Questions regarding sound editing

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Xfing
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:07 pm

Questions regarding sound editing

Postby Xfing » Tue Jan 07, 2014 12:17 am

Hey,

I have some questions regarding the editing of sounds for Descent 2.HAM and Descent2.S22.

In the HAM file, as seen through HAXMED32, there are 255 items that correspond to sound, these items can be allocated to other items so that they can play in certain circumstances. However, many of those 255 items are either empty or redundant, and the editor provides no way of changing that, apart from allocating existing sound items to others, like for instance making item 255 be the same as item 1, so whether you allocate item 1 or 255 to some texture or weapon won't matter.

But the program doesn't give you the ability to allocate free .wav files to the sound items. Now I know this could be handled through DTX2, but DTX2 doesn't allow sound item insertion either - all you can do is replace.

Right now I'm making a custom S22 sound file to accomodate all D1 robot sounds, but I have hit a snag when I realized I could tinker with some door sounds too. Remaining unused sounds only allow me to add two D1 door sounds, and I chose that to be the metallic, industrial door sound and the trademark Descent 1 secret door sound.

But the truth is, the HAM could easily allow for more sound files and the S22 file could use more items too. Is there any software with a moderately friendly interface that could allow me to do that work?
Sirius
Posts: 1987
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:29 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
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Re: Questions regarding sound editing

Postby Sirius » Wed Jan 08, 2014 8:04 am

Not that I know of, no. There's a guy I could pester to resume work on his HAM editor, don't know how close it was though. It more or less remains my best hope for something to actually happen there.

The other problem is that I have no guarantee that the game itself doesn't have some arbitrary hard-coded limit that prevents it from loading more than that number of files.
Xfing
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: Questions regarding sound editing

Postby Xfing » Sat Jan 18, 2014 3:24 pm

Even if there's such a limit, it wouldn't really be a problem. There are 255 items in Descent2.HAM, but to give an example: three of them use the same sound file. They're called something like powerup:health, powerup:energy, powerup:lasers. Each of them attributed to the respective pickups. But all use the same sound of picking up a powerup that we all know. In theory, after tinkering with the files, we could attribute powerup: health to all item pickups and replace the sounds of powerup:energy and powerup: laser with some D1 door sounds, then attribute these sounds to a door texture so that they play when a door opens and closes.

Actually, so many sound items in the 255 are vacant or redundant that IMO we could easily reintroduce all sounds from D1 into the HAM, perhaps even without sacrificing any of the D2 multiplayer sounds. Having an editor that would enable us to do it would be awesome to say the least.
Sirius
Posts: 1987
Joined: Tue Sep 25, 2007 10:29 pm
Location: Bellevue, WA
Contact:

Re: Questions regarding sound editing

Postby Sirius » Tue Jan 21, 2014 9:17 am

Removing redundancy may require (compatibility-breaking) game code changes though - when Descent needs to play a sound effect, I believe it looks it up by index (0-255). Even if the index for one type of powerup is translated to the same sound file as the index for another type of powerup, it still needs to stay there for the game to function correctly, because the game is hard-coded to look at that specific item.

Vacant spots are a different issue - if they're not being used, nothing bad will happen if you put something there.
Xfing
Posts: 29
Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 11:07 pm

Re: Questions regarding sound editing

Postby Xfing » Mon Jun 16, 2014 9:34 am

Sirius wrote:Vacant spots are a different issue - if they're not being used, nothing bad will happen if you put something there.


Well, the only problem is, I don't know how to do it. It seems like a vicious circle to me, because:

- There are 255 elements in the Sounds_2 tab, as accessed with Haxmed32. You can open the vacant ones in the editor, but you can only assign to them sounds already assigned to the non-vacant files (because the vacant files such as #78 don't appear in the sound choosing menu in the program)
- There isn't any way that I know of to make the vacant slots visible in the sound selection menu in Haxmed32
- The vacant slots are not visible in DTX2 either. If they were, it would be child's play to add sounds to them. I've counted around 60 vacant sound slots in the HAM - more than enough to reintroduce all D1 sounds without having to replace even one of the multiplayer sounds.

So, what I need to know is:
- how to make the vacant slots visible in Haxmed32
- how to insert more sounds files into descent.s22 instead of replacing the existing ones

If these two criteria were met, it would already be possible to complete the new s.22 file. Alternatively, is there some other software that would allow me to do this? Any info would be much, much appreciated.

Update: I have noticed that it is possible to choose the vacant slots via manual input in Haxmed32, which means they can very well be assigned to robots, weapons, doors or whatever. The problem is: I don't really know of a way to assign intrinsic sounds to these slots, such as for example slot #78 is D1 door 2 opening and #79 is D1 door 2 closing. Then I could just manually select the texture for door 2 and assign it the opening and closing sounds by choosing #78 and #79. No biggie.

The problem is that DTX2 fails to see these vacant slots, so no file can be assigned to them.

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