Ultimate game versions/Ultimate audio versions

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Epedemic
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Ultimate game versions/Ultimate audio versions

Post by Epedemic » Thu Nov 17, 2005 1:07 am

Hi all, first of all thanks to the scummvm crew for resurecting some of the best games ever made on every platform i can think of...

Now lets get to buisness... I've been searching for a long time for a list of which versions of the games are the best to use... (eg. if mi2 fm towns is better than mi2 vga ca or mi2 amiga and so on)

And then there's the question about the audio settings... Some games sound better with adlib, and some better with general midi, and then again some sounds the best with mt32... But again i cant find a definitive resource on the subject...

So im proposing we make one here... I can start out with the following:

Sam'n max:
VGA CD is the best (duh) and the optimal audio settings are afaik mt32 and default..

MI2: FMTowns seems to be the best, with mt32 as well (apart from the fact that there are a lot of graphical glitches in the intro, but i read otherwise that that will be fixed)

(Please tell me if this kind of list already exists, cause then i'll slap myself for a few hours ;) )

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sev
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Post by sev » Thu Nov 17, 2005 3:23 am

That's irrelevant. Use those versions you own. For example, some games have their best ports on FM-TOWNS, but price is extremely high (prepare several hundred bucks) and games themselves are extremely rare. See here. So what would be the point to know that without ability to get a game? See Forum Rule #0.


Eugene

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LogicDeLuxe
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Re: Ultimate game versions/Ultimate audio versions

Post by LogicDeLuxe » Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:11 pm

Epedemic wrote:Sam'n max:
VGA CD is the best (duh) and the optimal audio settings are afaik mt32 and default.
If you merely have a cheap wavetable, MT-32 might sound better than that, of course.
Though the soundtrack was composed on a Sound Canvas, hence a good GS-Wavetables will sound the best with this game.

For Loom EGA, Monkey EGA, Monkey VGA floppy and Fate of Atlantis, MT-32 is the ultimate choise. At least for the music, that is. Unfortunately, there are missing some sound effects when using MT-32 especially for Monkey 1.

For best game versions:
Maniac Mansion: it's pretty much a matter of taste, ScummVM plays both EGA and Atari version polyphonal, hence get the best out of the music it has, though the Amiga version has sampled instruments but not in a really good quality. And of course, there is Maniac Mansion deluxe, if you wanna count this one.

Zak McKracken: Apparently, the FM-Towns version is supperior in every way.

Loom: Also a matter of taste. Either the FM-Towns, which is like the EGA, Atari and Amiga version, but with 256 colors and CD audio, but no talkie. The PC VGA version is considered a director's cut, though it is considerably shorter at the advantage of being a talkie version.

Indy 3: Apparently the FM-Towns version is the best, as it is the only one featuring CD audio music, while other versions don't even feature MT-32 tracks.

Monkey 1: The enhanced CD. Can be either PC, Mac or FM-Towns as the differences are really small. Merely some alternativ sounds and graphics here and there. Also the Sega CD is pretty similar, but optimized for a gamepad.

Fate of Atlantis: The PC and Mac talkie versions have all it needs.

DOTT: Any talkie. There is an early floppy version with Adlib music only. Maybe that could be the case with the CD as well. I don't know, but you can't get the best music quality in that case.
As the game has both, MT-32 and GM MIDI, MT-32 sound good as usual, but a good modern wavetable could probably sound even better.

FT, The Dig, CMI: The choice shouldn't be that hard here, as they are the same in any version, I think.

joachimeberhard
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Post by joachimeberhard » Thu Nov 17, 2005 8:36 pm

I have a MT32 also.

But I must say, with iMuse games, I came to LOVE the AdLib music.

Why?

Just listen to Monkey2 or Indy4.

The synthesizer in form of the OPL2 was pushed out to the max.

Although MT32 has good-sounding sampled base and drums, AdLib just delivers an almost insane soundoverflow sometimes.

Listen to the intensity, the many sound-pitches, the insanity and the crazyness of what they've done with AdLib using iMuse.

