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Thread: The Official System Shock 2 Soundtrack

  1. #76
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    I have never tried AAC, is it mayhaps a much higher quality format than mp3 eh?

  2. #77
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Finland, Helsinki rock city
    I did a lot of testing with different encoders when I decided to re-rip all of my music and in my honest opinion, AAC beat the hell out of LAME (this has been debated a lot on different forums around the net, and I came to the understanding that it boils down to personal preference. But I thought LAME produced utterly "artifacted" results). What continues to puzzle me, though, is that when I choose variable bit-rate for AAC, the file-sizes go up

  3. #78
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    LAME may not be the reason for the artifacts, I don't hear any artifacts at all when ripping my (unscratched) CDs, and I have expensive headphones along with 24bit crystalizer enabled.

    I'm gonna try out AAC sometime, I'm an audioholic and I follow recommendations.

  4. #79
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by MorbusG View Post
    I did a lot of testing with different encoders when I decided to re-rip all of my music and in my honest opinion, AAC beat the hell out of LAME
    You clearly have a very shaky grasp of this subject.

    AAC is a lossy audio format.
    MP3 is another lossy audio format.
    LAME is a utility used to create MP3s.

    LAME is widely considered to be the best MP3 generator around. So if you're getting inferior results with it, you're using it wrong.

  5. #80
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    LAME is more like an audio codec rather than an utility as far as I know. There are many programs on the internet that utilize it though, I for one use WinLAME.

  6. #81
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    LAME is available in a variety of forms. Originally it was just a command-line utility but it's since been repackaged as a DLL, an ACM plugin, and probably a few other things.

  7. #82
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by BR796164 View Post
    For example LAME is such a great encoder it has output of awesome quality even at 128kbps, with additional options to put emphasis either on quality or encoding speed, full stereo instead of joint stereo and more.
    For the sake of information, I ripped the CD to .wav files first, then encoded them in LAME (using the RazorLAME frontend).

    I used the latest version of the encoder and set it to normal stereo, 320 and q0, plus flipped the "Quality" flag under Optimization.

    So yeah, as far as mp3 files go these are super high quality; I'm not sure what settings I could have used to get even higher quality, actually. It took forever just to encode them, and the file size is pretty damn big compared to a lot of 256-range VBR settings.

  8. #83
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    I think WinLAME first extracts the songs I want to rip to a temp folder, and then encodes them like I had configured. (of course 320k, heh)

  9. #84
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2003
    Location: Purgatory

    Whoot!

    Thank you MysteryDev!

    I'm listening to the cutscenes now, makes me want to play through SS2 again.

    Hmmm...

  10. #85
    Member
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Finland, Helsinki rock city
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    You clearly have a very shaky grasp of this subject.
    No, I really don't.
    AAC means basically "rip with iTunes" for me, since it's the best free m4a/aac/mp4/however the fuck you'd like to put it, encoder around.
    LAME means basically "make an mp3" for me, since it's the best free mp3 encoder around.

    Friggin' language puritan.

  11. #86
    Member
    Registered: Jun 1999
    Location: Procrastination, Australia
    Quote Originally Posted by MorbusG View Post
    What continues to puzzle me, though, is that when I choose variable bit-rate for AAC, the file-sizes go up
    Why wouldn't they go up? My understanding is it's dynamically assigning more data to areas of perceptually larger frequency ranges above a minimum bitrate. Ergo; generally bigger files than those compressed to a constant bit rate (where the constant rate is equal to the VBR minimum, certainly).
    But its been while since Ive read about this stuff.

  12. #87
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Quote Originally Posted by Bjossi
    Mp3 supports 48 kHz, not sure if it'd do any good ripping with that sampling rate though.
    That's called oversampling, but if your CDs aren't pure DDD recordings or you aren't ripping sound from newer native 48kHz formats like miniDV, DAT or DTS theatre system and DVDs, I doubt it would have much meaning.
    More on oversampling : http://www.earlevel.com/Digital%20Au...rsampling.html

    I don't hear any artifacts at all when ripping my (unscratched) CDs, and I have expensive headphones along with 24bit crystalizer enabled. I'm gonna try out AAC sometime
    That just means your hearing isn't good enough to hear the artifacts you just can't hear. Afterall human hearing is far from perfect. Uncompressed audio CD has a bitrate of 1411.2 kbps, so even if you are encoding at 320kbps, you have theoretically a significant loss of audio information - which are generally considered as unnecessary for human hearing. In this aspect the small difference between most common bitrates of 128/192/256/320 seems to be rather ridiculous. But then again, it depends on what encoder people are using. I've heard that LAME is able to encode even at 640kbps after some modification, but apparently manufacturers of most players available on the market consider this bitrate as unnecessary, since very few people with refined hearing could notice a difference on that particular sound system and stock speakers/headphones.

