Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

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Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sun Aug 26, 2012 1:19 pm

The great thing is that Simon 2 is now stable with wave-simular music, but there are still some problems with the music.

1. I noticed that the music does not always behave correctly in terms of stopping and continuing. When a game is loaded, the music always restarts - even if the screen is the same (and thus the same melody). The same happens in some cutscenes that you skip. For example if you go to the MucSwamplings for the first time and you press F5, you hear a snippet from the castle music and the music restarts. If Goldilocks in the first conversation finds out you are not a cop, then the music also restarts while she tries to hide again behind the chest.
If you are inside the 3 bears' chimney, the music does not stop when switching to the roof sight but changes when Simon flies out.

2. You seem to have confused some of the melody parts.
-Track16 for XMI 9 is wrong. There should be an extra track for this.
-The track sequence for XMI 32 is wrong. {62,63,64,65} should be {65,62,64,63} like for XMI 33 and 34. Also note that the tracks for XMI 32 should be played at 33 % volume. Can this be achieved by coding or would extra tracks be needed? It would be a bit pitty to add extra tracks as the tracks are the same and just different in volume.
-You took the normal 3 bears family theme when inside the chimney, but it's a different piece again. This time the music is reduced about the half but the Glockenspiel got about the same volume as in the original theme. So it should be considered if another variant should be added or if you are satisfied with just reducing the volume by script again. The latter wouldn't be as precise to the original but more space saving.

If you like, I can help you with optimizing your XMI array in agos/midi.cpp, but unfortunately I don't know how to reduce the music pieces' volume by coding.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sun Aug 26, 2012 3:27 pm

Thanks for the info. This is exactly the sort of feedback that makes it easy for me to fix the bugs.

As far as 1 goes, I'll have to look into it and see what is going on with the examples you've given.

As for 2, I'm not entirely surprised there are mistakes. I went through the files with an ancient DOS utility to record the music from what I remember. It's all too easy to type in the wrong number or miss a track. I'm sure I can code the volume reduction so I'll have a go at that and fix the other errors.

I've got another job to do first but I'll try to get it done this week.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Mon Sep 03, 2012 1:55 pm

I've stuck a new test build up at http://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/scummvm/scummvm-win32-test.rar if you want to give it a go. You'll also need to redownload the oggs. Everything you have mentioned should be working except I don't agree about the track sequence for XMI 32 which matched up with how I already had it. There must be variations across different game versions if yours is different. I took the lazy option and just added new oggs for the quieter tracks which in this situation does have the advantage that you will be able to swap the names around to fix the order. The new XMI looks like:-

uint8 si2xmis[][16]={{0},{9,10,11},{4,5,6,7,8},{12},{13},{14},{15},{16},{17,9,10,11},{18,145},
{19,20,21},{22},{23,24,25},{29},{1,2},{30},{29,31,32},{1,2},{29,31,32},{33,34},
{35,36},{37,38},{39,40},{41,42},{43,44},{45,46,47,48},{26,27,28},{49,50,51,52,53},{54},{55,56,57,58},
{59,60},{61},{146,147,148,149},{65,62,64,63},{65,62,64,63},{66},{67},{68},{69},{70},
{71,72},{73,74},{75},{76,77},{78},{79},{80},{81},{82,83,84,85,86},{86,87,88},
{114},{115,116},{150},{117},{118,119},{120},{121},{122},{123},{124},
{89},{90,91},{92,93},{94,91,95},{96},{97},{98,99},{98,100},{98,101},{98,101},
{98,101},{102},{98,101},{103},{104,105,106},{107},{108},{109},{110,111,112},{113},
{125,126},{127},{128},{129,130,131},{132,133},{134,135},{136},{137},{138},{138,139},
{3},{140,141},{142},{143},{144}
};

Let me know how you get on.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Tue Sep 04, 2012 12:54 pm

Thanks for fixing all the bugs I mentioned! That thing with the track 32 sequence is quite strange: The sequence playing in the game seems to be right with yours but in the resource files the sequence seems to be different. Anyway, yours seems to be correct. Should I notice something different later, I'll let you know.

