AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Chat about anything related to the QuestStudios Archive, Classic PC Games, MIDI, Etc.

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Marten
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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Marten » Sat Mar 27, 2021 8:43 pm

Ari wrote:
Sat Mar 27, 2021 4:41 pm
Maybe Xeen used some program similar to the AGI-to-MIDI programs I linked to, and perhaps remixed them to create an MT-32 soundtrack, but that's his own work entirely (which in and of itself, is nothing to sneeze at).

What am I missing here?
Except that is not what Xeen has said. He is saying that he is posting the “official MT-32 version” and is only attributing credit to himself for certain tracks as “unofficial” recreations. All of this is explained at the start of this discussion, and for more context, click through to one of Xeen’s videos.

It’s possible this is all a misdirect, but it’s also possibly legit. See: https://www.applefritter.com/content/ap ... -interface

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Spikey » Sun Mar 28, 2021 6:07 am

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think the Apple IIgs was ever supposed to work with the MT-32, so I doubt any soundtrack was written specifically for it. Maybe Xeen used some program similar to the AGI-to-MIDI programs I linked to, and perhaps remixed them to create an MT-32 soundtrack, but that's his own work entirely (which in and of itself, is nothing to sneeze at).
The likelihood appears to be the Apple IIGS soundtracks were composed like the early 1988 SCI scores (KQ4/LSL2/PQ2), for the default 128 MT-32 instruments, and then effectively "converted" for the PC AGI versions, like Sierra would later do for "lower order" conversions.

That, or the arrangements were expanded for the Apple. I don't know much about the point in history, so I don't know chronologically which came first.

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Spikey » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:34 pm

Latest research by me -

So I have found a way to extract the Apple IIGS MIDI.. but not the SysEx (although SysEx wouldn't have been used with a Apple). While default instruments were possibly used, it appears they were used in non-default order, ala the early SCI MT-32 scores (KQ4/LSL2/PQ2).

I got the SQ2 theme to play the way it does in Xeen's video by using the KQ4 SysEx. It's possible his theory is just a theory, and the music was actually arranged for the Ensoniq chip in the Apple II, which has who knows what MIDI instrument order (or does it use custom waveform samples?). It may just be Xeen found a SysEx file by trial and error that sounded good on files. It seems OK on most I've tried so far, but the SQ1 theme is wrong, which leads me back to "it's a theory" for now.

In other words, my current belief is that these ARE MIDI soundtracks (that's been proven now I think), but not necessarily composed for the Roland MT-32, although that is still a possibility. I guess I'll hit Al Lowe up and ask him. :)

For now, you too can play the SQ2 theme in its possible MT-32 glory, if you use this attached MIDI and the KQ4 SysEx (not included).
Attachments
SQ2.zip
(3.62 KiB) Downloaded 156 times

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Ari » Mon Mar 29, 2021 2:55 pm

Cool! Definitely going to check it out!
Thanks Alistair!

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Marten » Tue Mar 30, 2021 12:28 am

Fantastic work Spikey!

"Composed for MT-32" could apply to new themes developed just for the IIgs version, and potentially for games released across multiple platforms including the IIgs simultaneously. "Reorchestrated for MT-32" would be the more technically correct term for anything ported from earlier releases, I think. But also it’s possible as you’ve hypothesizes that everything was intended for the IIgs native sound system (with the Ensoniq chip) which I am led to believe supported an early form of MIDI, and playing on an MT-32, while possible, might not have been intended. Curious: why do you say SysEx wouldn’t have been used on an Apple platform?

Of the following, the only one where we have a specific date for the IIgs port appears to be King's Quest.

Black Cauldron, The - released 1986. No date listed for IIgs port.
Gold Rush - released 1988. Could possibly have been originally composed for MT-32! No date listed for IIgs port.
King's Quest - originally released in May 1984 for the IBM PCjr with ports to other platforms later. Wikipedia says the Apple IIgs version came out in 1988, "Based on the 256K PC versions, adds PCM sound effects and new music composed by Al Lowe."
King's Quest II - released May 1985. Wikipedia notes it released on Apple IIgs "with improved soundtrack and graphics". No date listed for IIgs port.
King's Quest III - released Oct 1986. Wikipedia: "The Apple IIGS version had improved music and sound effects." No date listed for IIgs port.
Leisure Suit Larry - released 1987. No date listed for IIgs port.
Manhunter: New York - released in 1988. Could possibly have been originally composed for MT-32! No date listed for IIgs port.
Mixed-Up Mother Goose - released 1987. No date listed for IIgs port.
Police Quest - released 1987. No date listed for IIgs port.
Space Quest - released Oct 1986. Wikipedia: "Apple IIGS owners were treated to a fifteen-voice soundtrack with notably richer sound." No date listed for IIgs port.
Space Quest II - released Nov 1987. No date listed for IIgs port.
Thexder - released 1985 for NEC PC-8801. Sierra released port in 1987. No date listed for IIgs port.

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Spikey » Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:19 pm

I think I have some dates for the Apple games, I'll get back to you on that when I have some more time.

