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Ripping samples from .vgm files?
Forum Index - SMW Hacking - SMW Hacking Help - Custom Music - Ripping samples from .vgm files?
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Has anyone here attempted to do this? I'm new to porting and was hoping to port some music from Sega Genesis roms. I'm not sure what the best way to create custom instruments from this is though. My best guess is to treat it like a normal audio file and create a .wav for only the parts I want to sample. The thing i'm concerned about though is that this will reduce the quality or increase the file size too much.

Any tips?
I -think- that's the best shot you're going to have at getting fm synth samples directly from a .vgm

That said, there's a huge collection of ripped instruments from Genesis songs intended for use with the free VOPM vst. I don't have the link handy right now and I'm on my phone, but I can upload it when I get home from work and you can use that to create your FM synth samples. I'm not sure how to get the DAC samples you'll need though.

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For fm samples, yes you'll either have to record notes from the vgm (you can solo channels to record the specific notes you want), and then convert those samples to brr. Of course, you'll have to do a lot of editing, and probably looping, to make things sound good.

For DAC samples you can either take the same approach, just solo the DAC channel in your vgm player and record. But if you open the vgm, not vgz! in an audio editor, you can get the samples out of the file directly, and I find that sounds far different, and sometimes better, than they did on the Genesis. When you attempt to open the vgm file in an audio editor, it'll probably ask you what the file format is. I think it's 8 bit unsined. You'll probably get a bunch of noise followed by the samples one after another, so you'll have to edit it to take out the ones you want. If unsined sounds distorted, try sined. I can't remember which one it is lol. You'll probably also be asked for sampling rate, which should either be 8000 or 16000 iirc, and that might well depend on the game too so you'll have to experiment.

I'll also be interested in those vopm patches. Does anyone have a tutorial that details how to make vopm patches from vgm yourself? Admittedly it might be super easy... I haven't used vopm in a long time. FM is intimidating for me so I didn't spend much time with it.

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Make more of less, that way you won't make less of more!
Welp, I have made a tutorial on that a really long time ago, but I have gotten a fuckton of experience on that specific topic nowadays, so I might as well share my current knowledge on the matter :V

If you want to rip any FM samples, sadly yeah, you'll have to sample them; there's quite a few good recording programs for that purpose tho, so pick one you like and go for it I suppose

Now, if you want a good place to to rip them, honestly I don't think ripping them from VGM files is really the way to go; what I do is load up Deflemask and scour through most of the patches I have with me (I have a complete TFI pack for most of, if not every single Mega Drive game on my possession, but the OPM pack should work fine as well), and if I find something good, I just play it as any other instrument and then sample it and do all the necessary sample editing with OpenMPT; I feel like this process is much simple and easier to do than sampling them by playing the VGM with something like foobar and isolating the channel, not to mention you can get the length to be exactly the way you want :V

For DAC samples, you could use the same tactic that musicalman talked about to rip them, but there's a better way to rip them as long as the game you're thinking of ripping the samples from uses the SMPS driver (Sonic for example uses it for every main Sonic game on the MD/Genesis); it's a bit of a complicated and confusing process tho, but someone I know of has ripped a ton of DAC samples using the method I talked about (here), and I also ripped some samples from this one 32X game called Zaxxon's Motherbase 2000, which also has some neat samples (mostly vocal/hip-hop based ones) that could be good to have as well (here); if you want to rip them yourself tho, here's a link containing the stuff you'll need to do it

that should be all I suppose; if there's any more questions you want to ask, I'll be happy to answer them #smw{^_^}
Layout by Mathos
Thanks everyone for the quick replies! There's a lot of information here for me to unpack, and being a complete noob in chiptune systems (and coding in general), I'm sure it will take a fair bit of reading to catch up on what was offered so far. I'll probably not have too much time to work on this project this week (too much schoolwork), but hopefully I can make some progress soon. I'll report back if I find anything interesting in the process.
Here's the archive for use with VOPM. I'm not sure of the source, I think I found it on a Sonic Retro post?

One we forgot to mention are the PSG instruments. I'm... not exactly sure what you could do for those. I'm sure you could find some NES samples that are close enough... Maybe a PSG VST? I remember finding one for the specific TI chip but the GUI was annoying. I'm also not sure how you'd find the PSG data, as I'm ultimately not super familiar with the genesis games' sound engines.

