Zork Nemesis Sound Format

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Haravikk
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Zork Nemesis Sound Format

Post by Haravikk » Thu Sep 25, 2014 12:00 pm

I know it's a bit of a long-shot, as I don't expect many people have tried this, and fewer still may be here, but I was hoping to find out if anyone knows what the exact audio encoding of Zork Nemesis' .raw audio files is?

One of the design documents hosted on this site mentions:
Audio Actors are Audio Interchange Files (AIFF) that are interactively played back. Audio actors are 16b @ 44.1 kHz samples compressed @ 3:1. Audio actors are ~300kB.
But so far I've not had much luck finding anything that can convert the encoding reliably; Audacity can load many of the files as 8-bit PCM, but with a ton of noise, most likely because PCM is uncompressed while the format may have some basic compression involved; clearly not enough to prevent PCM decoding from producing recognisable sound, but somehow distorting the end result.

The reason I'm hoping to find out is because I'd really like to listen to the awesome music from this game in as high a detail as possible; since no soundtrack was ever released, all we have is an audio "rip" which is actually just a recording of the music from various points in the game (anywhere without any other sound-effects to disrupt the recording), but it's not of the best quality.

I've tried a few times to reach out to Mark Morgan (the composer) in case he might know if there are any original source files in existence, but so far haven't been able to get a response. Anyway, I'm going to keep trying with my trial and error approach, and maybe read up on some of the AIFF compression schemes to see if one of them might work, but if anyone else has any knowledge about these files it'd be much appreciated!

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KM3K
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Re: Zork Nemesis Sound Format

Post by KM3K » Thu Sep 25, 2014 1:05 pm

First off, welcome Haravikk! I hope you're enjoying the website!

For your question... Adrian Astley (RichieSams) did some work toward implementing Zork Nemesis and Zork Grand Inquisitor in ScummVM last year. In one of his blog posts, he talks a little about the audio processing. You can find that post at http://richiesams.blogspot.com/2013/07/ ... rsons.html . That "Marisa Chan's source code" he mentions is from the ZEngine project, which can be found at https://github.com/Marisa-Chan/Zengine .

I don't know a whole lot about audio formats, but hopefully that will point you in the right direction.

Haravikk
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Re: Zork Nemesis Sound Format

Post by Haravikk » Thu Sep 25, 2014 3:20 pm

This looks like exactly what I need, thanks! I should be able to use this to whip together a quick program to decode the files into something I can use, thanks again!

TooLKikS
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Re: Zork Nemesis Sound Format

Post by TooLKikS » Thu Jan 08, 2015 12:21 am

Any chance you had success Haravikk? I haven't even begun to investigate extraction of the audio, I just have that recording created from way back. It'd be nice to get some higher quality music. I'm insisting on a minimum of 320kbps these days.

Haravikk
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Re: Zork Nemesis Sound Format

Post by Haravikk » Fri Jan 30, 2015 3:57 pm

Unfortunately I only managed to get certain files, mainly sound effects; I wasn't able to get some of the longer ambient sounds and the music, which seem to use a slightly different format.

My computer died a little before Christmas and I'm still getting it up and running again. However, I did discover an interesting option in the popular ffmpeg media encoder for zork_pcm as an audio format, though I haven't had a chance to give it a try.

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