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General Category => News Submissions => Topic started by: RHDNBot on September 04, 2014, 04:48:51 pm

Title: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: RHDNBot on September 04, 2014, 04:48:51 pm
(http://www.romhacking.net/newsimages/newsimage1541a.png) (http://www.romhacking.net/newsimages/newsimage1541a.png)

Update By: Bregalad

The Final Fantasy V advance that restores the sound has now been updated, it now features 100% authentic music and sound effects, and supports all three versions of the ROM (Europe, Japan and America).

Even the reverb was made to sound like the original SNES version.

This version also fixes things that were even wrong in the original GBA release (and previous versions of this hack) : The correct music now plays in correct places, and the framerate drops in the game are eliminated.

RHDN Project Page (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/563/)

Relevant Link: (http://www.romhacking.net/hacks/563/)
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: vivify93 on September 04, 2014, 08:39:52 pm
Thank you for updating the patch, Bregalad! It's odd, but it seems a lot of people prefer to make hacks of the US version of FFV Advance instead of the EU release.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Dwedit on September 04, 2014, 10:08:21 pm
I'm hearing some clicks during the intro song.  Especially around the scene with Galuf.  Something screwy must be going on, this will probably be hell to track down.
Haven't tested this on Hardware yet, but I'm seeing this in VBA-M and old VBA.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 05, 2014, 04:13:02 am
This happens on hardware too, but not as much as on VBA. And if by any means you or anyone can figure out the reason for it then I'll be very grateful and happy to fix it. This glitch is extremely annoying. I've spent hours and hours trying to find the reason for those clicks, in vain.

No existing GBA emulators had enough debugging features to give me any clue of what's going on, including the shareware version of no$gba.

My only guess is that somehow the DMA 1/2 channels are prevented to be reset properly when they reach the end of the buffer. However I absolutely did not touch code in regard to DMA1/2 channel filling, so I don't know if this happens in my hack why it happens in the original.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: shadowsofcreation on September 05, 2014, 05:59:27 am
This is an extremely cool hack/patch, in fact I have downloaded all three of your projects and want to thank you for helping to provide the definitive versions of both Final Fantasy V and VI. I have a concern about this update though, the intro sequence on the Orchestrated song has always been slightly unsynchronized with the visuals on screen which is understandable, but with this latest update the non orchestrated version seems to be off by a LOT more (at least when I play it) so much so that the last 30 or so seconds of the intro are completely silent. Is this a known bug? Did my patcher somehow not work correctly? I tried this with both the EU version of the game and the NA version of the game (with the appropriate patches) and still had this issue.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Dwedit on September 05, 2014, 11:09:37 am
So at what time is the sound update code called?  Maybe if it's called at a consistent time every frame, the clicks will disappear.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 05, 2014, 12:10:20 pm
I applied the patch to a U rom and there is insane slowdown when moving on the world map. The game's FPS cuts down to like half or less,  it's literally unplayable. Anybody else have this problem is it just my rom/emulator?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 05, 2014, 12:19:00 pm
Guys, terrible news, I'm running into computer problems, my computer refuses to boot except on this first aid Linux session I'm writing this message from. Hard drive crash or something like that, I *could* have lost some or all of the sources of this hack, I don't know yet. This would make future fixing more difficult (but not impossible).

Given my very limited knownlege of Linux I don't even know how to try to access the drive that seem to be faulty if it doesn't appear by default. And it's a SSD I bought new barely a year ago. Perhaps the warranty is just not over yet ? (I'll have to double check)

@shadowsoftcreation : What part of the game are you talking about ? I made sure all the songs are synchronized since I did this error in version 1.0 of my FF6 patch. So I of course made sure everything was syncronoized in this update (at the price of a major downgrade in quality in the orchestral intro - but that's another problem).

It's impossible you have 30 seconds of silence at the end of the intro - the exact opposite is supposed to happen since the SNES original - the end of the intro song is cut off by the fall of a meteor and is therefore not accessible in the game. It is however accessible with the music player. This applies to both orchestral and sequenced versions, and to all regions.

It seems there is a little diffrences in delays in different languages, making the music slightly "off", but there's nothing I can do about this and this is already present in the original GBA ROM. In any case, what you mention (30 seconds of silence at the end of intro) is not possible.

@dwedit : I have no idea. I just changed the mixing code itself.

