VOGONS


Reply 40 of 79, by Mok

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HunterZ wrote:
bloodbat wrote:

Whoever removed it from Wikipedia was right :s I don't know how Gobliiins slipped in there, attached are a pic of the sound card selection screen for Gobliiins and an updated MIDI list 😜. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thanks, I removed it again.

Interestingly, it seems the game has no music on any hardware, except maybe Redbook CD audio or something in the CD version?

While for some reason it's not used, there is actually an adlib title song by Moby inside the game resources of early european versions of the game (in Adlib's MUS/SND format). It was removed in later versions of the game. In any case I can't remember any Coktel Vision game that used MIDI music, MT-32 or GM.

Reply 42 of 79, by Kaminari

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GM definitely. It was one of the first Sierra games targeted at GM and it clearly sounds bad on MT-32 (which uses a generic remapping table).

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Reply 43 of 79, by gdjacobs

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Oddly enough, though, I prefer LB2 with the GM patch despite the fact it was composed for LA synthesis.

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Reply 44 of 79, by KainXVIII

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Kaminari wrote:

GM definitely. It was one of the first Sierra games targeted at GM and it clearly sounds bad on MT-32 (which uses a generic remapping table).

Thanks!

gdjacobs wrote:

Oddly enough, though, I prefer LB2 with the GM patch despite the fact it was composed for LA synthesis.

I think you miss some sound effects with GM (like typing machine sound in newspaper office)..

Reply 45 of 79, by spiffythedog

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Hello everyone. For the last month or so I've been contributing to the list of MT-32 compatible games page on Wikipedia, testing existing entries and adding new games to the list using sources such as Mobygames and others. After Mok helped me enable Roland sound in Demoniak (thanks again, Mok!), I think I'm finally finished adding new games to the list, at least for now.

There are just a handful of titles that I'm still not entirely sure about (mostly original synth info):

  • 1944: Across the Rhine: composed for MT-32/LAPC or General MIDI? Sound data seems to be stored in GSOUND.XTR and RSOUND.XTR
  • Betrayal at Krondor: Redbook audio or Roland SC-55? The Redbook audio on the 1994 CD version is definitely not a recording of the SC-55 soundtrack, but apparently some tracks are shorter (by how much?) and they don't loop or fade out. While the CD version was released one year after the floppy version, that certainly doesn't mean that the CD-quality soundtrack was produced later - in fact, it's likely just the original 'un-MIDIfied' composition made to fit the limitations of the CD format. So I guess it's a question of choosing between 'authenticity' or 'completeness'. Any further clarification on this would be great.
  • Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny: composed for digital sound or General MIDI? I've never seriously played it, so I don't know how potentially truncated or compressed the in-game digital soundtrack option could be
  • Master of Orion: composed for MT-32/LAPC or Roland SC-55? The manual clearly states that only Roland MT-32 is supported and the General MIDI option is greyed out (but still selectable) in the setup program, but the GM music sounds wonderful, especially on my SC-55mkii. Online consensus seems to lean towards MT-32, but what do you guys think? As far as I can tell, 1992/3 was about the time the original composer, David Govett, started using the Roland Sound Canvas for his compositions, so it could definitely be a possibility.
  • Realms of Arkania: Star Trail: Redbook audio or Roland SC-55? Another case where the Redbook audio is definitely not a recording of the SC-55 soundtrack and with apparently shorter tracks. I'm also unfamiliar with this game and have no idea just how much the CD music differs to the MIDI, so any help here would be much appreciated.
  • Simon the Sorcerer II: I was going to move this to the false compatibility section due to both GM/MT drivers outputting the same data, but for some reason my copy of the game plays distorted and clearly wrong-sounding MIDI music when played through DOS (it sounds fine when played through ScummVM) - is my own copy defective or did this game just ship with faulty MSS drivers?
  • X-COM: UFO Defense/Enemy Unknown: LAPCI definitely seems like a no-brainer here, what with the CM-32L siren sound effect in the intro sequence. However, this article and this document by Allister Brimble suggest that GM might have been the intended synth (or at least the most enhanced one according to John Broomhall's bottom-up approach to MIDI composition). While the former article focuses mainly on Transport Tycoon, it and X-COM were both released in 1994 and it's not unreasonable to suspect that he might have worked on both titles during the same time period. Of course, GM support for X-COM wasn't introduced until version 1.4 two years later, and Allister might have simply misremembered or misspoke about being handed "the original GM files", so it's still very iffy.

