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Everything posted by lazygecko

  1. Just the physical part of replicating vibrations in your eardrums is merely a part of what constitutes your actual hearing. After that it's all up to the brain to turn this sensory input into something you can understand. And this is the part of you that is very malleable. We are really constantly subjected to a lot more sounds than what we actually percieve, because our brains get wired to filter out a whole bunch of information we don't deem relevant to needing our active attention. Training ourselves to overcome this is what mostly constitutes "good ears", rather than what the range of our frequency spectrum covers.
  2. And I don't even think the Sonic soundtracks make particularly effective use of the hardware, even if they sound good as they are. Last week I did a cover of Spring Yard precisely for this reason My videos showcase each individual channel so you can kind of see what's going on. But I also made the Deflemask project public so you can download Deflemask and open it there to take a closer look at what I did differently from the original.
  3. I wouldn't really be worrying that much. People have a tendency to overestimate how much your "natural" loss of hearing affects your abilitiy to analyze and pick up fine detail in music. These skills sort of belong in a different sphere where it's more something you psychoacoustically train yourself to become better at.
  4. This is what I find kind of backwards about the whole thing. Why should the burden of manually compensating for volume fall on music that hasn't been compressed? In the end, I view this as a technological oversight in the sense that proper standards were not developed to account for the fact that our perceived loudness as listeners does not correspond to how recorded/digital audio measures loudness by the peaks. This kind of stuff was simply not a real concern back then when the loudness war was not in effect. But now we do have technology and standards being gradually implemented across different outlets and services which does pre-adjust gain based on what the calculated average loudness is in order to solve this. It's just a matter of how OCR chooses to stand in relation to that.
  5. I stopped viewing these things in terms of "realness" long ago. Rather, what a lot of peope would label as "real" or "human" or "expressive" I just view as additional musical components that I like and want to incorporate into my own work, and that just happens to be via sequencing/programming cause that's what I'm comfortable with. Whether something is played or sequenced is completely beside the point for me, as long as it sounds good. I enjoy listening to stuff like Joe Satriani, but the performance/virtuoso aspect is pretty much a complete non-factor for me. Speaking of funk, the quality of the original Toejam & Earl soundtrack probably has a lot to do with how it was recorded live via MIDI input with little to no quantization after the fact. Them not being beholden to programming via a completely rigid step interface as was the case with typical video game music just makes it that much funkier.
  6. The ratios/multipliers follow the overtone series, which is a great point of reference. So if 1 is the base tone, then 2 is an octave, and on 3 you add a fifth, at 4 it's an octave again, etc. And then the intervals just gradually get smaller as the values get higher. Modulator/carrier ratios corresponding to octaves, fifths, or fourths are going to have a neutral and clear character to the timbre, because we call those intervals perfect for a reason. If you have ratios that are much smaller, like 8:9 or something, then the sound will have a more dissonant character to it.
  7. If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, etc... The term chiptune has been malleable since its inception. IIRC, the term itself was coined when describing sample-based Amiga modules attempting to mimic the sound of SID and other sound chips. So approximitations like that was enough to qualify it as such. But then today you have some purists who would go so far as to say that anything that isn't coming from an authentic chip in real time is not an actual chiptune, which would technically disqualify that which the name was actually initially describing. I don't really like chiptune or chipmusic as a genre name for reasons like those. But then, genres in general are messy fluid things that seldom ever make sense. The early Russian examples use a different method of producing the sounds, but in the end the characteristics and sequencing techniques are much the same. It's a neat example of a kind of inevitable musical convergence derived from technical constraints.
  8. Chiptunes were invented in 1930s Soviet Russia.
  9. We have to go deeper. 1-Bit single channel chiptunes.
  10. It's how the project started out. Then some bigwigs at the company thought "hey, let's slap a different name on this and market it as a mainline sequel!" Not really an uncommon industry tactic either. EA did the same thing with Command & Conquer 4 (initially a spinoff F2P online game), and probably Dragon Age 2 as well from what I've heard. It's an excellent way of eroding consumer trust in your brands.
  11. Sonic 4 was a mobile game masquerading as a sequel.
  12. Reboot Base it much more heavily on the classic horror movie homage the original Castlevania was founded on. Maybe give it an old film style presentation and feel, which they've already played around with like the faux film reel effect in Castlevania 3, and sort of like what The House of the Dead games do. 3D action is fine, but it should be designed in a way that makes it slow and very methodical in its pacing like the original, as opposed to typical modern character action games like God of War or Bayonetta. I think slowing games down on purpose has a value that is getting more and more underappreciated. Progression-wise, I'd be fine with something inbetween Dark Souls and the Metroidvanias. Maybe even take some cues directly from classic survival horror. Soundtrack should be Mellotron-infused Italian schlock horror rock in the vein of Goblin. Anima Morte is a good modern example, and doesn't really stray too far from established Castlevania music either.
  13. Seeing as composers didn't have a choice in the matter when originally composing for the hardware, it's pretty safe to say that the interpolation is part of the artistic intent. I think with module-based music from Amiga and PC games the interpolation condundrum becomes more up in the air. Players from that era usually lacked any sort of filtering, but it's a standard feature today. Thus modern recordings of soundtracks (Like official OST releases or YouTube uploads) in those formats often end up with some form of interpolation active, which in many cases filters off the rough edges to a serious degree. I find this kind of aggravating since it often feels apparent to me that the aliasing is an intended part of the sound and not just a byproduct. One of the biggest examples I can think of is Isotoxin from Unreal. Here is a video of it with interpolation enabled: And here is a recording I made from the original module without any interpolation: You can clearly hear just how excessively subdued the main distorted synth line becomes once you start filtering it. The aliasing adds so much brightness to it that it simply feels evident to me that this is how it was meant to sound in the mix, since you can at times barely even hear it in the full mix if all that aliasing is cut off.
