintendo emulator, a ROM of the game file you want to get music from, and be at the point in the game where you can hear the music. Hopefully you wont be getting attacked by random shit when you are trying to capture music. That and you need some way of capturing the audio. I used to have a “what U hear” option on my basic sound/volume adjuster thing that would do the trick but I have since lost that ability and haven’t found a way to get it back. If you know how, please message me or email me ( I can at least show you the method to my madness.

First off you need the “NESTER” Nintendo emulator. Now it might be called NesterJ but whatever. Googling this will bring you to where to download it. It’s free. ( Make sure you get a ROM of the Nintendo game you want as well. Googling this will work as well. In this example I will use Megaman 3. (!

Open the rom file using the emulator and go the part of the game you want to grab the music from. I’m just going to use the title screen music. It’s badass anyway. Here’s an image of the game opened up in the emulator:

From here go to the “Option” Tab and select “Sounds.”

And from here, in the upper left potion of the box that is brought up, you’ll have a list of sound types with their respective checked boxes:

As far as I can tell from experience, “Rectangle 1” and “Rectangle 2” are the melody and  harmony parts of the song (they are interchangeable sometimes) but “Triangle” is always the Bass, and the remaining 3 channels are the sound effects and drums and other sound sounds, but they are never clearly split up and sometimes have overlap.

But it’s awesome because if you check and uncheck certain boxes you can hear bits of the music without the other parts, or solo a track and listen to how it sounds. You can get an ever greater appreciation for the music this way.

Now all I have to do is figure out a way to record “What U Hear” once again and I can go to town remixing things. I wish there was a program to do this to any song EVER. I’d be in paradise.

-Neil Parent

~ by njp24 on April 12, 2010.

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