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40oz

Best or correct sound?

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I don't know for sure if it has to do with the number of sound channels or some other settings, but what is the ideal sound settings for doom?

In my current settings, sometimes when I berserk punch a zombie man, the sound of his gibbing is immediately muted by the item pickup sound from his dropped clip taking priority. Sometimes when there's a pile of shotguns on the floor, I can pick then all up, and then an item afterwards that abruptly cuts it off before it finishes the full chk-chik sound. If I stand close to my target or a wall while firing the plasma gun, I hear the fireball contact sound more than the actual plasma gun firing.

Is this how its supposed to be? Is there a better setup? Is this the "pure" vanilla way? What do you prefer?

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I play with 8 channels so things don't turn into a cacophony in large battles, and with filter/interpolation turned off so I can get all of that crispy aliasing from the sounds.

I have no idea how the sound mixing and priorities worked in the original really. Is this accounted for in Chocolate Doom?

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Personally, I like to have both the music and sound turned half-way down and then turn my speakers up. That way the game isn't quiet and I don't have to endure any clipping when lots of stuff is going on at once. I also prefer to play with ports that have more than 8 sound channels available to use.

I'm not sure there's a "correct" way to set it up, just do what sounds best to you.

40oz said:

If I stand close to my target or a wall while firing the plasma gun, I hear the fireball contact sound more than the actual plasma gun firing.

That's because actors only play one sound at a time on the PC version, and the firing sound actually comes from the projectile.

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How does the bfg get around that, if the sound plays before the projectile appears?

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40oz said:

How does the bfg get around that, if the sound plays before the projectile appears?

I forgot to mention, the BFG is the exception. The sound comes from the player, hence why you can pull off the "silent BFG trick" by making another sound before it plays for too long.

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I've got a kind of on topic question, how do you set up the sound settings, if possible, in modern ports to make the game sound like vanilla Doom does. Back when I played Doom 2 from the BFG edition I fired the SSG & that reloading sound took me back to 1998, I hadn't played vanilla Doom since about 2004 & I had forgot how much better the SSG sounded in vanilla compared to the default settings of PRBoom or ZDoom. I know that some ports sound more vanilla, such as Doom Legacy, but I don't like Legacy & I'd rather be able to get the vanilla sound on PRBoom or Zdoom.

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In what way did it sound more "vanilla"? Some ports assume 11.025khz playback, ignoring the rate that the sound file defined. Some sounds were actually 22.5khz such as the SSG reload and item respawning, though they were downsampled back to 11.025khz in Final Doom for whatever weird reason.

If it's the slower pitch you want back, you were hearing it in a port that wasn't playing them back correctly in the first place.

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The lower pitched SSG sound seems to be a thing in all of the recent re-releases of classic Doom, except for the Steam Dosbox versions anyway. I can confirm that lower pitch in XBLA and PSN Doom.

It makes about as much sense to me as the 1.1 pitched sound effects. They weren't there in Doom 1.9, why it is in later releases I do not understand. Sounds bad.

Personally, when it comes to sound I have a strange nostalgia to playing vanilla, turning the volume down to just one notch above muted/min, and hearing the sounds heavily distorted. Sounds awful but it brings back memories of when I was kid and the imp/baron scratching sound scared the hell out of me. Just a thing with the original DMX audio I guess, no source port does (or should.. unless accuracy to vanilla is the aim.)

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ReFracture said:

The lower pitched SSG sound seems to be a thing in all of the recent re-releases of classic Doom, except for the Steam Dosbox versions anyway. I can confirm that lower pitch in XBLA and PSN Doom.

It makes about as much sense to me as the 1.1 pitched sound effects. They weren't there in Doom 1.9, why it is in later releases I do not understand. Sounds bad.

If I had to hazard a guess, they probably don't read the header in the sound file telling them what the bitrate is, instead assuming it's 11025Hz across the board and hardcoding that bitrate into the sound playback code. Thing is, the SSG sounds are 22050Hz, so they're being played at half-speed. Being as short as they are, the only real noticeable effect of this is that they're lower-pitched.

Something like that, certainly?

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Note that the way sound mixing is done also depends on the port, because DMX was not open sourced like the rest of Doom's source code. So you've got DMX in vanilla, and then you have SDL_mixer for most ports, or FMOD Ex for ZDoom. I know in ZDoom it's advised to go well over the 8 sound channels that's the limit for vanilla, because just 8 channels will sound much worse in ZDoom than in vanilla.

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In ZDoom it's even advised to max out the number of channels. The sound engine has other means to prevent a cacophony - which, btw, Randy once removed resulting in a shitstorm of complaints. (Don't worry, it was back to normal within a few days... :D) I have it set to the currently allowed maximum of 256.

