Author Topic: [FF6] [OPEN BETA] Dancing Mad - FF6 Audio Replacement using MSU-1  (Read 104890 times)

Wemes

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Hello, and thank you for the work you've put in for this very wonderfully made audio replacement. I just recently bought a SNES and a SD2SNES and I've been looking at the MSU-1 games to play on it and of course this is one of the first ones I want to play. I'm being very meticulous about it though (maybe overly so) but I want to have this as finely tuned to what I like as possible. I've even gone so far as to take my favorite arrangement of the end boss battle and convert it and set loop points for this mod. I can't take credit for the music itself, this was arranged by someone named Sangnoksu. Link to the song can be found here: https://evergreen2.bandcamp.com/track/final-fantasy-vi-dancing-mad-symphonic-arrange. But I have done the work to be able to use it with the game and I am willing to share if people are interested. That said, I also have to report an issue that the songs for the final boss do not seem to transition properly. Forgive me if this has been noted or reported before and I missed it, but I've tried to look at the history of this project and previously reported issues and I see nothing referencing this. The individual songs for each part of the final battle will loop on themselves properly, however going from one part to the next will start suddenly without the previous part completing its final loop. I've tried to test this on my SD2SNES and also using the SNES9x emulator. If there's anything more I can do to help with this let me know.

insidious611

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Wemes:

Thanks for your report, I am aware that the transitions between parts of the final battle music are sudden and do not smoothly go from one part to another the way the original game does. Even with volume fading, this is not currently possible.

The problem is that there is no way for the code running on the SNES to tell when the song started actually playing and how far along it is. The MSU-1 just does not have that kind of status information exposed. Assuming based on framerate and e.g. the game time counter is flawed due to the fact not all platforms will be able to queue up and play the track as fast as the game requests it.

Without that status information, it is therefore impossible to tell the last time the song looped, and therefore when the next transition point should be.


tl;dr version: this is not a bug and will not, can not be fixed, not unless a new version of the MSU-1 add-on is made that has the ability to return the current sample position.

Never saying never, because I didn't expect resume support either, so.
« Last Edit: 2019-03-31 04:08:17 by insidious611 »

Wemes

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Hi, and thanks for responding to this. I do get the sense from looking at your work that you're fitting a mechanism with a relatively simplistic interface over something that's ultimately much more complicated. With originally so many different types of events the SPC gets to handle with things like operas and phantom trains and dancing mads, it's quite an accomplishment that the switch to using the MSU-1 works so well.

That said, I've been giving some thought to at least the transitions in Dancing Mad case and I'm wondering if maybe there could be a way to get it to work a little smoother. My thought is do we really need this status information for this to work properly?

As originally implemented, Dancing mad 1-3 seems to act like one song with 3 separate start and stop loop points of course; and what we have are three tracks with one loop point each and a distinct end of the track. The way things are now the song can move backward properly, but we can think of the trigger that goes off when a part's boss is defeated as a gate being lifted to allow us to move forward and the repeat control might be able to effectively work as this gate.

What I'm wondering is looking at the MSU-1 spec, what if when this trigger goes off we clear the repeat flag in the audio state control while still leaving the current track playing. My hope is in order for this to work when the track is finished, the audio playing bit in the status port will go to zero. Then the instant that happens we have the MSU-1 start the next track. The concern is of course will there be an audible gap or pop in the music between when the track reaches its end, realizing with whatever polling or other method that the track has stopped, and then starting the next track?

It's just an idea I had and I understand after so many years working on this if your response is, "that won't work" or "I already tried that" or even "I'm not going to bother with that". Maybe someday I could be able to attempt to implement this myself, but at least now I would certainly be willing to help test this or any other changes or added features to the project.

insidious611

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Quote
Always thought myself a purist when it comes to FF music, but Roses and Wine mod for FF8 converted me. If the remaster/remix/cover or whatever is done at a similar tempo&style to the original, it's surprisingly refreshing to hear the old melodies brought to life with whole new vigor. Anyways that's why I'm here, and I was wondering if there's a comprehensive listing of included music and different versions anywhere? There's alot of faithful-to-the-original arrangements online that I would love to see whether any of them have found their way onto this mod.

