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Posted on 07-11-17, 02:06 pm (rev. 4 by SY24 on 08-02-17, 08:15 am)
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We will start off step by step.
What is an AST-file? This filetype includes soundtracks for several Wii games; also Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 have them. Sometimes only one soundtrack plays during a mission, and sometimes the soundtarck changes. You may be wondering why Nintendo does not use common music-file-extensions like MP3 or WAV for their soundtrack. The answer is simple:
Nintendos soundtrack-files always have the advantage of being looped.
"But I can also play my MP3 files with loop, where is the difference?" The difference is in the terms "Loop" and "Repeat". What you mean is that you can repeat your MP3 file, but you cannot loop it.

Both Super Mario Galaxy games are knowen and also rewarded for their great orchestral soundtrack. Probably you are new to the hacking community or you're coming from another hacking community like MKW or SSBB and want to try something new. If so, welcome to Neo Mario Galaxy!
The easiest thing to start with SMG hacking are probably soundtrack edits, as they require software which is easy to handle.
Out there are many good programs that convert your audio-file to an AST-file. But I noticed that when it comes to looped AST-files there are audible errors when testing the file ingame.
This tutorial is about creating a loop-point in your AST-file, but soon there will be a section about setting up your soundtrack to create a good AST-file.

I want to have said that the following article is yet not really properly written. If you desire any changes and further explanations, please let me know.

REQUIREMENTS
· Your custom soundtrack (preferably as WAV file @ 32000hz)
· astConverter 2.0 by Anthe (Download)
· Audacity (Download)
· A HEX-Editor
· Windows-Calculator (or anything else that can convert between Decimal and HEX)

STEP 1 - YOUR CUSTOM SOUNDTRACK
As you may know, your soundtrack has to end right were the loop is going to begin. So you want to open your soundtrack in Audacity at first and then look for the point where your soundtracks loop shall begin, once the entire audiotrack is played all over. On the bottom toolbar is a small screen that displays the time where you have put your cursor on the audiotrack. There are different ways to display this. I recommend changing it from regular time to samples:



Now find your loop-point in your audiotrack; take your time and do this as precise as possible. It's important to be precise here. If you have found your perfect loop point, note down the amount of samples displayed in the bottom toolbar.
Tip: you can test the preciseness of your loop-point just by marking two or three seconds of your audiotrack right behind the loop-point, copy and paste it at the end of your audiotrack. Now listen whether you hear any clicks or ticks when the playback passes the loop point. If it sounds all-right, don't forget to undo your last action. Now export your audiotrack as a WAV-file.

STEP 2 - CONVERSION
I prefer astConverter 2.0 over any other because...
Open up astConverter 2.0 and load the WAV-file you just exported. astConverter 2.0 gives you the opportunity to set a loop-point, but we are going to ignore that. So leave the box that says "Enable Custom Loop?" unchecked!



When you hit "Convert" astConverter 2.0 will export the converted WAV-file as an AST-file in the same directory as your WAV-file is located. Now you have an AST-file which will not loop but repeat when you test it ingame.

STEP 3 - FIND THE LOOP-POINT
You may not believe, but it is possible to open up an AST-file in Audacity. Do so with your AST-file. Now, when zooming closer into the end of the audiotrack, you will notice some blank space which has not been there before:



Don't worry, that always happens when creating an AST-file. You hopefully still have your note with the loop-point from the first step. Find that sample again in your audiotrack, to make sure it is still the same; sometimes it happens that your initial loop-point has moved one sample back or forth. If that happend, note down the new loop-point.
But now we will also need a loop-end-point. In fact this is just the second last sample of your audiotrack.



If you noticed any changes in your audiotrack, note down your new LoopStart Sample and LoopEnd Sample. You can close Audacity without saving.

STEP 4 - SET THE LOOP-POINT
Take your notes again and open up your Windows-Calculator in Programming-Mode (Alt+3).



