The Ur-Quan Masters Discussion Forum

The Ur-Quan Masters Re-Release => Technical Issues => Topic started by: Vee-R on July 25, 2004, 09:10:41 pm



Title: question about the original PC (.mod) music
Post by: Vee-R on July 25, 2004, 09:10:41 pm
The game plays the original (.mod) pc tracks in stereo - 2 channels panned to the right, 2 to the left. Why is that?

In the original PC version of SC2, the tracks were all played in mono (even on soundcards that did support stereo). I can't really see any reason to introduce stereo playback to these tunes; the 4-channel .MOD format never supported stereo or panning of any kind, anyway - the tracks were naturally written for mono playback. When playing UQM, it's just a little weird to hear the drums coming out of one speaker, and the melody line out of the other... that's all.

I'm a bit curious to hear the rationale at work here... although what I really meant to ask is if there's any way to fix this. ;D Would be greatly appreciated.


Title: Re: question about the original PC (.mod) music
Post by: 0xDEC0DE on July 26, 2004, 07:08:02 pm
I went for the "five second fix" on this one -- telling the MOD decoder to use mono playback, and it worked for the Interplanetary, but when I tried to talk to the Ur-Quan Drone guarding Earth, it crashed due to an assertion failure:

Code:
uqm-debug: src/sc2code/libs/sound/trackplayer.c:911: GetSoundData: Assertion `soundSource[(4 + 1)].sample->decoder->format == audio_FORMAT_STEREO16' failed.


So, for right now, the game really, really wants its sound decoded into 16-bit stereo, but I think your point is valid regarding mono playback of the original PC mods; the only soundcard support they had was monaural, and UQM should likely reflect that when playing in "old-school mode"

Throw a bug in Bugzilla and I'm sure someone will look into it.  ;)


Title: Re: question about the original PC (.mod) music
Post by: Novus on July 26, 2004, 09:29:04 pm
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The game plays the original (.mod) pc tracks in stereo - 2 channels panned to the right, 2 to the left. Why is that?

Because that's how MODs are usually played in most players.

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In the original PC version of SC2, the tracks were all played in mono (even on soundcards that did support stereo).

Incorrect. On the Gravis Ultrasound, SC2 has stereo music. It probably also plays in stereo on some of the other supported sound cards (does anyone here have a Pro Audio Spectrum, for example?). SC2, however, doesn't support the stereo Soundblaster Pro, which means that users of SB Pro compatible cards get the standard SB sound in mono.

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I can't really see any reason to introduce stereo playback to these tunes; the 4-channel .MOD format never supported stereo or panning of any kind, anyway - the tracks were naturally written for mono playback.

Untrue. The MOD format has had stereo support all the way since Soundtracker: channels 1 and 4 left, 2 and 3 right, which is the way the Amiga played stereo sound. Later trackers added full panning support (although this is somewhat nonstandard). Some of the SC2 music may have been written by musicians using mono sound output, though.

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When playing UQM, it's just a little weird to hear the drums coming out of one speaker, and the melody line out of the other... that's all.

Some of us consider it perfectly normal. As usual, it depends on what you're used to.


Title: Re: question about the original PC (.mod) music
Post by: Vee-R on July 27, 2004, 04:04:38 am
I see - thanks for the info. I've been working with trackers myself for 10+ years now, so it's rather embarrassing for me to know so little about the .MOD format.... :-[  Then again, I've never worked with an Amiga... or a Gravis Ultrasound, for that matter.

I guess this technically isn't a "bug" then, so Bugzilla probably wouldn't be the right place for it. Still, I guess monaural PC music would be a nice option to have for that "old-school mode", as DEC0DE said - there are probably others out there who'd also find mono music less "awkward"; call it a "feature request", I suppose. ;)


Title: Re: question about the original PC (.mod) music
Post by: Novus on July 30, 2004, 03:14:34 pm
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I see - thanks for the info. I've been working with trackers myself for 10+ years now, so it's rather embarrassing for me to know so little about the .MOD format.... :-[  Then again, I've never worked with an Amiga... or a Gravis Ultrasound, for that matter.

Most PC trackers and players I've seen play MODs in stereo on SB Pro cards and compatible (e.g. SB16), so I was kind of surprised that you hadn't come across this behaviour earlier.

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I guess this technically isn't a "bug" then, so Bugzilla probably wouldn't be the right place for it. Still, I guess monaural PC music would be a nice option to have for that "old-school mode", as DEC0DE said - there are probably others out there who'd also find mono music less "awkward"; call it a "feature request", I suppose. ;)

I concur. Most SC2 users have heard the music in mono, so playing the music in mono should be an option, just like PC menus. If the 3DO also played the MOD music in mono (anyone with a 3DO care to comment?), mono should be the default IMHO.