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(Topic ID: 79721)

Are new Stern pins in Stereo or not?


By Part_3

6 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 115 posts
  • 35 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by kermit24
  • Topic is favorited by 2 Pinsiders

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    There are 115 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
    #1 6 years ago

    I've heard people grumbling about Stern's pinball audio not being in stereo, but when I look back at Data East pins from the early 90's they claim to have stereo sound. Surely, Stern didn't downgrade to mono over the years?

    #2 6 years ago

    Mono, 24000 Hz

    #3 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    I've heard people grumbling about Stern's pinball audio not being in stereo, but when I look back at Data East pins from the early 90's they claim to have stereo sound. Surely, Stern didn't downgrade to mono over the years?

    Does not make sense to me either but purple is correct, mono.

    #4 6 years ago

    Curious what the new Star Trek as well as newer Sterns now use? Surely it's at least CD quality stereo at this point?

    #5 6 years ago

    Nope still mono. Hopefully they use the stereo on the new boardset on the next game.

    #6 6 years ago

    Wow indeed. Maybe they just didn't get around to it yet...or something. Stereo DACs are incredibly cheap these days. That's not the whole equation of course, but enough of it for me to wonder why

    Curious what else has changed on the newer boards versus the old ones. They have SD cards now and/or USB connectivity yeah?

    #7 6 years ago

    You are correct about the downgrade, the old DE's were in stereo. Not sure it's a huge deal with the small stereo separation, but would be nice still.

    #8 6 years ago

    Sheesh.....makes me want to get a Data East Batman even more now!

    #9 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Sheesh.....makes me want to get a Data East Batman even more now!

    Stern mono sounds a billion times better than DE Stereo. Listen to the scratchy-voiced midi-ness of GnR, then listen to AC/DC.

    #10 6 years ago
    Quoted from Rarehero:

    Stern mono sounds a billion times better than DE Stereo. Listen to the scratchy-voiced midi-ness of GnR, then listen to AC/DC.

    Well, is that because of crappy speakers? That could be upgraded, or piped out to a receiver.

    #11 6 years ago

    Yea. There's a lit more to sound quality than stereo vs mono.

    #12 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Well, is that because of crappy speakers? That could be upgraded, or piped out to a receiver.

    Its due to crappy audio amps and craply sound samples limited by space in older roms. The data east speakers are actually slightly better.

    #13 6 years ago

    One wonders if some clever hacker will design something to be able to replace the sound ROMS on older pins...like what Pinball Browser does for SAM. Would be cool to re-sample lifted lines from Batman, as well as adding Danny Elfman's music right from the CD. Burn the ROM, pop it back in.

    #14 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Well, is that because of crappy speakers? That could be upgraded, or piped out to a receiver.

    No, it's because the old hardware was quite limited in terms of what it could handle. I think the samples in GNR, for example; are something like 4-bit PCM in terms of quality. That is like a poor telephone connection. Remember the digitized sound effects in old video games, and how bad they sounded? Same idea - crappy old hardware with limited space for samples (edit - also saving space in rom chips would probably be a bigger deal cost-wise than nowadays).

    Also, the 'backing tracks' were pretty much just midi compositions. Ugh.

    #15 6 years ago
    Quoted from SteveP3:

    No, it's because the old hardware was quite limited in terms of what it could handle. I think the samples in GNR, for example; are something like 4-bit PCM in terms of quality. That is like a poor telephone connection. Remember the digitized sound effects in old video games, and how bad they sounded? Same idea - crappy old hardware with limited space for samples (edit - also saving space in rom chips would probably be a bigger deal cost-wise than nowadays).
    Also, the 'backing tracks' were pretty much just midi compositions. Ugh.

    Exactly. Stern SAM audio may not be what you'd want on your high end home audio system - but they can sample TONS of high quality real audio. All the songs in AC/DC, Metallica & Stones are LITERALLY the real songs. Not downsampled lyrics and chiptune recreations like GnR, Tommy, even Elvis. All due to the PCB hardware, nothing to do with speakers.

