KQ5 audio issue

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Maxor127
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KQ5 audio issue

Post by Maxor127 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:06 am

I'm using the KQ5 CD version from GOG. The audio sounds fine in ScummVM for the most part, although I don't remember how accurate it is. But the problem I'm having is with DOSBox. The ADL.DRV sounds fine in DOSBox except for background bird chirping, which sounds terrible almost like PC speaker chirping. MT32.DRV sounds better in regards to the background birds and is consistent with the ScummVM audio. Is it just that KQ5 General Midi doesn't work good in DOSBox?

And I spent all day trying to get the French floppy version translated to English with a random patch I found since it seems better to the English floppy version and on par with the Mac version on grew up with. In DOSBox with MT32, I noticed the weeping willow teardrop splash sounds different. Not even bad because it's almost more realistic. But the splash barely makes a noise. It's different than what I heard with MT32.DRV or ADL.DRV in the CD version in either DOSBox or ScummVM. Why the inconsistency?

I always expect DOSBox to play and sound better than ScummVM, and I remember it having more accurate sound, but that may have changed over the years.

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MusicallyInspired
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Re: KQ5 audio issue

Post by MusicallyInspired » Sun Aug 05, 2018 12:28 am

The DOS version of KQ5 doesn't support General MIDI at all. That was exclusive to the Windows version (which ScummVM can emulate). Sierra never made General MIDI drivers for SCI10 games initially. It wasn't until SCI11 games that General MIDI became standard and supported. Before that it was just Adlib and MT-32.

As for the inconsistencies, are you using a real MT-32 or MUNT? It could be that the version of ScummVM you're using and whatever you're using with DOSBox could have different versions of MUNT (older versions were far less accurate). ScummVM's MUNT MT-32 emulation is built right in. It's not with DOSBox unless you're using an SVN build like DAUM or something (which could also be using an older or new version of MUNT than what may be in the version of ScummVM you're using).

It could also be that you're hearing the digital sound effects from the CD version instead of the MIDI MT-32 sound effects from the floppy version (which explains why the weeping willow tear drops sound different). For the CD version Sierra recorded lo-fi sound effects from the MT-32 for most of the sound effects so that people without MT-32's could hear them. However, for MT-32 owners this is a significant downgrade. Also, KQ5's MT-32 music and sounds were fairly quiet in the MIDI velocity scale. That's how they were recorded.

I'm not sure what to tell you about the ADL.DRV bird chirping...that's just how it sounds if I'm understanding you correctly. I guess I'd have to hear a recording.
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Collector
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Re: KQ5 audio issue

Post by Collector » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:46 am

If you are talking about the DOS version, there is no GM driver for KQ5. Sierra did release an after market add in driver for some of their games early SCI1/SCI1.1 games, but often were fr from perfect. Perhaps GOG has included this driver?
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Maxor127
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Re: KQ5 audio issue

Post by Maxor127 » Sun Aug 05, 2018 11:44 am

I'm emulating MT32. I think ADL.DRV is an official driver since my old KQ Collection CD also installs it for KQ5. It's probably not meant to be used in DOS and only in Windows, but it sounds fine in DOS except for the chirping from the little I've played.

I was using a 2013 version of DAUM. I feel like there was a reason I wasn't using the latest DAUM build (2015), but I'm using it now and it sounds the same.

I have ScummVM 2.0, which sounds about the same except it doesn't have the chirping issue. I didn't capture any ScummVM audio.

I've attached a zip file of mp3 audio captures I made. kq5-doscd-ADL birds.mp3 is the file with the weird bird chirping. The rest are comparison files. All DOS audio was captured in DOSBox DAUM SVN with "Default" device for ADL.DRV and "MT32" device for MT32.DRV both set to "Intelligent." I also included a Windows CD version captured in Windows 98 VMWare.

And I made a recording of the French floppy weeping willow tear drops in MT32, which otherwise sounds pretty much the same in all other versions.

Update: After further testing, I think ADL.DRV is related to the CD audio since when I delete the audio= path to the CD drive in RESOURCE.CFG for my original CD installation, the music stops playing when set to ADL.DRV, but it still works with MT32.DRV.
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kq5 dosbox mp3s.zip
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Re: KQ5 audio issue

Post by Collector » Sun Aug 05, 2018 9:01 pm

the adLib driver is only for AdLib sounds, i.e. music and a few sound effects. There is no CD audio for KQ5. That path is for the digital audio resource file (AUDIO001) that contains the speech and other digital audio sounds. The original installer will point to the CD because it did not copy the (back then) massive 93 MB file to the hard drive. Modern installations will copy to the installed folder, which the audio= should point to that folder

Code: Select all

audio = .\
If yours was pointing a CD without the disc you should have had no speech, but if there was a PCM resource for the sound effects, it would not have found it. The AdLib resource would probably be there from the floppy version and may have been used instead. Would have to test to be sure.
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MusicallyInspired
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Re: KQ5 audio issue

Post by MusicallyInspired » Mon Aug 06, 2018 1:00 am

All of those recordings you posted sound perfectly normal to me. Except for the Windows one but that's GM and so it could sound like anything depending on what GM device you're playing it back on.
EDIT: Actualy, now that I listen to it more closely, some of those bird sounds in the MT-32 recording there sound wrong indeed....Adlib sounds correct, though.

The reason the music stops when you delete the audio= path line when playing ADL is because the CD version of the game plays a digital sound recording of the Sierra logo intro if you don't have an MT-32. However, if you do it just plays it through MIDI instead so you can hear the full quality effect (because digital samples back then were very low quality). I believe this only applies to the Sierra logo theme. The rest of the introduction and other cutscenes in the game all have lo-fi MT-32 recordings of the music and will sound the same whether you use ADL.drv or MT32.drv.

As Collector said, ADL.DRV is the Adlib driver for FM synth on OPL-chip devices (like an Adlib card or compatible like a Sound Blaster). Nothing to do with CD audio.
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