Audio Emulation

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The DSP is an additional processor used by the Wii/GCN to process sound. Dolphin has two ways to emulate the DSP.

  • HLE (High Level Emulation): HLE works by using a DSP engine created by the developers from studying the real DSP. DSP HLE is with almost no overhead and does not require any additional files, however it may have some problems in some games. 3.5-78 and 3.5-1154 corrected most of the problems in the AX ucode, the most common audio microcode on the GameCube and Wii. 4.0-7286 and New-Zelda-HLE rewrote the Zelda ucode, improving it for the remaining games. Currently DSP HLE will have perfect sound in most games. However, some issues may remain, and all sound issues need to be confirmed with LLE.
  • LLE (Low Level Emulation): LLE uses DSP ROM files to emulate the DSP's hardware behavior. This unfortunately requires a lot more processing power, but provides perfect sound in nearly all games. As of 3.5-1031 Dolphin includes a developer-created DSP ROM which allows DSP LLE to function without dumping LLE files from a console. Its compatibility is very good, but it will have errors that a DSP ROM from a console does not have.
For the absolute best audio, DSP ROM files should be dumped from a console. There are several ways to dump DSP files, but the easiest method is to use DSPSpy on a Wii with the Homebrew Channel installed. For details on other methods to dump DSP files, go to the forum thread.

Dumping Wii DSP files with DSPSpy

You will need:

  • A homebrewed console (See how to install Homebrew Channel on a non-hacked Wii console)
  • A SD card

Download DSPSpy and extract it. Rename it to boot.dol, then place it into \apps\DSPSpy\ folder on the root of your SD card (it should then look like X:\apps\DSPSpy\boot.dol). Launch the app from Homebrew Channel on your Wii, and two files will be created: dsp_rom.bin (8KiB) and dsp_coef.bin (4KiB). Move these files into your Global User Directory \GC\ folder, which by default on Windows is located in %userprofile%\Documents\Dolphin Emulator\, and Dolphin will now have official DSP ROMs from your Wii.

See Also