High Quality GBA OSTs (Technically...)

Discussion in 'Technical Discussion' started by Tanks, Sep 21, 2012.

  1. Tanks

    Tanks

    Member
    1,030
    0
    16
    So I've been messing around with GBAmusRiper, (no that's not a typo), a semi-annoying tool with some very neat functions. (You kinda have to go out of your way to get it to work, but once you get the hang of it, its a breeze.) It does what most Sappy tools do, rips the midi and high quality samples that get butt-raped by the GBA's audio handler. The main difference with this one, however, is that it automatically compiles the samples into a soundfont and adjusts the midis to correspond with its appropriate, in-game, sample. As a result, you end up with a nearly identical song with a sound quality that is unimaginably superior to the original.

    Here's a few dare to compare for you.

    Now obviously with Sappy -> Midi conversions there's going to be a few quirks. Samples can be off just a bit from their originals possibly because they may not have been intended to be heard in such good quality. Pitch bending gets screwed a bit on the conversion, but that can be fixed with right knowledge of midis and a good ear, or so I've been told. I would have to venture to guess though that at least 95% of the songs I've converted end up working near perfectly.

    Here are a few sets to get you going (Update: 9/24) FIXED THE SPACING ISSUES!!!:

    Sonic Advance
    Sonic Advance 2
    Sonic Advance 3
    Sonic Battle
    Mother 3
    Mother 1 & 2
    Zelda Minish Cap (EU)
    Zelda Minish Cap (US)
    Zelda ALttP/Four Swords
    Fire Emblem US
    Fire Emblem Sacred Stones
    Fire Emblem Fuuin no Tsurugi
    Wario Land 4
    Mega Man & Bass
    Super Mario Advance (SMB2)
    Yoshi's Tilt and Tumble
    Dragon Ball Advanced Adventure (JP)
    Kirby Nightmare in Dreamland
    Kirby's Amazing Mirror
    Advance Wars
    Advance Wars 2
    Game&Watch Gallery 4

    Thunder PX's Stuff:
    Megaman Zero (FIXED)
    Mega Man Zero 2 -- This one seems to be okay however (keep in mind the SFX come first in both games for some reason)
    Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
    Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
    Dragon Ball: Advance Adventure
    Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
    Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
    Fullmetal Alchemist
    F-Zero Maximum Velocity
    Gyakuten Saiban 1
    Gyakuten Saiban 2 -- Like I mentioned before, this has a lot of GS1 tracks left over. GS2 tracks are after the sound effects
    Gyakuten Saiban 3 -- Same deal here
    Mega Man & Bass
    Mega Man Battle Network

    How to play them? Well if you don't have Foobar2000, get it. Then grab and install kode 54's MIDI Component. Once that's set, be sure to go to Preferences->Playback->Input->Midi Synthesizer Host and set it to BASSMIDI. Go to BASSMIDI's menu and select the appropriate soundfont for you're midis and you're all set to listen. Be sure to switch the soundfont over when you want to listen to a new set of midis.

    Also for shits here's an .logg of Hot Crater Act 1.

    Special thanks to BMF for showing me GBAmusRiper. :D
     
  2. Shoemanbundy

    Shoemanbundy

    Researcher
    1,061
    7
    18
    Chicago, Illinois
    selling shoes
    I never considered the GBA downgrading things that horribly. I'll have to try this with some of my favorite games. Would be nice to hear Wario Land 4 :)
     
  3. Tanks

    Tanks

    Member
    1,030
    0
    16
    Wario Land 4 works great actually. I know it runs into issues with Toy Block Tower and one other song though.
     
  4. I've always loved the music in the "MegaMan Battle Network" series. I'll have to give this a try and see how much better they sound afterwards. Conveniently enough, I'm already doing an LP of the first one, and plan on doing them all in order, so I can rip each song when I get to it.
     
  5. Elektro-Omega

    Elektro-Omega

    Mushroom Hill'in Member
    400
    0
    0
    UK
    -
    Wow. I had no idea that the GBA even degraded the quality that much considering that I love some of the GBA music.

    Those high quality versions are superior by miles and I personally think you should do this for a lot more of the GBA games, mainly pokemon and metroid.

    But seriously, wow, you have done a fantastic job and I really hope you do more, this is awesome.
     
  6. JaxTH

    JaxTH

    Pudding Deity Oldbie
    8,915
    81
    28
    Los Angeles
    Jack shit.
    Honestly, I've never heard GBA music like that (what you said is the normal sound). I've always heard it around what you say is the better version.
     
  7. Shoemanbundy

    Shoemanbundy

    Researcher
    1,061
    7
    18
    Chicago, Illinois
    selling shoes
    It's kinda fun listening to the MIDIs through Winamp, all the wrong instruments :D
     
  8. Rosiero

    Rosiero

    Oldbie
    1,627
    5
    18
    I'm not noticing much of a difference so far (mostly because the samples were already shit to begin with), but this does make it easier to replace them with decent samples. :P

    EDIT: Alright, listen side-by-side to the actual games does reveal more than a difference than I thought. I stand by what I said, though, the samples suck regardless. :P

    EDIT2: If I might make a request, could you rip one or more of the GBA Pokemon games? I've been trying to do it myself, but the program insists the game doesn't use the Sappy engine even though I've ripped MIDIs from Ruby before, years ago.
     
  9. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    Wow, this is how the GBA should have sounded in the first place, why hasn't this been implemented in an actual emulator yet?


