Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Page 1 of 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Go down

Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Mon 21 Nov 2016 - 20:25

Ok, I'm getting tired of having users complain about MSU-1 tracks sounding like garbage because the .pcm files are too loud and they're clipping, and then having to explain why, and not having a solution for them, so I finally just decided to fix the problem once and for all.  I have a batch script that can properly re-normalize any MSU-1 track pack (I posted a really quick-and-dirty one a few days ago, but this one actually does proper RMS leveling).  Rather than releasing the script and expecting users to run it themselves, I am willing to process and re-upload any track packs that were boosted for the old SD2SNES volume issue.  I just need to know which packs are affected.  Please, let's just fix this and be done with it.

I'll be going through the MSU-1 database forum one by one, but it would really help if people could list known boosted packs here.  If not, it'll just take me longer to get through them.

Current Progress

BS-Zelda, Maps 1&2:
Code:
https://www.mediafire.com/?ih596oq3beao9

BS-Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets, Weeks 1-4 [Fully Orchestrated] (-21dB, compressed)
Code:
https://www.mediafire.com/?2fenuo8p8xwr6

BS-Zelda: Ancient Stone Tablets, Weeks 1-4 [SPC] (-21dB, compressed)
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?q3cedc98h1ee5

Chrono Trigger OST Remastered* [Dracula9AntiChapel, FLAC Source] (-18dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?ihtymj4tret4520

Final Fantasy III/VI [Balance and Ruin, Covarr's Loops] (-18dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?kovoi54dbzoitt0

Final Fantasy III/VI* [Balance and Ruin, qwertymodo's Loops] (-18dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?wfe7e2n86b3mf78

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past* [aLBW OST] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?kggx1xt9pp23y3k

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [Zelda ReOrchestrated] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?ofs277fdwfo8fp3

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past* [Dracula9AntiChapel] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?4zzgnr2si0b60z5

The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past [Optional Video] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?k9zz4wa7i9ka3ov

The Legend of Zelda: Parallel Worlds* (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?fl7yiif4ht72zqk

Mega Man X [TheRetromancer] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?n7bixlo9baxp51z

Mega Man X* [Krzysztof Slowikowski Guitar Playthrough] (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?w37340i15s2vff7
NOTE: The loop/don't loop list in DS's current patch is wrong, which may cause minor issues such as song cutting out prematurely.  I've reported the issues, and hopefully this will get fixed.

Mega Man X2 (-21dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?7202mti9lx8bodr

Mega Man X3 (-18dB):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?udndt2yfz7pzhh1

Secret of Mana (-18dB):
Code:
https://www.mediafire.com/?hvcv15tmns8j5bw

Super Metroid* [Blake Robinson] (varies per track):
Code:
http://www.mediafire.com/?8getn3vg2n2tdqu

*- My own packs, made from scratch


Last edited by qwertymodo on Mon 3 Apr 2017 - 14:19; edited 34 times in total
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 3:20

Can't help much I guess, since I just uploaded and not tested all the patches... but I think all my packs are affected. But since I am done with all that stuff and the volume of all my hacks are set to FF, o need to bother with that Wink
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by DarkShock on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 9:27

I'm 100% behind this.
avatar
DarkShock
                   
                   

Since : 2014-12-29

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 11:13

Conn, I'll take a look at your audio files, they're probably alright, but I might still run them through the script just to see if it makes any difference.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 11:35

I hope not. At least I do not expect problems for AST files, as Trovsky took care that they are all fine.
BSZelda1 files surely will have problems (we know that these files aren't normalized) but I am getting too tired to retest, reupload 4 GB and so on. For Zelda and Mario, people already made dx or + hacks.
Really, I want to keep my work here closed, but thanks in any case Very Happy
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 14:05

Don't worry, I won't expect you to make any changes. I will normalize and test against the current game code, and if it's worth changing, I'll just run the script, upload the new files, and all I'd ask from you is to update the download links. But I haven't even looked at them yet, so maybe I won't change anything. I'll let you know.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 14:19

alright then. do as you wish Wink
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Trovsky on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 15:10

Conn wrote:I hope not. At least I do not expect problems for AST files, as Trovsky took care that they are all fine.
BSZelda1 files surely will have problems (we know that these files aren't normalized) but I am getting too tired to retest, reupload 4 GB and so on. For Zelda and Mario, people already made dx or + hacks.
Really, I want to keep my work here closed, but thanks in any case Very Happy

Boy, do I remember fixing the AST Zelda tracks. They were originally really bad. It's puzzling as to why so many people raise the volume too high for MSU tracks and not notice the clipping. I did use damaged tracks from a MSU soundtrack Conn gave me for the orchestrated version, however, I repaired them.

If I'm not mistaken, I recall the Death Mountain theme in a certain MSU soundtrack that sounds as if it were recorded from a microphone despite being in a high quality format (it has a sound effect at the beginning of the track that sounds like someone is adjusting a microphone).