Concerning sounding 'vanilla' you have to keep in mind that modern sound drivers under Windows don't even support playing back anything less than 44.1 kHz internally. So even if you set a lower sound frequency everything will get upsampled to the frequency deemed optimal anyway.

And for engines which support digital music (MP3's or even MODs) setting something lower than 44.1 kHz will not only not bring back the lower fidelity, it will also butcher the music.

As such, I see no point tinkering with sound settings to get something more 'historic' by lowering the settings. It's simply impossible to recreate a setting that's equivalent to 1993/1994 sound hardware.

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Graf Zahl said:

I have it set to the currently allowed maximum of 256.

The maximum allowed is 4095.
(Well there is no maximum as per say, but FMODEx can't initialize any more channels past 4095.)

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Graf Zahl said:

In ZDoom it's even advised to max out the number of channels. The sound engine has other means to prevent a cacophony - which, btw, Randy once removed resulting in a shitstorm of complaints. (Don't worry, it was back to normal within a few days... :D)


I must admit that I'm morbidly curious to see (or rather 'hear') that build..

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The Sound Blaster 16 was pretty much the standard at the time of Doom, so if you're yearning for that 90s vibe, then 8 16bit sound channels and OPL FM synthesis should sound about right.

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Avoozl said:

I thought Doom was meant for the Roland Sound Canvas?



Doom music was indeed, but as you can see, many people seem to think that this doesn't matter and the common low end hardware of that time should be considered instead.

Of course this completely ignores that better stuff was already available in 1994.

Some of the music tracks sounded nasty with OPL, for example on my computer back then D_TENSE had massive gaps, the first time I was able to hear that track in its entirety was from the MP2 that once was available.

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Graf Zahl said:

Doom music was indeed, but as you can see, many people seem to think that this doesn't matter and the common low end hardware of that time should be considered instead.

Of course this completely ignores that better stuff was already available in 1994.

Some of the music tracks sounded nasty with OPL, for example on my computer back then D_TENSE had massive gaps, the first time I was able to hear that track in its entirety was from the MP2 that once was available.

I find it quite annoying how even the Dark Forces XL port out there has general midi as its only midi encoder.

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Sodaholic said:

Some sounds were actually 22.5khz such as the SSG reload and item respawning, though they were downsampled back to 11.025khz in Final Doom for whatever weird reason.

It is the default setting in Deutex, which was used to build the WAD. And back then, Doom could only mix at 11025 Hz anyway.

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Even as a kid I could tell the sound had improved when I switched from DOS Dooming to Doom95, but I couldn't pinpoint what was different. Of course, it was the amount of available channels! Even with these additional channels though, many sounds still cut off in an appropriate way, such as the chainsaw sfx for example.

I find it very jarring when I play the 360 port of Doom as so many sounds will overlap at once that it becomes awfully loud. That combined with the intense pitch shifting can make unexpected ear rape at rare moments. (It's easily noticeable when picking up or putting away the chainsaw.)

What's frustrating, in many Doom ports - most notably Doom95 and Odamex - the sfx and music volume cannot be adjusted independently, which must be some flaw in Windows 7 and above. Something to do with SDL from what I've heard, but I don't exactly know what that means. If I want the highest quality/most customizable sound, I use ZDoom/Zandronum. Everything can be adjust exactly as any user wishes, which is awesome.

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Doomkid said:

What's frustrating, in many Doom ports - most notably Doom95 and Odamex - the sfx and music volume cannot be adjusted independently, which must be some flaw in Windows 7 and above. Something to do with SDL from what I've heard, but I don't exactly know what that means.



What was changed in Windows Vista was that the separate volume setting for MIDI input for the internal sound mixer was removed.

And now all software that doesn't bother implementing its own MIDI synth is crippled. SDL is only an indirect victim of this.
If you use the system MIDI synth in ZDoom the same will happen but fortunately that's not needed anymore because one of the first things FMod did after this fiasco was to get its own one.

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Graf Zahl said:

Concerning sounding 'vanilla' you have to keep in mind that modern sound drivers under Windows don't even support playing back anything less than 44.1 kHz internally. So even if you set a lower sound frequency everything will get upsampled to the frequency deemed optimal anyway.


If you're playing with the original sounds it's kind of pointless anyway since upsampling them won't really affect the sounds in any way. I tried lowering the sample rate in ZDoom once and the only thing I got was a huge increase in latency.

The only thing you can really do to make them sound more "authentic" is to disable the interpolation. All that aliasing adds some extra artificial sharpness to low fidelity sounds with the artifacts beyond the nyquist, and that's how playback worked on older soundcard. Though I can't say how things worked on high quality/external sound cards with regards to that.

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