As I've said before, I've been away from following MAME for years, and am noticing several differences in how games were emulated before versus in the past. Today, I just noticed that the sound in Arkanoid is pitched twice as high as I remember it being in older versions of MAME.
I looked up original hardware footage on YouTube, the majority of them sound the way MAME used to sound, but I have found a couple examples (all appearing to be bootlegs) where it sounds like MAME does now.
Here's one where the sound is double-pitch like MAME (this is a Tayto bootleg):
But most of them sound like this:
And just for fun, here's another TNT Amusements video where Todd Tuckey plays a machine with an official Romstar board that has the more familiar lower pitch:
All the home ports done by Taito (NES, MSX, etc.) have the lower pitch for the music, and the MSX even has the sound effects matching the arcade at the lower pitch. (The NES sound effects were a different pitch entirely.)
I dug through old binaries of MAME and played Arkanoid with those versions, and it turns out this change is more recent than I assumed. The 2x higher pitch only first appeared in 0.184. Could it possibly relate to this noted change in the 0.184 MAMEINFO?
- AY-3-8910 sound
. Added a write handler for the case of bc1=a0 and bc2=a1. Added guide to bus control signals.
. Overrided device method to support changing clock frequencies in the AY8910. Added virtual keyword to declaration.
I'm slightly intrigued by the fact that there are bootleg boards out there that have the higher pitch. (Also, one YT clip I found showed a "Beta Corporation" bootleg where the music not only ran at 2x pitch, but also 2x tempo! That must be completely wrong.) But the vast majority of machines/boards I've watched on YouTube appear to be in line with pre-0.184, not post-0.184. I haven't found any video evidence of a proven official board with the higher pitch, all such examples on YT are described as bootlegs either in the title, subject or comments, or are obviously bootlegs with hacked copyrights and such.
Anybody have any idea what might have happened to cause this? Can a MAMEdev here possibly take a look at it? I logged it to MAMEtesters as well: http://mametesters.org/view.php?id=6614