Trovsky
    
    

Since : 2014-04-10

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 15:19

The reason is simple and very specific. The SD2SNES originally suffered from heavy attenuation due to an impedance mismatch on its DAC output, so playing the game on the SD2SNES resulted in really quiet MSU-1 music. The only way to work around it was to boost the volume level of the audio files themselves. However, now the audio was too loud in emulators that didn't suffer the attenuation issue, so you had hack authors release two versions of their patches, where the "emulator" version would set the MSU-1 volume register to something like $60 instead of $FF for full volume, in order to counteract the boosted audio files. Now, the SD2SNES supports sample boosting in firmware for the older model boards, and has released a new hardware revision that fixes the original attenuation issue for good (Rev G was the initial attempt by running the DAC at +5V instead of +3v3, but ikari discovered that wasn't the real problem, and Rev H reverted the DAC to +3v3 and added a unity-gain op-amp buffer on the output to eliminate the impedance mismatch).

So that was the entire problem, was that the SD2SNES was too quiet. Now that the SD2SNES can play the audio at the proper level, there's no more need for the workarounds, but a lot of hacks still exist with the boosted audio packs, and nobody wants to go back and fix them. I've tried pestering people to do it, byuu has tried, it's just not happening. So, much like the Snes9x MSU-1 support, I've just given up on telling other people to do something and have decided to do it myself Cool
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 17:49

Don't ask how much time I pestered colines for the ast merge. In the end I did it myself, with trovsky as only support, and a bit testing by smash. So yes. If you want something, you need to make it yourself, even if that means, becoming next to a hacker also a sound and video artist.
I think I wrote in my readme:s that the the standard is 60 and left an optional patch for ff for old sd2snes firmware, in all my major hacks, alttp, sms, bszelda 1 and ast.

so all should have the 60 standard now by default if I remember correctly that I adjusted it for every hack. If you find pcm issues and fix it and I have time I'll update my clouds with everything you do... But honestly, with the poor support I experienced from the community, there's no wishing left for perfection.
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 18:17

For patches that have both a $60 and $FF version, I will normalize using the $FF version. For patches with only one version, I'll just use it as-is, I'm not going to change existing patches or ask their authors to do it for me.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 21:42

DKC2: Dead link for the .ips
F-Zero: Having some pretty heavy variance issues, and some of the tracks are already clipped, might need to redo the pack from scratch (not really feeling like it though)
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Colines on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 21:58

My packs uploaded:
F-Zero: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtMUCmAL6x14hQ27EbkbRa8bkN45

Megaman X3 (Obsolete): https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtMUCmAL6x14hSQYP4GeiBWgO_ZT

Super Mario World: https://1drv.ms/f/s!AtMUCmAL6x14hVmyYk0PYUmcguvk

Secret Of Mana: Well, you already fixed it Razz

Note that some of them don't even needed to be boosted, and were modified only for looping, and still, they work better with the volume register at $60. (Also, my packs - except for MMX3, so you can disregard it from any audio correction - at their most are composed of lossless music tracks, gotten right off from CD's and sound chip engines)

Though I agree with you that $FF is better, since that makes fading more flexible and reliable.

I'm interested at your script, I've been making progress on some new features for Super Mario World MSU-1(+), and I wanna make it comply the new standards established by you and byuu along ikari, maybe even help you out with that, bullshit, don't believe me xD since I will be getting my hands dirty fixing my stuff so gonna catch the opportunity to work on my other packs ;D


Last edited by Colines on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 22:13; edited 1 time in total
avatar
Colines
Rank: Snap Dragon
Rank: Snap Dragon

Since : 2015-05-24

http://www.pausaprointervalo.com.br

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Colines on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 22:01

qwertymodo wrote:F-Zero: Having some pretty heavy variance issues, and some of the tracks are already clipped, might need to redo the pack from scratch (not really feeling like it though)

For tony thai tracks, they were used as is, for the F-Zero X soundtrack, I guess I might have boosted them, if I recall corrrectly, the Nintendo 64 sound is indeed too low.

I still have them at their original volume, can reupload it with your new adjustments Wink
avatar
Colines
Rank: Snap Dragon
Rank: Snap Dragon

Since : 2015-05-24

http://www.pausaprointervalo.com.br

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 22 Nov 2016 - 23:01

Basically, I'm using nongnu-normalize to do the actual normalization, same as I have used for all of the packs I have released myself.  The only additional thing I needed to add myself was a quick way to strip the MSU-1 header off of the .pcm files and replace it with a valid WAV header so that nongnu-normalize could recognize it.  Once I had that little tool written, the rest is just a big for loop in a batch script

>msu2wav (my tool)
>nongnu-normalize
>wav2msu

Dead simple, and it works great, especially since I have already been using that normalization utility, and I know it works well.  No need to reinvent the wheel there with my own RMS normalization implementation.

