Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

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Marten
Quest Studios Veteran
Quest Studios Veteran
Posts: 21
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2015 9:01 pm

Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by Marten » Sat Nov 30, 2019 1:57 pm

Back in the day, when Tom Lewandowski produced recordings of Sierra soundtracks and posted them at his website (now archived here), Tom also produced a limited number of physical CDs that he mailed to Quest Studios forum participants for a nominal cost.

I have a set of these discs. Unfortunately, home-pressed CDs do not last as long as commercially-pressed ones. I've known for a while that my discs were deteriorating.

I'd like to find anyone else that also has the physical CDs, and see what we can do together to produce a set of lossless recordings.

I'll list here the discs in my possession and the condition. (I'll be updating this post as I work to rip the set.)

Approach:
  • Preliminary testing (first few discs only)
  • Rip the disc
  • Listen to successful tracks to ensure they're OK
  • Try and re-rip problem tracks
EcoQuest: The Search for Cetus
  • Status: Disc ripped (2nd pass)
  • Known errors: None
Inca - missing from MMAS Archive
  • Status: Disc ripped (2nd pass)
  • Known errors: Track 17 failed; disc has been failing since 2008, low chance of recovery, files may be corrupt
King's Quest VI (2-disc set)
  • Status: Disc 1 (3rd pass) & 2 (2nd pass) ripped
  • Known errors: disc1: None; disc2: Track 21 failed
Leisure Suit Larry 1 & 2
  • Status: Disc ripped (2nd pass)
  • Known errors: None
Leisure Suit Larry 3
  • Status: Disc ripped (1st pass)
  • Known errors: None
Leisure Suit Larry 5
  • Status: Disc ripped (2nd pass)
  • Known errors: None
Leisure Suit Larry 6
  • Status: Preliminary testing
  • Known errors: Begin at track 11
Quest for Glory II (I have a credit for contribution on this disc :D)
  • Status: Preliminary testing
  • Known errors: Begin at track 27
Sierra Soundtracks Volume 1 (2nd release)
  • Status: Disc ripped (2nd pass)
  • Known errors: Track 10
Not yet attempted - below
Quest for Glory 4 (2-disc set) (with original and reissued disc 2)
Sierra Soundtracks Volume 1 (original)
Sierra Soundtracks Volume 2
Sierra Soundtracks Volume 3
Space Quest IV
Space Quest V

I also have these additional items:
Legacy by Tom Lewandowski
LucasArts Anthology by LucasFans

goatmeal1
Posts: 1
Joined: Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:38 pm

Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by goatmeal1 » Fri Dec 13, 2019 7:33 pm

Marten,

This is a very worthwhile project; thank you for undertaking it.

I, too, have all of the Sierra CD-Rs that you mentioned (even Legacy) except for one: Inca. Instead, I have the original Sierra soundtrack ("The Music Of Inca" by G. Douieb), which is why I didn't get Tom's version.

For those who may not know, the 2nd release for the QFG4 Disc #2 includes Tom Lewandowski's special arrangement of "The Music Box" (from Old Nikolai's house), which is absent from the original disc.

And looking back at my notes, the reason for the 2nd release of "Sierra Soundtracks, Volume One" was that the audio level of the Right Channel was about ~¼ less than that of the Left Channel. After I contacted Tom about this, here is his Email reply from May 1, 1999:

(And yes, I have also kept all of my old Eudora MBX files...)

>I do have one question, though. Several tracks appear to have the primary
>melody coming through more prominently on the left speaker than the right
>-- the right sounds a little muted. On other tracks, L & R are perfectly
>balanced...

This was apparently caused by the MT-32's output vs. my sound card's input.
I tried to compensate by adjusting levels, but it seemed to change the
song's balance to drastically. I've since found the culprit: a poor 1/4"
to 1/8" plug converter. I replaced it and the balance is fine. I was
going to re-record some of the tracks, but I was still satisfied with the
overall sound despite a little 'shift to the left'. If you look at the WAV
files, you'll see it's not that much in most cases. But any future CD's
will have this corrected. I appreciate your sense of perfection very
much!! Nobody else has noticed that little shift. It's always refreshing
to hear from someone who appreciates good sound qualities!
So, you might be able to rip Track 10 from the original release of "Sierra Soundtracks, Volume One," modifying the volume of the Right Channel as necessary.

I have found every Quest Studios disc except for Space Quest IV; for that one, I'll likely need to do more digging. I'll be happy to go through and see what can be saved/salvaged from what you are missing. It likely won't happen until after holidays, however.

Thank you again for the effort, and cheers!

~Goatmeal


P. S.
I have also tried to contact Andrew about certain missing tracks from the QuestStudios Archives that I downloaded back in the day and still have handy -- like the HQTrack16 file ("The Tavern"), which was only released as an MP3 and not an OGG -- but so far, I haven't gotten a reponse either time from Andrew. Just wanted to say the offer still stands...

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