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Sonic Sounds Ripping Project Because every attempt to date sucks. Update: Sonic Spinball rips added

#1 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 27 January 2012 - 08:58 PM

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Hi Retro, it is I, the great and noble Lange.
I took it upon myself to rip sounds from every classic Sonic game into samples. I have noticed too many faults with other attempts to rip Sonic sounds, most commonly being poor sample rate. I ensured these sounds to be high quality and as accurate as possible.

Update: Sonic Advance 1, 2, 3, and Sonic Battle have been added. Also, fixed the spindash rev sound in Sonic Spinball with an HQ filtered version.

Here is the full archive:
Sonic Sounds Complete

Games covered (individual downloads):
Sonic 1
Sonic 2
Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Sonic 3D Blast
Sonic Spinball
Sonic CD
Knuckles Chaotix
Sonic Triple Trouble
Sonic Advance
Sonic Advance 2
Sonic Advance 3
Sonic Battle
Misc - Various Jingles

Here is the text in the readme file. It explains this project in great detail, so please read or at least skim through it before any questions, as it covers about everything obvious and not so obvious.
Spoiler


In summary:
Uses emulators with accurate sound emulation and proper settings.
Rips every sound in each game's sound test, with little to no bias, ignoring doubles and only naming by number.
Has additional material such as S3&K's sustainable sounds and various jingles.
Every sound is cropped and no normalization is used on volumes, to preserve the true volume differences between sounds.
Every sound is 44100, Stereo, 16 bit.

I would like to add that soundtracks for these games can be acquired in vgm format and rendered to wavs or mp3s. For those who don't know, vgm is an emulated format. It stores the music data the same way the games do, and thus the file sizes are tiny, but they are rendered in real time as if played right out of the console, so they are also the highest quality solution. I mention this not just because its useful information, but certain tunes and jingles from these games can be acquired this way. This covers the GG/SMS games' jingles not included here.

Use the in_vgm for playing vgm/vgz files. It is compatible with Winamp and XMPlay.
Such soundtracks in this format can be found at:
Project 2612 for Genesis games.
SMS Power for Game Gear and Master System games.
Zophar's Domain (the music section) for other GG/SMS games missing from SMS Power. Don't trust this site for its Genesis rips though as they do not seem to be as properly made as Project 2612's.

You might have already noticed that emulated formats span other consoles as well. If you make a point of moving to these for your game soundtracks instead, they'll shave off hundreds of mb on your disk used up by mp3s, and you'll have them in perfect quality.

Well there it is fellas. I would like to hear your thoughts.
This post has been edited by Mr Lange: 12 October 2012 - 08:47 PM

#2 User is offline ICEknight 

Posted 27 January 2012 - 11:19 PM

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For the best possible rips, I'd try recording them from actual hardware...

#3 User is offline Falk 

Posted 28 January 2012 - 12:09 AM

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With all due respect many of the sample sets floating around -are- bad because they've been recorded from the actual hardware using bad recording setups. If you don't have the proper audio recording tools, getting essentially procedurally generated noise from a reasonably close emulation completely within the digital domain may be the lesser of two evils.

(p.s. stereo? Why? >_>)

#4 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 28 January 2012 - 10:59 PM

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For one thing, I don't have the original console and its games anymore. I do sort of, but they're in a storage I can't get to these days.
Besides, like what Falk said, it would be extremely difficult and possibly expensive to get a very good recording from that, risking noise and all sorts of technical complications. So yeah, the closest possible digital emulation really is the lesser of two evils.

As for "why stereo", because some of the sounds use both channels. Not many, but some, and its best measure for a developer of any kind to have every sound follow suite. It would not be hard to batch process all of them to be mono, or even a portion of them to be mono. Again, as part of the project's integrity, I did as little as possible to be destructive to the natural state of these sounds.

#5 User is offline AstroPenguin 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:31 AM

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awesome!

Is it possible to rip the instrument samples that the genesis sound card produces?

I know that every song in the game has a MIDI file/graph that maps out when to play the notes, the velocity, and the other effects. I would like to be able to get my hands on the full library of those samples so I can use them with my recording software/midi sequencer.