While "Dez" is set type your LoopStart Sample and press "Hex". Now you got your LoopStart Sample in HEX-format. Do so with your LoopEnd Sample as well, and note both down.
Next open up your AST-file in a HEX-Editor.
We want to set the LoopStart Sample, and probably also change the LoopEnd Sample.



You will notice that Offset 0x18 (length of 8 bytes) is 00 00 00 00, since your AST-file has no loop-point yet. Right there type your LoopStart Sample in HEX-format.
You might notice that Offset 0x14 and Offset 0x1C has one more sample than your initial LoopEnd Sample. If so, replace both with your LoopEnd Sample. Now save and overwrite your AST-file.

Your AST-file is ready to be tested ingame.

STEP 5 - TESTING AST-FILES
This section will describe how you can test your soundtracks ingame on a Wii (not emulator!)

Make sure that you have Riivolution installed on your Wii or Wii U. If not yet, just search for it on the internet. Setting it up is really simple! If you have Riivolution already installed, I recommend downloading the newest version, if not already done.
As you may know from other games, you can use a XML-patch with Riivolution that loads custom files from your SD Card over the games original files while playing.
I have created a XML-file for this purpose already (Download SMG2 XML - SMG1 XML coming soon) but it should only work for PAL (Europe) yet.

Now take your SD Card. It needs a special arrangement of folders and foldernames:



If you use my XML, you will need to name your folder "SMG2Testing". You can change that with some XML-editing for sure.
Since we only want to test AST-files, we just need a folder called "Stream" inside a folder called "AudioRes" in your "SMG2Testing" (same for both games); there you have to put your AST-files.
Of course your file will need a specific filename, otherwise the patch won't load your file. So here are ALL the AST-filenames for SMG and SMG2.


Don't forget the file extension *.ast at the end of your file.
Then put your SD Card in your Wii and load the game with your patch.
If you were precise enough, you should hear a very smooth loop in your soundtrack when testing it ingame.

Feel free to ask if there are open questions.
Posted on 07-11-17, 02:54 pm (rev. 1 by Aurum on 07-12-17, 12:50 am)

Super Koopa
Careful with that axe, Eugene!


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This guide is very helpful. Thank you for your contribution
EDIT: Yup, it really helped me creating the music files for NMG.
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 07-12-17, 01:33 pm
Will start a hack by doing a logo...


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This guide is very helpful. Thank you for your contribution
EDIT: Yup, it really helped me creating the music files for NMG.

Makes me proud to hear! ^^
Already curious what tracks you have chosen for NMG.
Posted on 07-12-17, 01:39 pm

Super Koopa
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I'm working on importing the music tracks right now. I've already done 4 songs, but I'm not going to spoil which ones
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 07-17-17, 11:25 am
Will start a hack by doing a logo...


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Alright people. I have rewritten many parts of the tutorial for a better understanding and clearer definitions.
Also put new sections in the tutorial:
- AST explanation
- Loop definitoon
- Step 5 - Testing AST-files

In hope that this tutorial helps new users gaining more understanding about music hacks.
Posted on 07-27-17, 09:17 pm, deleted by Aurum
  • #2706
Posted on 08-01-17, 04:38 am (rev. 1 by Sierra on 08-01-17, 04:38 am)
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Alrighty I understand the whole ast file thing now, but I'm still a little new to galaxy 2 hacking...

I tried looping a different song for the title screen. but when I played the file in the ast player, and when it came to the loop point, it kept repeating one little section of the song

plus, it didn't change anything at all ingame...

any ideas?
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 06:16 am
Will start a hack by doing a logo...


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When I played the file in the ast player, and when it came to the loop point, it kept repeating one little section of the song.

Unfortunately the AST-Player does not work when it comes to loops. I believe this player is only meant to play your AST-File all over for just once. But you can try to convert your AST-File back to WAV with VGStream. VGStream applys ONE loop to your soundtrack, so you can check whether it is properly looped or not.

Plus, it didn't change anything at all ingame...