    #16 6 years ago

    It's entirely possible to replace sound effects, voices, and musical instruments in old Data/East Sega games. However, the musical sequences themselves are in an unknown format. Most sounds are 8-bit 8KHz PCM. A select few are encoded in a proprietary ADPCM format that has not been reverse-engineered. Newer Segas use 12KHz sounds. Stern Whitestar games use 22KHz VOX ADPCM. SAM games use 24KHz ADPCM (probably VOX as the codec is known).

    Starting with SAM Stern started using pre-rendered music tracks in their newer games. Instead of using chip music, it's now a single track. Which makes them a cakewalk to replace. Do Data East games really use sequences in MIDI format? Or was that just an analogy?

    To compare, Jersey Jack uses straight-up 16-bit 44KHz stereo PCM. Full CD quality. We should've seen this a good decade to 15 years ago.

    #17 6 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    To compare, Jersey Jack uses straight-up 16-bit 44KHz PCM. Full CD quality. Actually it exceeds CD quality due to the absense of compression.

    Cd quality is uncompressed as CDs are not compressed.

    #18 6 years ago

    True. You caught me after the edit.

    #19 6 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    To compare, Jersey Jack uses straight-up 16-bit 44KHz stereo PCM. Full CD quality. We should've seen this a good decade to 15 years ago.

    15 years ago, it may have been useful... with modern encoding, it's simply a waste of space...

    #20 6 years ago

    CD's are compressed, they're just not compressed to the extent that we think of today, like MP3 and AAC, etc.....

    #21 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Sheesh.....makes me want to get a Data East Batman even more now!

    Well Sega Batman is funner to play and has pretty darn good sound with nice bass as well.

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

    Well Sega Batman is funner to play and has pretty darn good sound with nice bass as well.

    No doubt......but I have a soft spot for the 1989 movie.

    #23 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    CD's are compressed, they're just not compressed to the extent that we think of today, like MP3 and AAC, etc.....

    Are the waveforms compressed? The sound data is not.

    #24 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    CD's are compressed, they're just not compressed to the extent that we think of today, like MP3 and AAC, etc.....

    I'm the case of compression we are talking about is data compression. This is an entirely different and unrelated process vs dynamic range compression which yields a more constant , normalized, louder track. CDs are not data compressed.

    #25 6 years ago

    Yep, I just threw a PC CD-ROM disc image into Audacity and the all the music is 16-bit PCM. Now I can listen to the garbage sound of the data track like I used to in some "dumb" CD players back in the day.

    #26 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    CD's are compressed, they're just not compressed to the extent that we think of today, like MP3 and AAC, etc.....

    No, you're confused. The audio is stored uncompressed on a CD.

    #27 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    No doubt......but I have a soft spot for the 1989 movie.

    Ahh got you. The Tim Burton Batman with Keaton and Nicholson was a good show I remember waiting in line to see it in the theater opening night. OK back on topic sorry guys...

    #28 6 years ago

    Depends what you call compression. They are a lower bit rate and sample rate then what a artist would generally record with if they were recording directly in digital. And a higher sample and bit rate also makes for better conversion of and 8 or 16 track analog recording. The CD redbook spec is very old.

    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from The_Dude_Abides:

    Ahh got you. The Tim Burton with Keaton and Nicholson was a good show I remember waiting in line to see it in the theater opening night.

    It was about a month before I turned 17. I hadn't seen lines like that since Return of the Jedi.

    #30 6 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    A select few are encoded in a proprietary ADPCM format that has not been reverse-engineered.

