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What's with the 48kb/s music?


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When first installing the game, I thought something was wrong with the music because it sounded very... well low resolution.

 

Then I checked the files, 48kb/s compared to KOTOR1's 128kb/s.

 

The music itself is great, but this low sound quality is I think an insult to the work that went into the tracks... and it makes the music sound like it's through a cardboard tube compared to the original.

 

I'm wondering what Lucasarts was thinking when compressing the music...

 

Edit-

It wound up multiple posting when I put this up.

 

It's also sad when the music sample rate in the launcher is higher than the in-game music. You'd think that the autoplay would be where the lower samplerate would be used to save space... not in the game. *sigh*

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When first installing the game, I thought something was wrong with the music because it sounded very... well low resolution.

 

Then I checked the files, 48khz compared to KOTOR1's 128khz.

 

The music itself is great, but this low sound quality is I think an insult to the work that went into the tracks... and it makes the music sound like it's through a cardboard tube compared to the original.

 

I'm wondering what Lucasarts was thinking when compressing the music...

 

I always have the music turned off anyway, so it don't bother me.......but does the game run fine?

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When first installing the game, I thought something was wrong with the music because it sounded very... well low resolution.

 

Then I checked the files, 48khz compared to KOTOR1's 128khz.

 

The music itself is great, but this low sound quality is I think an insult to the work that went into the tracks... and it makes the music sound like it's through a cardboard tube compared to the original.

 

I'm wondering what Lucasarts was thinking when compressing the music...

 

I always have the music turned off anyway, so it don't bother me.......but does the game run fine?

 

Music turned off? You're missing half the game there.

"Some men see things as they are and say why?"
"I dream things that never were and say why not?"
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"The amount of energy necessary to refute bull**** is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it."

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When first installing the game, I thought something was wrong with the music because it sounded very... well low resolution.

 

Then I checked the files, 48khz compared to KOTOR1's 128khz.

 

The music itself is great, but this low sound quality is I think an insult to the work that went into the tracks... and it makes the music sound like it's through a cardboard tube compared to the original.

 

I'm wondering what Lucasarts was thinking when compressing the music...

 

I always have the music turned off anyway, so it don't bother me.......but does the game run fine?

 

Music turned off? You're missing half the game there.

 

well, music on, i miss the speech, either way i miss something. lol

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When first installing the game, I thought something was wrong with the music because it sounded very... well low resolution.

 

 

Yep, I posted a rant about this last night myself a couple pages back.

 

It's true. KOTOR 2's in-game music is all low res mono. As near as I can tell from using Soundforge, the music files are all 22Hz, 8-bit mono instead of 44Hz, 16-bit stereo, which makes very muddled, low-grade quality.

 

The difference is VERY noticeable to anybody who appreciates music, and especially anybody who appreciates the Star Wars music. The only time the quality is high is the main title crawl (Star Wars fanfare) in the very beginning. After that, it's mono city.

 

I find this unforgivable and it really pisses me off that Obsidian did this. I can only figure they needed to milk performance gains for the graphics, so they short-changed the music quality. Considering the graphics are not very great to begin with, this is mystifying and I guess we chalk it up to horrible coding. I mean, Half Life 2 or Far Cry have stunning graphics and they can still feature music that's high quality, so WHAT GIVES?!?!

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I don't pay huge amounts of attention to the music. I would never turn it off though.

 

Subtitles are on by default for all the dialogue, how would you miss it?

 

 

I'm guessing maybe it was to save CD space but I'm at work now, can't check the disc sizes. If there is less than a couple hundre megs to spare on any of the CD's then that may be why.

 

It would be nice of them to release a high quality music pack but depending on the size it may be too costly to host... they should still put it on fileplanet or something.

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Great, another example why they should have already switched to DVD a long time ago. But no, we better use 4 Cds and no, we don't take a 5th, we better compress the music like hell, no matter how ****ty it sounds. Great Lucas Arts! Thanks!

 

 

I don't think CD space has anything to do with it. The first KOTOR came on the same number of CDs and still featured high quality music.

 

I think this is purely about performance. The higher quality sound files require more memory and processing power... which takes away from the graphics, and that's probably why they sacrified it.

 

It's stupid coding to blame. Like I said before -- if Far Cry or Half Life 2 can have all the bells and whistles and still have CD-quality music, then why can't KOTOR 2?

 

Answer: BAD PROGRAMMING.

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Obviously programming has nothing to do with it though. It's the same engine, the same capability is there.