I noticed some more bugs during my test:
-The music doesn't turn on again when pressing "m" and "pause" twice or showing and hiding the debugger.
-On the island you have silence when you change screens. This could be because you try not to restart the music if it remains the same, but here it is stopped.
-When skipping the scene to the catapult on the roof top of the loan office (during the black screen with the narrator), you'll get back in silence in front of the office.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Tue Sep 25, 2012 8:51 am

I finally got around to looking at this and I'm uploading another test version to that same location if you want to give it a go. There was a typo which stopped paused music from resuming in the last version which probably caused all of the above. It will restart the track from the beginning when unpausing but you'll have to put up with that I'm afraid. I've not tried the music on the island as I couldn't find an obvious means to skip to that part of the game.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Wed Oct 03, 2012 4:04 am

Thanks for your new test build!
Unfortunately the bugs 2 and 3 have not been fixed by this and it is really unfortunate that the music has to restarted all over again when pressing pausing and unpausing the game (but it is OK if this happens when pressing m as this is the original behaviour). Couldn't you somehow save the byte position of the music piece played back? Simon 1 does support also continuing music after pause usings soundtracks in the officlal ScummVM team build. So I wonder why it is not possible here.

Although the music plays now on the island and on the loan office situation, it is the wrong music played back - the xmi music is used instead of the soundtrack. If you press m twice, the effect gets worse as it then tries to play back both xmi and soundtrack music. The problem seems to be identical for the loan office and the island.


Last edited by SimSaw on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sun Nov 11, 2012 6:01 am

Hi. Just wanted to remind you of this issue and bring back your attention. Is there any chance to see new fixes coming soon?


Last edited by SimSaw on Thu Dec 06, 2012 10:28 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Mon Nov 12, 2012 12:36 pm

Sorry about the lack of response. I rushed the first fix to get it done before I headed off for a holiday in Texas and haven't got around to looking at this since I got back. I have next week off work and the plan right now is to have a look at getting this sorted out once and for all then at the very latest.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Mon Nov 12, 2012 1:33 pm

My conscience started nagging me for keeping you waiting a month and I figured there was no time like the present to have another look at those bugs. It was a quick job in the end so I'm glad I didn't leave it. I remember fixing the music not coming out of pause before, not sure where I lost the change but it's back in there.

The music on the island was a bit different. It plays the same track as is currently playing when you change screen and my check to avoid music restarting meant that it was bypassing my CD Audio code altogether. It did stop the track first however, so the audio ended up reverting to adlib instead. I've added a check to make sure that the CDAudio is still playing as well as it being the same CD track. That should be everything fixed with any luck. I've put the new .exe in the same rar file as linked above if you want to try it out.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Mon Nov 12, 2012 2:11 pm

Thank you so much for fixing this so fast! Really great work!

Seeing from a quick test all that is left is the music restarting instead of continuing after pause. Maybe you could have a look at how they did it in Simon 1. James Woodcock's soundtrack (and my OPL2 soundtrack too) can be paused and continued there. Maybe you find a solution in that code.

I have also noticed that the soundtrack might be optimised. I found out that the track for the ship under free sky is actually the one for the ship inside and that you just reduced the volume for them for the inside. So better move those tracks to the inside tracks and record the "under free sky" tracks.

I also noticed some identical duplicates:
110=125=139
and
134=140

There is also 127 and 141 which is not quite identical but where just some small instruments have a very little different volume, nothing hearable to me. I leave it up to you if it's better to leave the track as almost-duplicate there or to remove one in order to save space for the archive.

I hope my notes are helpful for you and show me admiration towards your work. I'm looking forward to receive the updated source code and the updated soundtrack.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Mon Nov 12, 2012 3:37 pm

I'll have a go at fixing these fairly soon but definitely not for a couple of days. Any idea which xmi/track numbers the "under free sky" tracks are? If I know where to go straight off, it will save me some time.

I'm not seeing any pausing at all in the Simon 1 soundtrack. e.g. if you press m nothing happens. As far as I can see there are 4 lines of code to start the music up and that's it. I'd have thought that this would cause a few more problems in all honesty but it depends on the individual game. I did notice that it was slightly incompatible with my changes for Simon 2 which I've tweaked to work around but not uploaded yet.