    I think Nicola figured out how to get the custom ADPCM for games like GnR to play without sounding horrendous quite some time ago in the MAME source (and the pinmame guys integrated it, this was a while ago, but somewhere in the 1.20 to 1.30 VPM releases I think). I'm surprised nobody has taken the code and made a tool to encode replacement samples. I know someone else wrote an emulator that also decoded the samples properly, I think it was called M1 (Richard Garriot? Maybe.. memory foggy). Anyhoo! Just some info in case anyone is interested.

    #31 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Depends what you call compression. They are a lower bit rate and sample rate then what a artist would generally record with if they were recording directly in digital. And a higher sample and bit rate also makes for better conversion of and 8 or 16 track analog recording. The CD redbook spec is very old.

    You could look at it like there is a difference between compression (which in itself have multiple meanings) and loss / lossy formats.

    edit : and what I mean is that RedBook was probably considered pretty kickass years ago, but is obviously obsolete, so the resolution is a bit poor by modern standards and so suffers from some loss just due to its nature. Still much better than what Stern's games use though

    #32 6 years ago

    Yes, PinMAME and M1 decode the ADPCM sounds fine. However, being hardware emulators they are simply executing DSP instructions. It would like a lot of debugging and back-tracing of the DSP ROM code to recreate the source codec. I too am surprised it hasn't been done... maybe a good project for oga83?

    #33 6 years ago

    So you to ask this question in order to decide if you like Sterns or not? Guess you can't *tell* the difference. This is an old topic cover many times. Move along...

    #34 6 years ago
    Quoted from ccotenj:

    15 years ago, it may have been useful... with modern encoding, it's simply a waste of space...

    It all depends on the application. Obviously a game studio isn't going to be using uncompressed audio in their releases, there simply isn't enough disc space. However, a pinball game running on a 64GB hard drive with headphone jacks that come standard make using uncompressed sound feasible. The game doesn't even consume 8GB of storage by the time you install the base game and load all the latest delta updates. And as much as people are talking about sound in these games, all the better.

    #35 6 years ago

    I demand the new Stern system use Dolby Atmos sound.

    P.S. look out for massive price increases and tremendously annoying setup of games if this happens. Fingers crossed

    #36 6 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    So you to ask this question in order to decide if you like Sterns or not? Guess you can't *tell* the difference. This is an old topic cover many times. Move along...

    You're addressing this to me?

    -5
    #37 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    You're addressing this to me?

    Yes. If you have to ask if it is stereo, you must not be able to hear/tell the difference. Either way this subject has been gone over 1000+ times, so at a minimum it is a troll topic.

    #38 6 years ago

    This is a troll thread. Mmkay...

    -1
    #39 6 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Yes. If you have to ask if it is stereo, you must not be able to hear/tell the difference. Either way this subject has been gone over 1000+ times, so at a minimum it is a troll topic.

    Well this is my post, so the only one that will moving along is you.

    I am not a troll, or a Stern-basher.

    So essentially, go shove some silver balls where the sun doesn't shine. But then again, you probably like that.

    #40 6 years ago

    The usage of stereo in Data East games is definitely noticeable, but it all pretty much boils down to alternating between the left and right channels. No surround sound effects, gradients, etc. Pretty limited, so I don't know why Stern isn't doing a lot more with that.

    #41 6 years ago
    Quoted from Part_3:

    Well this is my post, so the only one that will moving along is you.
    I am not a troll, or a Stern-basher.
    So essentially, go shove some silver balls where the sun doesn't shine. But then again, you probably like that.

    Wow, struck a nerve huh? Sorry. Out. And plonk BTW.

    #42 6 years ago
    Quoted from John_I:

    Wow, struck a nerve huh? Sorry. Out. And plonk BTW.

    I liked the part where the troll came in and started calling a norp a troll. many lulz.

    #43 6 years ago

    Moving to stereo sound would require another tda2030 amp in the board set which might require beefing up the 12v section on the power board. But the biggest concern would be the size of game rom. The sounds in stern games are 24khz uncompressed. To add a second channel would double the size of the audio in the game.

