Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

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Marten
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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.

1/12/2020 update - goatmeal1 has uploaded most of the soundtracks to Andrew, and I've filled in the rest.
Last edited by Marten on Sun Jan 12, 2020 8:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

goatmeal1
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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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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by goatmeal1 » Sat Dec 14, 2019 5:22 pm

I had a little extra time this weekend, so I thought I would get a head-start on the known tracks you are missing thus far. They ripped just fine from my discs, and after listening to all of the rips, there are no errors to report except for one:

King's Quest 6 [Disc 2] - 21 Girl In The Tower (Vocal, Digital Version).wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 11 Make Up Classroom.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 12 Cell Block Love (MIDI Version).wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 13 Blues Bar Part 1.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 14 Blues Bar Part 2.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 15 Blues Bar Part 3.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 16 The Pool (Air For Your G-String).wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 17 Shock Your Booty.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 18 Cavaricchi.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 19 Spanish Nights.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 20 Azfarazikan Sea.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 21 Employee Canteen & Dance Hall.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 22 Rose.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 23 The Penthouse.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 25 Big Band Larry.wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 26 Cell Block Love (Vocal, Digital Version).wav
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 27 ''Greatest Hits Of Leisure Suit Larry 6'' Medley.wav
Quest For Glory 2 - 27 Defeat Of Ad Avis.wav
Quest For Glory 2 - 28 Closing Ceremonies.wav
Quest For Glory 2 - 29 Quest For Glory 2 Postlude.wav
Sierra Sountracks, Volume 1 (2nd Release) - 10 Colonel's Bequest Closing Themes.wav

** ERRORS ***
Leisure Suit Larry 6 - 24 Shamara.wav

There are two distortion errors between 1:43–1:44 present in the WAV rip and while listening to the CD-R in a CDA Player. I've tried my best to minimize them using GoldWave to edit out two obvious blocks of ~0.002 seconds each. While they are "softer," they are still noticeable, but I can't see any obvious errors remaining in the waveforms...

However, if you listen to Tom's original MP3s -- as I have from my personal files (pre-2004), as well as the MMAS/QSA website -- they are present there, too, so they may be errors inherent in Tom's original audio file:

https://www.midimusicadventures.com/que ... acks/lsl6/

=========================

As I said, I haven't found my SQ4 CD-R for some reason -- which is very odd, since all of the other Quest Studio CD-Rs were in the same storage box. Hopefully you won't have any issues ripping your version if I can't find mine...

1. What is file format you are looking for? Is WAV okay?

2. What would be the best way to get these to you? Do you have a website or a place where I could upload the files? If not, I can put them in my Google Drive and send you a link to the files.

(Unfortunately, being a new member with only 2 posts, I cannot private message you on this forum, so I'm not sure how to get these files to you or directly contact you at this time. Perhaps you can private message me instead?)

3. Is it your intention that these lossless versions will be available for others to download, or is this strictly a private archival project with no public release/access? Just curious.

Thanks!

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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by goatmeal1 » Sun Dec 15, 2019 7:56 am

(Found SQ4. Was in the same box as the others, but the side graphics for the CD case are unlike any of the other Quest Studios labels that Tom designed: thin, white letters against a black background, with a font size that is quite small. With the poor lighting in that room, I just kept overlooking it...)

HamJamSpamalot
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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by HamJamSpamalot » Thu Dec 19, 2019 7:33 am

That's interesting, The Greatest Hits of Larry 6 medley isn't available on the website but it is on the physical CD (which I don't have). Hopefully it will be posted soon!

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Marten
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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by Marten » Fri Dec 20, 2019 12:21 pm

Hey folks,

It's great to have some collaboration on this. :)

There haven't been any updates from me in a while because while ripping these discs, my disc drive died, so I need to replace it. Until I find time to research that and get a new one, I'm on pause.

I'll update when I'm able to resume.

For the moment, don't worry about how to get the files to me. And ultimately I am hoping Andrew will be able to take the files, and post them - that's my goal, anyway.

goatmeal1
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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by goatmeal1 » Fri Dec 20, 2019 6:08 pm

1. I had a little more free time this past weekend and was able to rip my entire collection (again, Inca is the only one I didn't get from Tom).

I haven't had a chance to listen to all of the tracks -- I didn't have THAT much free time :lol: -- but using Exact Audio Copy v1.3, I didn't run into any defective CD-Rs or problems during the rips. There were several timing errors on Track #1 for each and every one of the discs, but no extraction errors. That might be a problem with my disc drive, however, as a commercially-pressed CD ripped during the same time also exhibited Track #1 timing errors. I do have a second disc drive in my set-up; if the timing errors cause any audio issues (which I haven't heard any thus far), I'll try again on my other drive or on my laptop...

2. I also read-up on and implemented the FLAC file format, so now my collection is saved both WAV format and FLAC-5 format.

3. If Andrew is able to host these files here, that would be great! :)

goatmeal1
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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by goatmeal1 » Mon Dec 30, 2019 11:09 pm

...Aaaaand it looks like I never got Tom's updated release for QFG4, which includes his special arrangement of "The Music Box" theme (absent from the initial release).

Here's hoping Marten or someone else has that track, and that is able to be ripped without issue.

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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by andrew603 » Tue Jan 07, 2020 12:13 pm

Hey guys.

Lots of stuff going on here. Great work! I'd love to host FLAC versions of the CDs! Exact Audio Copy into FLAC is great! Another great tool is MP3Tag: https://www.mp3tag.de/en/ You can batch edit the metadata of the files, including adding embedded cover art. I can provide a Dropbox folder you can upload to if you like. I'll PM you all with a link.

@goatmeal1, I'm sorry I missed your past emails. Not sure why. Please feel free to send over that missing QFG track! :) I've sent you an email with a Dropbox link you can upload directly to me. If you didn't get it, let me know.

I am definitely also interested in Legacy, and the LucasArts Anthology.

I'm hoping this year will be the year I finally can get a bit more involved with the site here again. Fingers Crossed. :)

~Andrew

Ari
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Re: Physical Quest Studios CDs and digital preservation

Post by Ari » Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:46 am

Hi all!
Just wanted to say it's great to see that Sierra music is alive and kicking (well, alive anyway ;) ) even in 2020. :)
The only Audio CD I have from Tom is Space Quest 4. Haven't tried playing it in years, but if need be, I can check whether it's still working.

Happy new year!

Ari.

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