Beneath a Steel Sky Audio Restoration Project

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Jimbob
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Post by Jimbob »

edweird wrote:I threw this together today to give you an idea of how some of the re-made tracks might turn out: http://www.logic.turntablism.info/mp3/bass1.mp3

Keep in mind I haven't spent much time on it, and I'm also often able to make use of live instruments (such as violin and vocals) so that will definitely help with the more melodic parts that never sound right with midi\samples.

Let me know if you think it's worthwhile, and if so, what sort of timeframe you're looking at finishing the audio restoration, so I can aim to have the music ready by that time.
Mine's another plus vote. I liked the sample MP3 and I too would be interested to see what else you can come up with.

Thanks,

Jimbob
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sev
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Post by sev »

edweird wrote:I threw this together today to give you an idea of how some of the re-made tracks might turn out: http://www.logic.turntablism.info/mp3/bass1.mp3
Just wow.


Eugene
edweird
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Post by edweird »

Thanks for the positive feedback. :D

A couple of months is a pretty reasonable amount of time to get the soundtrack re-made in, so I'll loosely say it'll take me that long. Obviously I have to balance working on it with a lot of other things, but most of the BASS tracks are fairly short loops like this one, so working on it should be fairly fast and rewarding. I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into it really :P

As lavosspawn said, mp3, ogg, it's not a big concern as once the music is done it can easily be converted into any format needed. I'm thinking though that some tracks (like this one) finish pretty abruptly considering they're supposed to loop, so maybe a more listenable version of the soundtrack (with fades or endings on looping tracks) could be released in mp3 format for general listening. Will worry about that when it's done I guess.

One question though, is there a way to actually extract the midi music from the game? That way I could garantee accuracy, but more importantly that no cues get left out. I was also thinking when I booted up the game yesterday, that it would be nice to re-do some sounds, at the very least the soundtrack for the opening\intro sequence. If there's a way at extracting the sounds in the game too, I could have a look at what work is involved there (no promises) as I've done sound design work in the past.

This is all assuming that Revolution support a remake of the soundtrack.. I'm sure they'd be fine with it but perhaps it's best to get their blessing before too much work goes into it. Anyway, looking forward to making some progress on this.
jg
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Post by jg »

Well, since you brought it up... As soon as I heard your MP3 I went and included the link in an e-mail to Tony Warriner. The mail wasn't specifically about BASS, so I can only say that his preliminary reaction was "that sounds cool :)". It probably won't hurt to officially ask if it's OK, but seeing as BASS is freeware now, there shouldn't be any problem.
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lavosspawn
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Post by lavosspawn »

"Extracting" the midi data from beneath a steel sky isn't that simple, because BASS doesn't use midi data, but it's own proprietary format, "Sound Images Generation 2" by Tony Williams. Apparently it was created as some kind of Amiga thing which got ported to the PC platform.
ScummVM reads this data and outputs the midi data. However, writing a comversion tool, to actually write a .mid file would be complicated, because I have *no* idea about music and midi, etc.. I disassembled the code back then and converted it to C++ for scummvm, but I only understood like half of what it does :)
Maybe you can provide some more info on what exactly you need. Are there any tools which can be used to "capture" the midi data that ScummVM outputs? That would be the easiest way, if possible.
If you need some special functions in ScummVM like a command to start a given piece of music or play only the intro part / only the looping part, that'd be quite easy to implement. Just tell me if you need such a function.
And, well as I said, writing .midi files would mean a lot of work, so I'd only do it if you say that it's really necessary.

Extracting and replacing SFX is a simple task. The number of SFX in the game is quite limited, too. Also, drop me a line if you want me to extract them and zip them up for you. But I suppose music comes first :)

I'm sure that Tony Warriner will be very pleased about your efforts. Joost said he's going to send him a mail to ask for official permission.
edweird
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Post by edweird »

That's not too much of a problem with the midi.. I can set something up to re-route and capture the midi data while the game is running, the only downside is that it won't be in sync with the track's bpm (even if I know what the tempo is it'll drift out), so I'll need to re-record\program the parts in anyway, but it'll still be a valuable reference. Don't go to any extra trouble on that side of things. Realistically I'll be reprogramming and embelishing all the parts anyway.

If you could zip the sounds though, that'd be great. I'm interested to hear what's involved in that side of things, and I definitely think if the voice acting and music is being revived, it'd be a big shame to have occasional low quality sounds in there spoiling the ambiance.

Also, I'm not sure how the sounds are sequenced in the opening movie.. I assume it's like any other part in the game in that it's small samples triggered at different parts of the movie, rather than one long recording synced to the movie.. but for the remake I think the latter would be preferable, that way the dialogue and sound can be mixed into a single streaming soundscape sort of thing that would be far more atmospheric and effective than having dialogue and sounds separated by silence. I'm happy to do that sort of mixing too, as I have a nice pro-tools rig to work on.
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Post by dpolsrod »

edweird wrote:I threw this together today to give you an idea of how some of the re-made tracks might turn out: http://www.logic.turntablism.info/mp3/bass1.mp3
That sounded great! :shock:
Looking forward to hearing more.
clem
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Post by clem »

Now I wonder if there are still originals of the background drawings somewhere? :-)
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joostp
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Post by joostp »

lavosspawn wrote:Joost said he's going to send him a mail to ask for official permission.
Tony likes the idea (and the song), so I guess that's "as good as" permission. :)

Note that, according to the (freeware) license BASS is released under, we don't technically need permission.
Not for altering music atleast.
draconx
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Post by draconx »

Offering it as OGG only would be as DISCRIMINATING as MP3 only, because I have no way to integrate OGG in ANY of my Music&Media programs I use.
Why not use FLAC? Then anyone can reencode it to whatever they want since the source is lossless...
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lavosspawn
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Post by lavosspawn »

Because lossless audio compression sucks.
And as stated above, the kind of compression that may or may not get used is completely irrelevant as long as we don't have anything that we could compress. This is not the time or place to discuss and/or decide on this matter.
tonyw
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Re: Beneath a Steel Sky Audio Restoration Project

Post by tonyw »

joostp wrote:(I currently have these in my possession).
It's a good job I didn't clear my desk for 12 years, though :lol: :lol:
joachimeberhard
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Re: Beneath a Steel Sky Audio Restoration Project

Post by joachimeberhard »

tonyw wrote:
joostp wrote:(I currently have these in my possession).
It's a good job I didn't clear my desk for 12 years, though :lol: :lol:

@tonyw:

Are you THE Tony?

The grandmaster of BASS himself?
tonyw
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Re: Beneath a Steel Sky Audio Restoration Project

Post by tonyw »

joachimeberhard wrote:
Are you THE Tony?

The grandmaster of BASS himself?
Yeah, that's my messy code these guys had to battle with :oops:
joachimeberhard
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Post by joachimeberhard »

What an HONOR!

:oops: :oops: :oops:

I'm never going to close this Browser tab again! :D
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