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Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

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Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Didz on Sun May 13, 2018 10:39 pm

I've been playing around with the KS Mod sound files, and the Fr_March.wav in particular to produce French units that sing as they march.

Started off with just 'Au Chant Depart' just to prove that the idea would work.

Then began refining it to add more songs and march cadences, and adjusting the 'MinDist' and 'MaxDist' to get an appropriate audible distance, so that units would march past singing and then fade off as the next arrived.

I then added intervals between songs to reduce the continuity and make the singing appear less common.

When used in a standard scenario this is further interspersed by units using the standard vanilla march files, so the singing becomes even less frequent.


The songs I've included so far are:

  • Chant du Départ
  • Il pleut Bergère
  • La Prise de Mantoue
  • Cadet Rouselle
  • Le Départ de Boulogne
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Didz

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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Mr. Digby on Mon May 14, 2018 11:05 am

Nice work, sounds really good, especially the fade out with distance.

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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Didz on Mon May 14, 2018 12:14 pm

Yes! Biondo on the steam forum suggested that effect.  It just involved adjusting the sfx file and adjusting the MinDist and MaxDist columns for the marching sound files.

I set the MinDist to 8, which means that you need to be quite close to the units (8 yards in game scale) to hear the music/song at full volume, and the MaxDist is 500 yards with the sound gradually gets softer as the distance increases.  The idea being that if stood by the roadside as a column marches past you get the impression of battalions passing by singing and fading into the distance as the next arrives.  It also means that in the crowded situations where several battalions are close together there is nearly always one that dominates with the others clearly in the background, rather than a conflict of sounds.

The general idea was to break up the constant drum tap, or repetitive march, and create something that sounds as random as possible without actually being random. So intersperse clips of music and song being played by different units on a slightly different timeline make it appear that unit have just spontaneously started singing on the march perhaps because they are tired or fearful. The fact that it's a linear audio track actually enhanced the effect as it sometimes sounds as though the next unit in the column has picked up on the tune slightly after the unit ahead of it and decided to join in.

I just need to add a few more samples to the file. I particularly what to add 'Le Chant de L'oignon' but I'm still looking for a good sample, and I want to replace the French charge wav with something that includes the 'pas de charge' and shouts of 'Vive l'Empereur' etc.
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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Uncle Billy on Mon May 14, 2018 2:36 pm

It does sound nice. It's too bad we can't differentiate music used while on road march and while advancing towards the enemy. Soldiers probably didn't do too much singing while being hit by canister.

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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Didz on Tue May 15, 2018 1:45 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Soldiers probably didn't do too much singing while being hit by canister.
Hmm! Not sure about that, in many respects the singing would at least be a distraction though I doubt it would win any prizes under such conditions.  The French in particular tended to relieve their trepidations by becoming more and more noisy during their advance, the idea being to distract themselves from the danger whilst at the same time intimidating the enemy.  Some songs like 'Le Chant de L'Oignon' are recorded as particularly popular during the final stages of an assault.

This from Marshal Bugeaud who fought as an infantry officer in Spain. 'When about 1,000 paces from the English line our soldiers got agitated and exchanged their thoughts; they hurried their march which began to get disorderly. The silent english, with ordered arms, looked, in their impassive stillness, like a long red wall, an imposing spectacle which never failed to impress the young soldiers. Soon the distance shortened, repeated shouts of 'Vive l'Empereur! En avant! A la baionnette!, broke from us; shako's being raised on the ends of muskets. The march became a run, the ranks lost their order, the agitation became an uproar, many muskets were fired. The English line, still silent and immobile with arms still at the order, even when we were within 300 paces, did not seem to notice the storm which was about to assail it. The contrast was striking; more than one of us noted uneasily that the enemy was very slow to fire and reflected that this fire, so long withheld, would when it came be very unpleasant. Our ardour began to abate. The irresistible effect in action of an apparently unshaken calm (even if it did not exist) opposed to dazed and noisy disorder, weighed heavily on our spirits. The painful wait suddenly ended. The English line turned a quarter right as muskets were brought to the ready. An indefinable feeling halted many of our men who opened a wavering fire. From the enemy came a simultaneous and accurate volley which overwhelmed us. Decimated, we staggered, trying to recover our balance; The three formidable 'Hurrahs!' broke at last the silence of our adversaries. At the third they were on us, pressing our disordered retreat. But to our astonishment they did not pursue their advantage beyond about 100 paces, but returned quietly to their position to wait a second attack.'

I've also read the the Imperial Guard sung 'Au chant depart' during their final advance at Waterloo.

Likewise the Prussian's are reported to have sung hymns during their assaults, whilst the British were expected to maintain total silence until the final stages of an advance when a cheer or other battle cry was expected.

Having said that it doesn't happen that much in the game anyway because the game engine handles charges differently.  There is a different sound file used for charging and double time, and the game initiates these far too early so that the assault behaviour is overridden by a chaotic run at the target.  I suspect this is another hangover from the ACW game.
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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Didz on Sun May 27, 2018 10:13 am

I'm still fiddling with the Fr_March.wav file, but essentially it's working the way I wanted it to, so there are periods of simple march cadence interspersed with occasional drum flourishes, and short fife tunes with periods of singing.  But the file is long enough now that the songs are rarely synchronized, so whereas in the early tests several battalions would be singing exactly the same song as they marched past, that has become less likely now, although obviously they still sing them in the same order.  But given that battalions rarely step off simultaneously the impression given is that at worse a second battalion has picked up on a song from from another, rather than that they all began singing the same song at once.

I've managed to find suitable samples of most of the songs I wanted to include, although a couple sung by the French Foreign Legion needed to be modified slightly to change the pitch as I think the recordings had been mixed to deepen their voices to make them sound more macho.  I simply raised the pitch slightly so they matched the other songs included in the file.  I'd still like to include 'Ah Ça ira' and 'Jolie Tambour' but so far I've not found any suitable samples.  There is also a drum march called 'The Song of Bread' ("La danse des baguettes") which I've heard but only in an over orchestrated format. [Actually just found it being played by the Concert Tambours BGHA - so I may add that shortly.]
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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Grog on Sun May 27, 2018 5:20 pm

Looking forward to hearing the final product. A mod would be a good way for us to sample your work
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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

Post  Didz on Mon May 28, 2018 10:17 am

Grog wrote:Looking forward to hearing the final product. A mod would be a good way for us to sample your work
I don't think a mod would work, all I'm actually doing in replacing the Fr_March.wav file in the KS_Mod with one of my own creation.  So, in effect these changes are dependent upon the use of the KS Mod anyway.  I have no idea how I would add these audio files to the main game.  Even when I use the KS Mod with a standard scenario I actually get a random mix of the vanilla march sounds and the new ones, as you can probably hear in the Reilles Corps Advances test video.

BTW: If anyone else wants a copy of my Fr_March.wav file just PM me, I'm quite happy to share my collection. Though it is getting constantly reviewed and added to.
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Re: Experimenting with the KS Mod sound files

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