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HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest?

Posted: Thu Jun 16, 2022 12:17 pm
by Finder153
With the rise of audio upsampling that finally allowed complete HD sound packs to be made such as Quake and Doom Sound Bulb, Half-Life Full Audio Remaster, Duke Nukem's sound mod, I'm starting to wonder if or when we'll we see mods like these for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest.

Complete HQ sound packs for 90's first person shooters faithful to the original were thought to be pipe dreams years ago, but with audio upscaling, it's started to become a reality, and I wish the same can be said for these 4 underrated games, which deserves some much needed love.

Re: HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 11:20 am
by RKD
The closest to HQ sounds for Heretic/Hexen (that I'm aware of) is this project. It isn't audio upscaling, though. These are more of recreated sounds packs, as far as I know.

Re: HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:08 pm
by Finder153
RKD wrote:The closest to HQ sounds for Heretic/Hexen (that I'm aware of) is this project. It isn't audio upscaling, though. These are more of recreated sounds packs, as far as I know.


Ah, I'm aware of that mod. That reminded me of this quote from WildWeasel after I tried to propose for a faithful audio mod for Hexen in that topic and it rang a bell for me, so I felt like this is a good time to bring it up. Yeah, my expectations were about as high as a skyscraper at the time I posted my request.

Sound design is not magic. Unless you can track down the exact source of the sound (which is not something usually documented), you cannot simply make a "high quality" version that sounds "exactly the same" as the default. At best you could get something that only vaguely resembles the original sound. What you're asking is a really tall order - we only have PK's doom sound pack because the Sound Ideas library was already extremely well known. Nobody has any idea where the Heretic and Hexen sounds came from, unless something's changed in the last 24 years.


I've considered this quote to have aged like bread since again, we have audio upsampling that paved way for the aforementioned mods.
Also, I have some of Sound Ideas' audio collection in my possession, such as the iconic General Series 6000. I played plenty of games, watched plenty of movies and it's apparent plenty of Heretic's and Hexen's sound effects came from Sound Ideas.

Re: HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:30 pm
by Chris
Finder153 wrote:I've considered this quote to have aged like bread since again, we have audio upscaling software that paved way for the aforementioned mods.

Upscaling isn't magic. Even of those sound packs you listed, the Doom one mentions starting with the original Sound Ideas sounds again but redoing them more faithfully than PK's pack. The Half-Life one mentions a fair amount of manual work and reconstruction, with AI used to help with speech. We still can't just throw some low quality sounds into a program and get high quality versions that sound just like the original (in part because that low-quality playback is part of what it originally sounded like to us, and we'll all have our own ideas of what a high-quality version should sound like).

Finder153 wrote:I played plenty of games, watched plenty of movies and it's apparent Heretic's and Hexen's sound effect came from Sound Ideas.

Some of them did, yes, but not all of them. Some are completely custom. And many have had processing done to change them from the original source. PK's Doom SFX pack mentions this, that finding the samples in the Sound Ideas source was half the battle; then you got to figure out what the games' sound designers did to it to get what's in the game, which PK put a lot of effort into properly reconstructing them. But even then, that Doom Sound Bulb pack also mentions that, despite the amount of work PK put into that sound pack, some of the sounds were still off, which helped prompt them to start from scratch (along with wanting clean 16-bit samples instead of Doom's 8-bit format).

Re: HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest

Posted: Fri Jun 17, 2022 5:50 pm
by Finder153
Ah, I should've mentioned manual audio modification was usually done aside from using original audio sources and upscaling audio using the highest possible quality of the audio if the original source wasn't found for such mods. Sean posted this in his topic about his predecessor to Quake Sound Bulb about how he made the mod.

I have no way to really explain, but here's what I got:
I used Audacity and Wavosaur. I use Wavosaur for pitchscaling the resampled audio. I save the pitchscaled sound to a subfolder in each folder the base sound comes from. I then put the regular sound and the pitchscaled one into Audacity. I apply a high-pass filter to the pitchscaled one and perform noise reduction with both the built-in tool and RX7 Elements Volume De-Noise tool. (We got it on sale). Some sounds, not many, are voiced over by me... With a high-pass filter. The rest I found from other sources, including Qtest1, Quake 2 and Mindgrid. I am sure that is a good explanation, yes?


About Heretic and Hexen, I forgot to mention that when I said Heretic's and Hexen's audio were from Sound Ideas, I mean plenty of them.
I also heard some sounds in Heretic and Hexen were from Sound Idea while some were made by Kevin Schildler himself. So yeah.

Re: HQ sound packs for Heretic, Hexen, Strife and Chex Quest

Posted: Sat Jun 18, 2022 6:34 pm
by leileilol
There's also just a lot of sounds in Heretic / Hexen that are processed through Cool Edit v1.3 (then, the shareware iteration of what people know as Adobe Audition). In the recreations you'd also have to do the same for maximum faithfulness.
Chris wrote:Upscaling isn't magic. Even of those sound packs you listed, the Doom one mentions starting with the original Sound Ideas sounds again but redoing them more faithfully than PK's pack.

I have the opposite opinion of sound bulb versus per's sounds, sounds more.... compression quantized? "sounds muffled? don't complain" doesn't inspire confidence.