Or is it me who just grew up as a child with that music, and now the glorious moments of the past blind (deaf) me?

Best regards

Joachim

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LogicDeLuxe
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Post by LogicDeLuxe » Fri Nov 18, 2005 12:13 am

joachimeberhard wrote:Or is it me who just grew up as a child with that music, and now the glorious moments of the past blind (deaf) me?
Maybe that. I first played the Monkey Island games on the Amiga. I know Monkey2 has missing many tunes of the game, but those which are left in sound really great, even not perfect, since 4 times polyphony and only 8 bit samples are somewhat limiting. When I first heared the PC version playing the Adlib track, it was a shock for me, and I always wanted an MT-32 since then (which I finaly got 2 years ago). I never liked Adlib, as it has such crappy oscilators (just chopped sines) and filters (little control over parameters). I always liked the SID much more, which only had 3 voices, but well done oscilators from digital logic circuits and well programmable analog filters.
Still the Monkey Island games have the best Adlib tracks I ever heard, though I really prefer the MT-32 tracks from Monkey 2. From Monkey 1, I most like the CD audio track, which feature extended versions.

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eriktorbjorn
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Re: Ultimate game versions/Ultimate audio versions

Post by eriktorbjorn » Fri Nov 18, 2005 2:37 am

LogicDeLuxe wrote:Loom: Also a matter of taste. Either the FM-Towns, which is like the EGA, Atari and Amiga version, but with 256 colors and CD audio, but no talkie. The PC VGA version is considered a director's cut, though it is considerably shorter at the advantage of being a talkie version.
Of course, if it's the music that you're after you could probably get it from just about any record store that sells classical music. Just look for Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet. :)

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LogicDeLuxe
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Re: Ultimate game versions/Ultimate audio versions

Post by LogicDeLuxe » Fri Nov 18, 2005 9:38 am

eriktorbjorn wrote:Of course, if it's the music that you're after you could probably get it from just about any record store that sells classical music. Just look for Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake ballet. :)
Also known as "Schwanensee", just like the debug code from the EGA executable.

Cirion81
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Post by Cirion81 » Wed Nov 23, 2005 7:56 pm

Hey guys!

since you seem to be into some if the internal details of the music in LA games, allow me one question: on what type of (roland) midi device was the music of MI2 composed?

I have been wondering for some time now - since I own a Roland GS midi device with a MT32 map table included. I tried ScummVM with the GS Mode enabled (if I understand it right, it does a GS -> MT32 mapping), and with additionally true Roland MT-32 mode enabled, which then (according to the documentation) uses the cards internal mapping to MT32. The music sounds different in these two modi, and some music seems to be better orchestrated in true MT32, some with only GS enabled.

Since I want to hear the music as the composers orchestrated it, I'd like to use the right setting for my midi hw. Some people might think this question insane, but for me the music always played the major part in every LA adventure experience (I spent more than 400$ 10 years ago for my midi/soundcard combination just to be able to enjoy the best quality with LA music).

Since ROLAND.IMS is present with MI2 (and no GM.IMS), and I darkly remember that there was only an option to choose roland sound when using the original executable, I assume that the music was written for an MT32 device, but I thought maybe you could give me a clarfying hint on that.

Thank you!

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sev
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Post by sev » Wed Nov 23, 2005 8:51 pm

Cirion81 wrote:since you seem to be into some if the internal details of the music in LA games, allow me one question: on what type of (roland) midi device was the music of MI2 composed?
Roland MT-32
Cirion81 wrote:I tried ScummVM with the GS Mode enabled (if I understand it right, it does a GS -> MT32 mapping),
that's correct.
Cirion81 wrote:and with additionally true Roland MT-32 mode enabled, which then (according to the documentation) uses the cards internal mapping to MT32.
No, that means that no mapping is applied in this case and you have to use real MT-32 as your MIDI output device.


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joachimeberhard
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Post by joachimeberhard » Wed Nov 23, 2005 9:04 pm

Whats the difference between GS on and off?

I never fully understood that.