These are just the ones I can think of right now. Anyone out there with some actual expertise in analysing MIDI data or anything else of that nature are more than welcome to help out.

Reply 46 of 79, by NewRisingSun

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spiffythedog wrote:

Realms of Arkania: Star Trail: Redbook audio or Roland SC-55?

Redbook audio. The Redbook audio recordings use Roland SC-55, Proteus-1 samples and an unknown drum kit. I don't know what version people use who say that the Redbook audio versions are shorter, because they are not, they are longer. The demo versions of the game include a few of the longer versions as XMI files.

spiffythedog wrote:

Simon the Sorcerer II: I was going to move this to the false compatibility section due to both GM/MT drivers outputting the same data, but for some reason my copy of the game plays distorted and clearly wrong-sounding MIDI music when played through DOS (it sounds fine when played through ScummVM) - is my own copy defective or did this game just ship with faulty MSS drivers?

Simon the Sorcerer II has two sets of MIDI files: MT-32 and General MIDI. The MT-32 MIDI files are played if there is a file named "MIDI" in the directory, otherwise the General MIDI files are played. The SETUP program creates the file "MIDI" when selecting either MT-32 or General MIDI, even as it should only create it with MT-32. Solution: delete the "MIDI" file when selecting General MIDI. Apart from that problem, I know of no problems with the MIDPAK drivers. Which one is the original synth? Difficult to say; the MT-32 versions differ from the General MIDI ones in some cases, seemingly being earlier versions. On the other hand, some songs are completely missing on MT-32, such as during the intro when Runt talks to his father.

Reply 47 of 79, by spiffythedog

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Redbook audio. The Redbook audio recordings use Roland SC-55, Proteus-1 samples and an unknown drum kit. I don't know what version people use who say that the Redbook audio versions are shorter, because they are not, they are longer. The demo versions of the game include a few of the longer versions as XMI files.

Thanks. This is another reason why you should never trust complete randoms on YouTube. Amended.

Simon the Sorcerer II has two sets of MIDI files: MT-32 and General MIDI. The MT-32 MIDI files are played if there is a file named "MIDI" in the directory, otherwise the General MIDI files are played. The SETUP program creates the file "MIDI" when selecting either MT-32 or General MIDI, even as it should only create it with MT-32. Solution: delete the "MIDI" file when selecting General MIDI. Apart from that problem, I know of no problems with the MIDPAK drivers. Which one is the original synth? Difficult to say; the MT-32 versions differ from the General MIDI ones in some cases, seemingly being earlier versions. On the other hand, some songs are completely missing on MT-32, such as during the intro when Runt talks to his father.

Thanks again. I never would have thought to do something so simple. As for the original synth, like I said, I guess the more appropriate term in this particular case would be the 'intended synth'. If all of the tracks are there and in a more complete or developed form for GM, it's probably safe to put down GM as the original synth on the page. Which I already have. Check it out.

Reply 48 of 79, by NewRisingSun

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I listened to the YouTube recording you linked to, so I could evaluate the claim about shorter Red Book audio versions more thoroughly.

It is true that the MIDI versions of some pieces have in-song loops that are not present in the Red Book audio versions. Examining the MIDI files, these in-song loops are accomplished by way of XMIDI controllers 116 and 117. Given that the same performance data is merely repeated, and is not even repeated in the MIDI file itself but merely by the MIDI file player, I see this as no great loss. This is more than balanced-out by the fact that the Red Book audio versions have performance data that is not present in the MIDI versions at all.

