What made old 'sound' so good - and why is it hard to get?

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

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MusicallyInspired
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Post by MusicallyInspired »

eBay.
BobbinT
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Post by BobbinT »

I'm knew you're going to say that... :lol:

not a big fan of bidding. If there's no other option, I got to find someone who willing to bid for me. :?
Pix2
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Post by Pix2 »

You could get one on a "buy it now" but you will probably end up paying far more than in an open auction. Having said that, I bet it will still be cheaper than it would have been back when these games came out.

If you want a free option, there is my patched version of scummvm over at http://www.pix.oneuk.com which adds soundtracks recorded from an MT-32 for most scummVM games. It works quite well but still isn't as good as the real thing of course.
Collector
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Post by Collector »

BobbinT wrote:I'm knew you're going to say that... :lol:

not a big fan of bidding. If there's no other option, I got to find someone who willing to bid for me. :?
Perhaps you have not used eBay before. When you bid, you just enter the highest amount you are willing to go. Each bid is done automatically for you unless it goes beyond your limit. Bidding in this way can make you lose to snipers, but is an easy way to bid. It might take you a few attempts, but so what if it does. You are not out of anything if you are outbid. A few attempts should get it for you.
BobbinT
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Post by BobbinT »

wow man. thx for the links. One thing though:

can I use the mp3s from queststudios.com since Tom practically covered every game for a long time?
Pix2
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Post by Pix2 »

You can potentially use any mp3's you like but you would have to edit and name them so that they match the tracks in the game and also make sure they loop correctly. Tom's mp3's will be better quality if you fancy a go at it but he doesn't have recordings of everything (e.g. all the sound effects) so you would still need those from the recordings I've done.
BobbinT
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Post by BobbinT »

ok. thx for d info. Tried several games that I have downloaded the ogg collection from your site and it sounds great. Too bad I have to use your build since the regular svn build only playbacks pure Adlib sound.
Mau1wurf1977
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Post by Mau1wurf1977 »

Did someone say Roland MIDI? My little collection of vintage Roland MIDI modules...

:D

ScummVM is awesome. I couldn't believe that now Sierra games also work. In SQ4 even the scrolling is spot on! Not too fast, not too slow. That was a pain to get perfect with DOSBox.

Also mixed Adlib mode FTW for Monkey Island 2...

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BobbinT
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Post by BobbinT »

OMG! Is that all yours? Are you using all of it? And for what? :mrgreen:
Mau1wurf1977
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Post by Mau1wurf1977 »

BobbinT wrote:OMG! Is that all yours? Are you using all of it? And for what? :mrgreen:
Yup all mine :D Muahahahahah

Retro DOS gaming is one of my hobbies. And there are slight difference between the various Roland modules, so certain games only sound 100% authentic on a specific module...

I got them from Japan and it was cheaper than through eBay. I always wanted to have one as a kid, but couldn't afford it. Well now I can, so I'm overcompensating :D
BobbinT
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Post by BobbinT »

you sly.... :lol:

well anyway... do you still remember the name of that store and where it's located? My sister planned to go there for holiday season. If it isn't hard to find, I really like to get one. :D

... and if I still less fortunante, could I get one from yours? What country do you live anyway?
Mau1wurf1977
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Post by Mau1wurf1977 »

BobbinT wrote:you sly.... :lol:

well anyway... do you still remember the name of that store and where it's located? My sister planned to go there for holiday season. If it isn't hard to find, I really like to get one. :D

... and if I still less fortunante, could I get one from yours? What country do you live anyway?
I live in Australia and I got the stuff through online auctions. Roland is Japanese so they have a lot more of these than in Europe or in the US.

Shipping was the real killer though. In total I got 3 deliveries and the cost was quite a bit.

But seriously, nothing to do with being fortunate. We spend money on so much crap it's not funny! Retro gaming is important to me, so that's why I don't have an issue with shelling out a bit of money. These modules will last a while and only increase in value, especially on eBay where a CM-500 can fetch 400 bucks...
Robot_Maker20
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Post by Robot_Maker20 »

People, you're all making this way too complicated.

You want to know the real secret to getting old-timey videogame sounds?

Square waves. Do everything with square waves, and a couple of noise channels.


Seriously, though, getting the right synth hardware (or wavetable) is indeed the way to do it. The experience is subjective, of course, because whatever hardware any given person happened to own the first time they played a game will, for them, usually become the canonical "right" sound for it; much the same way as the "best" Dr Who will often be the first one one happened to see, no matter how clearly you can demonstrate to them that it's actually Tom Baker. :P

Return to Zork is a case in point - on my original ISA SB16, the midi intro theme over the credits (after the movie and the recorded orchestral bit, but before the vulture) had the most wonderful, ominous sound punctuating it - it was sort of like a mixture of a drumroll and the sound of grinding boulders, with just a hint of that "pff" cymbal sound at the end that all AdLib versions of Scumm games use all the freaking time. I have never found a way to replicate that sound; every current option, even in ScummVM, is inferior. Some cheap midi emulation cards I played the game on even had some kind of tubular bell assigned to that channel, and it sucked awfully. More accurate drumrolls in later, larger wavetables, i.e. ones that sounded like real drums, were nothing compared to that sound of the SB16 - sure, if you wanted it to sound like an actual drum, it was terrible, but you didn't care because, in failing to accurately approximate a drum, it created a sound, an indescribable, unclassifiable sound, that was infinitely better, and that I fear I may never hear again!

In an interesting inversion, the Danse Macabre/Ballroom sequence in Alone in the Dark 1 sounded better than any other version on a really, really cheap PCI soundcard doing ISA legacy support, after my real SB16 had long been confined to the trash heap - the instruments were generally messed up and terrible, and nothing else sounded particularly remarkable, but in that one part of that one game, due to the terrible selection of instruments and their wacky channel assignments, the accompaniment got swapped or scrambled in with the main tune, somehow, or something like that - and it sounded incredible, and far spookier than ever before! Again, I've lost that old hardware, I've never heard it played that way again, and I probably never will.
Mau1wurf1977
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Post by Mau1wurf1977 »

You make a good point!

Monkey Island 2 for example I still prefer on my Retro PC with a Sound Blaster Pro 2.0

It sounds exactly like on my very first PC with my very first Sound Blaster. It just takes you back in time and memories come back. The Roland music sounds nicer, but it just doesn't give you the same "nostalgic" experience so to speak...
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envisaged0ne
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Post by envisaged0ne »

I bought a MT-32 back when KQ4 was released. So most of my nostalgic feelings go towards playing the games through it. So,for me, any game that supports the MT-32 sounds best through it. Can't really stand listening the music through anything else. And I just think it sounds the best anyway. Anything else is like nails on a chalkboard to me.
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