Just saw this. Hi! A listing is available in the first post and on the GitHub page, but I can provide a quick but comprehensive summary here.

First off is the OST. This is taken from the official CDs, and sounds pretty much identical to what you would get without the mod. This is really only useful because it lets you avoid the sound effects turning off SPC channels.

Secondly, what's referred to as "FFT" is "FinalFanTim"'s remaster. You can find that on the forums here. It's actually what made me want to do this project in the first place.

Thirdly, what's referred to as "OCR" is the OCRemix Balance & Ruin album, available here.

Then, what's referred to as "SSC" is Sean Schafianksi's Final Fantasy 6 Remastered Discs One and Two. Disc One is available commercially on bandcamp here. Sean has graciously provided us permission to use his work as long as that link is readily available.

"FFAR" is Eiko Nichols' "Final Fantasy Acoustic Rendition", available commercially on bandcamp here

"CRC" is ChrystalChameleon's remasters, available on their YouTube channel here.

That's the major sources of audio, which leaves the "OTH" or "Other" options that have been edited and submitted mostly by fans of the project. These include the default Opera selection which is from Game Music Concert 4 by the Tokyo Symphony Orchestra, the other opera selections by the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra as well as The Black Mages,  and a couple of other songs from the Black Mages for iirc Dancing Mad and one other that escapes me atm.

Ishi25

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I've even gone so far as to take my favorite arrangement of the end boss battle and convert it and set loop points for this mod. I can't take credit for the music itself, this was arranged by someone named Sangnoksu. Link to the song can be found here: https://evergreen2.bandcamp.com/track/final-fantasy-vi-dancing-mad-symphonic-arrange. But I have done the work to be able to use it with the game and I am willing to share if people are interested.

Hey, can you share the converted pcms for this version of Dancing Mad? Loved this version more than the others.

Vercalos

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I suppose it might be a long shot, but is it possible to get alternate sources to obtain the PCMs from?  Like Google Drive or Mega.nz?

The installer keeps stalling on the downloads, to the point where I left the computer alone for 2 hours and it was at the same point when I came back.

<EDIT>

Well, I was able to get it to download, but backups of the archives might be a good idea all the same.
« Last Edit: 2019-10-09 10:01:10 by Vercalos »

insidious611

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Regarding the idea of putting the PCMs on Google Drive or Mega, to put it shortly: Hell No.


To put it in long form:

1. I already have backups.
The installer already sources from a list of three different mirrors, two of them hosted by myself with four-9s uptime for the past two years, and one of them an Amazon S3 bucket which is served through a CloudFront CDN. If the installer is having issues downloading PCMs, I guarantee you it is due to a bug in the installer or an issue with your internet connection, not an issue with availability of the download servers. If you continue to have this issue, as I advise people to do with an issues to do with the installer, it would be useful to me for you to open up an issue on GitHub and include the "dancing-mad-installer.log" file, which you should find in your user directory. (C:\Users\yourusername on windows)

Notably, it should be impossible, if the installer is functioning properly, for the download to stall out for two hours like you mention happening. The download system has multiple baked in hard timeouts intended to make failing over from one mirror to another painless. I'm not saying this isn't happening to you, what I'm saying is that if it is, it's not a download issue but an issue with my installer which needs to be properly debugged.

In addition to the three mirrors of the PCMs the installer uses, I maintain my own backups of all data related to the project both locally on multiple hard drives and bluray discs, as well as privately on cloud storage providers, like but not including the ones mentioned.

Backups are indeed a good idea. I already have them.

