MO3 in Hugi
When selecting music for Hugi we tried to make the "soundtrack" as small as possible while trying to keep the quality on a high level. Loseless compression methods sometimes fail to create files of an acceptable size, so we decided to use the MO3 format, supported by the BASS sound engine (created by Ian Luck).
MO3 compression is quite efficient for really big tunes, but when both size and quality are critical you could try to use some tricks, described below...
1) Tweaking LAME command line. You might know that the LAME encoder supports so called alt-presets which could give you the maximum quality at a given average bitrate. So we replaced the default command line with "LAME --alt-preset %k %i %o" thus slightly increasing the quality/size ratio of packed samples.
2) Calibrating. A very simple thing to do :) Just don't forget to press the Calibrate button in MO3 encoder. This can help you save a lot of nerves and time ;)
3) Lossless packing. Many drum samples can be packed more efficiently by using loseless compression. As these sounds are used frequently enough the quality/size ratio should be very high. Lossy packing of such short and quality critical samples is often ineffective.
4) Pay more attention to frequently used samples, as their quality must be as high as possible. It's better to get a slightly bigger file size than to hear an annoying hiss all the time the music plays.
5) Remove useless samples. If a sample is not used, why waste space on it? The MO3 encoder can do it automatically.
6) Listen! Listen to the song and decide yourself if quality and size are good for you... If not - reencode and experiment again :)
7) We have found out that most chiptunes can be compressed quite well by using a completely loseless (not lossy!) coding method. Small size and no quality loss! Fantastic!
Good luck to you and don't forget to listen to the tunes we selected for you this time.
Comments are welcome, as always.