Author Topic: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.  (Read 4330 times)

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Offline Cloudee1

Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« on: November 26, 2010, 09:21:34 PM »
So after playing some jummybummy 2, I've decided I really need to step up my sound support. I don't know why I haven't known about that sound driver before, what configuration does it play? but anyway, I have a 4 instrument track midi that I am going to arrange for my purposes... Step 1. where should I place my tracks? Aren't there some that you need in certain places or not depending on sound card config.


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Offline gumby

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2010, 12:53:21 AM »
I'm not there yet, but I futzed around with the sound stuff and I need help too (but from a very, very, very basic level).  We need a good how-to with your tool of choice, if you have time please.
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2010, 03:11:49 AM »
Sure, guys. I definitely need to write out a bit of a walkthrough. What I've learned so far I've seen from opening up sound resources from Sierra games in SoundBox. A proper MIDI file engineered to run through SoundBox to create an SCI0 sound resource will not sound correct when played through a MIDI player because there are multiple copies of instruments on different channels to playback through the different sound drivers (ADL.DRV, STD.DRV, MT32.DRV, etc). Some guidelines I've learned (and I'll update later if I remember some other details)"

Classic Adlib/MT-32/PC Speaker/Tandy 3-voice Support

You can use the ADDWave.EXE program to append a digital sound file to a sound resource with this method and if you're using SNDBLAST.DRV or MTBLAST.DRV you will hear it in-game instead of the MIDI sound.

  • You can use one channel for multiple outputs (MT-32, Adlib, Tandy, etc) as long as that channel follows the rules for each output.
  • You can use any channel for any output except the MT-32, which can only be on channels 2-9 (9 being the drum channel I think).
  • The PC Speaker channel can be any channel (usually channel 1) but cannot have more than one note playing at a time.
  • The PC Speaker channel should carry the fundamental of the theme of the sound file. The lead instrument, if you will. Because the PC Speaker driver is only one channel anyway, it should contain everything that makes the theme recognizable. You can make this an alternate channel (not the same channel as an Adlib or MT-32 channel) and rework it so it efficiently contains both lead and melody elements. Think how SCUMM games sound in PC Speaker where there's never more than 1 note playing at a time but you can hear lead and melodic elements playing quickly taking turns, if that makes sense.
  • The PC Speaker channel is also one of the three Tandy 3-voice channels, to save on file size. The other two being whatever other channels you want, but they can each only have 1 note playing at a time.
  • I'm not sure if there is a limit to how many Adlib channels you can have, but most Sierra sound resources only have 5. These are also Yamaha and Casio channels usually. I don't have either the Yamaha or Casio hardware to hear what it would actually sound like, though.
  • Most of the time the Adlib channels are the same as the MT-32 channels with a few exceptions, one being if an MT-32 channel has too many voices playing at once requiring a new alternate channel composed slightly differently to meet the requirements of the Adlib polyphony voice count.
  • Adlib does not have a drum channel because of the way it processes its instruments. So channel 10, while usually being the standard drum channel of almost any MIDI device, is a melodic channel and not actually a drum channel in an SCI0 sound resource.
  • An Adlib channel cannot be on channel 9 for the above reason because channel 9 is the MT-32's drum channel.
  • The Initial Voices field in Soundbox in Channel Properties is meant only for Adlib channels. It doesn't affect PC Speaker, Tandy, or MT-32 output at all.
  • As a whole, a sound resource cannot have more than 7 or 8 Adlib voices at a time (I can't remember exactly which, 8 makes more sense, though, but you can experiment). So you have to compose your Adlib channels in such a way that there are never more than 8 notes playing at any one time across all Adlib channels. And an Adlib channel will never play more voices than the number specified in the Initial Voices field of that channel. So you can have one Adlib channel with 8 Initial Voices or 5 Adlib channels with an Initial Voices sum of 8.
  • The above Adlib rules only apply to the ADL.DRV which is a mono Adlib driver. If you use the SCI0 SNDBLAST.DRV instead you have a much higher polyphony limit which is unaffected by the Initial Voices field, and it's also in stereo.
  • I'm not sure how vital this is, but channel 10 (channel 9 in Soundbox) always has an Initial Voices setting of 128. I'm not sure why but I've kept it this way in all my sound resources just in case it's important.

NOTE: All the channels I've listed here are the proper MIDI channel designations (1-16). Soundbox numbers them from 0-15 instead, so just be aware of that when you're creating your MIDI file and running it through Soundbox. I think this was kind of a silly way to do it, but there it is.

Standard General MIDI Support (like Jummybummy 2) *You cannot have digital sound effects with this method*

You can completely ignore the huge guidelines list above if you go this method. It's actually very very simple. If you just want to run a General MIDI file through SoundBox you can do that instead and have it support just General MIDI rather than PC Speaker, Adlib, Tandy, MT-32, etc. Just import a regular MIDI file into SoundBox, flag every channel as "New GM", and use the fanmade General MIDI driver (MPUMIDI.DRV). You just need to make sure that however you play the game you're going to have a General MIDI device to hear anything. So that's probably not going to work with Command Prompt in Win2k, XP, Vista, or 7. If you're using DOSBox you'd have to set up your DOSBox settings to point to your Windows MIDI Mapper. Your sound resource won't be compatible with Adlib, MT-32, PC Speaker, etc if you choose this method.

That's all I can think of right now. Hopefully that's helpful. I tried to be as clear as I could. If you have any questions please ask and I'll do my best to explain.
« Last Edit: November 27, 2010, 03:21:28 AM by MusicallyInspired »
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2010, 03:05:27 PM »
So basicly just aim for the mpumidi and internal speaker and damn the rest... That's what I got out of all that lol. I must say though, it is pretty cool to hear a gunshot come out of my shoot em up game.
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Offline MusicallyInspired

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2010, 03:50:25 PM »
Yep :). As long as you flag the channels as New GM and the lead channel as PC Speaker in SoundBox.
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Offline gumby

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2010, 06:39:56 PM »
How do I insert/import a sound resource into a game & then utilize it (Companion environment specifically)?  Everything after the actual sound creation?
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Offline Cloudee1

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2010, 07:02:06 PM »
After you have your midi and ran it through soundbox, you should have a SOUND.000 file. Using either editor you want to finf "add resource" then just select your resource. In this case sound, but also works for adding views, pics... save the resource as whatever number  you want and then play it as gthemusic, gthesoundfx, or a sound instance of your own creation.
Code: [Select]
(send gthesoundfx:number(XXX)loop(1)play()) and thats as far as I can get you. I don't know anything about loop points etc...
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Offline gumby

Re: Alright Brandon, walk me through this sound crap.
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2010, 07:33:32 PM »
Well that's easy enough.  I wonder why it was so difficult for me the last go-round.  It's no different than adding any other external resource (vocabs, texts, etc).

Maybe I got hung up with the digital sounds...  I wish I could remember.  I'll have to give it another shot.
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