I did bring that bass drum hit down as well as applied some significant compression in an attempt to even things out some without losing too much perceived dynamic contrast (I have the privilege to run live music on an almost weekly basis and if there's one thing I love it's dynamic contrast.) Overall it's been boosted ~3.5dB without clipping. I've just kinda ... overwritten the file in my dropbox. c:
@Uffe von Lauterbach I'm going to go with your title, Frozen Mourning fits perfectly. Thanks for the suggestion!
1) What do you mean by keyboard here? Something you can play on to send MIDI note data to your computer? Something with its own built-in sounds? You're not going to find anything in your price range that's semi-weighted or weighted and also has more than a few built-in sounds. Semi-weighted is rare for keyboards with built-in sounds, except for a few models that go for thousands new. There probably are a few semi-weighted MIDI controllers in your price range, but they won't have built in sounds. You may find weighted, though not in your price range if they're any good or have built-in sounds. Most likely, your budget is limiting you to synth-action keyboards. There's also a bunch more important questions to ask, like how many keys you need, whether you need pedal connections and how many, etc.
I'd suggest going to a website like sweetwater.com and getting a better idea of what's out there, and then coming back with more specific questions about which keyboards may or may not be good choices, and explain what you need it fore in a bit more detail too.
2) It definitely is. Keyboards are line-level instruments while guitars are instrument-level, so there's a big difference in the volumes coming in. Some brands of pedals can handle line-level signals, while others only can if you turn the instrument down a lot. That may or may not be good for what you want. If you get the levels right, though, it's no different than using a guitar: connect your keyboard to the pedal with a 1/4" cable, and then connect the pedal to something else (your audio interface, a mixer, amp/speaker, etc.). I have a stack of pedals I run my keyboards through, but they're all brands that work well with line-level signals (Strymon, Earthquaker Devices, Neo Instruments for their Leslie speaker pedal, and Moog). If you can only swing $500 on a keyboard, all of those will be out of your price range.
My bad DarkeSword. Didn't even notice these threads were under the music history forum. Just assumed this was the general music forum. Still no excuse for lazy posting on my part.
Anyhoo, to dive a bit deeper into why I enjoy the Super Monkey Ball 2 soundtrack in context of the game. Besides sounding good, the juxtaposition between these bright environments and characters with music that becomes increasingly more ambient and darker by the time you reach the last two boss worlds gives a unique feel to the game. Maybe if I had a little more music knowledge and experience I could dig into why that is, but just as someone who enjoys games and music the soundtrack did an excellent job of matching the environments, and in a game where you're dying frequently and having to replay stages countless times over, the last thing the music should do is become a nuisance. Perhaps that's why the music becomes more ambient as the game progresses: to not needlessly draw the player's attention as the difficulty of each stage ramps up. May not have been the intention, but definitely an interesting coincedence.