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Author Topic: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1  (Read 13431 times)

Bregalad

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Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« on: March 06, 2011, 05:10:21 am »
I'm soon going to release a 1.1 version of my FF6 sound restoration patch, which restore the horrible GBA sound with the original, better SNES sound.

This will fix synchronization issues with the original patch (for the opening, opera and ending), and will fix a few things here and there in other songs (for example missing cymbals in the world map theme will be added, etc...)

I'm also going to fix the synchronization during the opera which was the major problem of the original patch. The problem is that I don't know what version to use.
I exchanged emails with a guy who told me I should do an English version of the opera. There is also an english opera verison out there, but there is a few problems :

- The english opera have the same lyrics as the GBA version, except the introduction where the lyrics are different. I think it will look weird if the opera is in english but the lyrics aren't the same.
- The end of the Aria di Mezzo Carattere is completely different, and therefore it will be hard to modify it to fit the game. I also had to modify the japanese version by removings part of it, but it worked out well (except the sync problems)

So I'd stick with the japanese version BUT... with the japanese version there is sometimes more people singing than what appears on screen which is weird as well.
So I'd do a mix of both but people might find wierd that there is both Japanese and English songs in the game.

It would be great if I had an orchestra at my disposal to play the opera closer to the sequenced original songs, but heh I don't think this will happen so... What should I do ? Japanese, English or mix ? If anyone has opinions about this please share.

PS : I'm also thinking about release a completely revised FF5 patch because now that I was able to resequence all FF6 and get better results the FF5 patch looks a bit ridiculous compared to it. However I don't know if somebody will play it if they all already played the older version.

BlackTelomeres

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #1 on: March 06, 2011, 02:54:03 pm »
Firstly, I have to say I'm a big fan of the original version of the patch since it fixes a major issue with FF6A, so I look forward to these fixes. The sync issues were basically the only problems I had with 1.0.

Regarding the specific issues you bring up there, I don't think I ever noticed there were more people singing in the Japanese version than those who appeared on screen during the opera (if you mean it happens even in v1.0 and not just due to the fixes you'd be making). Obviously, I did notice the sync issue though. If it is present in 1.0 and they're just background singers rather than anyone having a solo role, then I may have noticed it but just didn't have a problem with it, since background singers could often be offstage or something. If it was someone with a solo role, then with just a casual listen I probably couldn't tell their voices apart from those of the primary characters who were on screen =P (Ralse, Celes, Draco, etc.) Since most of us don't understand Japanese, male voices will sometimes sorta be able to blend in with other male voices which don't sound too different and females with other females as long as the text is appearing while the lines are sung and disappears during periods of silence.

Anyway, I don't really like the idea of a mix of both versions if lyrics sung in both Japanese and English will be in there. That'd probably seem somewhat unprofessional and unnatural, although I can't entirely judge until I've seen it. (However, if an instrumental portion from, say, the English version would fit in un-awkwardly somewhere to replace a part of the Japanese instrumental segments and make the sync issue easier to fix then I'd say that'd likely be fine.)

Since the lyrics are different with the intro portion of the English opera, that might be a problem professionalism-wise too if you used the english audio. I wonder, however, if you might consider changing the text lines of that portion in FF6A to the ones sung in the audio file. I understand if that's a no-go though, since it might be altering a part of the game you don't really feel is part of the scope of this patch. Or it might be a no-go depending on what lines are being changed, since people familiar with that translation would notice it. Even barring that, it could be a no-go due to space issues in the opera segment of the script as well.

If not, then I'd say it'd probably be best just to go with the Japanese version with fixed sync.

When I saw the sync issue, however, I had wondered why it wasn't possible instead just to duplicate the SNES sound chip opera (garbled voices and all) in the same way the other songs were duplicated, but that sorta gets into the mechanics of making a patch like this one which I recognize I don't fully understand. I didn't realize you'd need to get sampling from real instruments to do so. To be perfectly honest, I'd probably prefer a version that does that over a streaming audio version with the real orchestra, since my priorities are mostly just making the game more like the SNES version. I understand if that isn't possible however. Although using the streaming audio version of the opera on the SNES FF6 OST would probably achieve basically the same thing. I guess you didn't feel that was the right way to go since you don't care too much for the garbled SNES voices or felt most people don't?

Regarding the FF5A patch, I haven't played FF5A with the old patch, so if I were to replay FF5 some time in the future, I'd probably use the newer one. I suppose you could chalk that up as at least one person who would use an improved version of the patch, but I have no idea whether I'm in the majority or minority there.

vivify93

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2011, 06:27:07 am »
This version of Aria di Mezzo Carattere is exactly spot-on with the English lyrics. However, the ending is so different that it's probably discouraging. I recommend going with the Japanese version or the Italian original if possible, though it may be weird for those playing the Italian version to hear "Amore mio, caro bene..." and see totally different lyrics on screen. :p
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Bregalad

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2011, 09:37:37 am »
Quote
This version of Aria di Mezzo Carattere is exactly spot-on with the English lyrics.
This is the english version I was talking about (I think it's the only one).

