scummVM 1.4.0+ and svn daily builds on it have audio issues

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Mau1wurf1977
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Post by Mau1wurf1977 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:05 am

monster99f150 wrote: I don't know but i can't even force these games on dosbox, to play the fm effects instead
Yea DOSBox doesn't seem to have an Option for "only" Adlib. It emulates a Sound Blaster as default audio device.

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monster99f150
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Post by monster99f150 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:06 am

fuzzie wrote:
Mau1wurf1977 wrote:While that's a valid debate, in this case it defaults to an inferior version (FM effects rather than digital ones).

Or are the FM effects seen as "enhanced" when compared to the digital versions?

EDIT:

Or is this a "side effect" because of the push to have MT-32 as default music device?
Well, I don't know, as I said - "I imagine", although having looked, the default for that option probably dates back to 2003 or so. And you're both arguing while everyone else is still asleep, but I guess someone who knows might be around later. :-)
Good thing I decided to drink beer while playing all these games on scummVM tonight.

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monster99f150
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Post by monster99f150 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:08 am

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:
monster99f150 wrote: I don't know but i can't even force these games on dosbox, to play the fm effects instead
Yea DOSBox doesn't seem to have an Option for "only" Adlib. It emulates a Sound Blaster as default audio device.
Even if it did, I grew up in the DOS era. My first computer was a 286/12mhz DOS 4.x, 1Mb Ram, 1Mb Video card ram PC. lol.

I grew up playing Loom, Indiana jones, day of the tentacle, and all the Sierra games and much more. I know and still remember how they all played back then on the real thing, and dosbox does it perfect. When something isn't right, it itches in my brain that something is wrong.
Last edited by monster99f150 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Mau1wurf1977 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:10 am

fuzzie wrote: Well, I don't know, as I said - "I imagine", although having looked, the default for that option probably dates back to 2003 or so. And you're both arguing while everyone else is still asleep, but I guess someone who knows might be around later. :-)
In Europe at the moment, so it's early in the morning...

Well in the early 90s basically any soundcard you purchased was Sound Blaster compatible in one form or another. Most certainly if you had a CD-ROM drive to play the CD versions with speech enabled.

Technically I don't think it's possible on a real machine to hear digital speech but no digital sound effects. Certainly not through the INSTALL.EXE that came with the games :)
monster99f150 wrote:
I grew up playing Loom, Indiana jones, day of the tentacle, and all the Sierra games and much more. I know and still remember how they all played back then on the real thing, and dosbox does it perfect. When something isn't right, it itches in my brain that something is wrong.
Same. While emulation is great, there will always be things that don't look / play / sound right. Same goes for DOSBox as well, though you need to look a lot closer / deeper.

That's why I got a real 486 and Pentium with all the sound options imaginable :)

Though ScummVM is an interpreter, not an emulator, so things have to be different for that reason. And I'm fine with that. I think in this case it's just one of these things that slip through...

For example you can play "The Last Crusade" in Tandy mode. Now the DOS version doesn't have an option for Tandy. Just PC speaker, Adlib and CMS.

Interestingly enough, in Tandy mode the game sounds just like the Atari ST version of ScummVM. For the developers there is likely an easy explanation, but from the users point of view these little nugget of oddities are fascinating to discover :)
Last edited by Mau1wurf1977 on Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:17 am, edited 1 time in total.

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monster99f150
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Post by monster99f150 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 8:15 am

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:
fuzzie wrote: Well, I don't know, as I said - "I imagine", although having looked, the default for that option probably dates back to 2003 or so. And you're both arguing while everyone else is still asleep, but I guess someone who knows might be around later. :-)
In Europe at the moment, so it's early in the morning...

Well in the early 90s basically any soundcard you purchased was Sound Blaster compatible in one form or another. Most certainly if you had a CD-ROM drive to play the CD versions with speech enabled.

Technically I don't think it's possible on a real machine to hear digital speech but no digital sound effects. Certainly not through the INSTALL.EXE that came with the games :)
monster99f150 wrote:
I grew up playing Loom, Indiana jones, day of the tentacle, and all the Sierra games and much more. I know and still remember how they all played back then on the real thing, and dosbox does it perfect. When something isn't right, it itches in my brain that something is wrong.
Same. While emulation is great, there will always be things that don't look / play / sound right. Same goes for DOSBox as well, though you need to look a lot closer / deeper.

