Diggers ingame music

Started by swirlythingy, September 23, 2011, 19:51:46

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OK, all being well (which is unlikely, since this program has a fondness for going disastrously wrong just when I think I've found the last bug*), a new version of my RJP->S3M format converter is nearing completion.  It now copies original sample data where possible (rather than recording it at different pitches) for better quality playback, and no longer downsamples some instruments (since it sounded awful).  It detects duplicate samples, and those which differ only in volume, resulting in much smaller files in some cases (notably Sensible Golf).  It also attempts to intelligently determine how many beats are in a bar so that the pattern lengths better match up to the rhythm of the music, meaning fewer patterns should be required (most dramatically in Flight of the Amazon Queen 12-01).  A number of other optimisations and accuracy improvements are present.  Unfortunately, since the samples are now of twice their previous quality, most files are much bigger.

* (And, right on schedule, just as I was typing the above paragraph, I heard a piece of truncated sample data in the James Pond 3 music playing in the background.  Better luck next time? >:( )

Anyway, since I'm looking at Richard Joseph's music once again, I want to ask a question I've been meaning to for a while: Is the Diggers ingame music supposed to sound like that?

I'm talking about subsong 34 here, the one which plays (plus sound effects) while you're actually digging through the planet Zarg.  Currently, this is a conversion nightmare, due to using nothing more than two very long samples which both quote pointers to other samples in both their vibrato and tremolo data pointers - a more or less nonsensical thing to do, although not unheard of (world 3 of the Chaos Engine uses a similar trick to great effect).

I remember watching my big sister play the RISC OS port of this very game, and I don't remember the pitch of the strings wobbling all over the place like it does in my conversion.  Sadly, I haven't been able to get the game working again, and in any case, the fidelity of Archimedes conversions of Amiga music players has historically been, erm, variable.

Nor, apparently, is it available on Amiga Longplay (a criminal omission in my opinion), and I haven't been able to find any other ingame footage of the original (not CD32) version on YouTube either.

So, can anybody supply some kind of recording of the background music as it is played in the original Diggers game itself?

I have a suspicion that the vibrato and tremolo pointers were actually ignored by the version of the player used - I certainly found a recording of the intro from Cannon Fodder 2 where the player used seemed to have no support for them, resulting in the siren sample at the beginning (which is supposed to slide up and then down) sound like a glitch.  Before I write anything, however, I'd like to know if my theory was correct, or if the music in the original game really was that weird.



I've never played this game so I wouldn't know the "correct" sound. However, the subsong 34 _does_ play rather decently with DP. I've attached a record of this 20 seconds long zik. Maybe it will help. It's in mono, unfortunately, but it's enough I guess to notice "weird" sounds.
Oh, and the game is 4 disks or a CD32 .. and no trainer found ;).

Hope this helps


I'm afraid that was subsong 33, not 34! :P

34 should be the very last one.

(33 isn't in my RJP archive because it's a copy of the last few sequence positions of the previous subsong, 32.  I can only assume it must be a quirk of whatever program was used to compose the music, since such subsongs appear to be bewilderingly common - I have also caught them after the Chaos Engine credits music, and the Robocod title music, among others.)