Give me Music from Amiga and GFX from DOS

General chat related to ScummVM, adventure gaming, and so on.

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rented mule
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Post by rented mule » Thu May 29, 2008 12:32 pm

Actually I'm talking about this site: http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com/

I know most people have never heard the Mac audio and never will be able to listen to them on an old Mac or even under emulation (Mac emulation is in a very sad state). This site is the only way most people can hear some of the Mac audio. If you listen to the Mac tracks from the CD, you'll understand (despite the fact that the sound samples were only 8-bit) why the Mac audio was getting close to LucasArt's vision. You can hear a lot of instruments in the Mac version that simply can't be recreated with the Roland MT32.

I'm not saying the sound isn't better from the MT32. There's something that can be appreciated from the MT32's higher sampling rates and the reverberation effect. But simply outputting higher sampling rates and adding some reverb to a song doesn't make it much better than it was...it's still the same song with the same instruments. In the end, it still sounds like MIDI and you'll recognize the instruments considering most synths have a very limited set of instruments.

But, LordHoto, you're right, all of this is highly subjective. Opinions are deformed by what the person has heard or seen first (the first thing that as heard or seen becomes a baseline that is tough to beat in most people's mind.)

The original poster has no doubt in his mind that the Amiga version had the best music when most people think it had the worst. I think the Mac version had the best music but I'm sure a lot of people would disagree because it didn't have any reverberation or the sound wasn't as smooth as the MT32's synthed sounds. Some people might agree with me that the Mac had more potential because it didn't have the instrument limitations of sound cards and synths of the time.

Of course, I still have no doubt in *my* mind that given the opportunity to remaster the sounds to 16-bit 44kHz, the Mac version would without a single doubt sound better. Right now there's some qualities to the MT32 that simply weren't recreated in the Mac port and qualities in the Mac sound that couldn't be recreated with the MT32.

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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto » Thu May 29, 2008 2:28 pm

rented mule wrote:Of course, I still have no doubt in *my* mind that given the opportunity to remaster the sounds to 16-bit 44kHz, the Mac version would without a single doubt sound better. Right now there's some qualities to the MT32 that simply weren't recreated in the Mac port and qualities in the Mac sound that couldn't be recreated with the MT32.
I have taken a look at the MI2 mac soundtrack over there and I have to say AdLib and MT-32 sounds *much* better in my opinion there :-).

Also their MI2 'CD' soundtrack recordings suck, I wonder what synth was used for that one... MT-32 sounds *much* better there.
Fingolfin wrote:The CD tracks are, AFAIK, recordings of an MT-32 anyway...
I thought it wasn't a MT-32 but some other device from Roland...

rented mule
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Post by rented mule » Thu May 29, 2008 3:05 pm

LordHoto wrote:
rented mule wrote:Of course, I still have no doubt in *my* mind that given the opportunity to remaster the sounds to 16-bit 44kHz, the Mac version would without a single doubt sound better. Right now there's some qualities to the MT32 that simply weren't recreated in the Mac port and qualities in the Mac sound that couldn't be recreated with the MT32.
I have taken a look at the MI2 mac soundtrack over there and I have to say AdLib and MT-32 sounds *much* better in my opinion there :-).

Also their MI2 'CD' soundtrack recordings suck, I wonder what synth was used for that one... MT-32 sounds *much* better there.
Fingolfin wrote:The CD tracks are, AFAIK, recordings of an MT-32 anyway...
I thought it wasn't a MT-32 but some other device from Roland...
What is your opinion on the Mac audio having a richer set of instruments? The bell in the MI2 theme sounds like an actual bell in the Mac version while in the MT32 version (or whatever synth they used) sounds tinny and weak...it definitely does not sound like a bell. The pan flutes in the Mac version sound like pan flutes while in the synthed version it just sounds like any old MIDI flute.

I find the reverb effect of the MT32 tiring and repetitive...like you're stuck playing the game in a concert hall or cathedral. And because of this reverb, the MT32 had trouble achieving believable string stacatto as you can note in the Woodtick track (in particular in Woodtick in general or in Wally's map shop). In Largo's theme, the Mac version has handclap sounds, in the synthed version, there's no handclaps to be heard anywhere.

Even if the CD tracks used a synthesizer other than the MT32, I would be surprised if the any of the sounds I mentioned above were synth'ed on an actual MT32's limited 120 instrument set. My opinion is that the MT32 would sound like plain MIDI if it wasn't for the reverb effect that some people seem to enjoy. In fact, I'm convinced that the MT32 would have gone no where without it.

That is not to say the Mac soundtrack for LucasArts games had no faults. Like I said earlier, the instrument sampling rate is subpar. However, the Mac tracks feel much less like MIDI than the MT32 tracks. In many cases, it almost sounds like a human was playing the Mac tracks. While the MT32 tracks sound very much machine-like with it's MIDI feel and limited instrument set.