Or is it more difficult than that? Could it be that there are less samples than I think there are, and each different sound is generated by manipulating the same source from the card? for example, would the bass instrument in Sandopolis zone act 1 be a different bass instrument than act 2? or are they from the same source, but with different modulations effecting the sound?

#6 User is offline Ravenfreak 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:38 AM

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I don't think it'll be expensive at all. First off you'd need a special wire, one that can hook up to both a Genesis/Game Gear and your computer. Then you'd could google and look for a program to rip the music from the hardware. I had a wire, but it didn't even last a month... >.> And I lost my receipt... And it was only like $10 if I recall. I know there are emualtors that accurately emulate actual hardware, but that's just it they're still emulator rips. The only way you could get true high quality rips imo is through hardware. I'm not saying your project stinks or anything, in fact I made a topic about this early 2010 if I recall and didn't get too far, so you definitely put more effort into this than I did. :v:

#7 User is offline AstroPenguin 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 12:55 AM

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View PostAstroPenguin, on 29 January 2012 - 12:31 AM, said:

awesome!

Is it possible to rip the instrument samples that the genesis sound card produces?

I know that every song in the game has a MIDI file/graph that maps out when to play the notes, the velocity, and the other effects. I would like to be able to get my hands on the full library of those samples so I can use them with my recording software/midi sequencer.

Or is it more difficult than that? Could it be that there are less samples than I think there are, and each different sound is generated by manipulating the same source from the card? for example, would the bass instrument in Sandopolis zone act 1 be a different bass instrument than act 2? or are they from the same source, but with different modulations effecting the sound?


That sounds like a good way to get a good quality rip of the music, but maybe you misunderstood what I meant.. or I didn't explain it good enough. I don't want to rip the music from the genesis games, I want the music's individual instrument samples from its source. I want them so I could map them to a midi controller in a sequencer to make my own music/songs with the same sounds that the game has. I'm sure there are emulators of the soundcard from the genesis, but it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to re-create how each sample sounds. I guess this wouldn't really be "ripping" then would it? More like looking for the code that tells the soundcard to do a specific modulation to one of the cards instruments.
This post has been edited by AstroPenguin: 29 January 2012 - 12:57 AM

#8 User is offline Dissident93 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:14 AM

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View PostAstroPenguin, on 29 January 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

View PostAstroPenguin, on 29 January 2012 - 12:31 AM, said:

awesome!

Is it possible to rip the instrument samples that the genesis sound card produces?

I know that every song in the game has a MIDI file/graph that maps out when to play the notes, the velocity, and the other effects. I would like to be able to get my hands on the full library of those samples so I can use them with my recording software/midi sequencer.

Or is it more difficult than that? Could it be that there are less samples than I think there are, and each different sound is generated by manipulating the same source from the card? for example, would the bass instrument in Sandopolis zone act 1 be a different bass instrument than act 2? or are they from the same source, but with different modulations effecting the sound?


That sounds like a good way to get a good quality rip of the music, but maybe you misunderstood what I meant.. or I didn't explain it good enough. I don't want to rip the music from the genesis games, I want the music's individual instrument samples from its source. I want them so I could map them to a midi controller in a sequencer to make my own music/songs with the same sounds that the game has. I'm sure there are emulators of the soundcard from the genesis, but it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to re-create how each sample sounds. I guess this wouldn't really be "ripping" then would it? More like looking for the code that tells the soundcard to do a specific modulation to one of the cards instruments.

Yes there is. If you have a VGM file, you can use VGM2OPM to get an OPM of the file, which you can import inside the VOPM VSTi.

#9 User is offline Covarr 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 02:47 AM

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View PostRavenfreak, on 29 January 2012 - 12:38 AM, said:

I don't think it'll be expensive at all. First off you'd need a special wire, one that can hook up to both a Genesis/Game Gear and your computer. Then you'd could google and look for a program to rip the music from the hardware. I had a wire, but it didn't even last a month... >.> And I lost my receipt... And it was only like $10 if I recall. I know there are emualtors that accurately emulate actual hardware, but that's just it they're still emulator rips. The only way you could get true high quality rips imo is through hardware. I'm not saying your project stinks or anything, in fact I made a topic about this early 2010 if I recall and didn't get too far, so you definitely put more effort into this than I did. :v:

