(and probably Zwei and other Cybersound-using games?)
This is just a heads-up on something I got working, which some of you may know about (or at least the SEQ half, which I posted about years ago). I feel mildly proud that I figured it out, despite its simplicity; that, combined with the fact that there probably aren?t a huge amount of people who care, means I?m reluctant to post it anywhere besides a PD stronghold such as this.
I?d long known that Sega Saturn programming whiz Cyber Warrior X had written a tool called SEQ2MID to convert the SEQuence files (*.SEQ) from games using the Cybersound synthesising system to standard MIDI files. However, this was rather useless without the original instruments and because the assignation of Cybersound instruments to MIDI instruments was basically arbitrary and affected by different home pitches for the original instruments, different keys for percussion instruments, etc.
What I hadn?t known, and am now feeling suitably silly about, is that CWX also wrote a program called TONCNV?whose inconspicuous name is probably why I overlooked it?that can convert the actual instrument samples (referred to as TONe files, I guess) corresponding to those SEQ/MIDI files to DLS (DownLoadable Sound, very similar to SoundFont) files. It also comes with DLSMerge, which can merge the MIDI and DLS files into an RMI (Riff MIdi) file that can be played with a few capable applications.
This is all made more amusing by the fact that I only learned of TONCNV from someone on a forum topic I stumbled across while searching for something that was at best tangentially related; this person had claimed that this procedure couldn?t be carried out for Saga and that the game used streaming audio?presumably because they overlooked (1) the Cybersound logo, (2) the presence of numerous SEQ files on the CDs, and (3) the fact that the samples are stored in files named *.BIN, not TON (because who would think about simply trying other files that looked appropriately sized? :P).
What all this means is that you can easily obtain MIDIs and corresponding samples of the music from Saga, and presumably from Zwei and other Cybersound-using games. This makes it trivial to either play the files (which sound almost identical, barring the lack of Cybersound reverb and other effects, and some minor differences in volume and panning)?or, probably more interestingly, to load them into your sequencer of choice and study the compositions, alter instrumentation, remix, etc.?
Being a massive fan of this soundtrack, I was completely elated to get this working and to be able to see the tracks in a state somewhat resembling how they would have looked as Saori Kobayashi and Mariko Nanba were working on them (I can only imagine what their hardware was like!).
The possibilities are endless, basically. Especially for those of you who have more talent than I! That said, I?m amusing myself by messing about with instrumentation (that panpipe from ?Atolm Dragon? just demands to be used) to my own limited ability; if I come up with anything passable, I?ll let you know! I also must try this on Zwei once I get access to it.
Looking forward to seeing what you think.