2. With few exceptions, I do NOT want people downloading the PCMs outside of the installer.

This is for multiple reasons. Most importantly, it's because anyone asking for these is generally vastly underestimating how much data they're asking for and how much time it's going to take them to sort it themselves. This is not like your garden variety MSU-1 pack where there is a single set of PCMs to handle. You are talking about more data than either of your suggested providers allow any one person to upload for free, and I don't see anyone offering to pay for the hosting. And the PCMs are not labeled in a friendly way or sorted by track numbers on the OST or any other way that makes them easy for someone to handle themselves. They are sorted by source name and internal track number, the latter of which you're only going to know if you read my data files or are familiar with hacking FF6 yourself.

Why do I mention this? Because uploading to mega.nz or google drive, in addition to aforementioned "you're literally asking me to pay more money than I'm already paying to host this", means asking people to download the PCMs themselves. Automating downloads from services like mega or gdrive that are *designed* to *foil* attempts to automate downloading from them is chasing a moving target.

Curious as to what my exceptions are? If you plan to help out the project and want to look over or edit the PCMs yourself, or are planning on setting up your own mirror (something I don't have a problem with as long as it's on a service that allows unrestricted HTTP GETs following the same folder structure. Just use wget -m or something), those are perfectly good reasons to download the PCMs yourself without the installer. But please, don't do it if you just want to play the mod.



A final note. As a quick fix, if the installer is failing to properly switch over from one mirror to another in the case of a failed download, or the default mirror is simply too slow, I suggest the following process:

1. Extract the installer to a folder
The installer is packaged in a 7-zip self extracting executable format. You can extract the installer with 7-zip by opening the EXE file as an archive.

2. Open "mirrors.dat" with notepad or your preferred text editor of choice
Mirrors.dat is a simple text file with each mirror listed in order it will be chosen by the installer.

3. Move https://[lettersandnumbers].cloudfront.net/ to the top of the mirror list
This will choose the Amazon mirror, basically guaranteed to be up and working, to the top.

4. Save the "mirrors.dat" file and run the installer from the Installer.exe file within the folder


Please do not do this unless you have issue with the installer. I am charged for bandwidth usage on Amazon.
« Last Edit: 2019-10-18 10:16:05 by insidious611 »

insidious611

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One final note, thinking more about the issue presented above.

I don't generally want to provide a "full download" installer of Dancing Mad because of the sheer size of it. But, I could do so, and have the installer pick from local data. It would be similar in download size to downloading a modern AAA game from Steam or something like that, and most of the data would end up useless to you unless you're testing multiple different soundtracks.

However, as long as I put this copy of the mod *only* on the dedicated servers/VPSes I pay for every month (the first two mirrors.dat entries), my bandwidth cap with these services is so high that I could sustain thousands of downloads of this "complete" pack without being charged extra. So it would be no skin off my back, and there would be no reason to discontinue the "online" version of the installer.

This would also mean that there would be a copy of the installer that could be mirrored elsewhere by others in case my servers ever go down or the project ends up completely abandoned.

That said, I don't want to do this unless there's interest, because among other things I'm going to have to assemble this copy locally and upload it, and uploading such a large archive on my residential cable connection is going to take a long time and saturate bandwidth in a house with 6 other people.




So, I'm putting this question to my users. Would you be interested in an offline installer?

filismino

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The program applies the patch, but does not download the audio files. Does anyone have the audio files or do you know why the program doesn't download the songs? I did the above procedure to change the mirrors.dat file, but it didn't work the same way.

insidious611

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Without a log file or more data I can't answer your question. It downloads the audio files just fine for me and everyone else.

Regarding "Downloading the songs elsewhere" That's a question I've answered about 100 times and am not going to answer again, except to say "No."

There is not one set of audio files. There are a total of 6 sets in various states of completeness.

Confirming that as of testing right this very moment PCM download seems to be working. I've had a more detailed (and helpful) report of some issues with Opera track downloading and it hasn't gotten that far yet, so we'll see.

EDIT: Confirmed, PCM downloading should be working fine ATM with the latest version of the installer. If you're having issues, please make sure you're not using an older version of the installer.