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Originally posted by Teyla
One we forgot to mention are the PSG instruments. I'm... not exactly sure what you could do for those. I'm sure you could find some NES samples that are close enough... Maybe a PSG VST? I remember finding one for the specific TI chip but the GUI was annoying. I'm also not sure how you'd find the PSG data, as I'm ultimately not super familiar with the genesis games' sound engines.


Yeah, I'm not exactly sure if you can rip PSG samples the normal way, so I'm guessing that the only way you could do it is by sampling it mid-song by isolating the channels? I don't actually know much of what to do when it comes to PSG sounds, especially it's very easy for you to replicate most of the capabilities the SN76489 has by only using the SNES noise and a random SNES square wave sample lol
Layout by Mathos
Thank you for the vopm pack!

Afaik the psg is just square waves and noise. Unfortunately once you add the ym2612 along with the sn76489, you're gonna end up with more than 8 channels. So you'll either have to cut channels, or try to make chord samples. Making chord samples with fm is a bit tricky since fm can do chords already on one channel if you set up the operators right. But making chord psg samples might be appropriate in some cases. Besides, not all games use all channels at once either. But I'm probaby getting ahead of myself here lol

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Make more of less, that way you won't make less of more!
Originally posted by Teyla
Here's the archive for use with VOPM. I'm not sure of the source, I think I found it on a Sonic Retro post?


So I downloaded that archive and also a VOPM plugin for FL studio (trial version, I've been messing around with it for a week and I'm pretty lost). I tried importing the OPM files from the plugin, but that doesn't seem to do anything as far as I can tell. It recognizes .opm files, but I'm not sure what I can even do with them. Plus the manual is in Japanese, lol.

Edit: BTW, the song I wanted to port is Sequence Start from Sub-terrania. It's really complex and I'm not sure whether it can even be reliably ported with only 8 channels. I managed to find a program that converts the .vgm file I ripped from the Sega emulator into MIDI. It seemed to work reasonably well, although there are a lot of weird audio glitches and of course I don't have the instrument library so the samples are all wrong.
Since I haven't seen anyone talk about it yet, might as well share what I do. You can rip instrument data from Genesis games.

First, find an instrument you want to rip, namely on which channel it plays. Now, I use a modified version of Genesis emulator Gens, called Gens KMod, to rip instruments (I'll note, I haven't gotten it to work on the most recent versions; I specifically use v0.7c, hope that helps). Go in the game to the song you want to rip from. Then go to CPU > Debug > Genesis > Sound - YM2612, and when the instrument plays, go the corresponding channel and Dump Channel, which gives you a .y12 file.

You can open these in VGM Music Maker. Open that, go to the Instruments tab, open the instrument file, and you can play with the exact instrument. This allows for easier sampling and editing, if necessary.

Hope that helps! Obviously a somewhat tedious process, due to having to precisely time the channel dumping, but I think it's preferable over having to pry instruments out of full isolated channels.
Yeah, I'll go ahead and also add something to what Exodust said, in that, yes, you can rip the Genesis FM patches yourself if you want, but you can actually do it from the VGM itself as well, by using these tools right here

The way you use them is fairly straightforward if you know how to use the command prompt and have experience with those types of programs, but there's still a readme if you get stuck, which is always good to have; both of these tools also do the same thing, but I included them both in case you wanted to choose whichever format you want to convert, and for the sake of conviniency in general :V
Layout by Mathos
Thanks for the link. I just ripped the OPM data in a last ditch attempt to access the sound samples. I attempted to get the Vopm working for both the opm files I downloaded, and the ones I ripped myself from the emulator, and the ones from a VGM file I downloaded. I even tried playing them in FL studio and Deflemask. In each of these cases, it seemed like all the ripped samples are silent. I eventually was able to make one of the channels play a sound that seemed somewhat right.

I also used an app called VGM to MID to make some midi files from the game I wanted. I'm not sure how accurate this midi is compared to how the sound designers intended it (it sounds terrible), but the best way to explain it is that the composer (Jesper Kyd, later of Borderlands and Assassin's Creed fame) may have been using some mind-bending sound engineering and trickery. I can't really make sense of it. In spots I expected to find sound effects, there are just notes played really fast in a strange order which emulates the sounds I heard. I'm now wondering if the composer simply used one sample but in so many different ways that it sounded like multiple samples.

It seems like this will be a bigger project than I realized, unless I can find a sound engineer to help #smrpg{:D}
Welp. This exists apparently.

That takes a lot of the hassle out of getting Genesis instrument data.
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