Music Ripping Guide

I often get asked how to go about hacking music from games and demos. I was self taught, starting way back in 1987ish on the Commodore 64, (SYS 49152!) , I then moved over to the Atari ST, extracting tunes from demos and games, in those days we were talking the ubiquitous David Whittaker, Ben Daglish, Fred Gray, Charles Callet, Adrian Dalecki and of course Jochen Hippel (Mad Max).

Ripping, like hacking can be easy, or a pain. In cracking, processes and speed improve as you meet yet another Rob Northen internal, so the same applies to music hacking spotting the familiar ascii tags of "THK!" , "Elof" or "MMME" within the code, or memory addresses $8840.w (what?)

At an Outline demo party I was asked if I could write a guide on how to hack music. Full of motivation I set off describing the process from the original hack, to playing the tune outside of the game/demo... to converting it into an SNDH. However, as usual with a lot of my projects things stalled, motivation waned, and a semi finished guide sat on my hard drive for a number of years. Fast forward to 2020, we're in lock down, free-time aplenty, so time to resurrect this guide.

I remember a long time ago an esteemed hacker wrote a guide to filing games, in his foreword he stated "Well I'll be honest, I think this doc is going to be a pain in the arse to write, cos anyone who needs it probably won't understand it and anyone who does understand it wouldn't have needed it in the first place! "

I wonder if this sentiment rings true for my document ? We will see.

To start I have chosen a straight forward game tune which highlights the process of extracting the music, testing and finally creating your own SNDH file.

So here you will find a music ripping tutorial for the Thalion game Atomix. Also you can read the article in this blog now!


I may make these guides into and an occasional series.

Keep hacking...... Grazey April 2020.


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