By doing this, you also introduce the serious potential for adding noise. If your computer has a sound card with shit inputs? Noise. If your wire isn't adequately shielded? Noise. Hell, I have all the hardware to do a barebones job of this myself, but to do hardware rips of actually decent quality does cost a bit more money.
This post has been edited by Covarr: 29 January 2012 - 03:34 AM

#10 User is offline MarkeyJester 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 04:19 PM

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I'm actually glad you brough this up, I personally get really irritated when I see a fan game, or video clip, or whatever, using Mega Drive game sound effects that are at a very poor quality, I do suppose that maybe it's getting use to hearing clear quality on emulators, but nevertheless, I really wanna punch someone's balls in, every time I hear it.

On subject of hardware rips, I took the liberty of running a recording test (I used my Nomad being at 60hz, due to the possibility of people complaining about my Mega Drive being... "baw, it's 50hz and slow"):

Volume Test. The jump SFX playing at multiple volumes (volume controlled by Nomad).
Sounds Test. All SFX recorded one by one.
Music (GHZ) Test. The Green Hill Zone BGM track recorded (Just for sake of recording it I suppose).

I recorded them at 44,100hz, 16-bit, stereo. There is a little noise in the background though which does become very clear the higher the volume is.

View PostAstroPenguin, on 29 January 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

That sounds like a good way to get a good quality rip of the music, but maybe you misunderstood what I meant.. or I didn't explain it good enough. I don't want to rip the music from the genesis games, I want the music's individual instrument samples from its source. I want them so I could map them to a midi controller in a sequencer to make my own music/songs with the same sounds that the game has. I'm sure there are emulators of the soundcard from the genesis, but it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to re-create how each sample sounds. I guess this wouldn't really be "ripping" then would it? More like looking for the code that tells the soundcard to do a specific modulation to one of the cards instruments.

Try to understand that the Mega Drive doesn't have a "direct" set of instruments all stored away in the machine, the instruments are generated by the chips in real time, for FM specifically you provide each channel (and it's operators) with the necessary values in order to control their frequency, algorithm, panning, and volume changing throughout the operator's playback, given the circumstances here, you would end up with billions of possible sounds that could be generated, with most of them sounding similar to each other with a slight difference, and to decide what sounds are considered an instrument worthy of being added to a "library" is (and probably always will be) up for debate, we'd all have to make a decision on how different a sound has to be, to be classed as an individual instrument, that line is hard to draw due to how fussy the scene can be.

#11 User is offline AstroPenguin 

Posted 29 January 2012 - 07:10 PM

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View PostMarkeyJester, on 29 January 2012 - 04:19 PM, said:

I'm actually glad you brough this up, I personally get really irritated when I see a fan game, or video clip, or whatever, using Mega Drive game sound effects that are at a very poor quality, I do suppose that maybe it's getting use to hearing clear quality on emulators, but nevertheless, I really wanna punch someone's balls in, every time I hear it.

On subject of hardware rips, I took the liberty of running a recording test (I used my Nomad being at 60hz, due to the possibility of people complaining about my Mega Drive being... "baw, it's 50hz and slow"):

Volume Test. The jump SFX playing at multiple volumes (volume controlled by Nomad).
Sounds Test. All SFX recorded one by one.
Music (GHZ) Test. The Green Hill Zone BGM track recorded (Just for sake of recording it I suppose).

I recorded them at 44,100hz, 16-bit, stereo. There is a little noise in the background though which does become very clear the higher the volume is.

View PostAstroPenguin, on 29 January 2012 - 12:55 AM, said:

That sounds like a good way to get a good quality rip of the music, but maybe you misunderstood what I meant.. or I didn't explain it good enough. I don't want to rip the music from the genesis games, I want the music's individual instrument samples from its source. I want them so I could map them to a midi controller in a sequencer to make my own music/songs with the same sounds that the game has. I'm sure there are emulators of the soundcard from the genesis, but it would be like looking for a needle in a haystack trying to re-create how each sample sounds. I guess this wouldn't really be "ripping" then would it? More like looking for the code that tells the soundcard to do a specific modulation to one of the cards instruments.

