KSSPLAY usage in openMSX 0.15

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By sdsnatcher73

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14-03-2019, 18:11

I am trying to use KSSPLAY 1.0 from NYRIKKI in openMSX 0.15

I've downloaded Xak and Magical Tree KSS files and when running KSSPLAY with these files it says

INIT... OK
PLAY!

But there is no sound output... I tried it in both DOS2 and Nextor, am I doing something wrong?

I want to record VGMs from the KSS files.

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By Grauw

Enlighted (7967)

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14-03-2019, 21:27

KSSPlay is cool for playing KSS files on MSX, but I don’t think it’s good for accurately recording VGMs.

KSS files contain the game’s replayer code that’s run on an emulator, and because of that SSPlay contains a Z80 emulator running on Z80, which plays much slower than the original replayer did, it causes subtly different timings which may be audible. This also shows in the fact that it needs a turboR to run acceptably.

I think for accurately recording you should use a KSS player for PC which has been modded for VGM recording, this will make a recording cycle accurate to the original. I think there’s a VGM mod for NEZPlug which you can use for that. (Except for Illusion City, since I don’t think KSS players emulate the R800.)

By sdsnatcher73

Champion (361)

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15-03-2019, 12:28

Okay that is working great, will do Xak 3 first. Will see if I can find pc9801 soundtrack as mp3 as reference for track names.

By Parn

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15-03-2019, 12:53

Grauw wrote:

(Except for Illusion City, since I don’t think KSS players emulate the R800.)

Actually there's at least one Illusion City KSS pack. When Adriano Cunha started working on the Illusion City translation he realized the game doesn't use any specific R800 feature, just that it wants a fast MSX to run. Smile If you take out the CPU check it runs in any MSX2 with enough memory, but really slowly (unless you have a computer with a turbo CPU).

By ren

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15-03-2019, 13:24

There's also kss2vgm.
Not sure which way of converting gives the best result though (kss2vgm is still marked as experimental, and (from the README): 'output .vgm file is not optimized')

You could also get some advice from niek here perhaps, as he's done some research here, and used kss2vgm for the SD Snatcher VGM pack (and openMSX vgm_rec TCL script for others (as Grauw did for Xak ;-))

Xak III? You mean The Tower of Gazzel?
It has both an MSX & PC-98 CD digital OST release (EGG Music) which you can lookup at VGMdb. JohnHassink's YT upload also comes accompanied w/ a (translated) tracklisting (comments section).

Now I'm at it, some things that strike me regarding SCC packs:

  • SCC:PSG balance is/seems off: PSG volume is too low;
  • clicks/pops/distortions all over the place, check e.g. MG2:SS: Crawling, Shallow, Reprieve of the Doctor;
  • some distortions in e.g. the F-1 Spirit VGM pack (Random Approach, Next, Self-Confidence - all at the beginning) but that might be due to imperfect ripping/authoring?

@Grauw: do you have any thoughts here? :)
(Haven't got around setting up an account there, otherwise I would have reported it already.)

Anyway, @sdnatcher73, cool you're planning an creating some MSX VGM packs. (Doing it properly requires some effort I believe.. :))

By Grauw

Enlighted (7967)

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15-03-2019, 14:06

@ren Those SCC issues that you mention, are they when playing on MSX or when playing on PC? If the former, it’s probably an issue with the player, not the VGM.

@Parn IC’s player works on a Z80, but the R800 is faster so for the most “authentic” reproduction it should be played on an R800 CPU. Though in practice the difference will probably be minimal.

By ren

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15-03-2019, 14:35

@Grauw: the PC. Haven't checked (emulated) MSX. You can also hear it in the mp3's @ the respective VGMRips Pack pages.

By Grauw

Enlighted (7967)

Grauw's picture

15-03-2019, 14:36

Hmm I see. Did you compare with a real SCC? Note that a real SCC also has some imperfections with ticks and such, these do not exist in FPGA SCC emulations, and the SCC+ either I believe.

By ren

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15-03-2019, 18:22

No, haven't verified with the actual, real deal.
Though, I have heard stuff via various emulators, in_msx (.kss) & (uploaded) OST material.
And then there's what I remember from the actual real deal Smile

When I compare e.g. with (uploaded) OST material, it's clear that the PSG is way too quiet (by default?) throughout various VGM(Rips) packs.

I listened to the MG2:SS VGM soundtrack a bit more, and compared to, what I believe is an recording of the official OST. The clicks/pops can be noticed there as well (at some points), albeit much less.

Checked some other SCC packs, next to MG2:SS the clicky-/poppyness seems to apply to the SD Snatcher soundtrack as well (e.g. Theme of Katherine 1, simply horrible!)

Perhaps it is in a way accurate, but it's horrible to listen to. Perhaps on real hw it gets dampened, or there is some smoothing going on that isn't emulated (or simulated)?

When checking .kss playback: in_msx: no clicks (quite like the OST), nezplug: clicks (much like the .vgm files) (same emu source?)

And I can't recall any of the MSX emulators sounding this bad..

So, what are your feelings/thoughts when listening to say Theme of Katherine 1 and Crawling (Duct BGM)?

By sdsnatcher73

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17-03-2019, 06:40

I verified Theme of Katherine on a FS-A1ST with SD Snatcher cartridge and Boss demo and the popping and noise is also present there.

By ren

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17-03-2019, 12:47

Hey cool. Is it just as bad (as the recording on the VGMRips pack page)?

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