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Tutorials & Help » Emulated Recordings vs. Authentic Recordings - Do's and Don't of Both!!

Pages: 1
Author Thread
FishGuy876 / Brainstorm

483 Posts
#133 (13 years, 10 months ago)
This is a quick post to help people understand the process of uploading songs & song data from emulated/non-emulated sources. It isn't really intended as a step-by-step process for the actual upload (will make a seperate post on that), it's more a document on the types of song to upload and the different song types available.

This covers only a small number of specific platforms, though the process in general can be attributed to almost every platform we have on the site.

Emulated, or Non-Emulated?
This is always a big topic on any music site! Without a doubt, we prefer to receive authentic recordings from any hardware source. There are many sites on the web that provide them, or the tools to get them from your own equipment. In the same breath, there are situations where authentic recordings are very hard to come by. There is also the fact that not everyone has the real hardware available to do recordings.

We WILL accept emulated, high-quality recordings on the site. We'll also take authentic recordings of the same songs later as they become available (forum posts should be made with links to update the existing tracks). We'll try and go over some of the diffeent formats later in this list to talk about the differences in more detail, as well as where you can get authentic recordings from for most platforms.

Obtaining Genuine Recordings
There are many sources out there on the web for obtaining genuine sound recordings, rather than list each individual one we will cover some of the most common ones here.

C64 & Amiga Sound Recordings
Stone Oakvalley did the entire world a HUGE favour when he put 2 major music collections online, first, the Stone Oakvalley Authentic SID Collection (SOASC), then he really did us proud by releasing the Stone Oakvalley Authentic Music Collection (SOAMC).

SOASC is the only online MP3 collection of the entire C64 HVSC (High Voltage SID Collection) and is recorded in multiple revisions and versions of the SID hardware (Both C64 and C128 for example). If you plan to upload any SID songs to the site, and you don't have a genuine recording, this is the site that will have it. Stone Oakvalley offers an R2 and an R4 version of each recording for classic C64, and an 8580 recording. Download each version, see which one sounds the best and remove any excess crap from the start/end and upload it after re-encoding it at a lower bitrate (we reccomend re-encoding between 128 and 192kbits). See 'Using Stone Oakvalley Tracks' at the end.

SOAMC is the only collection I have ever known, that attempts to take the music created on the Commodore Amiga and turn it into MP3 format. This includes all forms of the hundreds of custom sound formats available on the amiga. It also merges several major sound collections for the amiga into it, and as a result, there are more than 102,000 files! Thats a hell of a lot of music, covering games, demos, personal productions and more. See linking notes below.

Using / Linking To Stone Oakvalley Recordings - Important
Stone Oakvalley has a lot of information on his site about his recordings (See This Link). While it goes without any question of a doubt that the original owner of the song is the guy who composed it, SO asks that we provide a link to his site saying that's where we obtained it from. So as a rule of thumb, any of his tracks that get uploaded must contain a message along the lines of 'MP3 Recorded by Stone Oakvalley (Link to SOAMC / SOASC)'. I use the following template when I upload one of his recordings (correct the URL accordingly to the SID/Amiga recordings) :

Authentic recording from Stone Oakvalley's collection

ZX Spectrum / Amstrad Recordings
World of Spectrum has a number of genuine recordings on its website and FTP site. Its a hit and miss case of finding ones that are in good quality, complete and are the correct length.

Recording From Emulated Sources
Many emulators exist on the web for recording various different formats. Some are good, some are bad, and some are not to be used at all because they suck. The key thing to remember when recording from an emulated source is how well the output sounds. If it sounds flaky, then don't use it. Try and find a real source instead.

No sites I know of offer a huge amount of genuine YM recordings, although most (still active) speccy coders offer their songs as MP3 downloads from their sites, which have been recorded directly on the hardware that they were composed. Such recordings are a good example of testing your emulated sound recordings; If you can match the quality accurately, then its safe to say other emulated recordings should turn out just as good! We reccomend something like Audio Overload, Jam player, or Sergey Bulba's player.

As for other platforms, there are a few sites but nothing as big as the Oakvalley collections.