Again, if quality of the music is judged solely on sampling rate and reverberation and no regards to the instrument set, then, yes, the MT32 has the original Mac audio beat...then again, CoreAudio or other modern softsynth have the MT32 beat.

Playing MI2 under Mac OS X with the CoreAudio setting on, you get +44kHz tons of reverb. Makes the sound interesting but doesn't improve the music.

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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto » Thu May 29, 2008 4:05 pm

rented mule wrote: What is your opinion on the Mac audio having a richer set of instruments? The bell in the MI2 theme sounds like an actual bell in the Mac version while in the MT32 version (or whatever synth they used) sounds tinny and weak...it definitely does not sound like a bell. The pan flutes in the Mac version sound like pan flutes while in the synthed version it just sounds like any old MIDI flute.
The bell sounds like a bell (not with a 'hard' sound like the Mac recordings though) on my MT-32 and I don't hear anything bad about the pan flutes either. The handclaps might be a tiny bit worse with the MT-32, but apart the music on the MT-32 sounds much nicer. You might want to check out MI2 intro with a MT-32 over here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fvO__ywTZg
rented mule wrote: I find the reverb effect of the MT32 tiring and repetitive...like you're stuck playing the game in a concert hall or cathedral. And because of this reverb, the MT32 had trouble achieving believable string stacatto as you can note in the Woodtick track (in particular in Woodtick in general or in Wally's map shop). In Largo's theme, the Mac version has handclap sounds, in the synthed version, there's no handclaps to be heard anywhere.
I thought you can adjust the reverb level on your MT-32 (though I'm currently unsure on how to do it).
rented mule wrote: Even if the CD tracks used a synthesizer other than the MT32, I would be surprised if the any of the sounds I mentioned above were synth'ed on an actual MT32's limited 120 instrument set. My opinion is that the MT32 would sound like plain MIDI if it wasn't for the reverb effect that some people seem to enjoy. In fact, I'm convinced that the MT32 would have gone no where without it.
Well I thought the MT-32 supports custom instruements (patches? don't know really how that is done though) too, so shouldn't be too much of a problem :-). (For the sounds you mentioned, check what I've written a few lines before).

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LogicDeLuxe
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Post by LogicDeLuxe » Thu May 29, 2008 4:45 pm

In the intro, bass drum sound like timbal which isn't necessarily a bad thing, though snare drum sounds like a wood block which doesn't seem appropriate, and the bass sample is awfully lacking an attack part, thus seemingly lag in time which pretty much ruined it. Though, bells, strings and flutes do sound rather good for 8 bit samples, indeed.
The bad samples change a bit in woodtick where there are actually appropriate bass drum and bass samples. The pads are missing completely in the woodtick music, which makes it more sterile than the missing reverb alone. The cemetery music has an appropriate snare sample which the intro lacked.

Another problem is the apparently restricted polyphony chopping off samples. Not as worse as in the Amiga version, though.

I don't really like the Mac soundtrack.


And MI1's CD tracks are definitely not MT-32. They sound completely different. Both have their strength, and I like them both.
An MT-32 recording of the MIDI's can be found here: http://s-island.mixnmojo.com/monkey1.php
The CD soundtrack can be found here: http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com/mi1.htm

rented mule
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Post by rented mule » Thu May 29, 2008 6:44 pm

LogicDeLuxe wrote: And MI1's CD tracks are definitely not MT-32. They sound completely different. Both have their strength, and I like them both.
An MT-32 recording of the MIDI's can be found here: http://s-island.mixnmojo.com/monkey1.php
The CD soundtrack can be found here: http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com/mi1.htm
Yeah, the MI1 CD tracks are actually used in-game by the MI1 CD version. Since MI1 didn't have iMuse to blend songs together during transitions, it made perfect sense to use these high quality audio tracks.

ICEknight
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Post by ICEknight » Tue Jun 10, 2008 4:27 am

LogicDeLuxe wrote:And MI1's CD tracks are definitely not MT-32. They sound completely different. Both have their strength, and I like them both.
An MT-32 recording of the MIDI's can be found here: http://s-island.mixnmojo.com/monkey1.php
The CD soundtrack can be found here: http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com/mi1.htm
According to that site, the Sam & Max soundtrack in there was made using Roland SC-55 samples, and they sound almost spot-on with the official CD tracks that came in the talkie version (and sometimes even a little better). Perhaps the Monkey Island tracks were made like that, as well?


...Either way, I was wondering if it would be possible to somehow use those SC-55 samples with SCUMMVM, seeing as they sound even better than the MT-32 emulation and seem to be closer to what the creators intended.