 

It was a decision that was made to downsample the audio for the PC release. Saying the original KOTOR fit on 4 CD's makes no difference either. It's a different game, probably more conent. The models and textures look higher quality to me than KOTOR1.

 

I assume you don't actually mean PROGRAMMING, just a poor choice. Programming has nothing to do with bitrate for audio that is obviously supported to be much higher as the engine has shown previously.

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I don't pay huge amounts of attention to the music. I would never turn it off though.

 

Subtitles are on by default for all the dialogue, how would you miss it?

 

 

I'm guessing maybe it was to save CD space but I'm at work now, can't check the disc sizes. If there is less than a couple hundre megs to spare on any of the CD's then that may be why.

 

It would be nice of them to release a high quality music pack but depending on the size it may be too costly to host... they should still put it on fileplanet or something.

 

It was a Kotor + my sound card specific problem, which i have changed, but i don't really pay attention to music, so i don't care about the quality, just be thankful the game runs. lol

 

But i doubt there will be any patches, since Lucasarts virtually cut all funding when the Xbox version came out in December.

 

Yep, that Lucasarts for ya, money first, then screw the customers. lol

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I think it would really be up to Obsidian if they choose to support their product. I respect each of the core members and where they came from and their past products. I can't be certain but I would assume they would hope to support their product after launch. If LucasArts simply says you won't release any patches then I assume it is ultimately LA's decision as they are likely the ones providing QA.

 

I doubt they would do that. Unless sales are just horrible, I don't see why they wouldn't allow or encourage a patch.

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I can't belive they did this to the sound, that is obsurd, but i'm sure they had a reason, just like their reason to back out on many of their other promisses.

 

come on guys, I didn't buy my Logitech Z-680's for friken mono, I'd rather go play Daggerfall with it's 4 bit sound, I don't see why they think that we will respect and support them when they pull things like this and, well, expect us not to notice....

 

...even friken MacGuyver in it's last few seasons had friken Stereo sound, and it ended in 1992!!! you guys suck. <_<

 

 

EDIT:

 

Plus, who the hell pays for a composer to write NEW music and an ochestra to record a bunch of it, and then dumbs it down to mono? I don't get it, maybe you guys have the pirated version or something and they hacked the sound down, who knows, well I'm not buying it untill they talk about this issue.

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Obviously programming has nothing to do with it though. It's the same engine, the same capability is there.

 

It was a decision that was made to downsample the audio for the PC release. Saying the original KOTOR fit on 4 CD's makes no difference either. It's a different game, probably more conent. The models and textures look higher quality to me than KOTOR1.

 

I assume you don't actually mean PROGRAMMING, just a poor choice. Programming has nothing to do with bitrate for audio that is obviously supported to be much higher as the engine has shown previously.

 

 

Wrong. They did update the core engine for KOTOR 2 somewhat by adding new graphical touches and I think they sacrificed audio quality to do it. It's a tradeoff -- more graphical bells and whistles for lesser audio quality.

 

As anyone who played KOTOR 1 knows, it's not a very fine-tuned engine and was pretty slow at times even on good machines. KOTOR 2 is probably worse, and I think they tried to compensate by shaving off the higher music quality so it would still run on roughly the same PC specs as KOTOR 1.

 

As for content length -- from the reviews I've read on the Xbox version, KOTOR 2 might actually be a bit shorter, so I doubt CD space had anything to do with it and adding a fifth CD wouldn't have been a problem in this day and age. I also disagree with your belief that the textures and models are higher res -- I don't think so. All looks the same to me.

 

The bottom line is Obsidian has released a AAA title with cut-rate, muddled music quality that sounds like it was done in 1995 on a 386 machine and an 8-bit Soundblaster. In this day and age of 3.6Ghz machines and Audigy soundcards, I *know* they can do better.

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Why would they not use .ogg is the real question. A 64kbps .ogg file sounds as good as a 128 - 192 constant bit-rate mp3. If you do VBR (variable bit-rate) .ogg between 50 - 100, you have sound that is the equivalent of high-end VBR mp3s while taking up so much less space. Assuming all else is equal (44khz stereo).

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as is the obvious, they don't care about the music, which pisses me off.

 

did you guys know, that the Star Wars movie(s) were the first young-age based-movies to include a full orchesrta sound track? I don't understand how L.A. can let these people defile Star Wars like this

 

 

EDIT: and infefference to the .ogg thing, the engine is made to decode wav's(mp3's) not ogg's, just the easy way out, they would have had to completelly re-write that which would have been out of their league, considering they didn't make it in the first place. :ermm:

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Does anybody know if the K2 XBox music was alright, and if so, whether it could be ported by the community to the PC? K1's music, while it wouldn't play in WMP, was listed as wave files one installed, so hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to reverse engineer some encoding. Or perhaps music files could just be put in as overrides and a script made to play them at the right times (if set as sound effects, perhaps they could be heard while (original crappy) music is muted).