Thanks for your answers, they were helpful.

The begining of the Aria and the Duel match exactly the GBA lyrics. However, the intro have different lyrics and like you say the end of the Aria is problematic. So I guess if I can't use this version as a whole, I can't use it at all, for coherent reason. Having part of the opera from one version and another part from another isn't coherent. Exept for stricly instrumental part like Black Telomeres.

Changing the lyrics in english I wouldn't be against it (even if it's not the scope of the patch) but I have no clue how to do that, and the Aria problem subsists.

Of course it'd be technically possible to do the opera sequenced, it's just that I didn't want to have the horrible SNES voices if this could be avoided (and it could). Unlike most hacks, my hack actually replace original data with new data which takes MUCH less space, about 10 times less. I have to make a good use of the saved memory.

@vivify93 What is that original italian version you are talking about ? I throught the original was the SNES version... Did Uematsu take this from somewhere else ? I agree a true opera should be in Italian (or German or French), but unlike I can have an orchestra at my disposal this won't be going to happen.
And since the game, and the composer are japanese after all it make sense to have it in Japanese. In english it wouldn't make much sense to me...

BlackTelomeres

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2011, 06:28:23 pm »
I think the Italian version was a later creation made for the Final Fantasy VI: Grand Finale album.

vivify93

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #5 on: March 07, 2011, 07:37:23 pm »
I read somewhere that the opera was originally written in Italian, but translated to Japanese, and that the words in this were the original lyrics. I guess not though...
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BlackTelomeres

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #6 on: March 07, 2011, 10:02:14 pm »
Oh, I didn't know that was what you meant. By "version" I meant the specific performance he'd be using was later and it was on the Grand Finale album. Regarding what you're talking about, I don't know if it was written in Italian first and then translated into Japanese or if it was the reverse. I can't find any info confirming or denying that. I assume Uematsu and Kitase (both apparently collaborated to write it) don't know Italian, but maybe one of them does?

BRPXQZME

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #7 on: March 07, 2011, 10:59:30 pm »
Pretty sure the Japanese was first.
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Granville

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #8 on: March 08, 2011, 01:20:27 am »
I hate to sound bold and ungrateful, and i respect and admire ALL you've accomplished Bregalad, so don't think i'm dissing your work. I couldn't do what you've done. But i would like to say that perhaps if you're unsure what to do next, Final Fantasy IV Advance and FF I & II Dawn of Souls could both use some audio improvement if you're interested. IMO, FF5 and FF6 are already sounding amazing and don't really need much after what you did to them already, and wouldn't be in as much need of improvements as the others. That's just my two cents, hope you don't mind suggestions. Dawn of Souls doesn't have a SNES counterpart to compare to though, but the official soundtrack from the PS1 and PSP remakes is available to compare to. I figure everyone would love to hear FF4 less electronic as well.

The only real issue i can think of with your FF5A patch is the intro desync which is a little distracting and unnatural. I didn't get very far into your FF6A patch yet, but from your comments, something similar happens during the opera.

In terms of what language to use, i don't really have a preference. I've never heard the English version either. If you wanted to use the English one though, would retranslating the dialog in just the lyrics alone be an option or something like that? That might help it look less strange hearing different lyrics compared to the text.

Only other suggestions i could think of are maybe fixing up some more sound effects like you did to the cursor noise in FF6. Can't think of much you can really fix up in these games that you haven't already.

Bregalad

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #9 on: March 08, 2011, 02:31:36 pm »
Hi thank you all for your feedbacks. This is very much appreciated, and I love getting suggestion. It makes me feel less "home alone" when I romhack stuff, I know that at least a few people have tried my hacks and care about a new version which is good news !

I think I'll definitely stick to the Japanese version. If the other guy I was discussing about that complains about that I'll explain why to him.
Also I discovered another MAJOR bug that apparently noone has complained to me about, it's fun. To fix it I'll be forced to change which music in the opera are streamed and which ones are sequenced. (if anyone is interested about the bug just ask). Yes I want my hacks to be perfect.

I'd love to hack FF4 advance and FF1&2 dawn of souls as well but I've got absolutely no idea what I'd do to them ! Unlike FF5 and 6, FF4 sounds quite low quality on the SNES, so making the GBA version sounding the same wouldn't be quite an "improvement". Also I think the GBA version sounds better than what FF5 and 6 sounded. Maybe I could take any high quality synthetizer samples and redo FF4 music with them and call it an "improvement" but meh...