Though ScummVM is an interpreter, not an emulator, so things have to be different for that reason. And I'm fine with that. I think in this case it's just one of these things that slip through...
Well scummVM was playing it right in past versions until the new one, so now I have to just remember to keep that mixed adlib mode ticked if I want to use 1.4.0.

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Post by md5 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 9:34 am

Woah, you two managed to create a thread 2 pages long in the middle of the night, all by yourselves :P

Anyway, yes, that option was added in 1.4.0 as people whined in the past that there was no way for them to hear the Adlib sound effects. These are the sound effects heard when only Adlib is available, thus the games fall back to synthesized sound effects.

I don't see why it's that "bad" - it offers people more choice. But yeah, I do agree that by default the "Mixed Adlib/MIDI" mode checkbox should be checked, we'll see when this can be done (version 1.4.1 perhaps).

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LordHoto
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Post by LordHoto » Tue Nov 22, 2011 12:51 pm

md5 wrote:I don't see why it's that "bad" - it offers people more choice. But yeah, I do agree that by default the "Mixed Adlib/MIDI" mode checkbox should be checked, we'll see when this can be done (version 1.4.1 perhaps).
No, the "Mixed AdLib/MIDI" mode checkbox should definitely not be checked by default. The problem is simply that SCI seems to abuse this setting. There is no way we would want people using say an MT-32 have AdLib sound effects fallback (in the case of SCUMM) or only AdLib sound effects (in the case of Kyra) by default for example.

This all boils down to our audio output selection not being good and people trying to work around it in the weirdest ways possible instead of starting to work on a better selection.

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Post by fuzzie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:20 pm

LordHoto wrote:There is no way we would want people using say an MT-32 have AdLib sound effects fallback (in the case of SCUMM) or only AdLib sound effects (in the case of Kyra) for example.
To me, it's not very clear what it does that's bad. Doesn't it just provide a fallback in SCUMM (well, also it seems to force ignoring MDT_PCSPK, which seems weird)?

If so, I'm not sure how it would have negative effects (assuming we're not going to choose defaults based on the handful of users with a MT-32). So what am I missing? :)

The relevant comment for Kyra says "It's just that at least at the time of writing they are decidedly inferior to the AdLib ones" (about the MIDI sounds) and then creates a 'MixedSoundDriver', so from *that* it sounded like making it checked by default made sense for Kyra too.

(This is all quite separate from any misuse SCI might be making of it, of course.)

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Post by LordHoto » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:49 pm

fuzzie wrote:To me, it's not very clear what it does that's bad. Doesn't it just provide a fallback in SCUMM (well, also it seems to force ignoring MDT_PCSPK, which seems weird)?
For SCUMM the description can be found in the README:
README wrote: Some games contain sound effects that are exclusive to the AdLib soundtrack. For these games, you may wish to specify --multi-midi in order to combine MIDI music with AdLib sound effects.
I don't see what you mean about the MDT_PCSPK setting. The "multi_midi" setting is only taken into account when the device selected differs from "MDT_NONE" and "MDT_PCSPK" and the game featured AdLib support. The code logic might not be very clear about it, but it should work as far as I can tell from looking at the code.
fuzzie wrote:The relevant comment for Kyra says "It's just that at least at the time of writing they are decidedly inferior to the AdLib ones" (about the MIDI sounds) and then creates a 'MixedSoundDriver', so from *that* it sounded like making it checked by default made sense for Kyra too.
In fact the MIDI based sound effects are almost always inferior to the AdLib based ones in The Legend of Kyrandia. But the original did not allow this mode (I think if you adapt the config file yourself it *might* work, can't remember whether it worked properly last time I tired). Thus it shouldn't be enabled by default to stay consistent with original behavior.
fuzzie wrote:If so, I'm not sure how it would have negative effects (assuming we're not going to choose defaults based on the handful of users with a MT-32). So what am I missing? :)
Since the setting is only available because of MT-32 or other MIDI users, they are the only reason for thinking about enabling it by default.
fuzzie wrote:(This is all quite separate from any misuse SCI might be making of it, of course.)
The misuse part is the most important point here. The setting talks about combining AdLib and MIDI sounds. While SCI uses it to enable samples sounds as far as I can tell. Taking this as a reason to enable that setting by default is just insane reasoning.

