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New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Development board for ME3Explorer tools. Please try to keep discussions for each tool inside its own thread.

New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 14 Sep 2016, 00:03

Placing new audio in the game is a royal pain in the *** and requires a LOT of different tools.

Here's the current workflow:

1. Extract game audio using different programs, depending on the game and how much audio you want extracted (Gibbed's, Kyp's, ME3Exp Audio Extractor, Soundplorer)
2. Edit sound files in Audacity/audio editor
3. Convert sound files in Wwise
4. Use Fob's AFC Creator to build a new AFC; use a text editor to keep track of the new lengths and offsets in the new AFC
5. Add new AFC to name list in PackEd
6. Repoint exports to new AFC in PackEd
7. Hex edit export references to WAV length and offsets in new AFC in PackEd
8. Use WwiseBankEditor to hunt down edit bank hex, if necessary (lots of fun there)
9. Test in game
10. Do all of this all over again when the line doesn't test well in game
11. Do all of this for every line you want to replace

Yeeeeah. It sucks. Pretty hard. It's incredibly tedious and time consuming. ME3 is frequently uncooperative, as the game engine changes what the audio sounds like. So, something that is perfect in Audacity and Wwise, might end up sounding less perfect in game. In short, there is lots of trial and error involved. At least for dialogue. If you have to add SFX to the audio (like a drell voice that you have to match to existing lines), boy, you're really asking for trouble.

We can't do anything about Wwise and Audacity. But, we can streamline ALL the rest of this. By a lot. In a new "Audio Editor". It'll require a new GUI, which... yeah, I'll get on that. It'll also require we finish and expand the current feature set of all these tools.

Btw, Deager and I will likely be so excited about this we'll crap out some kittens. Really. This is on the level of the FaceFX Editor.

Github issue here.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby SirCxyrtyx » 14 Sep 2016, 18:48

I'd love to make the whole audio workflow better. Stuff like dealing with AFCs and offsets would majorly benefit from the tool doing it for you.
I've heard of this fabled AFC creator of Fob's, but I don't think I've ever seen it. It doesn't appear to be on the third-party utilities board.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby Deager » 14 Sep 2016, 19:00

I love AFC Creator and I think rums0 was asking me about how this all works. It's still handy to know how to hex edit (for when I screw up and want to quickly nuke an audio file as opposed to create the whole afc from scratch) but it does spit out offsets and lengths. But yeah...it's hard for someone new to understand all the stuff required.

Plus...where can people still get the correct the version of Wwise now? Can they? I have my old copy still.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 14 Sep 2016, 19:07

SirCxyrtyx wrote:I'd love to make the whole audio workflow better. Stuff like dealing with AFCs and offsets would majorly benefit from the tool doing it for you.
I've heard of this fabled AFC creator of Fob's, but I don't think I've ever seen it. It doesn't appear to be on the third-party utilities board.

Took me a second to find it. It's in his tutorial:

tutorial-making-new-afc-files-t1708.html

Lots and lots of ideas for this, Sir, and I know Kinko has done a lot of works with banks, so between Deager, Fob, Kinko, and myself, we can likely come up with some great improvements.

I'm wrapping up some loose ends right now for Kinko's pre-EGM final release. Once I'm done I'll start working on a new tool template for all tools. From there, we can start looking at how to lay out this new editor, the TLK tool, the new Utility Box (if you like that idea), etc :)
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby SirCxyrtyx » 14 Sep 2016, 19:16

Fob gives permission to incorporate it into ME3Explorer in that thread, but the download is with the attachments feature, which is disabled. Could someone who has it put up a download?
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 14 Sep 2016, 19:26

SirCxyrtyx wrote:Fob gives permission to incorporate it into ME3Explorer in that thread, but the download is with the attachments feature, which is disabled. Could someone who has it put up a download?

That's really surprising, actually. I'm surprised the forum allowed that attachment.

Here it is.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby SirCxyrtyx » 14 Sep 2016, 21:40

Well, I see why it was never included into the toolset. It's in C++.
Ah well. I ought to be able to figure out what it does and replicate the functionality at least.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 14 Sep 2016, 21:48

SirCxyrtyx wrote:Well, I see why it was never included into the toolset. It's in C++.
Ah well. I ought to be able to figure out what it does and replicate the functionality at least.

I can describe what it does pretty accurately:

1. You feed it the name of the music file you want it to compile
2. You feed it the name of the AFC you want to create OR concatenate to.
3. It performs that operation.
4. It spits out text in the command window identifying the length of the hex for each audio file in the AFC, and spits out the offset of the audio file in the AFC.

I'm expect it's much more complicated on your end, but that's what it does. Once it's integrated into the editor, though, much of that won't be necessary. For example, if the workflow was bundled into Soundplorer, the player should be able to control the AFC affected (or name a new one), and the changes to hex should happen automatically.

Btw, I expect the code for Soundplorer is something of a disaster.
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 19 Sep 2016, 21:39

@kinkojiro -- If you happen to see this, you've likely done more work with wwisebanks than anyone else so far. I'm about to start working on the GUI mockup for the new editor. Anything specific you want to see?

@deager/Fob/JohnP -- You guys have also done lots of audio work. Please let me know if there's any UI elements or functionality you want to see.

-----

A more general question: I'm thinking we can probably remove the functionality of replacing WAVs via Soundplorers Import/Export/Direct AFC replace methods? Since folks should be putting new audio into new AFCs, instead? Allows them to keep the quality significantly better and to not overwrite a vanilla AFC. Anyone know if new AFCs will work in the base game Cooked? If the modder for some reason doesn't want to use a DLC mod?
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Re: New(ish) Tool | Audio Editor

Postby giftfish » 19 Sep 2016, 23:10

@Sir -- Can we use drag/drop from a standard windows directory into the toolset? Like for selecting which OGGs we want to use for replacement audio?
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