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A Thing I Made (HGSS HQ Project) by Kurausukun at 11:40 PM EST on February 23, 2016
If you listen to the DS Pokemon games' music, you'll notice some similar samples being used between them. You may also notice that the music in the Gen V games is a good deal higher than the music in the Gen IV games. And thus, I had an idea--why not take the higher-quality samples from the Gen V games and put them in the Gen IV games?

So I got to work, but my efforts were only half-successful. In DPP, I only found two or so samples that were reusable, so I'm not going to talk about that. What I did find was that HGSS uses a huge number of samples also used in Gen V games. And thus, the HGSS HQ project is born:

Download here.

The download contains both an NCSF set and the modified .sdat.

Some notes about this:

-How much higher quality are we talking? Most of the samples I replaced in HGSS were ones sampled at around 16000Hz or 22050Hz, and all of the samples that come from B/W are at least 32000Hz (most are a couple hundred Hz more than that), so we're talking rather non-marginal gains here.

-Due to the length and articulation of the new samples compared to the old ones, things won't sound exactly the same. Whether it sounds better or worse is a matter of taste, I suppose, but I personally feel that it is almost universally a change for the better

-The new samples are frequently louder than the old ones in addition to the quality boost. This means that there is some amount of clipping in the new songs. It's not audible, but it is certainly clipping. I might look into a way of lowering the overall volume, but it's not exactly a high priority.

-In the NCSF set, I have removed the "GB Sounds" version of the songs along with any sound effects. Even if GB Sounds didn't sound like absolute ass, these sample changes have no effect on them, so it's not worth keeping. Also note that I have not renamed anything, so it's up to you to find out which songs are which (knowing a bit of Japanese helps you here), and they're not in order either because SDATtoNCSF appends the hex number of the song to the beginning of the filename, and Windows doesn't order that properly.

-Lastly, remember that the effect will be greater or lesser for different songs--it all depends on what samples the songs use, so listen to a good deal of them.

Enjoy listening; thoughts and suggestions are welcome.

edited 11:43 PM EST February 23, 2016
by icecream at 10:11 AM EST on February 24, 2016
I recall Black 2 and White 2 used an instrument from Diamond and Pearl that was 16005Hz or something in that game, and is still that in B2W2 (In fact, it really is just B2W2; Black and White didn't use it at all except for one song, being Cynthia's new theme). However, I noticed that when the instrument actually played in the songs it was much higher quality than the actual sample itself. When I put the one from D/P on B2W2's songs, there was no difference. As such, I don't feel that it is higher quality but the exact same instrument. This instrument was used in songs like Route 225 from D/P, and eventually used in Colress's theme (both regular and battle) in B2W2. It's a saw wave-like instrument. When I get home later I'll probably check if upsampling the audio sample does anything notable to the instrument.

I'm not sure if this really adds anything to the discussion but based on all of the above I don't really think there's a way to get a higher quality version of that specific instrument.

Also I should note that also in B2W2 there is a similar sounding instrument (that in most of the songs it is used in is assigned to the same program as the instrument from D/P when used in B2W2), used in songs such as Hugh's theme (again regular and battle) and Iris's battle theme. However to me at least it's not a higher quality version of that instrument but rather a completely different instrument entirely, and imo it doesn't have the same charm as the original instrument from Diamond and Pearl.

LOL hopefully I was clear.
by Kurausukun at 10:28 AM EST on February 24, 2016
I'm pretty sure I do know what sample you're talking about. There were some wave-like samples that technically could have been replaced, but when I tried, it clipped to high hell and didn't sound right due to the different looking which is especially apparent on a sample like that.

If you find the sample, though, please do post a wav of it, or at least let me know where to find it in an swar--I'm pretty sure I checked everything, but I definitely could have missed a sample somewhere.

And yes, there are a number of samples reused in BW/B2W2 that are of the exact same quality as DPP because I guess there was no higher quality source. I would like to know where these instruments come from since I've heard at least one of them used in a completely unrelated work.

edited 10:31 AM EST February 24, 2016
by icecream at 10:42 AM EST on February 24, 2016
Correct me if I'm wrong but a good portion of D/P's soundbank was from the Roland SC-88. The saw wave I'm talking about (I'll put up a link when I get home, which is in several hours) does indeed sound somewhat like it's from there, but I haven't found it (yet). That however is a discussion more appropriate for this thread:

edited 10:43 AM EST February 24, 2016
by Kurausukun at 11:01 AM EST on February 24, 2016
There isn't a place where people upload those sets, is there? I am interested in taking a look, but I'd also rather not (read: cannot afford to) spend $300. If I were going to do this same process for DPP, I'd also need to know how to loop .swav files, which sadly I have been unable to find any information on.

edited 11:03 AM EST February 24, 2016
by Master_E at 4:07 PM EST on February 24, 2016
What an interesting project! I'm rather eager to see where this one goes. And going with NCSF and providing the SDAT is a good start in my book!
by Kurausukun at 4:53 PM EST on February 24, 2016
I don't know how much further this project will "go." If I can somehow figure out how to loop .swavs, then there are a couple more samples that I could replace, but honestly I've gotten most of the ones that can be replaced.
by icecream at 5:23 PM EST on February 24, 2016
So I'm back.
This is the sample I was talking about:
I tried upsampling it, and the results.....less than stellar. The quality took a massive nose drive. So I guess there's no modifying this instrument.
by Kurausukun at 7:14 PM EST on February 24, 2016
That was indeed the sample I was thinking of, thanks for the upload. I actually remember finding a higher-quality version of it (I think?), but I ended up not replacing it because it sounds quite different. I'll try finding it and uploading it, I'd like your opinion if you don't mind. If I can find it, anyway.

EDIT: I found it, and it sounds better than I recall. A gain of ~24000Hz versus ~16000Hz. The only problem is the loop is a bit more noticeable. Here it is.

edited 7:33 PM EST February 24, 2016
by icecream at 8:21 PM EST on February 24, 2016
Yeah that's the sample that I was talking about that was used in Hugh's theme and such. The loop being a lot more noticeable is primarily why I prefer the original sample.

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