Secret of Monkey island sound effects device?

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Breach
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Secret of Monkey island sound effects device?

Post by Breach »

Hi, first post. I have the CD VGA version of the game MI1. I've already ripped the audio tracks from the CD and music plays fine (though, track1 is actually the data track so I had to rename them accordingly to get it right :).

However I've got a question regarding sound effects under ScummVM. Here's the thing: I have the MT32 files and under DOSBox MI will use the actual MT32 sampled sound for sound effects (e.g. when you open the door to the bar). But no matter what MIDI sequencer I choose in ScummVM sound effects will use one and the same device (Adlib?) which results in much poorer sound FX quality (at least to me). So, how come? Shouldn't I be able to play MI-sound effects through whatever sequencer I want (e.g. General MIDI or MT32)? I've tried to enable Mixed Adlib/MIDI support, but this (obviously) didn't help. Thoughts? Thanks!
Cyphox
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Post by Cyphox »

maybe i'm wrong, but imho General Midi / MT-32 / etc. is for music only.

The only driver (and the only "real card" which can do (very poor) music and sound is adlib / soundblaster.

i've never heard of a game which can use midi/mt32 for SOUNDEFFECTS :shock:

I've never seen a DOS game where i can choose an other card for soundeffects than adlib /soundblaster in setup, too. :?:
SimSaw
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Post by SimSaw »

The Scumm sound system seemed indeed to be used for sound effects. It was a clever usage: drums were used for opening and closening doors.

In some games however they used real audio (like WAV - mostly CD Audio/FM-Towns versions). Because of fear they could use too much space on the CD(!), they sampled it down to this very poor quality which I personally don't understand.
Breach
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Post by Breach »

Right, proper (sampled) sound effects came around with Creative's Sound Blaster 1.0 which had the DSP. Adlib could play synthesized sound effects too, but these are way inferior (think they both use OPL2 for music, so no difference there). There were a number of games back in the day which had to do that for both music AND SFX, 'cause of lack of PCM support at the time (think Police Quest 3 is one of them). It basically would play an instrument (e.g. drum, guitar, etc.) in place of a sound effect. :-]

Anyhow, I answered my own question -- seems that ScummVM and MI use REAL Sound Blaster samples sound for sound effects :) I was misled, as, though the bar door open/close sound for some reason sounds better to me synthesized from MT-32, I actually have dogs barking under ScummVM, contrary to the mute dogs if run under MT-32 exclusively. ;-)
ICEknight
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Post by ICEknight »

the bar door open/close sound for some reason sounds better to me synthesized from MT-32
Actually, there might be some issues with MT-32 emulation in SCUMMVM, not only with those sound effects but with some actual instruments (which seem to be either playing too faint or are just missing from certain tracks).

A clear example of this happens at the very beginning of Sam & Max, just compare how the music starts with the normal MIDI settings and with MT-32 emulation (the latter misses many instruments). An actual recording of this intro scene using a real MT-32 would be quite interesting for comparison, by the way.

Bythe way, I can't seem to get the piranha poodles to bark in the VGA version, MT-32 or not. Same with the thunder noises at Voodoo Lady's, which I can also hear (but not see) in the FM-Towns version.
Thelma
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Secret of Monkey island sound effects device?

Post by Thelma »

Some games contain sound effects that are exclusive to the AdLib soundtrack. ... do not have custom instrument mappings (Loom and The Secret of Monkey Island) ...











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Sound Effects
Last edited by Thelma on Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:54 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Freddo
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Post by Freddo »

SimSaw wrote:In some games however they used real audio (like WAV - mostly CD Audio/FM-Towns versions). Because of fear they could use too much space on the CD(!), they sampled it down to this very poor quality which I personally don't understand.
That seem very odd to me. I don't have FM-Towns versions or know anything about the computer, but the sound hardware back then were limited. The Amiga could max play 8-bit sounds in ~30KHz, for example. And the first Soundblaster could only play sounds 8-bit mono sounds up to 23KHz.

So either the sounds were limited by the hardware or they simply just used the samples re-used in the Amiga version, or something. Most sounds in Amiga games are mono 8-bit 8KHz samples as it was seen as a good compromise between sound quality and size.
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LogicDeLuxe
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Post by LogicDeLuxe »

Freddo wrote:That seem very odd to me. I don't have FM-Towns versions or know anything about the computer, but the sound hardware back then were limited. The Amiga could max play 8-bit sounds in ~30KHz, for example. And the first Soundblaster could only play sounds 8-bit mono sounds up to 23KHz.
I don't think this is limited to FM-Towns. There are several PC CD games, which would fit higher quality samples. Fate of Atlantis use 11025 Hz for voice acting. And so does Simon the Sorcerer 2, which is even more strange since the first game already had 22050 Hz.
There are quite some games using unnecessary low sample rates for no technical reason. Sure, for floppy games, this was a space concern (DOTT and Sam&Max have resampled intros for instance), but as long the game fits on one CD, this shouldn't for CD versions.
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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto »

Breach wrote:Anyhow, I answered my own question -- seems that ScummVM and MI use REAL Sound Blaster samples sound for sound effects :) I was misled, as, though the bar door open/close sound for some reason sounds better to me synthesized from MT-32, I actually have dogs barking under ScummVM, contrary to the mute dogs if run under MT-32 exclusively. ;-)
I am not sure which version you are using actually, but my MI 1 VGA (not CD though) does not play any sound effect with MT-32 when opening/closing the door. I just verified that under DOSBox, no message to my MT-32 visible on its display nor any sound.
A clear example of this happens at the very beginning of Sam & Max, just compare how the music starts with the normal MIDI settings and with MT-32 emulation (the latter misses many instruments). An actual recording of this intro scene using a real MT-32 would be quite interesting for comparison, by the way.
I'm not sure whether Sam & Max is the ideal example for this though. AFAIK Sam & Max does not feature any MT-32 MIDI soundtrack at all, but uses some General MIDI -> MT-32 MIDI conversion. It might be that the one of the original differs from our conversion, thus the sound might be different. What is definitely different though, is the sound from a General MIDI synth and the MT-32.


EDIT:
Bythe way, I can't seem to get the piranha poodles to bark in the VGA version, MT-32 or not. Same with the thunder noises at Voodoo Lady's, which I can also hear (but not see) in the FM-Towns version.
No barking poodles in DOSBox with either MT-32 or AdLib or auto detection for me either. I guess that just does not have any sound effect. :-) I didn't try the Voodoo Lady now, but I guess there's just no sfx either.
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