Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

A forum just for you old time Descent and Descent2 players.
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Pumo
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Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

Post by Pumo » Wed Aug 19, 2009 12:39 am

I've recorded all music tracks from D1 and D2 with original FM chipset sound (Yamaha OPL2/OPL3) in OGG format with high quality (44KHz, Stereo, 32Bit).

If you want to feel a bit nostalgic and want to play (or just listen to) with old-school style soundtrack check out the next OPL3 music packs:

D1 Registered version OPL3 tracks:
http://www.goaruna.com/4pb

D1 Shareware version OPL3 tracks (if you feel really nostalgic and want the original shareware sound!):
http://www.goaruna.com/4pc

D2 OPL3 tracks:
http://www.goaruna.com/4pd

All those were recorded in high-quality from DosBox. Check them out, you'll like them :)
(You can use it also as BG music in XL or Rebirth ;) )

Excellent for fans of FM Synthesis or fans of old SoundBlaster & AdLib cards.
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Post by d3jake » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:27 pm

I'm downloading it now. If these tracks do indeed sound like how I first heard the D2 MIDI you will be my hero...

EDIT: They're not 100% like I remember, but close enough. Thanks a lot for recording the music!
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Post by Pumo » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:51 am

Some tunes may vary a bit as some hardware was actually a bit different than the DosBox emulation, and if you listened (back on the good days) Descent/D2 not on an original Sound Blaster (e.g. on a SB clone) then the sound could be definitely different.

but most of them sound 99% identical compared to a Sound Blaster Pro. :)
As reference i used an old IBM Aptiva Pentium PC with SB Pro card that my sister has and it sounds practically the same as on DosBox.

Anyway, glad to know you liked it! :D
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Post by skunk » Tue Sep 01, 2009 1:09 pm

Hahaha! WOW Pumo this is AWESOME! Thanks!!!!! MEMORIES!
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Post by Foil » Tue Sep 01, 2009 2:07 pm

These are awesome, Pumo. It's probably been 13-14 years since I've heard these tracks like this. 8)
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Post by Pumo » Tue Sep 01, 2009 3:13 pm

Thanks for your comments!

That's why i recorded those, to bring back those good old memories.

I'm specially fond to those of D1 Shareware as that's how i first knew Descent. :)
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Post by Valin Halcyon » Fri Oct 23, 2009 7:00 pm

Lemme point out these, since they were somewhat buried in Planetdescent.com:

http://www.dfiles.de/download/d1/misc/m ... corded.zip

They're labeled as awe32, but they're really OPL2. Got mislabeled. These are the real deal, not generated from loops or MIDI to MP3 converters. It's actual analog output from a awe64 soundcard using it's OPL2 chip.
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Post by Pumo » Fri Oct 23, 2009 8:57 pm

Oh, yeah, i also have that pack, and it's very good indeed as it even has that beautiful punching bass sound like the original Sound Blaster used to sound.

It was a shame that there was only a D1 pack and not the D2 and D1 shareware ones, those are one of my favorites, that's why i decided to record tracks from those using the DosBox internal OPL3 chip emulator also to complete the pack.

I also have a good old Sound Blaster Pro (well, not I directly but my Sister) and its sound is unbeatable.

Fortunately, DosBox emulates that same chip almost identical. :D

BTW Valin (a bit off topic), as i know you know about sound and stuff, do you now if there's some good OPL3 software emulator for use as Windows XP midi device?

I would like to hear my MIDIs like i used to on my old AMD K6-2 computer (it had an OPL3 chip).
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Re:

Post by d3jake » Fri Oct 23, 2009 11:27 pm

Valin Halcyon wrote:Lemme point out these, since they were somewhat buried in Planetdescent.com:

http://www.dfiles.de/download/d1/misc/m ... corded.zip

They're labeled as awe32, but they're really OPL2. Got mislabeled. These are the real deal, not generated from loops or MIDI to MP3 converters. It's actual analog output from a awe64 soundcard using it's OPL2 chip.
Any chance you did the same with D2's MIDIs? I hate to go off topic, but I have to ask...
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Post by Stroodles » Sat Oct 24, 2009 7:54 am

Descent 1 Music > Most everything else.