@TheZunar123 : During the zillion of experimentations I did have that exact problem at some point. However it should not appear in the version I released. The cause was the placebo BIOS of Virtual Boy Advance not being accurate enough. On real hardware or with VBA using the real BIOS, this bug would not appear. I since then made sure that even with VBA and the default placebo BIOS this problem would not appear. If it does that's really weird. You should use a real BIOS or real hardware I guess. I'd love to double check that, but my computer is giving me even more trouble than this patch's release now :(

EDIT :
@ vivify93:
I'll assume the bug you encountered is the exact same as TheZunar123 : The intro was slowed down like crazy because of the placebo BIOS, causing the music, who plays at normal pace, to finish early. In that case my answer is the same : Use an emulator with real BIOS or use real hardware

I can't even run *any* emulator right now unfortunately.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 05, 2014, 12:26:17 pm
I'll test the patch on real hardware tonight and see if it'll work there. From what little I've played though, the patch definitely seems an improvement. One of my major complaints was the battle theme, but you fixed it where it still sounds like SNES but doesn't have that piercing beginning. Good work!  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Dwedit on September 05, 2014, 01:46:00 pm
If you know what your patch code looks like, and the hard drive still can be read from, you can DD the drive image off of it, then find your patch code.
But yeah, I always always release source code now.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: shadowsofcreation on September 05, 2014, 03:32:44 pm
Well it's not 'impossible' because it's happening. By the time Faris shows up on screen during the intro the intro music is already completely over (with the non orchestra version of the patch). It very well could be an emulation problem but it's happening. With the orchestra version it's much closer though. Once again not a big deal, I can just stick with the orchestral version, but I'm curious if anyone else has this problem. It seems like it's happening because of the FPS fix perhaps? The game seems to lag really bad at the very beginning of the intro while the color is slowly fading from black to the image of the castle.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 05, 2014, 04:00:27 pm
@shadowsoftcreation : Please read the "EDIT" part of my former post if you didn't already. The music speed is not the problem - the game's speed is. (you even just said that yourself which confirms that)

I hope to release a 3.1 version that fixes those problems but that won't be anytime soon. I don't even know why VBA slows down like crazy with the placebo BIOS, nor why there is clicks in some places when dialogue windows opens.

The later problem is definitely worsened by VBA : On real hardware a click of random amplitude is happening sometimes, and you have to be unlucky to hear a loud click. On VBA the click is systematically loud.

Well I know the drive can't boot anymore but I don't know if I can still read some parts of it or not, I'll need to find another drive, install windows on it, and then try to read the old drive with this new system setup. I can boot Linux from a CD or SATA slot with the faulty drive inserted in another SATA slot, but I don't know how to try and access the suspicious SATA drive from here.

And while I have a backup it's a bit old as I did it mid-hack. I also did another very stupid error recently to my backup and I only figure that now :(
I didn't release the source but I shared it with someone so it's not definitely lost.

Advice to everyone : Avoid SSDs that are too cheap ! If at least I bought this offline I'd have a chance to have warranty, but here I'm screwed :(
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Dwedit on September 05, 2014, 07:32:25 pm
My Intel SSD failed once.  It turned into an 8MB drive named BAD_CTX.  Did yours do something like that or what?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 05, 2014, 10:40:21 pm
Tested the patch on more accurate GBA BIOS and on real hardware, works like a charm! Great work!  :thumbsup:

HOWEVER, I have a bug report. If you quicksave, return to the title screen, and load a real save, the title screen music keeps playing into the actual game. It fixes itself if you get into a battle, but I thought I'd mention it. Not sure if you were aware of this.

About the volume popping, I get it when I adjust the volume on my GBA, so perhaps it's just an issue with the GBA's sound hardware.

The only slight detail that bugs me is the attack sound for the knife. It sounds so static-y and corrupt, though I believe that's how it sounded on SNES so I can't fault you for that.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 06, 2014, 04:05:57 am
Quote
HOWEVER, I have a bug report. If you quicksave, return to the title screen, and load a real save, the title screen music keeps playing into the actual game. It fixes itself if you get into a battle, but I thought I'd mention it. Not sure if you were aware of this.

