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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
I recently went to rip the CDDA tracks from the original Quake PC game CD-ROM (music composed by Trent Reznor). Exact Audio Copy reports this disc as having pre-emphasis.

However, does anyone else find this suspicious? This game was released in 1996, which seems late for anyone to be using pre-emphasis. Also, since this is a PC game soundtrack, these tracks were originally intended to be played in CD-ROM drives, which (as far as I know) are not capable of de-emphasis.

I have listened to my rip with de-emphasis (using SoX) and without, and I honestly can't tell which one is correct. Does anyone know?

Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #1
A quick google search seems to confirm that Quake cdrom audio tracks are pre-emphasized.


  • /mnt
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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #2
I remember that Quake 1 and Quake 2 had the music played on the CD-ROM drive and was transferred to the sound card via a analogue cable.

A quick google search seems to confirm that Quake cdrom audio tracks are pre-emphasized.


Looks like I gotta check my Quake rip.
  • Last Edit: 03 March, 2014, 05:08:40 AM by /mnt
"I never thought I'd see this much candy in one mission!"

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #3
That's interesting.

I've ripped the Quake soundtrack myself from an original disc (out of the "Ultimate Quake Collection" pack), and they sound perfectly fine to me.

  • zipr
  • [*][*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #4
I have an original Quake CD that id mailed out themselves when it was released. When I throw it in EAC, it says that there is no pre-emphasis. (I should say that I don't know if anything special in EAC has to be configured to accurately detect it.)

  • mjb2006
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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #5
EAC is only reading pre-emphasis flags from the disc's TOC. The TOC is sometimes wrong. What triggers the de-emphasis circuit on a real CD player is what's in each track's subcode, which EAC doesn't read.

Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #6
EAC is only reading pre-emphasis flags from the disc's TOC. The TOC is sometimes wrong. What triggers the de-emphasis circuit on a real CD player is what's in each track's subcode, which EAC doesn't read.

This is essentially what I am asking: is the Quake CD really pre-emphasized, or is the TOC just flagged wrong?

I mean, doesn't this disc seem like a very unlikely candidate for this type of mastering?

  • Wombat
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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #7
If Trent Reznor was involoved in producing the soundtrack it would not wonder me if it has some technical gimmick.
What about applying de-emphasis and listening if it still sounds all right?
Often even if pre-emphasis is applied our ears tend to still like the sound. If de-emphasis is applied wrongly it should start to sound muffled.
I had this game myself but don't know were the disk floats around. I didn't see it in years.
Is troll-adiposity coming from feederism?
With 24bit music you can listen to silence much louder!

  • Porcus
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #8
1996, which seems late for anyone to be using pre-emphasis.


Unfortunately not: http://forum.dbpoweramp.com/showthread.php...ll=1#post121273

Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #9
Well, if anyone else with the Quake CD could compare their rips with and without de-emphasis, I'd like to hear your verdicts on which is correct. I have no prior experience with pre-emphasis, so I'm not confident in my ability to judge how it should sound, even after reading various descriptions. (I'm also guessing that this type of ambient/industrial music could make it harder to tell.)

  • KozmoNaut
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #10
Well, if anyone else with the Quake CD could compare their rips with and without de-emphasis, I'd like to hear your verdicts on which is correct. I have no prior experience with pre-emphasis, so I'm not confident in my ability to judge how it should sound, even after reading various descriptions. (I'm also guessing that this type of ambient/industrial music could make it harder to tell.)


I tried applying a de-emphasis filter to track 1 of my Quake soundtrack rip (using "sox track1.flac track1_deemph.flac deemph") and compared the two.

The first and most immediate impression is that the de-emphasized track sounds muffled compared to the straight rip. Actually, I would say that it sounds more like a typical 22.050hz (or lower) samplerate early-to-mid-90s game soundtrack, lacking in treble.

I definitely prefer the straight rip, it sounds sharper and more industrial to me, and that's the sound I remember from playing the game. I'd never heard it in a de-emphasized version before today.

