Game rip (audio)

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Within the context of audio—and video game music in particular—a game rip (also gamerip) is the result of taking the audio from a computer/video game and storing it in a format that is more accessible for listening (often digital files such as MP3s). This is often performed to obtain music that is not available on a soundtrack. There are two major methods of obtaining, or "ripping", audio from a game: digital extraction, and recording.

Digital extraction[edit]

Extracting from uncommon audio formats[edit]

Many times, a game's audio is stored in a proprietary or otherwise uncommon format. In order to extract the audio, one must manipulate the game's audio files. The amount of effort needed to perform the extraction and the particular steps needed to do so depend on the type of format (and in the case of music, whether it is streamed or sequenced). While this type of rip avoids having to be converted to an analog signal, it is up to the emulation/extraction software used and ripper's skill to ensure that the end result is a perfect copy. As such, this type of rip is usually classified further to elaborate on how it was performed. A digital extraction often crosses over into the creation of game audio formats.

Extracting common audio format files[edit]

Some computer games have audio stored in files that are already of common, listenable format (such as OGG, MP3, etc.). In this case, all the ripper has to do is copy the files to a desired location and possibly rename/tag them as necessary.

Some games include their resources in packed files. Programs exist that can search these files and extract graphics and audio files from them.

CD Mixed Mode Audio[edit]

Some games were released in the Mixed Mode CD format, where the audio is similar to the standard Red Book CD-DA (the widely used CD audio standard), and thus these tracks can be digitally extracted. However, due to the ubiquity of Mixed Mode CD as a listenable format, this type of extraction is generally not referred to as a "game rip". Mainly due to ignorance in the CD specs, these extractions are usually called "Red Book Audio" or "Redbook", though technically they were never ripped from a Red Book CD-DA.



A common type of recording is the line-in recording, which feeds the audio signal from the game system to the recording device via an audio cable. For example, one may record from a game console onto a personal computer this way (assuming an audio card/chipset and recording software is available). The person recording must ensure that proper volume levels and other preparations, such as disabling all sound effects (if possible), are put into effect before recording. Then, after recording, that person will need to edit the recorded audio to have proper starting and ending points, as well as other things.

Direct Output[edit]

If the game or application such as an emulator outputs the ability to directly capture in an analog PCM waveform via the PC's sound card, the audio can be output directly to a PCM file such as WAV or MP3. Once this is done, the file must be edited and such, just as with a line-in recording. This is different from a digital extraction in that there is no manipulation of game's audio files involved. However, the line can be blurred in some instances, such as when recording from an emulator.