Author Topic: [FF7PC-Steam] Maximium quality audio with perfect loop editing (2013-11-16)  (Read 8701 times)

FBX

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I just completed my project of doing a reference quality music package update for FF7 PC. While there have been other similar packages made, mine offers the following advantages:

1. Maximum quality ogg conversion at Q = 10.00, which effectively gives lossless results.

2. Pulled from the OST and original game, the music tracks provided are 100% faithful and crystal clear.

3. Loop edits done at single-sample accuracy, assuring the transitions are perfectly smooth and retain every sample of data.

4. All tracks compared to original game and confirmed correct. For example, this includes using the up-tempo alternate version of "cephiros" for the "nointro" track. Any missing track data not found in the OST was recovered from the original game (like the intro to "rocket").

So what I need is for people to beta test the package to make sure all my files are working properly. I'll be playing a game from start to finish and testing the files myself. Let me know if you find any problems with any of the tracks, and I will look into it.

Download link:

http://filetrip.net/dl?qWYrWS4ZVO
« Last Edit: 2014-07-17 22:44:01 by Covarr »

LeonhartGR

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You can try uploading on filetrip.net.

FBX

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You can try uploading on filetrip.net.

Cool thanks. I'm uploading it there now. Assuming no strings are attached, I'll edit the link with their address when it finishes uploading.

Covarr

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I'm curious how this compares to the update that Square-Enix pushed out to the Steam and 2012 versions, which replaced all the converted MIDIs with actual game rips.

FBX

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I'm curious how this compares to the update that Square-Enix pushed out to the Steam and 2012 versions, which replaced all the converted MIDIs with actual game rips.

That's the version I have, and is why I started the project to begin with. Their ogg set consists of weak quality rips of emulated PSF-style renditions of the tracks, and while better than the old midi method from the original PC release, it still left much to be desired. In addition to that, some of the tracks were truncated and of course this is unacceptable. So I set about using the 4-disc OST set as well as footage from the original game output and went all-out OCD on the loop edits by going down to the smallest possible level at 5 decimal places and made absolutely certain the loop edits were flawless. Then I multiplied the time code at those points by 44100 and this gave me the sample point data to edit into the ogg conversions, which I did at maximum quality Q=10.00 setting. These new music files are literally the best quality you can possibly have as the soundtrack to the game, and again have bit-perfect looping.

By the way, can you move this to the audio releases directory for me? I realize I technically posted this release in the wrong section. Thanks!
« Last Edit: 2013-11-15 04:11:35 by FBX »

DLPB

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Since you have done them from the original OST (I assume from Flac originally or uncompressed wav), they should be of the highest quality.  I still have my doubts that they are "bit perfect" loops though.  I may give them a test some time. My released set won't have any difference to yours though in terms of what you hear.  The difference will be negligible unless you have expensive stereo equipment.

The reason I used 192 kb/s was because it was designed for the game, and having huge audio files is not ideal.

Covarr

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and went all-out OCD on the loop edits by going down to the smallest possible level at 5 decimal places and made absolutely certain the loop edits were flawless. Then I multiplied the time code at those points by 44100 and this gave me the sample point data to edit into the ogg conversions
This really isn't the best way to go about doing this. Using Audacity, Adobe Audition, Goldwave, or really any similar software, you can look at actual sample data instead of time data, to easily line up the waveforms visually (and precisely) and get absolutely perfect loops.

Not to say your loops didn't turn out perfect, but you've almost certainly made things more difficult for yourself than they needed to be :P

Out of curiosity, what software did you use?

DLPB

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I used samples too, and even then you have to play it by ear and sight... it's not like you can get it absolutely perfect.  Sometimes you can... but it isn't bit-perfect.  More like 1/8 second...

Edit.  You can get it pretty close using software to do the looping.
« Last Edit: 2017-06-25 12:45:33 by DLPB »

FBX

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This really isn't the best way to go about doing this. Using Audacity, Adobe Audition, Goldwave, or really any similar software, you can look at actual sample data instead of time data, to easily line up the waveforms visually (and precisely) and get absolutely perfect loops.

Not to say your loops didn't turn out perfect, but you've almost certainly made things more difficult for yourself than they needed to be :P

Out of curiosity, what software did you use?

I used Goldwave's "set marker" option after zooming down to the very smallest segments of the wave form, which gave me the exact time code at 5 decimal places. To make absolutely certain the loops were bit-perfect, I would copy the highlighted section and then paste at end of selection to compare the wave form. After undoing and redoing several times, I could see if there were any changes in the positioning of the peaks and valleys and adjust accordingly. Once I knew the loop positioning was "dead-on-balls accurate", I then took the 5-decimal time code and multiplied that by 44100. This gave me a sample entry of 3 decimals places which I then used winamp to enter the LOOPSTART data with. I've since been playing through FF7 with my music tracks, and so far the loops have been absolutely perfect. Obviously there's always a chance of a data entry mistake with that many tracks to edit, but it will take me some time to play through the whole game to find out if there are any errors.

Another thing I took into account was instrument bleed-over. Some tracks have this at the intended loop point, and so I made sure my loop points were well past any bleed-over, keeping the entire track intact.