Now I come to look at it, I can get around the pausing issue just by saving the current music frame when pausing then passing that to the CD audio manager when starting up again. I vaguely recall doing this for SCI games so I'll copy it from there.

Your notes are most definitely helpful. The odds on me ever noticing or fixing any of this otherwise would be extremely slim. It's also good to know someone is actually using this.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Tue Nov 13, 2012 12:13 pm

I did not have the time yesterday to search for the tracks, but I wanted to post the information that I have already got. Now here are the information for the pirate ship:

62-65 are used in the game for the in-door tracks but currently have the low-volume tracks (XMI 33 and 34).
146-149 are used in the game for the under free sky tracks but currently have the low-volume tracks reduced to 33 % (XMI 32).

It is right that if you press m using the soundtrack in StS 1 nothing happens, but the music pauses when you press the actual pause key and start the debugger. But your solution sounds fine too. Maybe it is even the same.

Thanks again for the fixes! After that long pause I thought you might have completely lost any interest in your project.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:14 am

The pausing is now fixed (but not uploaded). My original plan didn't work so I implemented a pause function in the CD manager instead. I have no idea why I never did this before as I could have used it in other engines. Everything else is just shuffling music tracks around which I'll get done tomorrow.

My enthusiasm for this project isn't all that high these days as I don't think it sees much use but I'd still like to have it in a fully working state if only for my own benefit. Basically, if you or anyone else finds bugs and I can recreate them, then I'll do my best to fix them eventually.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:40 am

Thank you for your effort! I am waiting impatiently for the updated ScummVM hack, updated source code and updated music soundtrack. Do you have it still in uncut FLAC or WAV? I might want to do some small optimisations so that the beginning and ending of a track is smoother. How do you record anyway? I know that the SC55 is the main sound synthesizer used for Windows those days but it is just mono while your recordings are in stereo. Is a real SC55 sound card necessary for that?

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Wed Nov 14, 2012 12:05 pm

I've not kept any of the original recordings. I figured it was easy enough to re-record if needed that it wasn't worth it. I should be able to record new wavs of whichever tracks you want if you need to tweak anything but not right now. After many years of use, my X-Fi soundcard bit the bullet recently or at least it stops my PC powering up when plugged in 99% of the time. I fancy one of the new Creative cards to replace it but they haven't been released quite yet so I'm currently on built-in audio only which I wouldn't want to use to record anything.

All the soundtracks on here are off the original hardware either an MT-32, CM-64 or an SC-155 (with is an SC-55 with volume sliders). They are all external sound modules rather than cards which I connect up with a MIDI interface. The virtual Sound Canvas is an extremely poor imitation of the real thing most of the time and I wouldn't recommend it.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sat Nov 17, 2012 2:12 am

I did not know of CM-64. Would that also suit for Simon the Sorcerer?

I would keep all original recordings in your place. If they take up too much space I would burn them either to DVD or Blu-Ray. This way you are always able to edit something you do not like in the released soundtrack. For example I have recently updated my OPL2 soundtrack of Simon 1 so that it better fits with ScummVM and that the whole tracks loop smoothly. Unfortunately my last 486 DOS computer with Sound Blaster Pro went broke some years ago and I cannot make any new recordings. Do you have an OPL2 or OPL3 capable sound card too?

How is work going on by the way? Looking here daily in the hope of finally being able to download all. Smile

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sat Nov 17, 2012 4:32 am

I get the impression you will know the answer better than me but am I right in thinking that the original STS soundtrack was done for the MT-32? I know there was general midi support on the Windows version but I seem to remember this being added with that release. The CM-64 would probably be ideal if this is the case. MUNT is almost indistinguishable these days and wouldn't be a bad alternative.

In terms of old soundcards, I've still got my original SoundBlaster I must have bought back in about 1991 but the only one I've got plugged in is my almost as old AWE-32 which has OPL3. Bit late now for storing original recordings. I wouldn't mind redoing some of the games on here if I ever had the time so maybe then.

I've not had chance to work on STS2 more yet and won't be able to get it finished with my soundcard out of action. That soundcard also served as my MIDI interface also so I can't even connect any of my sound modules right now. I will get it to a state where I just need to add the two missing tracks tomorrow. I have a fancy new Roland MIDI interface in the post which will solve the connectivity problem when I get it.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sat Nov 17, 2012 6:20 am

An AWE 32? Wow, you are some collector!