Thank you, no I wasn't aware. I know exactly what causes this, though. This is because I moved the "prelude" music from layer 0 to layer 1 to fix a bug where it would continue to play at the same time at the battle theme if you loaded the bestiary from the title screen. So both bugs are mutually exclusive, but there's no way to get neither. it's really weird this "works" in the GBA original, though.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 06, 2014, 11:20:22 am
Ah, I see. I wouldn't worry too much about it though, it's not anything game-breaking. I don't think everyone quicksaves and then loads saves all the time. I just use it for a quick reset, and since it has a simple fix I don't have any issues with it.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 06, 2014, 11:23:15 am
This isn't related really, but you are supposed to press A+B+Select+Start for a quick reset.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 06, 2014, 03:07:34 pm
Really? I did not know that. I should've thought about the game having a soft reset function, but it never crossed my mind. Thanks.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 06, 2014, 04:34:50 pm
Quote
My Intel SSD failed once.  It turned into an 8MB drive named BAD_CTX.  Did yours do something like that or what?
No, apparently there is just an error whenever I try to read it. This happens on both Linux and Windows so far. I can't even run a Checkdisk on it or anything.

The brand is Unigen, I'd recommend everyone to stay away from that brand as much as possible !

Quote
I should've thought about the game having a soft reset function, but it never crossed my mind.
Almost all GBA games have this function. On the NDS, it's L+R+Select+Start, and on the Playstation 1/2, it's L1+L2+R1+R2+Select+Start.

I always remember the first time I've met this doccumented was in the beginer's room in Final Fantasy VII. The game was poorly translated from Japanese to English then poorly translated form English to French, so many things made few sense.

The guy was saying in French something that would translate into "If you want to start again, press L1+L2+R1+R2+Select+Start". However, I had no idea start again what. I was getting the idea that doing this button combination would be a New Game+ feature or something. But no it was just a soft reset.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Dwedit on September 07, 2014, 01:10:17 am
Can the disk still be read when not mounted?  HXD can open disks without mounting them, as well as reading it with dd on Linux.  Of course, if you used NTFS compression, finding files by scavenging from the disk might be out of the question.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 07, 2014, 05:36:28 pm
Apparently, a allocation table fault is the source of the problem (not that I'm 100% sure if it at all, but one of the linux based repair tool I tried tells me that).
I did use NTSF compression :(

September 08, 2014, 03:56:04 pm - (Auto Merged - Double Posts are not allowed before 7 days.)
OK I now have a 100% working computer again, I put all the (somewhat dated) backups back so I can analyze what's going on again.

1) I just experienced the slowdown just as described with VBA and the placebo BIOS. By using VBA + real BIOS or the real hardware this is fixed. I have no idea why this happens. I knew about this problem before releasing the patch, and thought I fixed it but I didn't. This is not a problem since it's an emulation problem and not a hardware problem, so technically I have nothing to fix on this one, VBA authors does ;)

2) There is clicks in the sounds, just as said above. They happen in VBA once you use the real BIOS, strangely they don't appear with the placebo BIOS (however, strange clicks appear instead). On real hardware the clicks are here, but they are much less noticeable

3) The intro patch europe with orchestra somehow don't work at all and have no effect on the ROM.

I'll not be able to fix 1) because it's VBA's fault, and I'll only be able to fix 2) if I get help about those clicks. However I'll definitely fix 3) and try to release a version with a working orchestral intro, assuming anyone cares anymore.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 08, 2014, 04:34:40 pm
I'm assuming by clicks you mean like the occasional pops and static-y audio. I typically play GBA games on my flash cart and since the pops aren't as noticeable they don't bother me.

Might as well put my two cents on the orchestrated intro as well. It doesn't matter to me, I use the U rom because better font and smaller filesize.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: vince94 on September 11, 2014, 07:48:30 am
I just updated my copy to the latest version of the patch, and all of the sound effects (spells, monsters dying, etc.) went back to the GBA version! What gives?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 11, 2014, 08:32:34 am
First off, what patch did you use? I used the U patch and the audio works like a charm. Did you use the E patch, and if so which one?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: vince94 on September 11, 2014, 10:10:31 pm
I used the "without orchestra" one, it must not have been updated :P Oh well!
EDIT: Same thing with the American ROM. SNES music, but strange sound effects.
EDIT: Something just occurred to me...the Cura spell in the current patch is very quiet and shorter than the on-screen animation, and I'm used to it being a louder "pl-pl-pl-pling!!!" sound. Have I just been used to the GBA sound effects this entire time!? :O
The "enemy dying" sound is different too, it's muffled and more bass-y.

