Legacy Audio Formats implementation?

Well, I’ve been working on an RPG that is supposed to emulate the style of older 16 and 32-bit consoles… And I want it to have full authenticity. Before I realized how much better Unreal was, I used Unity 3D, which had support for those .MOD, .IT, .XM, etc files.

After doing a bit of research, I found that these old formats were supported in the original version of Unreal, but not in any of its successors…

My project depended on .IT tracker music, and despite the fact that just rendering these files to a streaming format would be easier, I do not want to do that.

Is there a way, plugin, or script, that I can use these files again? Does the UMX format still work? I would think not…

I really want to keep the format as it is… Rendering these files would both mean a significant amount of time was wasted making them, and I would also lose out on certain qualities that were wanted.

I really hope that this would work…

The only formats you can use now are uncompressed .wav, .ogg and i believe .flac (might be wrong on the last one) WAV is a VERY universal standardised format, practically any audio converter will convert from some arbitrary format to .Wav, so it would certainly be the path of least resistance to try and find a converter for them. They would still playback and sound the same.

That said, we do have source code for the engine and you can write plug-ins. If you can find some source code for playback of those files, there’s nothing stopping you writing and integrating a plugin yourself, but of course you’ll have to learn C++. I’m fairly certain that there isn’t one around, simply because those formats aren’t really used anymore.

There comes the problem…
No longer, am I a programmer. I used to be interested when I was 12, but then I discovered that the art world was so much better…

I’m sure there is some sort of open-source code that can play the files. There’s countless open source programs to make 'em… But then I don’t have the skill to actually make a plugin.

Those formats ARE still used. As I said, Unity 3D uses them, and all of the smaller, open source engines that I know can play them.

Unreal used to be able to play them… I don’t see any reason for them to have removed it long ago. It’s almost like they went out of their way to do that…

(Would it be appropriate for me to look in the ‘Looking for Talent’ page? Or ask around there for help?)

Because playing those kinds of files requires that the engine have some sort of synthesizer or soundfont which can generate sounds, which is a performance nightmare, or just pass them on to the soundcard to handle, which is really undesirable. Those types of files don’t contain audio, they contain musical information which a synthesizer converts to audio.

There’s no really good reason to support them (outside of performance concerns which are totally outdated). For one thing, it introduces poor consistency; the music in your game will sound different from one user to the next depending on their soundcard, for instance.

If you want an authentic sound, take the score files, feed them to a soundfont library that you like the sound of, and export the wav. That way you have 100% authentic sound as you desire, AND it’s consistent from machine to machine.

It’s totally possible to get that authentic 16-bit sound, BTW, there are plenty of soundfonts built from sampling the audio chips of well-known retro machines, which will give you a 1:1 accuracy for sounding like a game played on that console or w/e.

OK. This slightly irritates me…

Because your facts are COMPLETELY opposite, regarding the older formats. MOD, XM, IT, etc. all contain their own samples. As many samples as the composer wants. You are thinking of General Midi Wavetable. Speaking of outdated concerns, any computer running a fairly modern Windows would play the same GM Wavetable (Microsoft GM, provided by Roland I think), unless someone specifically installed a software synthesizer to play different SF2s.

The console I’m trying to emulate the audio of is the GBA. It used 8-bit compressed samples, 4-bit compressed samples, two squares (one without envelope), and a noise.
Technically, it’s 32-bit music. Which sounds perfect with the tracker format.

Not to mention, we already have many songs in this format.

I really hate songs which were made with softsynths/samplers that ‘sample well-known retro machines’. Perhaps most people think they are 1:1 accurate… But as for every game that passes for ‘retro’, I find that they all sound horribly off target. And extremely cheesy. As I said, I’m trying to get as close as possible.

I mean this, by creating my own samples, compressing them to the same quality of the GBA, and loading them into the tracker. As for the squares and noise, I can generate those with simple tone generators, and load the output as a sample, as well. Not 100% perfect… But 98% is as close as I can get without resorting to the real hardware. And I broke my GBA’s audio-out adaptor when I was 8.

Also, I’m really, really sorry for being harsh. I got a little passionate…

To paraphrase my argument above more respectfully: I personally disagree with your opinion, and would like to continue pursuing my original idea. Thank you, however, for showing me another side of the argument.

To back Aryzen a bit, formats similar to MOD, XM, & IT still see use on handheld gaming platforms at least as recently as the Nintendo DS and likely the 3DS as well. These formats would be well suited to modern mobile games, given their ratio between quality and file size. That, and they support hooks for dynamic playback.

Potential future support was mentioned on the Trello board a few months back, but appears to have been dropped.

Bit of a necro NullHyp :wink:

It’s worth noting that Epic did a stream on Audio-related stuff on Twitch. Epic have just hired an Audio Programmer who is currently blasting away chunks of the Audio engine in a bid to write a new, more efficient and more flexible one. VST support might even become a thing, so with that we might see even more file-type support.

Well, VST support would be nice… But for a different project.

I hope the new audio programmer brings in more formats… I would really hate to have to render all of our audio…

audioz is a great place for anything audio wise. The definition of wav

MP3 VS Wav

To the untrained ear non of this will be noticeable. If why everything is in mp3 for the sake of data storage. I can make any sound sound original from the time it was produced to any format now. The beauty of vsts . It all depends on how good your audio engineer is or are and cant they be willing to learn without ego. I have never met an musician who didnt have come cockyness about them in my 35 years as one. Half of what you been describing is basic storing of that info. the ability to transform it is for the composer of engineer. Gettin to that plugin that your needing is a simple emultor or any 8 bit or 16bit genisis style sound that we all grew up with. Look on that web site audioz. many free vst are there. Providing you have fruityloops, cubase, reason5 or pro tools. KVR is anothe free simple sounds hundreds of vsts. Remember any sound can me duplicated the issue is who is doin the duping. I dont mean copy and paste I mean recreating from scratch. Its like cooking. you gotta know your ingredients

Well, first… I’m in charge of both the audio and the art.
And it isn’t either a 8- or a 16-bit console. It’s a 32-bit handheld.

It doesn’t run synths, aside from the two squares, and the noise. It mostly samples, with a very specific compression style. As I mentioned, (I think) it is a GBA.

I wanted to use XM (or was it IT? I forgot already, it was so long ago…) because it gave that distinctive sound of a sample being loosely played at a different frequency.

Take this for example: Trail on Powdery Snow - YouTube

It would sound horrible if a sample were taken at each note. It would lose authenticity, sounding more like what people think is passable. It would obviously be too clean, and too… detailed for what it was designed for.

Of course, I just need to get a sampler of some sort, and plug it into Cubase, but then, I’ve wasted all the hours I’ve spent composing in OpenMPT.
Heck, I could even just export directly from OpenMPT. But it still feels like a huge waste of time and effort, considering I could have written those songs in a fraction of the time in Cubase.

Grrr… Unity has this… But then Unreal is superior. I am upset. But that was long ago, and I’ve already converted all of those to WAVs. (I don’t care about disk space. The game is small enough. But me and most of the team are audiophiles.)