My judgement based on the more thorough examination is therefore: the Red Book audio versions are both shorter in omitting in-song loops and longer in providing extra performance data, in particular, proper song endings. Some of that extra performance data is present in the versions of the MIDI files that were included in the demo versions of the game. Therefore, the extra data was composed originally, was removed for the final versions of the game to have songs loop instead of end, and was in fact used for the Red Book audio recordings.

I do not know what that means for your table.

Reply 49 of 79, by spiffythedog

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My judgement based on the more thorough examination is therefore: the Red Book audio versions are both shorter in omitting in-song loops and longer in providing extra performance data, in particular, proper song endings. Some of that extra performance data is present in the versions of the MIDI files that were included in the demo versions of the game. Therefore, the extra data was composed originally, was removed for the final versions of the game to have songs loop instead of end, and was in fact used for the Red Book audio recordings.

Yeah, I'm wondering if that's also the case for the Betrayal at Krondor CD soundtrack, where the tracks are only shorter because there are fewer in-track loops. I might give both soundtracks a listen later to properly compare.

Reply 50 of 79, by Spikey

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Betrayal at Krondor: Redbook audio or Roland SC-55? The Redbook audio on the 1994 CD version is definitely not a recording of the SC-55 soundtrack, but apparently some tracks are shorter (by how much?) and they don't loop or fade out. While the CD version was released one year after the floppy version, that certainly doesn't mean that the CD-quality soundtrack was produced later - in fact, it's likely just the original 'un-MIDIfied' composition made to fit the limitations of the CD format. So I guess it's a question of choosing between 'authenticity' or 'completeness'. Any further clarification on this would be great.

My understanding, and I haven't finished playing the game, is that the redbook audio is a mixed bag for Krondor. The score was composed for General MIDI, some tracks are lengthened in the CD version (e.g. the main battle theme), some are shorter as you mentioned. Some tracks seem good quality, some seem done in a hurry. For me the obvious recommendation would be start with the MIDI score, since that would have been how the score was composed and intended - and then listen to the CD version after. Then you can make your own opinions. 😀

Reply 51 of 79, by spiffythedog

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My understanding, and I haven't finished playing the game, is that the redbook audio is a mixed bag for Krondor. The score was composed for General MIDI, some tracks are lengthened in the CD version (e.g. the main battle theme), some are shorter as you mentioned. Some tracks seem good quality, some seem done in a hurry. For me the obvious recommendation would be start with the MIDI score, since that would have been how the score was composed and intended - and then listen to the CD version after. Then you can make your own opinions. 😀

Yeah, it certainly does seem like a mixed bag. Some songs are enhanced or given proper endings, others just arbitrarily fade out. A game like this with so many protracted sequences of dialogue, combat, and riddle chests practically requires looping music, if only to break up some of the inevitable monotony. I'll note it down as Roland SC-55 in the wiki.

Reply 52 of 79, by realnc

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NewRisingSun wrote on 2020-12-17, 00:08:

It is true that the MIDI versions of some pieces have in-song loops that are not present in the Red Book audio versions. Examining the MIDI files, these in-song loops are accomplished by way of XMIDI controllers 116 and 117. Given that the same performance data is merely repeated, and is not even repeated in the MIDI file itself but merely by the MIDI file player, I see this as no great loss. This is more than balanced-out by the fact that the Red Book audio versions have performance data that is not present in the MIDI versions at all.

At least one music piece is missing though (probably didn't fit.) The inventory/status screen's music is not present as red book, for example. Recorded in-game:

https://cdn.discordapp.com/attachments/284038 … -_Inventory.ogg

Instead of that, they reused the character creation screen music instead. I haven't checked for other missing music. It's just the first one I noticed. It could be than more pieces are missing and instead you hear more reused tracks for things that actually have their own, unique music in the MIDI version. There's 40 different MIDI music files in the game, and I doubt they would be able to fit them on the 2 CDs the game comes in. Many of the tracks are repeated on the second CD (to avoid CD swapping just for music.) And as already mentioned, the music tracks on the CD are cut down. Don't like that at all.

