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Donkey Kong sound and music off pitch

  • Hello all. So I've become a huge Donkey Kong fan, and I can't help but notice that the whole music and sound when running on lr-mame2003 (as well as the beta updated version of mame2003 with all the backported updates) is a pitch too high when compared to the actual arcade game. Is it just me or has anyone else noticed it? And I'm not talking about the samples, and I know about twisty's improved samples, etc. No, I mean the whole soundtrack, the intro music, everything. If I adjust the vertical refresh rate rate down to around 58.550, it sounds perfect, but then the whole game runs slower (noticeable when running side-by-side with the new Nintendo Switch release of Donkey Kong, which I would assume is running at the correct speed and pitch given that its an official Nintendo release, and the first ever official re-release of Donkey Kong). Does anyone have any ideas with respect to any settings that might fix this? Is the pitch of the music somehow hardcoded to the vertical refresh rate, and in this case its just off? Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.

  • Global Moderator


    I've been looking for posts like this since the DK 'Arcade Archives' announcement was made. At first glance, it looked to me like they're using an altered aspect ratio for the release. Of course I may have just been mistaken, but if it is, it could be to better fit the Switch in portrait mode. If you could give your impressions on this first hand, I'd be very interested. As for the audio, I believe MAME resamples audio automatically to keep in sync. However you should try comparing both to an actual cabinet to see which is more accurate. Below is one video of many that could be used for comparison.

  • @ohohone
    The sound of Mario walks isn't emulated by an arcade edition donkey bell of Swicth and MAME correctly.

    Please see the next movie with a subtitles.

    An interview of Tanaka who made a sound of an arcade edition donkey kong.

    An arcade edition donkey bell of 64th edition of Nes and Nintendo reproduces the sound of Mario walks.

  • @mediamogul

    The recent Nintendo Switch release includes settings to adjust the size, position and orientation of the display. The default setting does not appear stretched to me, and you can rotate it 90 degrees either way to take advantage of the Switch’s screen (in which case you would probably want to detach the joy-cons and play wirelessly). It also includes 3 different versions of th ROM, so you can play with the easier, original Japanese release if that’s your thing. Overall I think it’s really good, definitely worth the $8 for any Donkey Kong fan.

    As for the sound pitch, I have listened to many YouTube videos of the original arcade hardware and played on real arcade Harare countless times, and the MAME/retroarch/retropie version definitely sounds higher pitch all around. I’ll keep looking into this, though. And I just can’t imagine that Nintendo would go through all the effort of putting together such an amazing arcade re-release and then get the sound a whole half-step pitch off. Even the video snaps from Emumovies has the lower pitch sound that matches the Switch (and my recollection of the arcade machine).

    Does anyone else have any idea why the MAME/retroarch combination would be resampling at such a higher pitch?

  • Global Moderator

    @ohohone said in Donkey Kong sound and music off pitch:

    Does anyone else have any idea why the MAME/retroarch combination would be resampling at such a higher pitch?

    If it's being done, it's likely to keep everything in sync.

  • Global Moderator

    mame2003 + current mame have dkong running at 60hz so retroarch shouldn't be resampling/syncing anything, as far as i know.

    (assuming you have a 60hz display)

  • @ohohone Did you try the game in lr-fbalpha (from source) ? The emulation of dkong should be more accurate than mame2003 (i fixed the colors last week).

  • Banned

    @OhOhOne mame078 itself has the wrong pitch as well.

    The latest mame cpu speeds and soundcores are different form mam078 so the (mame078 - 2003) core will need updated itself its nothing to do with retroarch resampling its the way this game is from a version of mame from 2003(078) . Even the video refresh isint completely right in this game compared to mame 198

    I cant speak for fba or any other version of mame in retroarch but i can confirm the pitch is off on mame078 and 2003 cores

    The pitch could be changed if someone decides to do it

    can post issues there and fba if it isint right havent checked that as i dont know much about this core it could be right you would need to check

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