 

I personally don't compress anything to less than 192 Kbps WMA. I can hear crappiness in 128 K mp3's. Godd*mn. This just totally ruins the game for me. I can't believe the reviewers didn't mention this. Maybe they were given copies with decent sound.

 

And yeah, why don't all dev's/publishers use ogg's? They're the same quality as WM, acc and Real, and don't require insane liscensing fees. Epic has used ogg's for forever.

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Does anybody know if the K2 XBox music was alright, and if so, whether it could be ported by the community to the PC?  K1's music, while it wouldn't play in WMP, was listed as wave files one installed, so hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to reverse engineer some encoding.  Or perhaps music files could just be put in as overrides and a script made to play them at the right times (if set as sound effects, perhaps they could be heard while (original crappy) music is muted).

 

I personally don't compress anything to less than 192 Kbps WMA.  I can hear crappiness in 128 K mp3's.  Godd*mn.  This just totally ruins the game for me.  I can't believe the reviewers didn't mention this.  Maybe they were given copies with decent sound.

 

And yeah, why don't all dev's/publishers use ogg's?  They're the same quality as WM, acc and Real, and don't require insane liscensing fees.  Epic has used ogg's for forever.

 

I was seriously thinking about that myself, my friend had his box over at my house when it came out for that, and I plugged my Logitech z680's in it and there was surround and atleast stereo, so it seems as though it may work if you could get the sound files.

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I personally don't compress anything to less than 192 Kbps WMA.  I can hear crappiness in 128 K mp3's.  Godd*mn.  This just totally ruins the game for me.  I can't believe the reviewers didn't mention this.  Maybe they were given copies with decent sound.

 

 

Then you won't like what you hear on this one. I'm the same way - an MP3 at 128K bugs me, so this REALLY bugged me.

 

Or how about the fact that all the voice acting and sound FX *are* high audio quality, yet as you're listening to it, there in the background lurks the mono, low-fidelity music score accompanying it all. A bizarre combination that I've never heard before.

 

Worse, the idiots at Obsidian include an option in the Main Menu called "Music" which lets you play the music tracks outside of the game. Cool idea in theory, but in reality it only calls attention to their idiocy when you actually listen to the mono encoded crapfest of what would otherwise be cool new Star Wars music.

 

 

This is certainly a first in gaming, as we take a GIANT LEAP backwards in audio presentation -- and worse, it comes from Lucas! The company who pioneered THX!!!

 

My old Atari ST and Amiga could do better than this. Heck, at this rate, I wish they'd just done a MIDI driven score, or how about we just yank our soundcards out and go back to the built-in PC speaker!

 

(Yes, I'm disgruntled).

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I... Won't... believe... this... :thumbsup:

I simply REFUSE until I've heard it myself - to me the music is about half of the experience! If they've really butchered it down to 8 bit mono, I'm afraid I'll lose interest in this game EXTEMELY fast, it'll ruin the whole game for me, no matter how well the rest is made!

 

Obsidian better find some way to correct this!...

 

EDIT: just got the game and heard it... Holy crap!! I refuse to play the game until this has been changed - I'm just about ready to go and get my money back for the game, This is probably THE MOST STUPID THING ANYONE HAS EVER DONE TO A GAME!!!!!

 

I just lost any and all respect for Obsidian - this will probably be first and only game I'll ever buy from them...

 

I guess it's obvious how much I value music in a game...

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I could be wrong but it seems to me the music directory in KOTOR2 is about 36MB so hopefully Obsidian will release an "option" pack for 48khz music files. If not perhaps we can make one from XBOX version (assuming xbox version has 48khz music). I have to say I'm a bit dissapointed with this one; this is not the Black Isle I used to know...

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Yeah, to my knowledge .ogg is open source and free for dev's/pub's to use. I didn't say otherwise.

 

The music isn't down at 48 Kbps just because it is low quality. It is also compressed into an mp3, I assume. The topic starter didn't mention this, but he shouldn't have had to. Decompressed, it would become a .wav at about 176 Kbps, 1/8 of a normal .wav's 1411 Kbps.

 

Also, music files are probably decompressed upon installation, into .wav's, as K1 did. Takes more HD space, but less game CD space, and doesn't cut into the CPU clock cycles significantly; the soundcard processor will probably be used regardless though.

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