Also, please note that the PCM files are hosted in Europe and I've been noticing some issues with lag over the transatlantic cables since the whole Quarantine thing started. And my installer doesn't really show you "Waiting for reply.." or anything like that you might be used to from a web browser. So if it seems like it's stalling during the install, just be patient. It will connect eventually (within ~10 seconds or so) and once it connects the download should be smooth.
« Last Edit: 2020-04-29 08:58:41 by insidious611 »

extraflowers

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Hi there, love the work and I'm excited to try it out.

I'm having issues using the installer -- every time I run it it gets hung at 45% with the error "cURL Error: The requested URL returned error: 403"

I've edited the mirrors.dat to have the cloudfront server first, but I get the same error. It looks like all other mirrors no longer exist.

Would love to see this working!

And, insidious, to answer an earlier question you had, for the sake of preserving this for someone like me 5 or 10 years from now I think an offline installer would be a great idea.

Thanks!!

edale

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Hi there, love the work and I'm excited to try it out.

I'm having issues using the installer -- every time I run it it gets hung at 45% with the error "cURL Error: The requested URL returned error: 403"

I've edited the mirrors.dat to have the cloudfront server first, but I get the same error. It looks like all other mirrors no longer exist.

Would love to see this working!

And, insidious, to answer an earlier question you had, for the sake of preserving this for someone like me 5 or 10 years from now I think an offline installer would be a great idea.

Thanks!!
Sry for late reply, I only check here every few months.  :-[

Right now, it looks like "https://bigfuckin.rocks/ff6data/" is the only working server (yes, even the cloudfront one is down), I've informed Insidious of the issue, though I'm not sure when he'll actually get the message.

*edit- Cloudfront is still up, and working as intended.

*edit2- Current mirrors.dat:
Code: [Select]
https://bigfuckin.rocks/ff6data/
https://domad.science/ff6data/
https://d9z02nz0xcifk.cloudfront.net/
https://most.conspicuous.network/ff6data/
most.conspicuous is still down, but there's hope for it to come back, so it's staying on the list at the bottom for now.

Insidious is also creating some code so any time the installer's run it grabs the latest mirrors.dat directly off the github, so a whole new hotfix isn't needed each time the servers change. Next hotfix should have this code once it's tested and verified working.
---

As to a full offline installer, such a thing would be prohibitively large. We're talking 10-15+ GB. The reason being that MSU-1 format PCMs are uncompressed audio.

While ZIPing or RARing the PCMs does save some space, it's nowhere near as small as you'd have for compressed audio, such as MP3.

A 200 MB PCM will RAR down to, if you're lucky, 160 MB. The same file would be maybe 1 MB as MP3. This is for a clip of around a minute, some of the tracks for FFVI are 12+ minutes.

We have a LARGE number of audio options for this mod. A full offline installer would need to contain ALL of the tracks for ALL of the audio options.

And another difficulty when dealing with an offline installer that large... Where would we be able to host it long-term? Most sites I know that'll cloud-host files that large require a paid account to host said files, AND they require paid accounts from the people trying to download them.

---

Now all that said, here's a little bonus for everyone:

https://mega.nz/file/vEQy1bqA#D8Z9zTBWA-PzOFupKYeZVARRnqx5msl-JTotIw0mjw4

This is a new version of Dancing Mad I just discovered and converted a few days ago.

Here's a Youtube video of the track, it's done by MIDI Man, and is one of the best remakes of the track I've heard to date (I LOVE his percussion sample selections, and the organ samples are the best I've heard in a Dancing Mad remake that wasn't a real organ, lol).
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUNimbcuvOg
He's got some real good remakes and remasters, but only 90 subscribers atm, so go through his stuff and give him a subscription if you like it!
« Last Edit: 2021-02-08 04:22:56 by edale »

feldon30

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So I've been here for about 5 seconds, but I'm excited about this project of FF6 with all these music choices. If there is a need for large, long-term free storage, I can help. I have had dedicated servers for 15 years.