Try to understand that the Mega Drive doesn't have a "direct" set of instruments all stored away in the machine, the instruments are generated by the chips in real time, for FM specifically you provide each channel (and it's operators) with the necessary values in order to control their frequency, algorithm, panning, and volume changing throughout the operator's playback, given the circumstances here, you would end up with billions of possible sounds that could be generated, with most of them sounding similar to each other with a slight difference, and to decide what sounds are considered an instrument worthy of being added to a "library" is (and probably always will be) up for debate, we'd all have to make a decision on how different a sound has to be, to be classed as an individual instrument, that line is hard to draw due to how fussy the scene can be.


is it possible to find out the "values" that are programmed into the game's midi/music for each zone? there are approx 8 instruments going on in each zone right? we could keep all the instruments from each zone in separate packs. for example,

Mushroom Hill Act 1
MH1 Kick
MH1 Snare
MH1 Bass
MH1 Rythm
MH1 Lead
MH1 Lead 2

etc

each of those instruments has to have a set Value in the code to alter the frequency, algorithm, panning, and volume like you mentioned. if we could find out the value and save it, couldnt it we use them to get the sound from the genesis sound card?

#12 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 30 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

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Before you derail this thread any further AstroPenguin, let me explain how it works in simple terms.
As Markey more technically explained, the Sonic games, as well as probably 99% of Genesis games, do not use samples for instruments. Only things such as percussion use samples, sometimes not even that.
What its using is FM synthesis, the sound is generated by the chip. Numbers tell the chip how to render the sound, in real time. You can't use them like soundfont samples unless you found a way to render them individually, and even then you're sacrificing a huge amount of the sound's nature, because changes in pitch are not resampled and modulations are constant tempo. FM synthesis sometimes also has a timbre to it like formant which can't always be resampled normally.
Some people have already made attempts to soundfont-ize these sounds. Someone released the Ultimate Genesis Soundfont or something which is a neat exercise in sampling FM sounds. The best way however is what Dissident said. VOPM is a vst that emulates the Genesis soundchip. There's tools designed for ripping instrument settings from vgm files in the opm format that VOPM uses. Start there. It should solve all your problems.

Markey, thank you for agreeing, I was beginning to think I was the only one alive who recognized the plague of shit samples in circulation. I'm really interested in these true hardware rips you have here so I'll be giving these a good listen to later.

#13 User is offline dsrb 

Posted 30 January 2012 - 05:53 PM

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Brief addition to the above: 2612.org already ripped the instruments from most of MD games into OPM format and bundled them in a single archive. It can easily be found via your neighbourhood search engine.

#14 User is offline AstroPenguin 

Posted 30 January 2012 - 11:29 PM

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View PostMr Lange, on 30 January 2012 - 12:27 PM, said:

Before you derail this thread any further AstroPenguin, let me explain how it works in simple terms.
As Markey more technically explained, the Sonic games, as well as probably 99% of Genesis games, do not use samples for instruments. Only things such as percussion use samples, sometimes not even that.
What its using is FM synthesis, the sound is generated by the chip. Numbers tell the chip how to render the sound, in real time. You can't use them like soundfont samples unless you found a way to render them individually, and even then you're sacrificing a huge amount of the sound's nature, because changes in pitch are not resampled and modulations are constant tempo. FM synthesis sometimes also has a timbre to it like formant which can't always be resampled normally.
Some people have already made attempts to soundfont-ize these sounds. Someone released the Ultimate Genesis Soundfont or something which is a neat exercise in sampling FM sounds. The best way however is what Dissident said. VOPM is a vst that emulates the Genesis soundchip. There's tools designed for ripping instrument settings from vgm files in the opm format that VOPM uses. Start there. It should solve all your problems.


thanks for the advice, my apologies for derailing the train

#15 User is offline Mr Lange 

Posted 01 February 2012 - 04:13 PM

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I would like to more blatantly point out that I really want to rip Sonic Spinball's sounds. A lack of sound test makes this an extremely difficult task. Does anyone know anything that can make this reasonable? Hacking? Disassembly? As I mentioned in the readme, I have figured out a way but its inaccurate and insanely tedious.

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