Spectrum/Amstrad CPC AY, Most YM Tracks
The preferred emulator of choice (and reccomended by the musicians) is Sergey Bulba's AYEmul player. It plays every speccy/YM/CPC format pretty much ever created and more. With detailed song information, accurate playback and direct WAV export, its by far the best and most accurate player on the web. The fact that its recommended by composers to play back their work is also an indication of it being a good player

Hope this document helps someone Feel free to ask questions if you have them

79 Posts
#135 (13 years, 10 months ago)
in the case of Amiga songs download MIX-version from stone oakvalley in order to avoid too wide stereo polarization with headphones (sometimes original is good too, but you have to be sure). If you use emulated stuff, deal with polarization in some other way (for example UADE123 has --headphones option)

with C64 you may try R2 version first (R4 didn't arrive until 1987). If song is newer, then the probability increases that newer SIDs play it better. If song has lots of samples, it is necessary to listen all three recordings carefully before deciding. In my experience R4 handles usually samples better than others (for Netherworld, Arcade Classics & Skate or Die that was the only choice which worked).

6 Posts
#463 (12 years, 5 months ago)
What is the situation for original soundtracks from cart-based systems that had an official CD release in Japan? I've been thinking about recording some of my Genesis games (I have around 100 carts) but a lot of games (even some obscure ones) had an official soundtrack in Japan. These often contain original versions of the songs (not arrangements).

Sometimes the recordings just sound ok, but other times it sounds like they were recorded with professional hardware and cleaned up professionally (I can't hope to match these). So, if there's an original soundtrack is it ok to submit these, or do you still prefer recordings from the hardware?
FishGuy876 / Brainstorm

483 Posts
#464 (12 years, 5 months ago)
If you have an original soundtrack, we do have a category for that, and depending on the machine you could put it in a couple of different places.

A lot of Soundtracks for games like Genesis often contain a bit of remixing or reverb for CD audio purposes, which makes the sound a little different. A safe bet there is to put them into platform Computer » PC (Game CD Audio). For the other Genesis games, you could also put them in the Console » Mega Drive / Genesis category, and set the Source to "Game (CD Audio)" and add a note in the Info section that it was taken from the CD soundtrack.

If you get stuck, just ask in the oneliner

6 Posts
#466 (12 years, 5 months ago)
Thanks, I didn't think about the added reverb, etc, so I will just record from the carts I have. Hopefully I'll be able to have some time to record soon. Another stupid question, where do I actually submit files? Do I have to have rights to do that, or did I overlook something obvious?

34 Posts
#474 (12 years, 5 months ago)
Yes DarkWolf you can upload the musics that you want. Then a moderator will accpet or reject them. When that happen you recive a PM, You have to submit the files in the artist page where it says "Upload a new song by this artistt"
Deleted by request

167 Posts
#475 (12 years, 5 months ago)
Computer » PC (Game CD Audio) is for games that have the music on the game CD (usually called redbook audio) and you should not upload OST soundtracks there.

Amiga CD32 CD music should be uploaded to "Amiga" platform with "Source" as "Game CD audio".

Sega Saturn CD music uploads to "Sega Saturn" platform with "Source" as "Game CD audio".

Playstation CD music uploads to "Playstation" platform with "Source" as "Game CD audio".
Greetings, program!

53 Posts
#565 (12 years, 2 months ago)
For VSTis emulating the sounds of old platforms (e.g., Magical8bitPlug for NES), should the Platform be "PC Custom" (or some such) or the platform being emulated (NES)? Platform NES with some other Source value? Thanks!
FishGuy876 / Brainstorm

483 Posts
#568 (12 years, 2 months ago)
For systems emulating the sounds of old platforms, you should use the platform of the emulated machine. If the VST is emulating the NES (such as FamiTracker) then you would set it to NES
Deleted by request

167 Posts
#570 (12 years, 2 months ago)
If the music is not able to play on the real platform (NES in this case) so should the platfrom NOT be set to NES... "PC custom" is fine.

Magical8bitPlug describes as using "game like sounds".

96 Posts
#672 (11 years, 11 months ago)
I would like to point out that Steve Oakvalley's collection is recorded on the R4 SID chip with so extreme filter curve that IMHO all R4 records almost for sure sound suspiciously or just plain bad.
FishGuy876 / Brainstorm

483 Posts
#673 (11 years, 11 months ago)
* Stone Oakvalley, and its well-known his R4 chip is crap. I prefer the R2 or 8580 SID's anyways as they sound much better.
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