What kinda compression did they use for the music in Shadows of the Empire on the N64?

Discussion in 'General Gaming' started by everett1911, Jul 15, 2017.

  1. everett1911

    everett1911 Robust Member

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    As far as I understand, The N64 sound hardware is basically a fancier music tracker/midi hybrid like with the SNES' SPC700 chip, so how did an early N64 game like Star Wars Shadows of the Empire manage to fit its music (which does not AT ALL sound like other N64 music) into 96 megabits / 12 megabytes of storage?
     
  2. sanni

    sanni Intrepid Member

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  3. speedyink

    speedyink Site Supporter 2016

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    There's a few games that use real music. Top Gear Overdrive and Tony Hawk Pro Skater comes to mind. It's probably just a low bitrate MP3 file, Ogg Vorbis file, or some other similar format. They just compressed the crap out of the tracks for the N64, some even having a shorter loop than Playstation versions.
     
  4. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    How do you know that Shadows of the Empire didn't use a form of tracker-like music? Also the SNES actually can stream data to the SPC such as in Clay Fighter's intro or Earthworm Jim 2. And many demos as well. Perfect Dark on the N64 if I recall in the startup mentions using MPEG 3 audio I believe, so it might be streaming recorded audio. Tony Hawk on N64 does something similar but has a more limited amount of audio than the CD versions due to storage limitations. So it's not all tracker like music on N64 but that doesn't mean that all games are like that.

    Is there a USF rip for Shadows of the Empire? Pretty sure N64 had a similar music rip format to NSF and PSF.

    The N64 doesn't have a separate CPU for audio code like the SNES. I think the main CPU has to be involved.
     
  5. everett1911

    everett1911 Robust Member

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    I can tell because quality-aside, the tracks are identical to SotE's PC version, which sounded identical to the original trilogy's music. I've been listening to and making tracker music for many years and I would have known if this was tracker music.
     
  6. MottZilla

    MottZilla Champion of the Forum

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    There is a USF rip, which is just under 4 megabytes. That leaves 8 megabytes for everything else. I can't tell you much more than that. Whether it streams a compressed audio format like mp3/ogg or is more traditional like a SNES game using samples would require someone more familiar with examining N64 games.
     
  7. sayin999

    sayin999 Officer at Arms

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    I do know all the music is in low quality mono much like f-zero x which was a method to save space. Part of the reason why only the dd add on of fzero x has tracks in stereo.
     
  8. Prometheus

    Prometheus Site supporter 2016

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    It's definitely not tracker music. The music was ripped straight from the soundtrack from the movies and the soundtrack to the SotE novel, both were orchestrated.

    Just for the hell of it I extracted the sound files using N64soundtool and sure enough, the music files are there. They're sped up, high pitched, and heavily compressed similar to the entrance themes in WWF No Mercy. That's how they managed to fit it in such small space, the game just plays it at a lower octave so it sounds correct. The songs are 100% not sequenced.
     

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