A call to arms

Link to previous part

We are (almost) set up to start archiving games again.
To quickly recap where we’re standing now:

  • We have a new accurate VGM logger in the blast’em emulator
  • We have an updated Deadfish hardware VGM Player which is able to completely disable the VDP (Video Processor) to minimize noise
  • Thanks to MDFourier, we now have the possibility of fine tuning the Deadfish VGM Player to achieve perfect timing
  • And we are working on a new workflow to make the recording process easier and faster

So, what’s missing?

To put it short: we need people to first check and then, where necessary, re-log VGMs.
Thankfully, some VGMs are already ok due to how the sound driver in some packs worked, but others, unfortunately, are off.
This means that at the beginning, we’ll be content just by compiling a list of games that are ok and others that need to be logged from scratch.

After that, if you thought that the process of recording and tagging files was long and boring, think again: VGM logging takes that boredom to an entirely new level.

I’ll briefly explain in very broad terms what’s needed to log a VGM, to give you an idea of the process:

  • Load the game’s ROM on blast’em
  • Hope to god that it has a sound test or a way to play back the music without sound effects
  • If it doesn’t, there’s a very big thread on Project2612 with all kind of hacks to let you play all the music in the game (even those hidden or unused!) without having to go through the whole game and without any SFX playing
  • You have to log the VGM and pay lots of attention to the music: the process of logging is very similar to the process of recording, but here you have to make sure that you record at least an entire loop (if the song is meant to loop)
  • Now, here comes the critical part: you have to trim the VGM you just logged so that it loops perfectly. We have a guide in the VGMrips Wiki about how this is done (link 1, link 2)
  • Finally, you have to add the GD3 tags (similar to the metatags you find in FLAC/MP3) to the tracks

Yes, this is incredibly time consuming and this is why we need help.

We have a Discord channel which is being graciously hosted on the Project2612 server and it’s pretty convenient because the server has lots of knowledgeable people how’ll be able to help you out, should you need it, to move your first steps into logging VGMs and hacking games to play the music back without SFX (although the guides I’ve linked above are pretty exhaustive).

To avoid getting the server destroyed by bots, the invite links will be shared through our Facebook and Twitter pages (or you can send me a Private Message in the forums).

If you were thinking about contributing, at this point I’d much rather have your efforts concentrated on the VGM part and I’ll be back to the recording process since it has caused much confusion among several contributors.
Plus, you won’t need any kind of recording equipment or buy anything in order to log VGMs: you just need a PC.
At this stage, even just checking the VGMs on Project2612 to see if they need to be re-logged would be really helpful.
Still, any kind of contribution will be more than welcome, as long as it follows our guidelines.

This is where we are and, again, this is absolutely too much for me alone to handle.

If you have any kind of question or doubt, please reach out via Facebook, Twitter, Forums or Discord and remember that while Discord might be great to handle instant communication, it’s pretty terrible for storing and finding information (which is why our Forums will still be left open).

Thanks everyone for getting through all those articles, I hope you’ve enjoyed them and I look forward getting back to archiving game music soon.