  14. At least back in the good old days, sham artists traced other people's works instead of just copypasting in Photoshop.
  15. I mostly just stick to the original 32khz rate and with filtering enabled. What higher sample rates bring to the table is entirely dependant on the nature of the samples and how they are used in the respective soundtrack. If it contains sounds that are often played at tones above the native pitches they are stored in, then it might sound a bit brighter. I think soundtracks with lots of simplistic waveform sounds usually benefit the most from this. But a soundtrack like Super Metroid, which mostly uses instruments stored at a high pitch at 32khz and are then downsampled, will not gain anything from that. Disabling or cutting back on interpolation is very hit and miss. I think it would generally follow the same rule of thumb I described above. Simple sounds might sound a bit sharper and crunchier with less interpolation which can arguably be a benefit. But the technical nature of a soundtrack like Super Metroid is actually just going to harm it and turn the whole thing into an aliased mess.
  16. People are forgetting our main video. I made sure our logo was hella inclusive! Speaking of the opposite, though, the only disappointing thing about this whole story is the additional ammo that some SPC fanboys might think they have now. Considering the nature of the problem, they would likely have run into the same kind of frustrations either way. Cartridge space standards were equal on both systems. And even though the SPC chip has twice as much RAM, in practice it is far more bottlenecked by it since it relies on samples for pretty much all audio, so depending on what you want to do the memory budgeting for instruments, sound effects, voices, etc can be very tricky. If you want to use lots of different samples it becomes no less of a problem, and the chip is also more rigid in that switching out samples on the fly is more limited and complicated.
  17. He already had a years long relationship with Sega at that point (1990 Moonwalker game), and there are anecdotes from people like Spencer Nielsen about his visits to their US development studios at the time. A TecToy official (Sega's Brazilian partner for manufacturing and distributing their hardware/games) also recently said that Jackson had approached Nintendo first to pitch his Moonwalker game, but they turned him down so he went to Sega instead. This hasn't been officially confirmed either. Once you analyze the music it's fairly easy to mark down the tracks pinned on the Jackson team. Knuckles' theme, miniboss music, Carnival Night, Ice Cap, Launch Base and the credits music. Tonally they are distinguished from the rest of the soundtrack in that they are less overtly melodic and fit with the kind of sound they had for the Dangerous album at the time. They are also heavily based on PCM samples, and they rely more on special samples unique to each track (compared to the rest of the soundtrack which just uses a standard shared drumkit for samples). The article also brings up that the main issue they had with realizing their vision was that they had to compromise too much on sample usage due to the memory and cartridge space limitations, since PCM inherently eats up a lot of that at an era where these things were a very precious and expensive commodity. The kind of approach they had to the music was just very unorthodox for the time (not samples in themselves, but rather amassing unique sets for each individual song which really balloons the file size), but since came from the outside with no experience working with console limitations you can't expect them to know that.
  18. I found that Rippingtons track. It's called Earthbound from the 1989 album Tourist In Paradise. Of course, it's nowhere to be found on YouTube nor Spotify... I know I heard it on YouTube years ago, and fittingly one of the comments said it sounded like it came straight out of a MMX game. It's Tony Macalpine.
  19. The entire structure of the music industry has been in upheaval the past 15 years or so. Music as a culture used to be much, much more heavily curated by a handful of very influential tastemakers, simply thanks to the technological status quo imposing limitations on reaching audiences. That's why all those old musicians have been propped up as untouchable legends. The market is so fragmented in its nature today that there is no real economic incentive to invest in the same magnitude as they used. Rock acts today can very much thrive within their own insulated scenes, and consumers have the means of keeping up at their own initiative online. It's all just part of the greater misconception of today's music industry since we are collectively still projecting an outdated paradigm which has in reality not been relevant for many years. But since this particular paradigm was simply a fact of life over the course of several generations, it's easy to think that's just how it's always meant to be.
  20. Session Horns might be in bundled with Komplete now, I dunno, but as a Komplete 8 owner I had to purchase it. Brass sample libraries usually rack up an insane amount of gigabytes since these are some of the most wildly expressive instruments in existance, with a ton of different articulations you need to account for. That's why it probably makes more sense to approach virtual brass via physical modeling synthesis rather than sampling. I think there are a couple of those on the market.
  21. Well, someone had to do it
  22. I don't think it really matters. Not from a "sound" perspective anyway. Just use what you feel comfortable with from a functionality and interface standpoint. Marketers will try their darndest to tell you otherwise though, of course.
  23. There's also lots of faster, more rock/metal-like jazz fusion which has always been a heavy influence on Japanese game music. I remember hearing some fast fusion track from the late 80's which sounded like it came straight out of Mega Man X, with the same orchestra hits and stuff. I think it might have been from Russ Freeman/The Rippingtons.
  24. lazygecko


    I don't know if these old media companies really have what it takes to catch up with the momentum services like Twitch have at this point.