Well once again we peer under the bonnet of the latest SNDH release (available at http://sndh.atari.org ) giving more information to you inquisitive types.
Firstly as I mentioned at DHS this release comes in two parts. So lets start with actual new stuff :-
- Relix Demo by 505 : The vast proportion of new tunes in this update are attributed to 505. This guy is a composing machine. Thankfully all his tunes are written in easily convertible formats which ease the SNDHing process. Oh how I wish I'd used those rare SSD tunes he gave me at Outline 2009. Now they are not so rare :)
- Big Alec: Punish Your Machine : k:\rips\bigalec\to_do ...... welcome to Grazey's hard-drive. I so hate "to_do" directories. For yonks two Big Alec tracks have sat there. The actual tunes were easy the rip, the hard part is that both tunes are woven into the full screen / sync of the main menu and best part of creation screens. On a number of occasions I've looked at them, then moved on to something easier. Finally I bit the bullet and with the assistance of Evil and GGN I succeeded. So now finally you have the proper 15khz digi drums with the tunes rather than Gunnar's chip drum equivalents.
- Quartet : Good to see my Quartet 2 SNDH utility continue to prove useful. This time we have some tunes used in Sewer Hedgehog's rare Hibernation demos 1 & 2. I used to be contact with Hedgehog so please get in touch if you ever read this Mr Stafford guy :) We also have new tunes from Edd The Duck (aka Vobrien), Rob "Quartet" Povey and a guy named "X The Beermat"!
- Nostalgic-O update : When this demo was released Tao sent me all his Magic Synth tunes in SNDH format. However to the ultra geeky YM folk it was apparent the songs were not identical to the tunes from the demo. You see Frank added an extra Sid voice to many of them as he was not constrained by Leonard's cycle counting demo screens. I recently decided that for completeness the archive should include the original demo tunes (with 2 Sid voices) in addition to the 'enhanced' tunes (with 3 Sid voices). After all, the SNDH collection strives to be an historic archive!
- The Ancients : I still find it incredible that I continue to discover many un-ripped tunes from well known prolific composers, examples in this release include : Ben Daglish, Barry Leitch, Holger Gehrmann, David Whittaker, Karsten Obarski and my personal favourite and ex-Cnetter Ant Lees!
- Paul Summers : Look at my previous blog entry for info regarding Paul's tunes.
Now to the explanation regarding the massive number of SNDH fixes.
Back in August we received an email from Ben of The Overlanders, the coder of SC68 I first met him at the ST News Conference back in 2000. Since then we have had occasional contact discussing various topics regarding ST music. In recent conversations between Ben, myself and Evil we have debated the way forward for the SNDH archive, database and file structure. This debate is continuing as we speak and hopefully we should have more information to share in the next SNDH update.
In relation to updating SC68 Ben has created some very useful tools which will greatly assist in SNDH maintenance. One of his tools can interrogate the whole SNDH arcihve (4000+ files) and identify duplicate tunes from the actual musical notes! and any tunes which crash.
Did you know Cloud Kingdoms and Warlock The Avenger (Both by David Whittaker) use exactly the same music file? Cloud Kingdoms uses all 10 sub-tunes whereas Warlock only uses sub-tune #7 for its title tune. Ben's program told us exactly that! Or that Backlash crashed at song end and didn't loop correctly ? Again Ben's program highlighted this bug.
His program also identifies duplicate files, hence the additional "Deleted" category in the full SNDH 4.3 read me file.
That's why we have many fixes in this update...and... why we will probably have a similar number in the next update!
So thanks to Ben for his hard work, fixing and more importantly the unearthing of some unreleased Jess tunes. Oh, and fixing all my old Jess SNDH's - making them system compliant and giving the tunes their proper titles.
I think that will do for now.....