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Kaminari
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Post by Kaminari » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:23 pm

Which game are you talking about? Sam & Max relies on iMuse if I'm not mistaken, which makes a CD soundtrack out of the question. FYI, the game is already optimized for SC-55, not MT-32.

Ceri Cat
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Post by Ceri Cat » Sun Jun 15, 2008 6:36 am

Heh on FOA and the first version you heard being the best I might be the exception that proves the rule. When I got Indy4 (Floppy) I had a SBPro 2 which utilizes the YMF262 (aka OPL-3). Now I have a SBLive! (I know I need to get around to getting a new card eventually if only for better support). I definitely prefer the game with a newer SB card with SF support, because it's easier to enjoy music played as close as possible to the original. Of course in the case of Indy I might have been biased by actually having heard the orchestral score before I ever played the game, but I find I tend to prefer accuracy over nostalgia.

Zaarin
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Post by Zaarin » Mon Jun 30, 2008 4:00 pm

The bell in the MI2 theme sounds like an actual bell in the Mac version while in the MT32 version (or whatever synth they used) sounds tinny and weak...it definitely does not sound like a bell.
Of course it doesn't, it's a marimba. :)
The pan flutes in the Mac version sound like pan flutes while in the synthed version it just sounds like any old MIDI flute.
It's a shakuhachi so it shouldn't sound like a pan flute.
And because of this reverb, the MT32 had trouble achieving believable string stacatto as you can note in the Woodtick track (in particular in Woodtick in general or in Wally's map shop).
I agree that the pizzicato strings don't sound that believable (did any pizzicato samples back then?), but on the Mac it sounds like someone plucking piano strings. :)

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Post by Ceri Cat » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:09 pm

Back then you had a pretty wide selection of chipsets to choose from which makes a definite answer hard on the pizzicato, I'm trying to remember the track in question on an OPL3 based card compared to the OPL2 based soundcards which includes the Adlib, Sound Blaster, and the SBPro V1 had two for it's stereo capability, the Adlib Gold and the Sound Blaster 2.0 and SBPro V2 were OPL3 based. Of course I do have the old Yamaha S-YXG50 soft synth on hand I could test the track with still... :wink:

Heh an SC-55... That's a Roland Sound Canvas midi synth module. Big improvements over the MT-32 including the SCC-55 which was an ISA sound card that could be coupled with the module for increased sound capabilities. As I recall it didn't have the issue of the missing piano attack sample that the MT-32 had.
The big difference between the Roland based music and Yamaha based music cards/midi synths is the Roland technology used Linear Arthmetric Synthesis, and PCM samples for all the instruments they support rather than the wavetable. So you do tend to get better sound from them at the time. And yes the MT-32 did support having the instruments changed thanks to using the PCM samples for the midi synth, if you had a Roland keyboard as an example you could do it on the spot frequently, in practice you can do the same just as easily with the MT-32 via the control software I believe.

GAG
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Post by GAG » Sat Jul 12, 2008 7:31 pm

This reminds me of Goblins 3. The amiga version of Goblins 3 have the superior music and soundfx, while the ms-dos version have the superior graphics (the PC-speaker take care of the footstep noise, ugh).

It would be awesome if something like this could be archieved, by combining different versions of a game for the best experience.

lenocinor
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Post by lenocinor » Thu Oct 30, 2008 4:48 am

Hey, another interesting thread I missed a while back. I personally agree with rented mule about the Mac soundtracks; I've heard all the versions of the MI2 soundtrack and the Mac version is by far the best to me. It was good enough that I went and bought an old Mac again and spent a loooong time recording the full soundtrack so that I could hear it outside the game.

I tried posting the soundtrack in a few places, but as threads like this show pretty clearly, I don't think very many people know about it. Would anyone like to host the full MI2 Mac soundtrack on a real webpage for me? It'd be nice to get this out to the wider world.

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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired » Thu Oct 30, 2008 2:47 pm

Just to clear up some confusion here's a list of Scumm games and what MIDI modules they were written for. And no, MI1's CD soundtrack is NOT the MT-32 nor the SC-55, I'm not sure what it was recorded with but it was neither of those or it's relatives (SC-88 etc). I do believe that the 5 CD tracks from Sam & Max were recorded from the SC-88, though.

Loom - MT-32
Monkey Island 1 - MT-32
Monkey Island 2 - MT-32
Fate of Atlantis - MT-32
Day of the Tentacle - MT-32
Sam & Max - SC-55

Robot_Maker20
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Post by Robot_Maker20 » Fri Oct 31, 2008 8:09 pm

This is a little out there, but as a compromise, could one theoretically make an audio filter of some kind, possibly along the lines of a vocoder, that mimics the audio effects of the Amiga's sound hardware and makes soundtracks from other systems at least sound like they'd been rendered by an Amiga?

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