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Forums > C64 Coding > Sample audio on C64, how to do a better conversion?
2020-07-17 08:00

Registered: Feb 2003
Posts: 30
Sample audio on C64, how to do a better conversion?

Hi all!

Recently I have found about c64kernel and a movie player based on that code that uses 16MB REU as a storage. (https://github.com/vbguyny/c64kernel). Movie is based on Koala image sequences, and audio is 4bit samples, where playing routine is based on codebase64 code (https://codebase64.org/doku.php?id=base%3Anmi_sample_player) There is a manual that describes how to make a movie at

Anyway, I wanted to make an automatic conversion from a movie file to format for that player and have come up with this Bash script:

For audio conversion I did this: converted audio to 8-bit unsigned raw format, and then extracted higher 4 bits from every byte. The result isn't bad, but it is somewhat worse than what "Wav to digi" program can produce (Wav to Digi). So, my question is what could I do to make audio conversion better?

I know that there are more advanced audio and video player routines by magicians around here (I enjoy watching their work!), but nevertheless, if you have some advice, please tell.

One of conversions I did this way:
... 7 posts hidden. Click here to view all posts....
2020-07-17 21:06

Registered: Apr 2008
Posts: 329
Mahoneys Music Run/Stop technical details pdf should have the data IIRC.
2020-07-17 21:59

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 29
The Python conversion code we're using for streaming on the Turbo56K BBS, while not specifically taking into account any non linearity of the SID, it does a decent job in most cases.

This code accepts most audio file formats

import librosa
import numpy

y, sr = librosa.load(filename, samplerate, True) #load file

numpy.clip(y, -1, 1, y) #Clip samples
norm = librosa.mu_compress(y, mu=15, quantize=True) #mu-compress and quantize to 16 different values
norm = norm + 8 #offset the samples values
bin8 = numpy.uint8(norm) #convert to 8-bit unsigned

bin8 contains 4-bit sample data in the lower nibble of each byte.
2020-07-17 23:51

Registered: Apr 2002
Posts: 1512
Quoting Durandal
[...]not specifically taking into account any non linearity of the SID[...]
Okay, so my takeaway is that applying μ-law is better than using a linear mapping, no matter if specifically tweaked for SID or not.
2020-07-18 00:07

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9432
My guess would be its just the implied lowpass that "does the job" in this case
2020-07-18 00:17

Registered: Apr 2002
Posts: 1512
Hmm, lowpass or not is mostly a function of catering to a specific sample frequency (downsampling in this case), not reducing bit depth, i thought?
2020-07-18 00:36

Registered: Dec 2001
Posts: 9432
Sure, that... and perhaps a bit of log compression too, which µ-law basically is.
2020-07-18 23:49

Registered: Feb 2003
Posts: 30
Thank you all for answers, and especially to Durandal, his conversion gives better results than mine.

I would like to ask Durandal would it be OK to use his conversion code as part of my script, with given credits of course?
2020-07-19 00:24

Registered: May 2006
Posts: 29
Sure you can use it, I wouldn't have posted it otherwise ;)
2020-07-29 22:18

Registered: Feb 2003
Posts: 30
Thank you all for the help! Author of VBGuyNY C64 Kernel also made some modifications to the player code, now video loops when it finishes and code is more stable. Conversion script was also updated and cleaned.

Also, all this has made one of my dreams come true - State of the Art on C64 :)

2020-07-30 04:46

Registered: Jul 2016
Posts: 21
Downloaded the examples and OMG! Thought I was the only who knew about Sledge Hammer...
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