    #44 6 years ago

    The only thing that would change ROM wise is music. If Stern were to implement anything beyond real time stereo sound generation it would be stereo music tracks. Those would be twice as large, yes. Not the entire sound ROMs. A majority of the mono sound samples would still be used. For example, creating a surround sound effect when shooting a ramp. It only plays a single mono sound, the DSP just transforms its rendering (panning).

    #45 6 years ago
    Quoted from Crash:

    It's entirely possible to replace sound effects, voices, and musical instruments in old Data/East Sega games. However, the musical sequences themselves are in an unknown format. Most sounds are 8-bit 8KHz PCM. A select few are encoded in a proprietary ADPCM format that has not been reverse-engineered. Newer Segas use 12KHz sounds. Stern Whitestar games use 22KHz VOX ADPCM. SAM games use 24KHz ADPCM (probably VOX as the codec is known).
    Starting with SAM Stern started using pre-rendered music tracks in their newer games. Instead of using chip music, it's now a single track. Which makes them a cakewalk to replace. Do Data East games really use sequences in MIDI format? Or was that just an analogy?
    To compare, Jersey Jack uses straight-up 16-bit 44KHz stereo PCM. Full CD quality. We should've seen this a good decade to 15 years ago.

    Jersey Jack has a full PC in it and GIG's of space. SAM system is like 128 meg max (ac/dc) other games are lower like 32 - 64 meg for dot's, code and sound.

    #46 6 years ago
    Quoted from SteveP3:

    and what I mean is that RedBook was probably considered pretty kickass years ago, but is obviously obsolete, so the resolution is a bit poor by modern standards and so suffers from some loss just due to its nature. Still much better than what Stern's games use though

    Yep, the CD was the best consumer CPU horsepower Philips had....... in 1977.

    #47 6 years ago
    Quoted from markmon:

    I'm the case of compression we are talking about is data compression. This is an entirely different and unrelated process vs dynamic range compression which yields a more constant , normalized, louder track. CDs are not data compressed.

    Technically, it's not compression but error correction. The audio itself is uncompressed, and, in fact, the error correction requires more space, not less though I think it's marginal.

    To avoid confusion, I just think of CD audio as 16-bit/44kHz. Uncompressed it is about 10MB/min for stereo music. It's an aside, but modern lossless compression approaches, like FLAC and ALAC, can get it down to say 40-60% of the original. FLAC is also a very cheap codec in terms of CPU power (when compared to, say, MP3s) though requires a good deal more bandwidth obviously.

    #48 6 years ago
    Quoted from m00dawg:

    Technically, it's not compression but error correction. The audio itself is uncompressed, and, in fact, the error correction requires more space, not less though I think it's marginal.
    To avoid confusion, I just think of CD audio as 16-bit/44kHz. Uncompressed it is about 10MB/min for stereo music. It's an aside, but modern lossless compression approaches, like FLAC and ALAC, can get it down to say 40-60% of the original. FLAC is also a very cheap codec in terms of CPU power (when compared to, say, MP3s) though requires a good deal more bandwidth obviously.

    I'm sorry but error correction like ECC is not related to compression of audio *at all*. And in fact, audio is written to CD media without the standard error correction used on regular data cd because the thought is a bit here or there being off is no big deal in streaming playback. Modern CD audio is uncompressed audio data. It's the same as a 44khz 16 bit PCM data file without any codec.

    The point above was that by making the audio tracks stereo, because they're uncompressed, it would double the size of the tracks for the pinball machine roms.

    #49 6 years ago

    Well Stern can certainly take advantage of stereo without implementing stereo music.

    #50 6 years ago

    Mono, stereo this is 2014. Movies, music, dudes we have access to surround 8 speakers soundsystems. I wish pinball would evolve. Still AC/DC or Met in mono on a sound system with 3 subs and 6 channels stereo is pretty overkill and badass. Yes I have issues hahahahaha.

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