And no problem guys, you're most welcome! I made a mistake though- the Apple IIGS uses channel 1, which obviously the MT-32 doesn't, so the MIDI file needs to be edited or the MT-32 needs to be set to channel 1-8 mode.
"Composed for MT-32" could apply to new themes developed just for the IIgs version, and potentially for games released across multiple platforms including the IIgs simultaneously. "Reorchestrated for MT-32" would be the more technically correct term for anything ported from earlier releases, I think. But also it’s possible as you’ve hypothesizes that everything was intended for the IIgs native sound system (with the Ensoniq chip) which I am led to believe supported an early form of MIDI, and playing on an MT-32, while possible, might not have been intended. Curious: why do you say SysEx wouldn’t have been used on an Apple platform?
Well, the obvious question becomes, "Why would someone compose for the Roland when that isn't what it's going to be performed on?". It'd be like composing the MT-32 era games for some other device. It doesn't make a lot of sense.

The ports are reorchestrated as you say, but they're also often featuring new compositions.

The IIGS absolutely used MIDI, or a close variation of. It was so close to standard MIDI, the resources can simply be extracted from the game as MIDI without any file-altering conversion.

SysEx - the reason Sierra used SysEx was to send patches to the MT-32, and occasionally in GM games to perform a reset. I can't imagine there was any need for it with the Apple games, and also even if the scores were composed on a MT-32, the Apple wasn't using one, so it wouldn't have needed the MT-32 patch bank.



In further news, I got SQ1 extracted, and there's only 4 music tracks. Listening makes me think they are the main theme song (a more primitive version of the SQ2 one) and 3 bar tracks for the Keronian Bar.

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Marten » Tue Mar 30, 2021 4:46 pm

FYI, LateBlt covers the Apple IIgs music you can expect across the King’s Quest and Space Quest series. And yes, he only showed 4 themes in Space Quest.

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PL87AFCC8454CE0A01

Re: SysEx - that makes sense to me. So if there is no SysEx... that would seem to support the theory that the score is not (as Xeen portrays it to be) an “MT-32 soundtrack” at all, merely an Ensoniq soundtrack that Xeen may have remapped to MT-32.

But it IS still MIDI, and that is pretty neat. I wonder if there is an emulator that perfectly replicates the Ensoniq sound now? (When LateBlt recorded his videos, there were some issues, notably with the hovercraft in SQ2.)

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Spikey » Wed Mar 31, 2021 6:29 am

Re: SysEx - that makes sense to me. So if there is no SysEx... that would seem to support the theory that the score is not (as Xeen portrays it to be) an “MT-32 soundtrack” at all, merely an Ensoniq soundtrack that Xeen may have remapped to MT-32.

But it IS still MIDI, and that is pretty neat. I wonder if there is an emulator that perfectly replicates the Ensoniq sound now? (When LateBlt recorded his videos, there were some issues, notably with the hovercraft in SQ2.)
Agreed. And since we have recordings of what the Apple was supposed to sound like, one can fairly easily map that to MT-32, and then convert to GM as well.

I say MT-32 to start with because the instrument velocities are low, which matches up with the MT-32 much better (assuming it wasn't composed for it, which I feel is a fairly safe assumption for now).

It appears that the guy who made the AGI extractor that works with Apple II games as well, doesn't have a way to extract non-AGI files, like the patch file if it existed. I'll try at least to get MIDI scores for the major Quests extracted soon.


If anyone wants to work on this themselves, the program is WinAGI, and the games have been sourced from the TOSEC collection, which can be sourced here:
https://archive.org/details/Apple_II_GS ... 2012_04_23

You will also need a program like CiderPress to extract the resources from the disk images (which then need to be renamed without the # and numbers afterwards). Then WinAGI can load them, and resources can be extracted. Note that Apple II games have only 2 types of sound resource, WAV files and MIDI sequences. :)

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Marten » Wed Mar 31, 2021 10:18 pm

Tip: When using CiderPress, uncheck "Add file attribute preservation" and the #xxxxxx stuff won't be added. Works great.

But I need more instructions on how to use WinAGI. I'm finding that WinAGI isn't intuitive for me. I'm using v2.1.10.

On any game I try to use "Import Game", it responds "<folder> is not a valid AGI game directory". That is not what I expected after reading the help file enthusiastically declare that "Any" Sierra game can be imported.

When I try Resource->Open Resource on SNDDIR from King's Quest (1) for IIGS, I get 681: Invalid sound resource file.

I was able to use Resource->Open Resource on DATA\KQ4DIR from King's Quest IV for the IIGS. That shows Track 0, Track 1, Track 2, and Noise, which appear to be 4-voice polyphony for one piece of music. I don't see any other music. It sounds awful, plays one know and hangs. Probably isn't opening correct.

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Re: AGI, MT-32, and the Apple IIgs

Post by Spikey » Thu Apr 01, 2021 7:05 am

It isn't intuitive for me, either. The correct way to open resources is NOT to open the menu (lol), but to select "Sounds" from the GUI dropdown menu (NOT the top left menu). I think it says "AGI" by default.

For some reason I thought the preservation box was necessary to keep a file extension? I forget.

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