Edit: Actually come to think of it, I could have used sample-based position instead of time code-based. I just didn't think of it at the time. Ah well, the end result comes out the same, even though I gave myself the extra step of multiplying the time code by 44100 to get the sample data. It seems the time code is rounded off to the nearest sample, so my 3-decimal entries are probably being ignored by the ogg code. It ends up being the exact same point anyway. For example in "tender", the time code gave me a sample position of 919786.203, which is rounded off to 919786.  I checked in Goldwave, and this is still the exact same point in the track.
« Last Edit: 2013-11-16 10:14:00 by FBX »

FBX

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Well it took 4 hours, but for my own OCD peace of mind, I re-encoded the entire soundtrack using Goldwave's sample point data, rather than the 5-decimal time code data. This will prevent fractional rounding errors, if any, that may or may not have occurred in some tracks of my original package. We're talking about single sample differences, which are likely imperceptible to the human ear, but again I wanted peace of mind that I can say these tracks truly are 100% perfect on loop edits. It also gave me an opportunity to double-check the loops themselves on each track, and they were all as I expected them to be.

OP is updated with the new link. Thanks for pointing out my oversight on the sample point option in Goldwave. I've still kicking myself for missing that.
« Last Edit: 2013-11-16 10:15:49 by FBX »

LeonhartGR

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Your OCD convinced me... wth... I'm downloading!  :evil:

FBX

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By the way, I'm hearing reports that Square/Enix/Eidos made a mistake on the music_ogg conversions and forgot to include a "wind.ogg" file, which is there is a 4-bit wave file version of in the other music directory folder. If you want to correct this mistake, you can first convert the wave file into a 16-bit signed stereo format, and then convert that to ogg. Lastly of course, edit the ogg metadata with a LOOPSTART point of 0 and put the file into the music_ogg folder.

Meanwhile, I'm going to investigate the wind sound on the original game to see if I can record it directly, since it appears the version packaged with the PC download is truncated too short.

ThunderPeel2001

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What were your source files on this? The original CDs converted to WAVs/FLACs?

FBX

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What were your source files on this? The original CDs converted to WAVs/FLACs?

Correct, as well as output from the original PS1 game to recover any missing data. Speaking of which:

Already playing through the original PS game, I discovered we (those that have done OST edits) have also been doing "cintro" incorrectly. It turns out in the original game, the bell instrument comes in every 9th beat as opposed to every 5th beat on the OST version of "cephiros". I spent the past hour making a new edit of "cintro" to reflect this, which can be downloaded here:

http://filetrip.net/dl?4EJQcqZxvm

Just replace the current cintro.ogg file with the one in this zip package.

I won't be updating the full main package until I've finished playing through the PS1 game to double-check all music tracks. Any new corrections I find to make will be added here like cintro.

ThunderPeel2001

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Nice one. But why isn't this reflected in the new SE OGGs, I wonder?

I'm sure I remember comparing the original extracted PS1 music and hearing two chimes of that bell. Maybe not.

DLPB got it right in his package, though.
« Last Edit: 2013-11-26 01:57:37 by ThunderPeel2001 »

FBX

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Sorry for being absent so long. I got sidetracked by other projects. Someone reported a glitch on the "yufi" track which I confirmed from my end. Although the track plays perfectly fine in stand-alone players, the game glitches and shuts it off right after starting to play it. The only thing I could figure was there was bad data hidden in the encode that made the game glitch out. I've re-encoded the track and tested it as working properly in-game, which can be downloaded here:

http://filetrip.net/dl?H1FzhKbRhQ

Just delete the "yufi.ogg" file already in the music_ogg folder and replace it with that one after you unzip it.

I'll keep an eye out and continue to play through the game to make sure there are no other issues that come up.

Cicciolo

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Sorry for the bump, but hey... i didn't know someone actually tried to improve the "patched" soundtrack for FF7 on Steam!

And yeah, i noticed that mistake with the Shinra Mansion music, too, it was "longer" on PS1. Also, certain music tracks are cut at a certain point (like the dancing Chocobos that give you the Choco/Mog summon Materia) or works differently probably due to the game being faster on PC (like the "overworld" music during the full Nibelheim Incident flashback sequence in Cloud's mind on Disc 2, it's called "tb.ogg" in this package, on PS1 a part of it is looped, you can hear it starting from here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTGTFExHGK0&feature=youtu.be&t=490 first looped part is heard at around 09:25, and then at 10:20. And this is the same sequence on PC https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A53Xc_0HA-M&feature=youtu.be&t=1140 when Sephiroth leaves Jenova's chamber, "tb.ogg" is already finished, and then you get the "Mako Reactor" music, aka "makoro.ogg" that plays when you visit the same place on Disc 1 when you're in Mt. Nibel. I still prefer the PS1 "version" of this scene but i think nothing could be done to fix it on PC as the ports run at different speeds)

Now if only someone could fix the broken/wrong sound effects like Comet2 and Aero3... and about that Yuffie music, i remember that it could glitch completely on PC (with the OGG soundtrack patched by Square-Enix), and i was a victim of it: when i caught her, i heard the Fort Condor music! Some heard the Mithril Mines music instead, too.
« Last Edit: 2016-01-20 00:16:23 by Cicciolo »

Jotaro

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Thank you so so much! Yuffie's recruitment theme is one of my favorites, so I'm really happy about this! ;D