FF1&2 dawn of souls, I could make them sound like their NES originals, but again I couldn't call it an "improvement". I don't know much about the Origins version but I think it sounded really close to the GBA version. I'd have to compare again if this is not the case.
I would have considered do "enhanced NES remixes", so that it would basically play NES tunes, but improved with more background chords, drums etc... and in the end sounding like Mega Man Battle Network games. However, there is more tunes in the GBA version than in the NES version so that would be a problem.

Anyways I'll do this FF6 fix first because it's the most urgent, then I'll maybe either do a FF5 fix or do something to FF4 and FF1&2 if someone has suggestions that could actually "improve" the originals.
« Last Edit: March 08, 2011, 02:53:40 pm by Bregalad »

tc

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #10 on: March 08, 2011, 05:44:54 pm »
I'm doubting GBA could match PSX, but as IIRC the same tracks it's a good place to check.

Granville

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #11 on: March 10, 2011, 12:04:23 am »
When i said you could look at Dawn of Souls, i wasn't implying that you should restore it to the NES music. I was referring to the PS1/PSP version, which you can just compare and see which sounds better. Not that i'm saying the GBA can handle the overall level of quality in Origins, that might actually be impossible. But some of it could use some cleanups to make it sound less electronic. For the most part, they DID do a decent job coming close to the PS1 quality. But there are some things i could see improved (after hearing your FF5 and FF6 hacks which sound amazing). Here's some comparison of the music there-

FF1 Chaos Temple (PS1 Origins version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=suyCi-xdjNo
FF1 Chaos Temple (GBA Dawn of Souls version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0wBxExaT3I8

The battle themes sound especially low-tech when compared to the Origins one.

FF1 Battle (PS1 version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GBuQmK_qbTI
FF1 Battle (GBA version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mnUNGZMznu0

FF2 Boss (PS1 version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=09i2E7JqOAE
FF2 Boss (GBA version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mDdzvokponE

Final Fantasy IV Advance is in greater need of it IMO, it's got its own share of sound issues. I'm not sure whether you've compared some of the music side-by-side, but a lot of its themes are very low quality and electronic sounding compared to the SNES version. In my opinion, the GBA version sounds rather terrible when compared side by side with SNES. Compare a few of them if you haven't-

FF4 Battle theme (SNES version)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IGJN7JL3Daw
FF4A Battle theme (GBA)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yJu9b0brRK0

FF4 Boss theme (SNES)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cJe5v5lLKk
FF4A Boss theme (GBA)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ET3Jaeg3oiA

FF4 Red Wings (SNES)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRhXc1S0_f0
FF4A Red Wings (GBA)-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PxBekus4EUo

The DS version had some rather decent versions of these tunes as well-
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2c0ri2SLXSk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NKuS5I24Mhw
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iriyIrK9e14

Sorry for the over-linkification. I just wanted to give you ideas if you want to look at these games in the future, after you're done with your current projects. Not trying to beg or anything, just giving you some ideas.

Bregalad

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #12 on: March 11, 2011, 09:31:10 am »
To be honnest I don't hear a big difference between the FF Dawn of Souls and the FF Origins version. Sure a few instruments were distorted to compensate for the GBA's crappy speakers, and they used Gameboy channel which isn't present in FF Origin for the Battle 1 bassline. Otherwise it's basically the same.

FF4 I agree the GBA version doesn't sound awesome, but it's nowhere near as bad as FF5 and 6, especially considering the SNES version doesn't sound that good either. It was released almost at the same time as the SNES itself and Square's programmers weren't familiar with the system yet. There is very few different instruments and most of them sounds really simple.
The GBA sounds bad because it has distorted instruments to compensate for the crappy speaker, but on a real GBA this sounds ok.

I completely disagree about the DS version. It contains SO MANY WRONG NOTES; missing sharps/flats, rythm errors etc... Whoever made the port is a stupid idiot incompetent, worse than those doing all the GBA versions.

Deathlike2

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #13 on: March 11, 2011, 10:29:23 am »
Whoops, wrong thread.

FF4A's music is not quite what I'd like to it be vs FF4... FF4's much better IMO.
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BRPXQZME

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Re: Final Fantasy VI Advance Sound Restoration version 1.1
« Reply #14 on: March 11, 2011, 10:34:54 am »
I personally think there is some spark really missing from the newly-arranged FF1-4 soundtracks. FF4 DS is probably the most competent rearrangement of these four, but just about everything I like about the sound of the original versions is taken out in some way or another, to be replaced with high-fidelity samples that quite often don’t capture the essence of what made the original version of the songs work. Not sure if that’s just my taste or if a whole lot more people feel that way. But there is an intangible difference between the kind of sound you get when the musician is wrestling with the hardware all the way, and when that isn’t the case, and to me, the tremendous effort for the NES and SNES songs shines through when you set these particular soundtracks side by side.

Anyway, maybe the correct course of action is actually to reinstate the NES music for 1-3 :P
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