I have a MT32 in my good old DOS-machine also, but on this PC where I use ScummVM I only use ROMs.

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LogicDeLuxe
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Post by LogicDeLuxe » Wed Nov 23, 2005 10:34 pm

The MT-32 is a wavetable synthesizer. Simon 1, Loom and Monkey 1 are compatible with GS wavemapping. BASS, Monkey 2 and Indy 4 are not, since they programm their own synthesizer sounds, hence it is not compatible with GS synthesizer.
If you want exactly the sound they were composed, you really need one of those Rolands pre-GM wavetable synthesizers which are fully MT-32 compatible. Also you need a MPU401 midi interface except you decided to use an LAPC1, of course. Most soundcards have one, but Creative Labs didn't have one prior the SB16. The MT32 emulation in ScummVM got close to the real thing, but still isn't perfect, yet.
Many professional GM soundtracks are composed on a Sound Canvas. GM is used in DOTT, Sam&Max. Fortunately there are competitors with the exact same samples in their ROMs. Beside the original Roland, there is the wide spread Dream chipset, beeing Sound Canvas compatible, for example, there is the Wavetable Pro board for the Waveblaster connector using that chip. Listen to the title track and the moleman track of the Sam&Max CD! That's the sound of the Sound Canvas.

joachimeberhard
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Post by joachimeberhard » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:02 pm

Meaning:

With Simon1, Loom and Monkey1 I should turn ON Roland GS Mode?
With the other games, I should turn it off?

Best regards

Thanks for your answer

Joachim

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Kaminari
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Post by Kaminari » Wed Nov 23, 2005 11:45 pm

Cirion81 wrote:GS Mode enabled (if I understand it right, it does a GS -> MT32 mapping)
It's more like the other way around -- it remaps the MT-32 banks to roughly equivalent GS ones (and it only concerns the drumkit if I'm not mistaken). Which is to say that if you want to enable the GS mode, you need a GS compatible synth.

But in any case, not amount of MT-32 to GM/GS remapping is going to give you a perfect MT-32 rendition, especially when the soundtrack makes an intensive use of SysEx patches (custom sounds). I think that's the case with Monkey 2 and Simon 1.

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LogicDeLuxe
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Post by LogicDeLuxe » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:09 am

joachimeberhard wrote:Meaning:

With Simon1, Loom and Monkey1 I should turn ON Roland GS Mode?
With the other games, I should turn it off?
Not at all. If GS is on, ScummVM initializes midi with GS reset and set the reverb etc. to emulate the MT-32 settings instead of just sending a GM reset.

ScummVM's internal translation table does a better job than the MT32 bank on GS wavetables, imho, since it's optimized for SCUMM games and also translates the custom sounds as good as possible.
You should try all midi games with and without GS set, providing your wavetable is GS compatible, of course. If it sounds better then is pretty much a matter of taste, and also different wavetables sound different.
True MT-32 should be turned off in any case where a GM, GS or XG wavetable is used, otherwise the instrumentation would be completely wrong.

Cirion81
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Post by Cirion81 » Thu Nov 24, 2005 9:09 am

Thank you all for your information provided.

As with the combination of the true MT32 and GS option, I seem to understand the documentation wrong here
Originally posted by sev
No, that means that no mapping is applied in this case and you have to use real MT-32 as your MIDI output device.
I understood the following quote from the documentation as such, that with these two options set, the GS device is set into some kind of MT32 compatibility mode. If I understand sev right, thats not the case??
If --enable-gs is specified, ScummVM will initialize your GS-compatible device with settings that mimic the MT-32's reverb, (lack of) chorus, pitch bend sensitivity, etc. If it is specified in conjunction with
--native-mt32, ScummVM will select the MT-32-compatible map and drumset on your GS device.
Which I then translated into:
GS enabled = ScummVM does the MT32 - GS mapping
GS + MT32 enabled = ScummVM initializes GS card in MT32 mode and then the card does all the mapping[/i]

BTW: I own a Roland SCDB-55 which is similar to the Sound Canvas, and through my recherches on the net I gathered it has a MT32 compatibility mode.

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