It is obvious that Teddy Riley is being sponsored by Open Labs http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2GwKoUEnejs , and that left me thinking: "Are these guys forced to play a certain style of music because they are sponsored to use one music device?"
What has Teddy Riley to do with Sonic 3? Nothing! But he is linked to Brad Buxer in one way (using the same synthesizer). Teddy Riley is the only credited person for keyboards, synthesizers, rhythm and synthesizer in "Remember the Time" (1992) which uses a wierd sounding sample (sounds like it could be a ghost from S&K Sandopolis Act 2 appearing, but it is not the same, don't even go there!) at 0:01 into the song, that is also clearly used in "Blood On The Dancefloor" at 0:04, where Brad Buxer and Teddy Riley are both credited. "Blood On The Dancefloor" has the Knuckles/Middle Boss beat at 1:37 at a different frequency than the default snare drum beat, making it disappear when using a "remove voice" effect. Now, if they were sponsored to use a specific synthesizer at this time period (1992-1996), what could the brand be? Well, there is only one legitimate video on Youtube of Brad Buxer on Youtube, where the channel is possibly owned by himself. It is a MTV interview from 1992 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6wyxEM1_f4s where Brad is sitting in front of what seems to be his favorite synthesizer, or possibly sponsored by the company who made it? It is called AKAI MX1000. So I used http://synthmania.com/ (which I use from time to time to hopefully locate Sonic CD JP sounds, to no success so far!) and found a recording of random drums played on some AKAI synth (not the exact same as Brad used in the video), and in that recording, where snare drums and claps were used all the time, in the middle of the randomly hit keys, I heard the beats which seemed to be some kind of claps that were more real than the default midi clap, and also pre-recorded at the pitches (three of them), which can play the Knuckles theme, I guess. It is always possible to pitch sounds.
Now, I don't have enough proof to confirm that this is the exact beat samples used. I wish I could. My attempts to contact Brad through the Youtube channel has been cleverly done to not bring up Sonic 3, but no answers whatsoever! (and that means, don't try it yourself, it will just be harder each time an attempt fails) Well, he (if he is the right guy) did approve my video reply though, which can indicate he "might" have been the composer for the Mid Boss theme (most likely), instead of ignoring it.
And here it is:
I agree with all of you who says "drum beats mostly sound the same on most synthesizers, so this proves nothing", and also "pitch is wrong". But I wish I am right! There are 3 special samples, with those ranges (I was lucky to cut them all out (one of them wasn't played fully) without getting a hi-hat or something played at the same time). But yeah, if it doesn't prove anything, at least it shows you that this kind of research should be done, and we should never give up on finding the truth about Sonic 3's music, or Sonic CD JP's synthesizers and sounds.
Now, if any of you, or some random lurker reading this have access to a AKAI synthesizer, please locate and rip those samples in as high quality as possible, as if they are the right ones, a true CD quality Knuckles theme would be possible to make, as the drums possible come from the same synth, and the original guy voice sample in the theme is available already.