Okay okay. That file-structure-procedure is really complicated when trying it the first time. Just do the following with you title track:

On your SD-Card create a folder that is corresponding to the XML-File you are using. If you use the XML-File I was offering as download in this tutorial, then the folder should be named "SMG2Testing". Inside SMG2Testing you have to create a folder named "AudioRes". Inside AudioRes you have to create a folder named "Stream". Inside Stream you put your AST-File with the correct name.

SD-Card > (folder) SMG2Testing > (folder) AudioRes > (folder) Stream > (file) SMG2_title_strm.ast

Was that helpful?
Posted on 08-01-17, 01:47 pm
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So, I now understand the first part, but the second part still confuses me... mainly because I had already done that... as I am not a complete noob to xml files.

So I replaced the song in the audiores folder, but nothing changed...
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 01:55 pm
Will start a hack by doing a logo...


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So I replaced the song in the audiores folder, but nothing changed...

No no, not in the AudioRes folder. Your AudioRes folder needs a "Stream" folder in it. There you put your AST file.
Make sure your folder has the right capitalisation.
Posted on 08-01-17, 03:15 pm
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It does, I also had put it in the stream folder... but no changes ingame.
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 03:17 pm

Super Koopa
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Show me your XML file and the folder structure, please.
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:01 pm (rev. 1 by Sierra on 08-01-17, 10:02 pm)
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XML:
<wiidisc version="1">
<id game="SB4" />
<options>
<section name="Super Mario Universe">
<option name="SMU Core">
<choice name="Enabled">
<patch id="smugame"/>
</choice>
</option>
</section>
</options>
<patch id="smugame" root="/smu">
<folder external="StageData" disc="/StageData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="ObjectData" disc="/ObjectData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="ParticleData" disc="/ParticleData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="LightData" disc="/LightData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="LayoutData" disc="/LayoutData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="LocalizeData" disc="/LocalizeData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="SystemData" disc="/SystemData" recursive="true" create="true" />
<folder external="AudioRes" disc="/AudioRes" recursive="true" create="true" />
</patch>
</wiidisc>


File Structure:



Edit: I can also send you the ast file if you want to take a look at it.
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:13 pm

Super Koopa
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Would be better to know the filename of your AST file.
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:21 pm
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SMG2_title_strm.ast
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:34 pm

Super Koopa
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<wiidisc version="1"> <id game="SB4" /> <options> <section name="SMU"> <option name="SMU"> <choice name="Enabled"> <patch id="smugame"/> </choice> </option> </section> </options> <patch id="smugame" root="/smu"> <folder external="StageData" disc="/StageData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="ObjectData" disc="/ObjectData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="SystemData" disc="/SystemData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="ParticleData" disc="/ParticleData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="LightData" disc="/LightData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="LayoutData" disc="/LayoutData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="LocalizeData" disc="/LocalizeData" recursive="true" create="true" /> <folder external="AudioRes" disc="/AudioRes" recursive="true" create="true" /> </patch> </wiidisc>
Maybe this XML works. The filepath should be:
SD:/smu/AudioRes/Stream/SMG2_title_strm.ast

_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:50 pm
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I used the new XML. but there is still no changes... even though the ast file is looped and placed inside the correct folder.
Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:54 pm

Super Koopa
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Send me the files, please. I'll look into that tomorrow ^^
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
Posted on 08-01-17, 10:59 pm
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Your Everyday SMG2 Hacking Noob.
Posted on 08-01-17, 11:47 pm

Super Koopa
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Alright, I bothered to look into it right now and here's something strange. The game DOES NOT load the title screen music from the AST file in the Stream directory. It's actually found in one of the AW files, but we can't edit this stuff right now. So the title screen music file in the Stream directory is actually an unused duplicate.
_________________________
[22:47:32] Tahcryon: Sad to hear that you won’t be shitting out SMG levels, Aurum
[22:47:42] Aurum: shitting out smg levels
[22:47:47] Aurum: I really wish it would be like this
[22:47:57] Aurum: it would make things so much easier
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