Author Topic: Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread  (Read 1584 times)

FaustWolf

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Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread
« on: November 03, 2007, 03:21:22 pm »
As part of the quest to dissect the first Chrono Cross CD and differentiate the various data types, I'm trying to find a way of ripping sound data in its native format. Using PSound, I acquire 1740 sound effects/instruments from the physical CD and 18,903 sound effects/instruments from my ripped iso file. Not sure what's causing the huge difference there, but I know lots of the sounds detected on the ripped image are inaudible; perhaps the extra detections are errors. But that's just me thinking out loud. Now onto some questions:

1.) PSound only exports to .WAV, which doesn't help me plot out where all the sound data is on the CD image. Anyone know of a program that can scan for sound data like PSound but export that data in its original format?

2.) According to my rudimentary understanding of how game music "works," the tracks are actually stored as a gazillion separate instrument sounds, then the game music driver uses sequence data to assemble all these sounds into what we perceive as in-game music. Is this understanding basically correct?

3.) I understand that some music is stored as streaming .XA files, though I'm doubting that this is the case with Chrono Cross' music data. But could someone point me to a recommended .XA file ripper, just for the heck of it?

4.) I assume most (if not all) of Chrono Cross' music/sound data is in a proprietary format. Judging from the scant info I can find regarding yaz0r's psf rip, it appears that the game's sound driver is proprietary as well. But does anyone know if sequence (SEQ) data is always in the same format among various games, or can that be proprietary as well?

Any input regarding Playstation sound data ripping / formats / etc. is more than welcome. I know there's a wealth of knowledge regarding SNES sound / music ripping on this board as well, and I imagine experience in that field will be equally applicable to the task this thread is devoted to.
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 03:34:12 pm by FaustWolf »

Gemini

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Re: Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread
« Reply #1 on: November 03, 2007, 04:30:50 pm »
Using PSound, I acquire 1740 sound effects/instruments from the physical CD and 18,903 sound effects/instruments from my ripped iso file. Not sure what's causing the huge difference there
Rule no. 1 of the psx hacker: DON'T EVER RIP DATA FROM AN ISO! The 2352 byte/sector format contains extra data in each sector, which causes most scan programs to assume the error detection info to be part of the rip. The same thing happens when ripping TIM images, with even worse results.

As for the questions above:
1) There is no program for that, but CC uses a standard vag format with a custom header. It's really easy to find, just search for files with the AKAO signature.
2) Yes, it is correct. It uses some kind of midi for all the in-game music.
3) CC doesn't use XA at all. Usually movies with sound use that streaming format, but CC has a totally custom driver, with vag custom data (AKAO again) interlaced to the standard mdec frames.
4) Correct, even though ALL the formats are based on the Playstation standards (except for the music), so you can still re-elaborate them into a standard format with some tricks.

FaustWolf

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Re: Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread
« Reply #2 on: November 03, 2007, 04:47:44 pm »
Ah, yes, I've seen the AKAO signatures throughout the iso with my hex viewer. Some of the AKAO signatures fall in with the .STR movie files (which you have pointed out already), but there's a lot more of the AKAOs in there as I recall - must be the VAG data.

Do you happen to know offhand if the SEQ data in Cross has a consistent file header of any sort? Or whether the SEQ data is stored near the sounds?

And I suppose that if I ripped some AKAO data, I could run it through PSound to double-check that I've located the sounds and instruments.

Thanks Gemini! This knowledge helps immensely!

EDIT: Oh, and as for iso ripping, I *think* I've got a CD image that's 2048 bytes/sector. Is that any safer? From my experience a 2352 bytes/sector bin image produces really screwed up TIM textures, but the 2048 bytes/sector image I'm working with currently produces clean TIMs when I run PSicture on it.

In addition, the 2048 bytes/sector iso I'm working with and the physical CD (both disc 1) are both 641,437,696 bytes long. My hope is that I've got an exact copy of the physical CD.


EDIT: Booyah~! Ripping the AKAOs and then testing with PSound works! Now I can figure out where all the sound files are on the CD image. Thanks again Gemini!
« Last Edit: November 03, 2007, 07:02:24 pm by FaustWolf »

Vehek

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Re: Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread
« Reply #3 on: November 03, 2007, 07:07:18 pm »
According to a post by Halkun, standard SEQ files start with "SEQp".

FaustWolf

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Re: Chrono Cross Sound Ripping Thread
« Reply #4 on: November 03, 2007, 08:37:03 pm »
Ah, thanks for the tip Vehek. I see only one ASCII string like that, and it's only sEQp and smushed amidst other data, so I think it's only a coincidence. There are a significant number of sepp (capitalization varies widely) occurrences though. This might tell us that the SEQ format Chrono Cross uses isn't standard, which is a first step. If I can get the sound locations mapped out (very easy to do if they occur contiguously or nearly contiguously, which I haven't confirmed yet), locating the associated SEQ files might be easier.

Listening to Chrono Cross sounds is fun! Sort of. I can confirm that both sound effects and instruments are both picked up by PSound. So far I've heard the haunting flute(?) that plays during "Isle of the Damned" and the female voice that goes "da...da-da-da" during "Star Stealing Girl." And the same darn birds and cats that have their chirps/meows cloned hundreds of times throughout the CD.