Cave Story MP3s out of tune?

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Mar 9, 2011 at 6:42 PM
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Hi, I'm new here. I had a question about the Cave Story Mp3 soundtrack you can download from the main tribute site. As I listened to a couple of tracks, it occurred to me that some parts just sounded... sour, like a couple of pitches were slightly sharp. I then booted up the game and listened to the exact same tune, and it wasn't like that at all.

Has anyone else ever noticed this, or am I just crazy? And if I'm not, does anyone know why it sounds like that?
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:26 PM
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Yeah I think you're just crazy, since I just downloaded the soundtrack and it sounds fine.

Are there any particular tracks that sound out of tune?
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:31 PM
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GIRakaCHEEZER said:
Yeah I think you're just crazy, since I just downloaded the soundtrack and it sounds fine.

Are there any particular tracks that sound out of tune?
yeah, it sounds fine to me too...
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:45 PM
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GIRakaCHEEZER said:
Yeah I think you're just crazy, since I just downloaded the soundtrack and it sounds fine.

Are there any particular tracks that sound out of tune?
Gestation and the theme song come to mind. And I've listened several times, it just sounds bad to me. But the music in the game sounds fine.

Time for the straitjacket, I guess. :pignon:
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:52 PM
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Chrlyon said:
Gestation and the theme song come to mind. And I've listened several times, it just sounds bad to me. But the music in the game sounds fine.

Time for the straitjacket, I guess. :pignon:
Maybe something is wrong with your mp3 player of choice?
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 8:53 PM
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No, other stuff sounds fine. We are talking about the same thing, right? The Mp3 album that comes in a .zip, not the Ogg files.
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 9:05 PM
Um... Chosen One? Yeah that'll work. : P
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Or Cave Story is broken.
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 9:06 PM
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Yes that is what I just downloaded.

Can you describe exactly what about gestation sounds off?

It also could be that the songs were recorded on a PC, and the sound could be different on a mac.
 
Mar 9, 2011 at 9:13 PM
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GIRakaCHEEZER said:
Yes that is what I just downloaded.

Can you describe exactly what about gestation sounds off?

It also could be that the songs were recorded on a PC, and the sound could be different on a mac.
The whole thing sounds off. But especially the high notes, they sound like they're a almost a semitone off pitch. It hurts my ears, to be honest. And these are ripped directly from the game? It just doesn't make any sense, and I usually have a very good ear for music and pitch.
 
Mar 10, 2011 at 5:13 AM
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I'm using Windows XP. When playing orgs in OrgMaker, I've found some Audio Performance settings* can cause notes to be slightly out of tune. (See OrgMaker Notes - Audio Performance settings.) Perhaps the MP3s were recorded on a system experiencing the same thing.

* Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices -> Audio tab, Sound playback section, Advanced button -> Performance tab.

I can see the pitches are out of tune when I measure them with a tuner, but it's hard to tell how much I can really hear they're out of tune by ear. While writing this response, I tried to find or make an example org that sounds out of tune when played with Basic acceleration, but sounds in tune with another acceleration setting or when converted to a MIDI file. But it's hard to pinpoint, so I'm not sure how much of this tuning deviation I can really hear, but I think it may be the cause of some of the orgs we think sound out of tune.


More information:

When I first used OrgMaker to play the Cave Story org files, I noticed notes were dropping out: Some notes sort of made a click sound at the beginning and the rest of the note was silent, or some notes didn't play anything at all. I read a suggestion (on this forum I think) to change the audio acceleration setting on my computer. There are four acceleration settings: None, Basic, Standard, and Full. On my computer, only Basic played all the notes without drop outs, so I left it there.

Later I noticed some orgs seemed out of tune. I looked at the tuning settings in the org file, and they seemed to be normal. But when I used an online tuner to measure the frequencies, I found the notes were a little out of tune with each other. I figured this was a quirk of the org-playing routine, and that was the canonical way they always sound.

At one point, I realized OrgMaker's playback may only sound out of tune on my computer for some reason, and everyone else hears it in tune. I tested the other audio acceleration settings and noticed the other three settings (None, Standard, and Full), although they aren't perfect, are much more in tune.

I tested with a second sound card I have in my computer and measured very close to the same results for all four acceleration settings, suggesting it's not a sound card problem. I guess it's some side-effect of the audio functions OrgMaker uses, but I don't know if it only happens on certain operating systems, or if there's other settings or system file versions that influence it.

Update 2011-12-31: I recently tested changing both the hardware acceleration and the sample rate conversion quality settings. See OrgMaker Notes - Audio Performance settings.


I used the Seventh String Online Tuner to measure test pitches OrgMaker was playing. I got the same results with both OrgMaker version 1.3.4 (Japanese) and OrgMaker version 2.0.5x (English patch).

Here are the frequencies I measured, along with the deviations from standard A440 tuning in cents. (100 cents is the distance between two semitones in twelve-tone equal temperament.)

Code:
slightly
OrgMaker  more in-tune     out-of-tune
pitch     frequencies      frequencies     
========  ==============   ===============
C3        260.96  C4  -4   260.02  C4  -11
C#3       278.00  C#4 +5   278.41  C#4 + 8
D3        293.98  D4  +2   293.22  D4  - 3
D#3       310.97  D#4 -1   309.69  D#4 - 8
E3        328.97  E4  -3   328.12  E4  - 8
F3        348.99  F4  -1   348.89  F4  - 2
F#3       370.98  F#4 +5   372.46  F#4 +12
G3        390.96  G3  -5   393.75  G3  + 8
G#3       413.97  G#3 -6   411.38  G#3 -16
A3        439.96  A4   0   437.50  A4  -10
A#3       465.99  A#4 -1   467.16  A#4 + 4
B3        493.96  B4   0   492.19  B4  - 6
C4        521.93  C5  -4   520.05  C5  -11
Notes:
The slightly out-of-tune frequencies occured with Basic hardware acceleration and Best or Improved sample rate conversion quality.
The more in-tune frequences occured with all other Audio Performance settings.
In OrgMaker, middle C is C3, and A3 is approximately 440 Hz.
In most tuners, middle C is C4, and A4 is exactly 440 Hz.

Pitches in other octaves were out of tune the same number of cents. In other words, for each octave higher, multiply the frequencies by 2; for each octave lower, divide the frequencies by 2.
 
Mar 10, 2011 at 2:44 PM
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Thanks for the info. That must be it.
 
Mar 10, 2011 at 4:05 PM
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Well, that would make sense if it were the orgmaker playback that's out of tune, but when just playing an mp3, hardware settings shouldn't affect the relative pitches, since an mp3 is just a string of samples (with lossy data compression).
 
Mar 11, 2011 at 12:30 AM
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Wedge of Cheese said:
Well, that would make sense if it were the orgmaker playback that's out of tune, but when just playing an mp3, hardware settings shouldn't affect the relative pitches, since an mp3 is just a string of samples (with lossy data compression).
Perhaps whoever originally recorded the MP3 may have recorded it from OrgMaker. That is, if an out-of-tune OrgMaker playback was recorded into an MP3, then the MP3 is just playing back what it recorded.

(That is, perhaps the MP3s are recordings of out-of-tune music and play back the same way every time. But because the tuning is just only slightly out of tune, not every one notices or is bothered by it.)
 
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