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Remaking Sonic 3 & K music in a DAW

Discussion in 'Engineering & Reverse Engineering' started by YM2612 Chip Lover, Sep 13, 2022.

  1. YM2612 Chip Lover

    YM2612 Chip Lover

    Hello. I'm trying to recreate songs from S3&K in Renoise. Instead of sampling each instrument for a particular song, I've been using Genny, a .vst plugin for DAWs that emulates the YM2612 chip and loading the instrument presets using .tfi files.

    Unfortunately, there are more than a few instances where this reproduction isn't quite accurate. Sometimes it's minor things like an instrument sounding flatter and having less vibrato than what is heard in-game or the vgm files. Other times, an instrument sounds too notably different.

    Correct me if I'm wrong but it's my understanding that the .tfi files don't capture additional effects that have been applied to a channel such as LFO settings, etc. So, is there some way to know exactly what these additional effects are for each particular channel of a song? Can this data be gleaned from the .vgm files themselves?
  2. nineko


    I am the Holy Cat Tech Member
    Let's try to unravel this, one step at a time.

    First, make sure that your tfi files are correct. How are you obtaining them? I wrote a converter from tfi to smps when I worked on xm3smps, and I can assure you that they hold as much information as the smps instruments. In fact, they can hold even more, because they have four additional bytes for the ssg-eg (which isn't used in the smps engine anyway). This is to say, if you convert your instruments straight from smps to tfi, they should be 100% accurate in terms of parameters and whatnot.

    With that said, if your instruments are indeed correct, remember that the smps engine allows for a variety of effects, such as modulation and a few others. That doesn't depend on the instrument data, it depends on the engine altering the pitch or the volume (depending on the effect), something which isn't describable with bare note data, even.

    We have tools which can do almost all the work for you, such as smps2mid (which can generate accurate midi files from the smps data), and it's trivial to create accurate tfi files from that very same smps data, at that point you only need to figure out a few effects here and there, indeed.

    Unless I got this entirely wrong.
  3. YM2612 Chip Lover

    YM2612 Chip Lover

    I got them from the Aly James Lab tfi Presets Pack.

    Thank you, that sounds great. I had to do some reading on what exactly SMPS is though I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. If it's a set of audio drivers and storage formats, how exactly does one obtain the smps data (for each song)?

    Sounds like you have it entirely right and I'm the one who's entirely wrong.
  4. MainMemory


    Kate the Wolf Tech Member