Either way, I'm not hearing any pops or clicks! Maybe you guys are getting buffer underrun with the sound settings.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on September 12, 2014, 03:59:16 am
Quote
Have I just been used to the GBA sound effects this entire time!
Sounds like it's the case. The sound effects have been restored to the normal SNES ones.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on September 12, 2014, 08:39:12 am
Yeah, that's likely the case. I'm still somewhat used to the GBA sound effects so I know how that feels. Some of them I actually prefer over the restored SNES ones, but for the most part the restored SNES ones sound better (except for the knife attack; I know that's how it sounds in the SNES version but it's always sounded slightly off/corrupt to me).
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: OllieDixon on October 13, 2014, 06:15:37 pm
I can't for the life of me get the with orchestra patch to work. Tried multiple roms. Losing my mind. Can anyone provide the CRC of the unpatched rom you used (that worked)?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: TheZunar123 on October 13, 2014, 10:11:21 pm
He mentioned a few posts above that the orchestral patch isn't working, he's fixing it and will update soon.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: OllieDixon on October 13, 2014, 10:12:32 pm
Doh! Thanks  ;D
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on October 14, 2014, 06:18:16 am
Oh I completely forgot I had to do this, thanks for remembering me. I'll note this on my TODO list.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on October 26, 2014, 04:57:58 pm
I just bump to say that the patch "with orchestra" should now be fixed and working.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: tatundria on January 13, 2019, 09:59:29 am
V3.0a still has a lot of popping sounds. I am using mgba with retroarch on Nintendo Switch and the original gba bios. Please, is there any way to fix it?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on January 15, 2019, 09:25:38 am
Back when I updated to version 3 (that is, 4 years ago) I spent a lot of time trying to find the reason why there was those clicking sounds in emulators and I couldn't find why. I'm also certain those didn't happen on real hardware, so maybe you should contact the emulator's authors and ask them to fix their emulator to match the bahaviour of real hardware.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: tatundria on January 27, 2019, 07:46:44 am
Can't get the audio to work properly in FFV sound restoration patched in latest mgba core v0.7 in retroarch (sound popping) but it works perfectly when I run it from mgba emulator v0.7. The thing is that I need it to work in retroarch. Please, can you help me?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Stremon on May 03, 2019, 03:42:41 am
The sound effects have been restored to the normal SNES ones.
Hello Bregalad,
Thanks for your amazing sound patches!
However there is one thing that really bother me; once patched, the game music and sounds become mostly mono, with a clearly lower sample rate than both the Snes and the original GBA ones.
It's really a big flaw for me since I play mainly with earphones and Gameboy Player, making everything sound even worse than the unpatched one...
Is there a way this can be fixed with original Snes stereo and sample rate?
If it increases the file size I don't mind since my flashcart supports 32MB roms.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on May 03, 2019, 05:48:09 am
Hello Bregalad,
Thanks for your amazing sound patches!
However there is one thing that really bother me; once patched, the game music and sounds become mostly mono, with a clearly lower sample rate than both the Snes and the original GBA ones.
It's really a big flaw for me since I play mainly with earphones and Gameboy Player, making everything sound even worse than the unpatched one...
Is there a way this can be fixed with original Snes stereo and sample rate?
If it increases the file size I don't mind since my flashcart supports 32MB roms.
Hello Stremon,

First of all, if it's the latest version of the patch which we're talking about, you're wrong about it being mono, everything, music and sound effect, is stereo. You're right that the sample rate is lower than the SNES version, and also the "original" GBA but only by a small margin. This sacrifice was necessary in order to make the sound engine as quick as possible in order to avoid lagging/slow down during gameplay, and to allow the echo effect to sound as close as possible as the SNES version.

It's possible to have a higher sample rate in order to sound similar to SNES, but this would make :

In the end this clearly wasn't worth it - having the sound as close as possible to SNES but a little bit muffled, and the game as fast as possible, sounded like the best option to me. I could have made various versions of the patch and let the end-user chose what he prefers, but this would have been terribly complicated to test and maintain.

I'll conclude by saying that even though the SNES have a sample rate of 32kHz (and the GBA patches only have about half of that, 16kHz), the sounds on a real SNES is quite muffled because of how the gaussian filtering in the S-DSP works. So in a SNES emulator or SPC player you can get more trebble than what is audible on real hardware. (By using a higher sample rate and using cubic interpolation instead of gaussian makes it possible to have even more treble - sounds great but that's now how the real SNES sounds !). In the end playing the patched GBA version or SNES version on real hardware wouldn't make that big of a difference, the GBA version would only be slightly more "muffled" than the SNES version.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Stremon on May 03, 2019, 12:27:25 pm
Hello Stremon,

First of all, if it's the latest version of the patch which we're talking about, you're wrong about it being mono, everything, music and sound effect, is stereo. You're right that the sample rate is lower than the SNES version, and also the "original" GBA but only by a small margin. This sacrifice was necessary in order to make the sound engine as quick as possible in order to avoid lagging/slow down during gameplay, and to allow the echo effect to sound as close as possible as the SNES version.