Thanks, Pumo.
Amg! It's on every post and it WON'T GO AWAY!!
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Post by Valin Halcyon » Sun Nov 22, 2009 7:42 am

No, I never did get the chance to do the other tracks. Also, it was pointed out to me that those D1 tracks in that pack I posted are rather left-biased for some reason. Perhaps the cable I used wasn't as good as it should have been.

Anyway, DOSBox has a nice SB Pro OPL3 emulation mode where it uses 2x OPL2 chips to achieve stereo, and SB Pro was the \"SB compatibility\" the vast majority of generic sound cards used at the time. If you want to get the most common/authentic sound from Descent 1/2 from DOSBox, use that audio mode.

Also note...DOSBox supports emulating the Gravis Ultrasound, yet you'll still need the Ultrasound software to make it work. I've got that emulation running and it's pretty spectacular.
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Re: Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

Post by skunk » Sat Oct 22, 2011 2:41 pm

Does anyone have the AWE32 tracks that Valin created? I can only find the OPL2 versions and I want to hear it as AWE32 as I've played through the game hearing it from 3 different perspectives growing up :P
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Re: Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

Post by Alter-Fox » Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:10 pm

As far as I know Valin never got around to releasing the AWE32 tracks. It seems everyone is looking for them but no one has found them.
Deftflux on the Interplay forum has recorded them on AWE32 himself, though, and he's willing to send them to people who ask for them. Easiest way to contact him is via PM there (and provide your email address of course!). A couple of his tracks are mildly distorted, and game16 is somewhat out of tune, but apart from that they're really top-notch recordings.

Worth noting though, that contrary to popular belief Descent's music was actually written on a Roland SC-55, and meant to be played back on that soundcard -- Descent isn't the only game that has this "AWE32 myth" either -- though I don't know personally of any other games that do, I think Pumo does (we had a discussion about it once). If you listen to SC-55 recordings they actually sound a lot better than AWE32.
You can get SC-55 recordings of D1 and D2 on the DXX-Rebirth website.
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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Re: Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

Post by Jeff250 » Sun Oct 23, 2011 1:08 pm

A way to digitally get something sounding fairly close to the awe32 is to use the 1mgm.sf2 soundfont with a program like timidity to play the midi files to a wave file. I did this a while ago, and they seem original-sounding enough. I also use this as timidity's default soundfont, so all midi in dosbox sounds like an awe32.
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Re: Descent tracks for old-school FM (OPL) sound fans!

Post by Alter-Fox » Sun Oct 23, 2011 7:18 pm

Only thing is you don't get the FX that were programmed into the midi -- from the actual awe32 recordings I've heard it seems Descent's midis had a lot of reverb, especially on, e.g., kick drums -- also a couple of the songs (game15 and game17) used some kind of "special" drum kit that only appears on in-game recordings -- and you don't get either of those using an sf2. So if you want the "authentic" Descent awe32 music it's best to get some oggs of the music that were actually recorded on one of those soundcards and set them as the soundtrack using DXX-Rebirth or D2X-XL.

If you don't want the completely authenticness of AWE32ness (some people are not obsessive audiophiles :P), then an sf2 is definitely close enough for what you want. However, there is a very noticable difference between using an sf2 emulator and recordings that were actually made on an awe32.

Oh, BTW, (before I forget!) I was looking through my music folder this morning and I still have those actual Awe32 recordings. As soon as I have some time I'll zip them up and post them here (I have the D2 midis as well but the person who recorded them did some liberal editing and so they're not even close to the same as the originals. They're also at 92 kbps -- CRAP QUALITY).

And now, I need to get this sound board set up. Hopefully the band shows up in time for a sound check this time.
The eyes of the plush lobster stared deep into my soul. I touched it, made as if to pick it up, and then I was a panther.
BEWARE RAZZADOON'S SNOUT!!
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Also beware my original music, at http://soundcloud.com/snowfoxden and http://vertigofox.bandcamp.com
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