I haven't bothered to actually do any kind of formal analysis of the original SPC volume levels, what I did there was just pull up 2 higan windows, both set to stop emulation when focus is lost, and I just switch back and forth on the same track between the un-patched ROM with default SPC and the MSU-1 version (you need one of the latest versions to test this way, somewhere around v100 byuu changed the mixing code in a way that allows me to do a proper side-by-side).  Admittedly, it's subjective, but it's pretty obvious when one version or the other is significantly louder.  Then, once I've settled on a level for the tracks, I go back and play just the MSU-1 version for a bit to (again, subjectively) compare the BGM track to the SFX volume levels and make sure that the balance sounds right.  I typically start at -15dBFS and move up/down in increments of 3dB (anything more fine-tuned than that would really require me to do actual measurements, and really, it's good enough).

If you're looking to normalize your own tracks for which you have the source files, all you really need is this:

http://normalize.nongnu.org/

and run it on the wav file before running wav2msu.  I just use the -a XdBFS flag.  Do the side-by-side test yourself to figure out what level to use, it varies from game to game, but as you can see from the packs so far, -18/-21dBFS is about average for RMS, peak was around -12, but I'm not using peak anymore since RMS gives much more consistent results.


Last edited by qwertymodo on Tue 13 Dec 2016 - 12:18; edited 1 time in total
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Wed 23 Nov 2016 - 1:59

I found a DK2 msu1 package in the web but it contains the rom, so I cannot post it public here. I will try to extract the ips later.
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Wed 23 Nov 2016 - 2:41

Great, thanks!
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Wed 23 Nov 2016 - 11:50

Ok, here are all the msu archieves I possess on my cloud:

SMW Plus:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B68bmgtrAXQAYS1lcWJDQWNEeWc

SMW Native:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B68bmgtrAXQAakxjVUUxUG01QXc?usp=sharing

F-Zero:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B68bmgtrAXQASlZDT0dYaGdwTW8?usp=sharing

BS Zelda Map2:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B68bmgtrAXQAQ2VoTVdCdkJOamM

BS Zelda Map1:
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B68bmgtrAXQARVEyMUdzZ0ZNeG8

AST (both orchestrated and original):
https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B68bmgtrAXQAeTZGUXRObmNsdUU

ALTTP:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B68bmgtrAXQAWkNzS0w0blc1ak0?usp=sharing

I also uploaded DKC2, though I dislike to host other authors' work; they should be cautious that their work is available themselves:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B68bmgtrAXQATTZvUmhtN0d4aE0?usp=sharing
Note: II extracted the ips. The msu music seems to be too loud, maybe he's on FF. Also, no bml is found. But I am not going to tinker on other authors' work, esp. if I am not asked to do that.

If you alter any of the listed files, let me know, I will update this google drive and the MS onedrive mirror then Wink
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Wed 23 Nov 2016 - 12:26

I'm not bothering with manifests, higan can load them without as long as you name them correctly.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by niuus on Sat 26 Nov 2016 - 12:29

Thanks for your work, qwertymodo.

2 of the known boosted packs i have personally played which are too loud are:
- Rock 'n' Roll Racing
- Turtles in Time

niuus
Newcomer

Since : 2016-11-26

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Mon 12 Dec 2016 - 15:42

Because the BS-Zelda and AST tracks are much quieter during the narration, it's hard to pick a good volume level.  I've tried adding compression to help with the issue, but it still isn't enough.  Either the SFX are too loud and drown out the narration, or else they sound muted when the BGM is at full (i.e. when there's no narration).  I've tried to aim for a good middle ground.  Since the packs are so large, I'm just going to upload AST week 1, since that's the first one I worked on, and see what people think.

NB: You MUST apply the optional sd2snes16 patch, that is what I'm normalizing against, and once I get all of the packs uploaded, it should probably be rolled into the main patch and removed from the optional add-ons.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Mon 12 Dec 2016 - 17:20

So you normalize the tracks against full volume FF (that's what the optional sd2snes patch does)?
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Mon 12 Dec 2016 - 17:44

Yes, $FF full volume.  If you get a chance, could you try the AST week 1 pack I posted?  I can get the others done pretty quickly, but I want to make sure we're ok with the level I chose.  If anything, I might decrease the MSU-1 volume one more step, but I'd like to hear other opinions before I do so.

Edit: I just tried the original boosted packs with the $60 volume version just to hear the original mixing levels, and it's pretty much right on what I went with at -21dB with $FF volume, so I'll just go ahead with that for the other weeks.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by Conn on Tue 13 Dec 2016 - 2:33

I'll give it a shot, but can you post the links? Very Happy
avatar
Conn
                        
                        

Since : 2013-06-30

Back to top Go down

Re: Fixing all of the too-loud audio packs for good

Post by qwertymodo on Tue 13 Dec 2016 - 3:43

All 4 weeks of the fully orchestrated pack are posted. I'll try to get the SPC versions up tomorrow. I managed to get the file size down by ~30% with 7-zip on ultra vs the original zip uploads, so that helped.
avatar
qwertymodo
                             
                             

Since : 2014-10-21

Back to top Go down

Page 1 of 6 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6  Next

View previous topic View next topic Back to top


 
Permissions in this forum:
You cannot reply to topics in this forum