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Post by fuzzie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:55 pm

For SCUMM the description can be found in the README:
README wrote: Some games contain sound effects that are exclusive to the AdLib soundtrack. For these games, you may wish to specify --multi-midi in order to combine MIDI music with AdLib sound effects.
My question is what it does that's *bad* - how is that bad to have as a default?
The code logic might not be very clear about it, but it should work as far as I can tell from looking at the code.
So the "} else if (_sound->_musicType == MDT_PCSPK) {" is never followed? It seemed like it would get followed if _game.version was higher than 4 at a glance.
Thus it shouldn't be enabled by default to stay consistent with original behavior.
Would it not be friendlier to just have a "use better quality sound/music where possible" checkbox, then?
The misuse part is the most important point here. The setting talks about combining AdLib and MIDI sounds. While SCI uses it to enable samples sounds as far as I can tell. Taking this as a reason to enable that setting by default is just insane reasoning.
Yes, well, obviously I am confused by the other points!

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Post by LordHoto » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:25 pm

fuzzie wrote: My question is what it does that's *bad* - how is that bad to have as a default?
It's not faithful to the original.
fuzzie wrote:So the "} else if (_sound->_musicType == MDT_PCSPK) {" is never followed? It seemed like it would get followed if _game.version was higher than 4 at a glance.
I am not sure what you talk about here. Maybe you want to look at the lines 1833 to 1878 in scumm.cpp and read them carefully again and then try to explain your thoughts if you still think the PC Speaker branch will never be followed.
fuzzie wrote:
Thus it shouldn't be enabled by default to stay consistent with original behavior.
Would it not be friendlier to just have a "use better quality sound/music where possible" checkbox, then?
I think this sounds seriously unclear what it is doing. Would it try to use MT-32 when possible? Since that's the *best* people ever heard anyway. Would it try to use PC Speaker, since that's what people love so much anyway.

At any rate even when we rename it, there wouldn't be any reason to enable enhancements like this by default.

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Post by fuzzie » Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:55 pm

LordHoto wrote:It's not faithful to the original.
OK. So this is another purism thing, fine.

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Post by Mau1wurf1977 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 4:20 pm

Damn purists :)

For me ScummVM has always been about "improving" the experience with things such as smoother mouse, more save games or new music.

For authenticity just play on a real 486 :)

In terms of default options, IMO the plain Sound Blaster (OPL3 FM plus digital sound) would be my choice. It's likely the way most of us have experienced these games in the past.

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Post by LordHoto » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:31 pm

Mau1wurf1977 wrote:In terms of default options, IMO the plain Sound Blaster (OPL3 FM plus digital sound) would be my choice. It's likely the way most of us have experienced these games in the past.
A plain SoundBlaster would rather be OPL2 though. At any rate I think the only engine supporting stereo OPL sound right now is SCI anyway (It should implement an Dual OPL2 driver). And that should be used by default IIRC, not 100% sure if you have to explicitly set the OPL emulator to the DOSBox one though.

Also I think defaulting to digital sound effects for SCI makes sense. I just do not think that justifies to make an older/different config option, which is just hijacked by SCI for this purpose, enabled by default.

On not so SCI related matters: On the OPL music front for various engines there is still room for improvement, since sometimes we do not implement the original driver but rather just use SCUMM's implementation. OTOH we do not implement the OPL3 output driver of Sam&Max for example.

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Post by clone2727 » Tue Nov 22, 2011 5:39 pm

LordHoto wrote:A plain SoundBlaster would rather be OPL2 though. At any rate I think the only engine supporting stereo OPL sound right now is SCI anyway (It should implement an Dual OPL2 driver). And that should be used by default IIRC, not 100% sure if you have to explicitly set the OPL emulator to the DOSBox one though.

Also I think defaulting to digital sound effects for SCI makes sense. I just do not think that justifies to make an older/different config option, which is just hijacked by SCI for this purpose, enabled by default.
Agreed, there should be a new separate option which defaults to using the digital effects.

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