    Your CDs also don't need to be scatched to contain artifacts. Don't think your CDs are completely unscratched, just most of the thousands of barely noticeable microscopic scatches don't cause problem for the laser to read the medium properly. Physical damage of the medium, artifacts already present in the mastered recording and artifacts produced by encoding procedure are three entirely different things, you know.
    Last edited by Rogue Keeper; 26th Apr 2007 at 05:48.

  13. #88
    Member
    Registered: Mar 2001
    Location: Ireland
    Well, I do always encode MP3s at ultra-high quality (which takes quite a while...), and in any case have a preference for ogg these days, but I'm still saying that I usually can't hear the difference between 128K MP3 and the original track. They all kind of blur together after a while of listening to the same clip of two different versions over and over, trying to hear some small amount of difference...

    It also depends on what you're listening to. Something with a lot of complex instrumentation will sound noticably worse at 128K, whereas something that was maybe not the best quality recording to begin with will have no noticable difference. It's also quite possible that I just have bad ears and/or equipment.

  14. #89
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    Quote Originally Posted by BR796164 View Post
    I've heard that LAME is able to encode even at 640kbps after some modification, but apparently manufacturers of most players available on the market consider this bitrate as unnecessary...
    It's got nothing to do with what manufacturers consider necessary or not. 320kbps is the highest legal bitrate allowed by the MP3 standard. Any MP3 with a higher bitrate than that is non-conformant.

    MysteryDev, I hope you're not put off by all this nitpicky prattling on our part. The sudden addition of such a significant artifact to our little SS2 reliquary has us all a bit excited.

  15. #90
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Non-standard bit rates up to 640 kb/s can be achieved with the LAME encoder and the --freeformat option, but few MP3 players can play those files. Gabriel Bouvigne, a principal developer of the LAME project, says that the freeformat option is compliant with the standard but, according to the standard, decoders are only required to be able to decode streams up to 320 kbit/s.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP3#_note-3

  16. #91
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane
    And you're repeating me... why?

  17. #92
    BR796164
    Registered: Dec 2000
    Location: Bratislava, Slovakia
    Basically to make your statement more enlightening.

    But I also sense a slight difference between "320kbps is the highest legal bitrate allowed by the MP3 standard" and less strictly formulated "according to the standard, decoders are only required to be able to decode streams up to 320 kbit/s."

  18. #93
    New Member
    Registered: Feb 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by ZylonBane View Post
    MysteryDev, I hope you're not put off by all this nitpicky prattling on our part. The sudden addition of such a significant artifact to our little SS2 reliquary has us all a bit excited.
    Don't worry, I'm not. I find it kind of amusing, but ultimately I'm glad that I've put out something that the fans want. The 320 UHQ setting I used is plenty fine for anyone who wants to listen to it, and that's what it's for....to be listened to. People have been very kind with their thanks, but I say don't thank me, thank Eric for creating a world class soundtrack. I just do ... other things in the game making process, and maybe people appreciate that too. :-)

  19. #94
    The Architect
    Registered: Dec 1998
    Location: Lyon
    Hello Bluesnews guests!

  20. #95
    Member
    Registered: Jul 2004
    Location: Reykjavík, Iceland
    Quote Originally Posted by MysteryDev View Post
    I just do ... other things in the game making process, and maybe people appreciate that too. :-)
    It takes a team to make a game, even though Eric does great music there would be no game to use it in without the rest of the development people.

  21. #96
    Member
    Registered: Dec 2002
    Location: Saint-Petersburg, Russia
    "I was the producer, video director, and I did some of the techno songs. As producer, I was the guy who talked to EA and helped straighten out problems between the two companies. I managed a team of artists/animators to make the cutscenes. I managed Ryan Lesser to create the awesome Shodan 3D artwork for the cover and cutscenes. (He is now the art director @ Harmonix.) I worked with Eric Brosius to create some techno tracks."

    More here:

    Last edited by Valet2; 27th Apr 2007 at 18:27.

  22. #97
    ZylonBane
    Registered: Sep 2000
    Location: ZylonBane

  23. #98
    Member
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: 10,000 Tacks
    Another voice in the choir: many thanks to MysteryDev for stepping up and making this available. I've had SS2 music on my system for some time now - no idea where it came from - but having the "official" soundtrack is something entirely different.

  24. #99
    New Member
    Registered: Apr 2007
    Thank you mystery dev. Now, if you could get the source code for TS I would totally begin modding the game.

  25. #100
    FYI, I'm hosting this on southquarter downloads if anyone wants an alternate source...

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