It's possible to have a higher sample rate in order to sound similar to SNES, but this would make :
  • The game would slow down and lag very often due to the processing power being used for sound mixing.
  • The echo would probably have to be removed, or perhaps a version where the main sound is in stereo but the echo buffer in mono would have to be made (the echo buffers takes up A LOT of RAM - and thankfully FF4/5/6 advance have lot of free RAM but still it's not unlimited).

In the end this clearly wasn't worth it - having the sound as close as possible to SNES but a little bit muffled, and the game as fast as possible, sounded like the best option to me. I could have made various versions of the patch and let the end-user chose what he prefers, but this would have been terribly complicated to test and maintain.

I'll conclude by saying that even though the SNES have a sample rate of 32kHz (and the GBA patches only have about half of that, 16kHz), the sounds on a real SNES is quite muffled because of how the gaussian filtering in the S-DSP works. So in a SNES emulator or SPC player you can get more trebble than what is audible on real hardware. (By using a higher sample rate and using cubic interpolation instead of gaussian makes it possible to have even more treble - sounds great but that's now how the real SNES sounds !). In the end playing the patched GBA version or SNES version on real hardware wouldn't make that big of a difference, the GBA version would only be slightly more "muffled" than the SNES version.
Thank you for the explanation, I understand sacrifices had to be made in order to have the game run well.
And it's already amazing what you managed to do here ;)

Maybe I didn't explain well what I meant; I can hear the sound is stereo, but barely, especially compared to the other versions. I don't know if it's the low sample rate or what, but with the last version of your patch, on stereo speakers there is barely any difference between left and right sound.

I tested both original GBA and Snes games on real hardware (GBA with earphones, Gameboy Player, DS Lite and real Snes), and the stereo is very clear, for both the sound effects and the music.
Also I tried it through my Amp with Dolby PLIIx, since this sound enhancing process is redirecting the mono sounds on the middle speaker, while leaving the stereo ones on the side speakers. For the original game versions, almost all the sound goes to the side speakers, but for the patched one the sound can be heard almost only on the middle speaker.

I will try to record it if I manage to input the sound to my PC, it's a huge difference. But of course on a normal GBA front mono speaker, it doesn't make much difference, there might not be many people who even realized it :laugh:

You are talking about the echo, how often is it used during the game?
Is that a big difference if we remove the effect completely?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on May 05, 2019, 06:17:18 am
You're welcome.

The sound is in full stereo. The music uses paning data from the SNES game. The "original" GBA version used other panning data, but this wasn't used. The sound effects however uses panning from the GBA since it's not part of the sound engine itself but main engine which tells the sound effect to play with this or that panning. (*) I have no idea what you're talking about but it's just your imagination.

When it comes to echo, it's used at all times and effects music significantly.

(*) EDIT: Maybe that's what might now work properly (sound effects panning) ? I must admit I never payed a lot of attention to this.
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: tatundria on November 17, 2019, 10:14:59 pm
Still not able to remove that popping noise that this patch produces in retroarch. Any help?
Title: Re: ROM Hacks: Final Fantasy V advance - sound restoration updated
Post by: Bregalad on November 18, 2019, 03:19:05 am
Still not able to remove that popping noise that this patch produces in retroarch. Any help?
Answer:
[This poping problem] happens on hardware too, but not as much as on VBA. And if by any means you or anyone can figure out the reason for it then I'll be very grateful and happy to fix it. This glitch is extremely annoying. I've spent hours and hours trying to find the reason for those clicks, in vain.

No existing GBA emulators had enough debugging features to give me any clue of what's going on, including the shareware version of no$gba.
Today that I completely forgot the details of how the sound mixing code was hacked, there's very little chance that I could figure out the cause of those clicks if I couldn't back when I was actively involved.

Some clicks/pop are significantly more noticeable in some emulators than on real hardware. This is the emulator's problem and it's emu authors' work to fix that, not mine. On real HW there is pops, but much less, and the real HW behvaiour is the real behaviour.