I grew up with the MIDI music of this game, so that's how I'm always replaying that game. I just prefer the sound of an SC-55 compared to the CD, but that's subjective of course. The only objective argument here is that there's missing music and many tracks are cut down.

Reply 53 of 79, by NewRisingSun

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That music is on the second CD, track 12. The CD version is missing nothing, and nothing has been cut-down. Nothing whatsoever. If you think something has been cut, then you just have not looked properly. It only plays the Character Creation music if you have the first CD in the drive. The game only prompts you to insert the other CD when it wants to make sure that the correct plot-relevant piece of music is played, and will not prompt you to swap CDs just to play the right inventory music. That does not mean that the music is not there on the other CD.

realnc wrote:

The only objective argument here is that there's missing music and many tracks are cut down.

The only objective argument is that you are not verifying things properly before you post them.

Reply 56 of 79, by spiffythedog

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And you don't have to be a whiner just because you stand corrected.

He's absolutely right, though. You're acting like a belligerent, arrogant dick simply because he had the audacity to even attempt to question your esteemed and infallible judgment. Pack that shit in, for gods sake.

It only plays the Character Creation music if you have the first CD in the drive. The game only prompts you to insert the other CD when it wants to make sure that the correct plot-relevant piece of music is played, and will not prompt you to swap CDs just to play the right inventory music. That does not mean that the music is not there on the other CD.

That is completely disingenuous. You know exactly what he meant - the track doesn't play during the natural course of playing the game itself. You've stretched the truth to point where it becomes utterly meaningless, and for what? A feeble and quite frankly ridiculous attempt to save face.

By the way, I have made a patch for use in emulators, such as DOSBox, that allow you to mount oversize CD images. You mount a CUE+BIN+WAV set containing all music from both CDs, and due to the small changes to the game's song table, all tracks play from that oversized first CD, all in the correct spot, no CD swapping. Interested?

This also seems like another transparent attempt at saving face after being proven wrong. "See! I was right all along! I was going to release a patch, so nyah!" Honestly, what makes you think this sort of behaviour is even acceptable? Insulting a person for rightfully taking offense at your rude and totally uncalled for response and then providing a convenient 'solution' which only further serves to prove your so-called 'righteousness'. Seriously, just who the hell do you think you are? If we're supposed to expect and tolerate this kind of behaviour every time you release a patch (and by god, you have a massive track record), I'd honestly rather not have it all, thank you very much.

Reply 57 of 79, by NewRisingSun

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All right, you two clowns, I have withdrawn the patch offer per your wishes.

spiffythedog wrote:

You know exactly what he meant - the track doesn't play during the natural course of playing the game itself.

That is not what he meant. He meant that the CD version does not have all the material of the floppy disk version. If my statement had been wrong as you incorrectly claim, or "stretched the truth to the point where it becomes utterly meaningless", the patch would not be able to correct that.

spiffythedog wrote:

the track doesn't play during the natural course of playing the game itself.

It does, provided you happened to have the second CD in the drive already, which is the case during the second half of the game's plot, starting when you enter the city of Lowangen.

spiffythedog wrote:

A feeble and quite frankly ridiculous attempt to save face.

I suggest you don't post when you are enraged.

Reply 58 of 79, by Shreddoc

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However minor, it is still a musical point-of-difference separating the game experience depending on the media version and the disc inserted, and among the present company such is a notable thing.

Either way, I'm now FAR more of an expert about "Inventory Music" slash "CD 2 Track 12" of Betrayal at Krondor than I ever expected to be within my lifetime. So thanks, guys. (P.S. we should email Feist about it, see what he thinks)

Last edited by Shreddoc on 2020-12-20, 15:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 59 of 79, by NewRisingSun

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That is correct. To my knowledge, all English-language versions lack the audio tracks and only support music via MIDI, and the German-language CD version was later re-released on just one CD, and that one truly misses many of the songs as Redbook audio. The sequel to this game, Shadows over Riva, always came on just one CD (with audio tracks) and no longer had special music for things such as inventory or option screens.