Too bad I still have to wait some time for the updated source code and EXE. I will try to be patient.

Unfortunately I don't know for which sound card the music of Simon the Sorcerer 2 was made for. I only noticed that the kitchen music sounds more like France using the SC-55 in comparision to OPL2. So this might be an indication.

For Simon 1 I think it was Amiga the music was originally made for, then ported to DOS in GMF format and then to Windows in MIDI.

I still have a Sound Blaster Pro but only Windows XP computers without DOS. Do you happen to know a good Sound Blaster Pro driver for Windows XP that will make MIDI use the OPL chip?

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sat Nov 17, 2012 9:51 am

AWE32's aren't that rare. It's more a case of hoarding in this instance as it's another one I bought when it was new. The VFX1 I have plugged into it is a better example of overenthusiastic collecting.

I guarantee you'll have the new exe & source code tomorrow anyway, just with 2 tracks missing from the soundtrack.

When I'm home, I'll do a bit of research and find out what the soundtrack was for both of these. STS1 was released for DOS the year before Amiga so that definitely wasn't the original. I'm fairly sure it was just adlib and MT-32 support for both games originally but I'd have to check to be sure.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sun Nov 18, 2012 7:24 am

I've not updated the site yet to tell anyone but I've uploaded the latest source code, done a new test build and updated the soundtrack. I remembered that my guitar pedal has a MIDI interface so I used that to hook up my sound module to do the soundtrack. The recording quality will have suffered a little using the motherboard audio device to record on but it should be OK. Give it a go an let me know how you get on.

I was right that Simon 1 only supported MT-32 and adlib on release so the music will have been written with one of them in mind, most likely the MT-32. Simon 2 did have general MIDI support from the start though.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sun Nov 18, 2012 12:43 pm

Thanks for updating! However: Where is the link to the source? If I download http://www.pixsoriginadventures.co.uk/scummvm/scummvm-1.5.0-pix.rar then I just get the old source. I do not see a reason why it should not be perfect now, but we will see. We might try to get this into the main ScummVM - we might be lucky if there is nothing dirty anymore. I will try to discuss this on the mailing list if I find no bugs. But Kirben is very protective about his engine, so it might not be easy.

It might take some time until I completely tested the new version of yours.


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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:24 pm

That's definitely the new source if you take a closer look. I would have gone about this differently if I was trying to get it into the main scummVM codebase and I seriously doubt it will meet standards. Before you do anything, you will need permission to use the soundtrack which I guess should be doable in this case but isn't on the cards for most of the games I've done.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sun Nov 18, 2012 1:46 pm

Well, support could be added independantly from offering the soundtrack. Also, soundtracks seem to be tolerated by ScummVM - at least in the case of Simon the Sorcerer. Someone also once linked to your ScummVM hacks site and was not banned.

Thanks for the remark. I thought this was the old source because when I open it with WinRAR I see 25th August 2012 as date of the directory.

By the way: I have found the first bug already. If you are in the room above the treasury, then the second part of the music is not looped once but instead it starts again with the first part after having finished with paying the second part once.

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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  Pix on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:02 pm

I've been down the road of getting soundtrack support into scummVM already with the first game I did (Legend Of Kyrandia) and it wasn't happening without EA's permission. Of course I wasn't told this until I'd gone through the process of formatting everything to scummVM standards. EA were about as helpful as you would expect which is why I ended up going solo. I also faced some opposition from at least one member of the scummVM team who didn't think this was in scope of the project, although that never got chance to play out given the copyright issue which came up immediately afterwards.
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Re: Simon the Sorcerer 2 music problems

Post  SimSaw on Sun Nov 18, 2012 2:26 pm

Quite interesting. If copyright was an issue, I thought they would remove any links to your site. Also, I think adding support for using external music does not mean supporting copyright violations: Such a feature would enable to make the soundtrack themselves maybe (record it, use a patch or something similiar) or can record their own if they want to have an alternate sound.

As for the permission: I just asked David Punshon himself and he gave me his permission to use his game music in a soundtrack and would also allow anyone else to do so. He would feel honoured if that happens and would even play himself.

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