I think only Trent Reznor himself can tell us what the soundtrack is really supposed to sound like, but I honestly think the pre-emphasis flag in the TOC is an error.
  • Last Edit: 04 March, 2014, 03:26:24 PM by KozmoNaut

  • pdq
  • [*][*][*][*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #11
If you play it on a CD player instead of a computer, wouldn't that guarantee that de-emphasis will only be applied if it is actually called for? How does it sound then?

  • mjb2006
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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #12
I suggest checking the disc with cdda2wav (part of cdrtools). This is a command-line ripper. I think the main option to use is "-J". It will report if there's a mismatch between the TOC and subcode.

  • PlazzTT
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Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #13
If Trent Reznor was involoved in producing the soundtrack it would not wonder me if it has some technical gimmick.


IIRC, he has an account here, you could ask. He signed up to thank HA community for spotting an error in one of his releases (I think it was that 24-bit files were just 16-bit padded with 8 zeroes.)

Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #14
For what it's worth, it looks like the TOC and subcode match. Here's the result of cdda2wav -J:

Code: [Select]
Type: ROM, Vendor 'HL-DT-ST' Model 'DVD-RAM GH10L   ' Revision 'FC0B' MMC+CDDA
983040 bytes buffer memory requested, transfer size 64512 bytes, 4 buffers, 27 sectors
#Cdda2wav version 3.00_cygwin32_nt_1.7.5(0.225-5-3)_i686_i686, real time sched., soundcard, libparanoia support
54420 sectors of data before track #2, ignoring.
 DATAtrack recorded      copy-permitted tracktype
     1- 1 uninterrupted            no      data
AUDIOtrack pre-emphasis  copy-permitted tracktype channels
     2-11          yes              no    audio    2
Table of Contents: total tracks:11, (total time 71:01.36)
  1.[12:05.45],  2.( 5:08.45),  3.( 2:26.01),  4.( 8:20.19),  5.( 6:05.29),
  6.( 7:24.44),  7.( 8:38.17),  8.( 5:35.69),  9.( 6:28.69), 10.( 3:32.42),
 11.( 5:15.31)

Table of Contents: starting sectors
  1.(      0),  2.(  54420),  3.(  77565),  4.(  88516),  5.(  126035),
  6.(  153439),  7.(  186783),  8.(  225650),  9.(  250844), 10.(  280013),
 11.(  295955), lead-out(  319611)
CDINDEX discid: n_9sMj0uUigoQi.U9QxEqhHrhnY-
CDDB discid: 0x9510a50b
CD-Text: not detected
CD-Extra: not detected
No media catalog number present.
scanning for ISRCs: 11 ...
Skipping data track 1...
index scan: 11...

I tried applying a de-emphasis filter to track 1 of my Quake soundtrack rip (using "sox track1.flac track1_deemph.flac deemph") and compared the two.

The first and most immediate impression is that the de-emphasized track sounds muffled compared to the straight rip. Actually, I would say that it sounds more like a typical 22.050hz (or lower) samplerate early-to-mid-90s game soundtrack, lacking in treble.

I definitely prefer the straight rip, it sounds sharper and more industrial to me, and that's the sound I remember from playing the game. I'd never heard it in a de-emphasized version before today.

I think only Trent Reznor himself can tell us what the soundtrack is really supposed to sound like, but I honestly think the pre-emphasis flag in the TOC is an error.
Thanks, I appreciate it. I think I'll just stick with the straight rip as well.

Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #15
It occurred to me that I also have the Mac port in my collection, so I popped it in to see how it compared.

First off, the Mac version has no pre-emphasis tags in either the TOC or subcodes:

Code: [Select]
Type: ROM, Vendor 'HL-DT-ST' Model 'DVD-RAM GH10L   ' Revision 'FC0B' MMC+CDDA
983040 bytes buffer memory requested, transfer size 64512 bytes, 4 buffers, 27 sectors
#Cdda2wav version 3.00_cygwin32_nt_1.7.5(0.225-5-3)_i686_i686, real time sched., soundcard, libparanoia support
18800 sectors of data before track #2, ignoring.
DATAtrack recorded      copy-permitted tracktype
      1- 1 uninterrupted             no      data
AUDIOtrack pre-emphasis  copy-permitted tracktype channels
      2-11           no              no     audio    2
Table of Contents: total tracks:11, (total time 63:23.48)
  1.[ 4:10.50],  2.( 5:10.01),  3.( 2:28.01),  4.( 8:22.01),  5.( 6:07.02),
  6.( 7:26.01),  7.( 8:40.01),  8.( 5:37.02),  9.( 6:29.72), 10.( 3:33.74),
11.( 5:18.68)