One idea I had though -- can the music be compressed as FLAC and then packaged with a commandline/scripted decompressor to convert FLAC->PCM? Then the music would be shrunk by 40-60% depending.


insidious611

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Unfortunately that would only be possible if we could save the loop points for each track and add them back on, as well as preserve the edits in the .PCMs.

It's doable, but it'd be a lot of extra work at this point.

Also, the artist of the one source of music that's still being actively sold (Sean Schafianski) only endorsed us using it in its current format. I have a feeling he would object to us providing the songs in an easily-listenable standard audio format like FLAC.

It still might be something worth investigating going forwards.

---

Unrelatedly, I've also had some disturbing reports of issues running the installer on Linux that I am completely unable to track down. I don't use Linux everyday anymore, but on the Linux install I do have, I have no issues at all running the installer using the instructions provided on my GitHub page. So if there are any Linux users here that can provide me with more idea of what's going on and why I can't reproduce this issue, I'd appreciate it. See:

https://github.com/Insidious611/DancingMadFF6/issues/95

As well as a comment on one of our old YouTube videos mentioning a similar problem and a few reports on Discord.

Frankly, since my codebase hasn't changed, I'm kind of wanting to point the finger at Qt having changed something.

I'm looking at graduating from the CS degree that's held me back from contributing to this project for a while some time in October. At that point, I'm going to put nose to the grindstone and fix as many of the currently remaining bugs (including, hopefully, this Linux one) as I can.

Full disclosure however, after nearly 6-7 years of mostly bug-hunting I'm growing a little tired of this project and am kind of in the market for a permanent maintainer, someone with at least a passing knowledge of 65816 assembly and Python 3 and who is willing to deep-dive into the code without too much in the way of instruction.

---

As a final update, all mirrors (except for the third party mirror at the bottom of mirrors.dat) should be up and working again. If you are having issues downloading PCMs please try redownloading the installer. I'm trying to get an update out to the installer that will pull mirrors.dat from GitHub so that it updates the mirror list automatically, for now the mirror list is bundled with the download.
« Last Edit: 2021-02-24 13:41:21 by insidious611 »

Iunnrais

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Hello!  Thank you so much for your work on this.  I know you're getting tired of this project, and that's fully understandable... but it's new to me, so I have some comments and questions if you're still willing.

1) The Ted Woolsey Uncensored Edition patch is now 3.04... it looks like the most recent installer doesn't accept this version.  It looks like you were previously specifically checking for TWUE to be a valid source, so I thought I'd mention it.  I used your installer on a fresh US 1.0 file, and then applied the TWUE patch on top of that.  It seemed to work fine!  Until I got to the first fight in Narshe, at which point I get the battle music but a black screen and a softlock.  Any advice?  Perhaps is there some way to get your installer to view the new TWUE 3.04 as a valid file, so I can do it the other way round?

Edit: Turns out my "fresh 1.0 file"... probably wasn't.  It said it was, and the installer thought it was, but when I grabbed a verified rom from archive.org and tried patching it again, it worked fine.   So if you're someone in the future coming across the same problem of crashing at the first battle... check your source rom one more time!

2) Have you seen the "Orchestral Fantasy" youtube channel? ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T1FpelirPgQ&list=PL23xVb3fauVXHAR8k1ery3eQZrAYDkCIZ&index=1 )  This guy does FF6 live instrument covers that are incredibly accurate to the original OST, including an English voiced cover of Aria de Mezzo Carattere that's true to the original Woolsey text.  He doesn't have the full soundtrack yet, but he does have a significant portion of it available.  I'd love to use his versions where possible.

3) On that note, is there any way the installer could make use of your own MP3 / FLAC files instead of downloading from your server?  That would future proof the project as well, and let anyone maintain it with new music as awesome fans make new covers.
« Last Edit: 2021-09-21 13:06:14 by Iunnrais »