PMA

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PMA
PMA.png
Developer: Palladix, Norbert Schmidt, Jochen Heß
Header: Custom
Content: Notational
Instruments: Internal
Target Output
Output - Digital Audio - No.png Output - MIDI - No.png Output - FM Synthesis.png Output - PSG - No.png
Released: 1990
First Game: The Curse of RA (DOS)
Extensions
  • *.pma

PMA (presumed to stand for Palladix Music Ad Lib) is a format supported by Palladix Music System and PSM 2.00 Soundsystem.

The extension is commonly assumed to be PLX, most likely due to the first three bytes being PLX (an obvious abbreviation for Palladix) and most games not using a unique extension for the music files. However, the 4 games which do and the original drivers reveal that it is PMA.

Players

(Category)

Games

(Category)

This table only lists the games that use PMA stand-alone. For the games that use PMA through a container format, see PMM.

Released Title Sample
1990-??-?? The Curse of RA (DOS)
1990-??-?? M.U.D.S. - Mean Ugly Dirty Sport (DOS)
1990-??-?? Rock'n Roll (DOS)
1991-0?-?? Logical (DOS)
1991-??-?? MadTV (DOS)
1992-0?-?? The Spoils Of War (DOS)
1992-??-?? Catch'em (DOS)
1992-??-?? On The Road (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Cannonade (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Freak Out (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Heirs To The Throne (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Knobelkiste (DOS)
1993-0?-?? Spheroids (DOS)
1993-1?-?? Das Telekommando kehrt zurück (DOS)
1993-??-?? VL - Das Spiel (DOS)
1994-0?-?? Magic of Endoria (DOS)
1995-0?-?? Falsches Spiel mit Eddie M. (DOS)

How to Obtain

PMA files usually have to be manually extracted from game files, a process that is different for pretty much every game that uses them.

Technical

All PMA files begin with "PLX" and either 0 for melody mode or 1 for rhythm mode. In melody mode, the addresses of tracks 10 and 11 are ignored, although all known such files store zero there anyway.

The developers preferred speed over size and optimized the format to the target platform; for example, tempos are not given in any standard like BPM, but written directly to the PIT and set above 200Hz, probably to let other program parts use fast timers.

The format and driver underwent incompatible changes early:

  • In the first 2 games, every note begins with the absolute position and then the properties (instrument, volume, pitch, gate, and tempo) and all tracks begin with two zeroes. In all subsequent games, every note begins with the properties and then the duration.
  • In the first 5 games, if the connector is additive, volume changes affect both modulator and carrier. In all subsequent games, it's only the carrier. The correct behavior for a file can partially be determined by the fact that PMM files support neither absolute positions nor rhythm mode. Only one song with additive connector and non-determinable behavior is known, and even there the volume is not actually changed.