    Now, if it was possible to filter those annoying ear piercing buzzing instruments in the Sonics, this would be near-perfect (some tracks have some off sounding bits, though).




    EDIT: Out of curiosity, do these sound exactly like the Advance tracks that were included in Generations?
     
  10. Tanks

    Tanks

    Member
    1,030
    0
    16
    Issue is that Pokemon won't rip... I do not know why. The games are Sappy so it should be working. GBAmusRiper was released recently so hopefully we can get the guy to look into it.

    But yeah, feel free to ask away and I'll shat I can do. So far Metroid Fusion won't rip and I haven't tried Zero Mission, but games like Wario Land 4, the Super Mario Advances, the Kirbys, the Fire Emblems, and Minish Cap have all ripped fine. I'll post a few of these a little later I guess.
     
  11. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    Please do rip Wario Ware. :)
     
  12. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    staying alert on the beach Wiki Sysop
    5,672
    258
    63
    Northumberland, England
    quipu two metres apart
    I would imagine good audio developers would create music that works around hardware problems. This is certainly evidenced on the Mega Drive - there's a small handful of titles which are high pitched and squeaky through emulators if you don't enable an audio filter. They were never meant to sound that bad - the assumption was that TVs of the early 90s sucked. GBA games might also have this problem.

    That Route 99 track for example - the "softness" that some of the instruments get when passed through the GBA's hardware may have been intended. I'd imagine that just like the Mega Drive, in 99% of cases nobody cares and it may be an improvement, but it's worth noting. We had something similar with Sonic CD, though with visuals - people are happy to promote the super crisp and hq2x-like filters as being an improvement, but they forget the artists pulled off tons of neat tricks to create semi-transparency and the like - effects you only really see on CRTs.

    It would be interesting to see how a game like the GBA Donkey Kong Country fares though - see how it compares to the SNES game.
     
  13. Rosiero

    Rosiero

    Oldbie
    1,627
    5
    18
    I actually like the "HQ" Route 99 better. I agree that some songs seem to have been made with the GBA hardware in mind, though—for example, I ripped all three GBA Castlevanias, and the first one (Circle of the Moon) has a ton of surprisingly high-quality samples in it. The other two seem to have been designed with the knowledge that it was going to sound like shit in the end anyway because the samples are pretty muffled. There's even instances where very nice and crisp samples are mixed with low quality ones, which is sort of jarring.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, I figured I might as well upload what I have ripped--
    Castlevania: Circle of the Moon
    Castlevania: Harmony of Dissonance
    Castlevania: Aria of Sorrow
    Dragon Ball: Advance Adventure
    Dragon Ball Z: Supersonic Warriors
    Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon

    I also gave DKC a try for Black Squirrel, but it doesn't rip. It probably still wouldn't sound nearly as good as on SNES though.
     
  14. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    Have you tried DKC 3? It would be extremely cool to have the exclusive music from that port with SNES-like quality.
     
  15. Rosiero

    Rosiero

    Oldbie
    1,627
    5
    18
    Just tried that—doesn't work either. The next batch of rips will include Mega Man & Bass though, if you're interested in another example of a SNES conversion. Also, for a reverse example, the Gyakuten Saiban games; some of the songs actually sound pretty close to the later DS renditions. I've also found what -might- be one or two unused songs, but I might just not be recognising the GBA renditions of regular songs or something.
     
  16. ICEknight

    ICEknight

    Researcher Researcher
    I've just listened to it and I'm again pleasantly surprised with the results, it always bothered me how muffled the voice at the title screen sounded...

    Which leads me to think that, perhaps, the GBA was originally intended to sound like this before Nintendo optimized the system's battery consumption... or that they were counting on the possibility of a new model that allowed for better-sounding samples (it sucks that not even the Game Boy Player does this).
     
  17. Overlord

    Overlord

    I want to get off Madame Rona's wild ride Moderator
    17,911
    169
    43
    Berkshire, England
    Learning Cymraeg
    Saved the SF2s for use with my MIDIs, this should be fun. =P Might see if I can pull some other soundfonts out from other ROMs, too.
     
  18. LordOfSquad

    LordOfSquad

    tails is still a girl Member
    4,817
    8
    18
    Winnipeg, MB
    making cool music no one gives a shit about
    Aha, I always had a feeling that the GBA's sound was being "stifled". Nice to give these a listen, thanks!
     
  19. Rosiero

    Rosiero

    Oldbie
    1,627
    5
    18
    More stuff! These were kind of randomly picked depending on what I had on my hard drive :v:

    Fullmetal Alchemist
    F-Zero Maximum Velocity
    Gyakuten Saiban 1
    Gyakuten Saiban 2 -- Like I mentioned before, this has a lot of GS1 tracks left over. GS2 tracks are after the sound effects
    Gyakuten Saiban 3 -- Same deal here
    Mega Man & Bass
    Mega Man Battle Network
    Mega Man Zero -- Despite GBAMusRiper not throwing up any errors, this one sounds really messed up. I think the order of things in the soundfont got messed up, so it might be fixable manually if anyone's bored enough
    Mega Man Zero (fixed)
    Mega Man Zero 2 -- This one seems to be okay however (keep in mind the SFX come first in both games for some reason)
     
  20. null1024

    null1024

    Member
    161
    0
    0
    Isn't sound mixed almost entirely in software on the GBA [and thus, played back at a shit samplerate because you still need some processing time left over for the game]? It's like playing back an .IT with high quality samples in a player at 11025hz or something.

    Either way, this is brilliant.