Table of Contents: starting sectors
  1.(       0),  2.(   18800),  3.(   42051),  4.(   53152),  5.(   90803),
  6.(  118330),  7.(  151781),  8.(  190782),  9.(  216059), 10.(  245306),
11.(  261355), lead-out(  285273)
CDINDEX discid: _JtcuCfnRymQWTVmbEcOaP95DwA-
CDDB discid: 0x8c0edb0b
CD-Text: not detected
CD-Extra: not detected
No media catalog number present.
scanning for ISRCs: 11 ...
Skipping data track 1...
index scan: 11...

I did a quick listening comparison of three versions of the first audio track (track 2 on the discs): 1) PC version, 2) PC version with de-emphasis, and 3) Mac version.

My first impression is that the Mac versions sounds closer to the de-emphasized PC version.

I also ran the tracks through Spectro. These seem to also show that the PC de-emphasized and Mac versions are more alike in their spectra (although the Mac version looks to have a lot more noise):

PC track 2:


PC track 2 de-emphasized:


Mac track 2:


(In addition to the extra noise, the Mac version also seems to have swapped the left and right channels.)

So, perhaps the PC version really is pre-emphasized after all. I plan to do some more listening comparisons on better equipment sometime soon.

  • Reiginsei
  • [*][*]
Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #16
I have a newer PC Quake CD with Quake 1.09 and GLQuake 0.97.

EAC and cdda2wav report no pre-emphasis.

Code: [Select]
Type: ROM, Vendor 'LITE-ON ' Model 'DVD SHD-16S1S   ' Revision 'ES03' MMC+CDDA
983040 bytes buffer memory requested, transfer size 64512 bytes, 4 buffers, 27 sectors
cdda2wav: Read TOC CD Text failed (probably not supported).
#Cdda2wav version 3.01a22_cygwin32_wow64_1.7.27(0.271-5-3)_i686_i686, real time sched., soundcard, libparanoia support
40532 sectors of data before track #2, ignoring.
DATAtrack recorded      copy-permitted tracktype
      1- 1 uninterrupted             no      data
AUDIOtrack pre-emphasis  copy-permitted tracktype channels
      2-11           no              no     audio    2
Table of Contents: total tracks:11, (total time 67:54.13)
  1.[ 9:00.32],  2.( 5:08.45),  3.( 2:26.00),  4.( 8:20.18),  5.( 6:05.28),
  6.( 7:24.43),  7.( 8:38.16),  8.( 5:35.68),  9.( 6:28.68), 10.( 3:32.41),
11.( 5:13.29)

Table of Contents: starting sectors
  1.(       0),  2.(   40532),  3.(   63677),  4.(   74627),  5.(  112145),
  6.(  139548),  7.(  172891),  8.(  211757),  9.(  236950), 10.(  266118),
11.(  282059), lead-out(  305563)
CDINDEX discid: RobkGUEVl_VMGIcxnW0WehIUZE8-
CDDB discid: 0xa10fea0b
CD-Text: not detected
CD-Extra: not detected
No media catalog number present.
scanning for ISRCs: 11 ...
Skipping data track 1...
index scan: 11...


Track 2 Spectro analysis:

  • djdarko
  • [*]
Re: Quake PC game CDDA soundtrack and pre-emphasis
Reply #17
Did anyone figure out any more information about this? I did a bunch of testing of various PC versions and they all had virtually identical audio, while certain versions don't seem to have the PRE flag in the cue.

The only version I found that has different audio is the Sega Saturn version, though the mixes are shortened on several tracks.
  • Last Edit: 19 June, 2017, 02:19:22 PM by djdarko