How to look at PSF note sequences?

Audio and Music (Sound Processing Unit) based area of development, including VAB, XA, etc
Post Reply
daverd
What is PSXDEV?
What is PSXDEV?
Posts: 3
Joined: June 14th, 2017, 10:29 am

How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by daverd » June 14th, 2017, 10:43 am

Hello, apologies if this isn't the right place to ask, but here goes.

I like to make VGM remixes, and there are some PSX games I'd like to cover. However, these songs can be complex and it's often difficult to pick out individual notes just by listening to the full song. In the past, I've looked at SNES songs with a tool (SPC2IT) that dumped SPC files into a tracker format so I could look at how they were written. That tool provided both note sequences and instrument samples. As far as I know, there's no such tool for PSF files (but I'm hoping I'm wrong about that :D ).

So, my question is -- what's the best way to crack open a PSX song to look at its guts? So far the best I've come up with is to load a song into Audio Overload which at least lets me play back one channel at a time so I can try to transcribe by ear, but this is tedious.

Thanks in advance!

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » June 14th, 2017, 11:24 am

PSound by 'Snailrush' and then use VABTOOL by 'Mark Breugelmans of Sony Computer Entertainment'.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

daverd
What is PSXDEV?
What is PSXDEV?
Posts: 3
Joined: June 14th, 2017, 10:29 am

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by daverd » June 14th, 2017, 11:46 am

I loaded up PSound and I'm a little confused. The file formats it accepts are XA, VAG, VAB, VB, PPV, MBG, CNK, STM, ADX/AFS, PSS, WAVE, and STR... and I don't know what any of those are.

I have PSFs and the ISO for the game. Do you mind walking me through how I go from one of those?

Thanks!

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » June 14th, 2017, 11:54 am

Open up the ISO in IsoBuster and extract what look like sound files, then scan them in PSound. It should produce a list of audio samples. Those can then be extracted. Note though that some will sound wrong, but this is because you need to manually find the correct hertz rating to use for the sample.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

daverd
What is PSXDEV?
What is PSXDEV?
Posts: 3
Joined: June 14th, 2017, 10:29 am

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by daverd » June 15th, 2017, 12:06 am

Thank you, I got all of the samples out of PSound by scanning the SOUND directory inside of the disc image.

I'm even more confused by VABTool though. It wants to load VAB files, and there are none of those on the disc, and PSound doesn't seem to produce any. What should I be doing with this tool?

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » June 15th, 2017, 12:34 pm

It's only if you find raw VAB (VB/VH) files.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

User avatar
ViLXDRYAD
Curious PSXDEV User
Curious PSXDEV User
Posts: 19
Joined: May 3rd, 2018, 1:17 pm
I am a: Avocado lover
IRC: ViLXDRYAD
Motto: FR E SH A VOCA DO
PlayStation Model: SCPH1001
Want to Find: a good time! :D
Looking to: help/write psy-q examples

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by ViLXDRYAD » May 28th, 2018, 9:45 am

one year later, and maybe too late BUT perhaps it still helps someone

VGMTrans is a tool that let's you extract samples from psf and output them either raw or on wav format, even in .sf2/.dls soundfonts formats too, also full sequences in Midi along maybe other useful options, also not just psf BUT a handful lot of other formats, there's even a (hard to find) version that supports n64's usf though that support isn't in the main version tho

it's great help for whose make arranges/covers

you can download it from here:
https://github.com/vgmtrans/vgmtrans/releases

User avatar
Squaresoft74
Extreme PSXDEV User
Extreme PSXDEV User
Posts: 159
Joined: January 7th, 2016, 2:55 am
PlayStation Model: SCPH-7502
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Squaresoft74 » August 8th, 2018, 2:05 pm

Shadow wrote:
June 14th, 2017, 11:24 am
VABTOOL by 'Mark Breugelmans of Sony Computer Entertainment'.
Hi Shadow,

What is the latest available version of this tool ?

Thank you

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » August 8th, 2018, 7:31 pm

V2.1 BETA, 24th November 1998.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

User avatar
Squaresoft74
Extreme PSXDEV User
Extreme PSXDEV User
Posts: 159
Joined: January 7th, 2016, 2:55 am
PlayStation Model: SCPH-7502
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Squaresoft74 » August 9th, 2018, 2:15 pm

So that's the one i already have then.

In the "Preview -> Select Mode" tab you can choose between those settings:
Sound Artist Preview
Sound Blaster Preview
Dev Kit Preview

Does it need any specific hardware to get "Preview SEQ" function working ?

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » August 9th, 2018, 5:54 pm

Yes, you need the 'Sound Artist Board'. However, I think there was a program from Sony which executed on the PSX which allowed you to basically upload the SEQ to RAM on the console and play it back that way.
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

User avatar
Squaresoft74
Extreme PSXDEV User
Extreme PSXDEV User
Posts: 159
Joined: January 7th, 2016, 2:55 am
PlayStation Model: SCPH-7502
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Squaresoft74 » August 12th, 2018, 11:59 am

Thanks, any info regarding that program ?

User avatar
Shadow
Admin / PSXDEV
Admin / PSXDEV
Posts: 2275
Joined: December 31st, 2012, 5:37 pm
PlayStation Model: H2000/5502

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Shadow » August 12th, 2018, 12:34 pm

Hmm. I think it's on my Windows 98 development computer. I'll have to boot it up later and take a look for it, but I think it was a program solely for the H2000 development cards which allowed the use of testing SEQ sheets.

*EDIT* Okay, have a look at SAMPLES\SOUND\SIMPLE. This program plays SEQ files with the instrument data loaded from a VAB (VB/VH). The other program which plays VAB files directly like VABTOOL is under VABTOOL\DEV_KIT and compiles to the name "SNDTOOL.EXE" which was programmed by "Mark Breugelmans" on November 1st 1997. This basically turns your PlayStation into a piano with a virtual keyboard which can be controlled with a mouse or via the controller. Great for testing with :)
Development Console: SCPH-5502 with 8MB RAM, MM3 Modchip, PAL 60 Colour Modification (for NTSC), PSIO Switch Board, DB-9 breakout headers for both RGB and Serial output and an Xplorer with CAETLA 0.34.

PlayStation Development PC: Windows 98 SE, Pentium 3 at 400MHz, 128MB SDRAM, DTL-H2000, DTL-H2010, DTL-H201A, DTL-S2020 (with 4GB SCSI-2 HDD), 21" Sony G420, CD-R burner, 3.25" and 5.25" Floppy Diskette Drives, ZIP 100 Diskette Drive and an IBM Model M keyboard.

User avatar
Squaresoft74
Extreme PSXDEV User
Extreme PSXDEV User
Posts: 159
Joined: January 7th, 2016, 2:55 am
PlayStation Model: SCPH-7502
Location: France
Contact:

Re: How to look at PSF note sequences?

Post by Squaresoft74 » August 14th, 2018, 11:15 am

Thank you, i'll give them a try. :)

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest