Music

Discussion in 'Project: Sonic Retro (Archive)' started by Retro_Stew, Nov 9, 2008.

  1. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Perhaps Sonic Jam is a better reference as to what higher quality Sonic music sounds like. If there was ever going to be a Sonic 4 by the teams that brought us Sonic 2 & 3, I would have thought it would sound more like that.

    Mind you I sort-of like the "MegaDrive style" that the other music tracks have. It's got that "retro" feel (which is probably a good thing if the game continues to go by the name "Sonic Retro"). It might be nice to improve some of the instruments that the MegaDrive's chip wasn't spectacular at, but aside from that I think it should be left alone.
     
  2. Tweaker

    Tweaker

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    See, this is what I don't get. Sonic CD was released in 1993—how is that not retro? In fact, Sonic CD is comparatively more "retro" than Sonic 3 & Knuckles was, judging solely by release date. I think it'd be much more "retro" to replicate a 90s sort of poppish, electronic style. You don't hear music like that anymore.
     
  3. Thundertimi

    Thundertimi

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    My mom relased me 1990. Let me sing every level song.
    Im retro :P

    Seriously: If you play sonic 1,2 or 3 whit sonic cd instruments, it sounds like sonic CD style music.
    Thats why I accept it :P
     
  4. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Actually I kinda like that blue mountain zone music; it reminds me a tad of SegaSonic Arcade and the Sonic & Knuckles theme (I bet you based this on the remix from Virtual Sonic). It definitely needs some extra polish and extending, though.

    Can I take a look at like the MIDI or tracked file you're using?
     
  5. The Game Collector

    The Game Collector

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    Did you say Mystic Cave Zone / Labyrinth? These notes I came up with to the tempo of Oil Ocean Zone have similarities to that as well as Mystic Cave Zone. It's too bad I don't have the instruments needed to be of much help. But if anyone thinks these keyboard notes are fitting in any way, you are welcome to remix them into your track. Add drums, play the notes with better synthesizers and add more instrument sounds to it. I would like to see if anything comes out of this. Even if it's not used for the sewer level or anything in this project I'd like to find somebody to remix it for my future fangame.

    http://www.hotlinkfiles.com/files/2059235_g4plx/notes1.wav
     
  6. Galaxia

    Galaxia

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    A first level Green Hill Zone type of thing

    Sequenced on a keyboard first, then added all the bits into Fruity Loops as MIDI, cleaning it up and adding drums. I included the MIDI, with the rhythm cleaned up, a 320kbps MP3 and an OGG.

    Enjoy ;)
     
  7. Tweaker

    Tweaker

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    It's interesting, but the melody isn't very good, nor very complex. In addition, the song itself is very slow-paced and uninteresting. It needs to be more upbeat, especially in the piano and percussion section; right now, Lazy Daze is a pretty apt description, because that's the kind of mood that the song portrays. Sonic isn't lazy, though—at least when it comes to tearing through a level.
     
  8. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I fixed this song up. It has its place -- perhaps as menu or overworld music; compare to the song "Take a Nap" from Chaotix.

    http://www.box.net/shared/slzt0ev5x5
     
  9. Right now, I kind of don't care what you guys put in as long as it fits and pertains to whatever rules you made for the project. What I DO care about, however, is if you guys are going to remix the songs or something. Personally, I LOVED it when ever Sonic 3 would hit me with an Act 2 remix of the song of the zone, even more when Sonic Advance 3 did that, too...sometimes. I think that toybox zone creeps me out.

    But getting back to the point of me putting this up, I think you guys should remix the song for the later acts of the zone(PLEASE have 3 acts, they should've followed this rule a long time ago). Besides, it kinda feels like a sense of progression if you think about it. Either that or you can use completely different songs like how Tweaker did it in Sonic 1 Megamix. You guys' choice, really.
     
  10. MaliceX

    MaliceX

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    Heheh. I'm definitely a fan of 80's electropop/New Wave/Jazz Fusion (Casiopea, Level 42, Chick Corea's Electrik Band), which seems to be the point of focus in the musical style. The 'styliistic' benchmarks most certainly favor that. (who is Simon Stalenhag? Those are fantastic)

    I'll try some tunes and submit in a jiffy.
     
  11. Rokkan

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    I loved all of the songs in the first post. If they're original and isn't from other games, there's no debate, they must be in the final version of Sonic Retro.
     
  12. Retro_Stew

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    Yes all are original, but when we tried to contact the guy who did it, we didnt get any response.
     
  13. Tweaker

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    There's plenty of debate. For starters, the music isn't even in a traditional Sonic style. Sonic music is late 80s pop, smooth jazz, and upbeat chord progressions; while the proposed music is good, it doesn't really fit that quota—it uses those same two or three voices, odd chord progressions, and is more fitting of a generic platformer game (or perhaps Ristar).

    The point is, Sonic music needs to be fast, memorable, and very environmental—Green Hill Zone is probably one of the most iconic video game tunes because of it. It's something you can hum on the bus on the way to school, something people can universally associate with Sonic the Hedgehog, and something that's just... good. We need to take on the same kind of approach here.

    We need to study the classic chord progressions. Study the musical motifs. Study what made that music so fantastic! This is the only way we're truly going to make true Sonic music in the midst of all this "Hey, this sounds cool, let's use it!" mentality. Dioxaz has a great Sonic CD style going on, and I know DM Ashura can make fantastic Sonic-style music as well. These are the people we should be going to! The more they know about the Sonic style, the better.

    I think I'm going to map out some chord progressions of the classic tunes so I can try to replicate them in a way that doesn't draw any direct similarities with an existing tune. In the meantime, let's map out the general themes:

    GHZ/First level:
    Tropical themes—marimba, piano, latin-inspired rythms, brass, fretless/picked bass, steel drum, acoustic guitar

    Ancient Ruins:
    Depending on the kind of ruins...
    - Castle/Medieval themes—very light, 4/4 percussion, organs, strings, etc.
    - Latin/South American themes—piano, brass, strings, shakers, maracas, acoustic guitar, sort of an underlying orchestral feel; swung rythm
    - Valley/Mayan/Ican themes—Slap bass, funk rythms, synth leads/chords, electric guitar (not distorsion guitar), "wah-wah" sort of filters, very upbeat style. This also applies to Spring Yard-esque themes.

    Casino/Carnival:
    - Casino—Big Band Jazz. Saxophone, brass, swung beats, acoustic bass. Alternatively, very upbeat celebration music—see Balloon Park for an example. Feel like you're at a festival!
    - Carnival—woodwinds, accordion, very "blunt" sort of beat with "real" items used for percussion. Sort of primitive in style. Alternatively, upbeat celebration music (as above)

    Ice Levels:
    - Christmas sort of themes—Bells, electric piano, strings, orchestra, smooth backbeat. Think Ristar's ice levels. Alternatively, euro-trance dance beats—see Ice Cap

    Final Boss:
    - Very epic themes. Think the kind of music that plays in every kind of drastic situation—orchestral themes, oboe, french horn, bassoon, etc... all in a dark locrian key. Uses lots of minor chords to try and play off that "eerie" feel.


    That's just sort of a rough map. Do you see what I'm getting at here? We need to map out the different styles of music, maybe find some real-life examples, and then construct our own music in that style. It may not be easy, but it's the best way to make this work as best as it possibly can.
     
  14. Rokkan

    Rokkan

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    tl;dr
    I didn't read half of your post, but when I re-listened the tracks I felt like most of them don't fit perfectly or fit at all.
    Glam City (the one posted with a pic of Cosmic City) reminds me of Chrome Gadget song, but there are some parts which the melody sounds more like a sunday cartoon opening, and, well, as many of you said already here, does not seem Sonic-ish, maybe Ristar, but not Sonic.
    However, the Sky Surf song (Blue Mountain one) in my opinion, fits perfectly, it reminds me of Lava Reef but with a feel on it that reminds me of Sonic X-Treme songs.
     
  15. Shadow Hog

    Shadow Hog

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    As long as we're on this subject, the boss theme absolutely has to be somewhat military in theme. I mean, think about it... Sonic CD notwithstanding, all three Genesis boss tunes sound like war marches of some sort, particularly Sonic 2 and Sonic 3. CD is kind of off doing its own thing with all that "WORK THAT SUCKER TO DEATH, COME ON, NOW", although I suppose Final Fury is similar in theme. Heck, even Sonic 3D for the Saturn kind of fits this.

    Basically, orchestral, heavy beats using either timpanis or... ehm, marching drums (for lack of a better term; I'm not THAT music literate... :\), etc.

    Although, to be fair, Sonic works with more genres than you'd think. I mean, just look at Sonic 3D for the Saturn... barring maybe Spring Stadium Act 2 (seriously, WAY too cartoony), it all generally worked. Granted, it still reflected a few obvious qualities which cannot be compromised (eg: the first stage is upbeat, the last stage is ominous, castle stages are mysterious, etc), but it kept all those qualities in a variety of different genres, and honestly I think the thing's all the more richer for it.

    I haven't given the other tunes TOO much of a listen through, but Glam City really nailed that stage for me. I don't know how you can think that doesn't feel Sonic-y; it DEFINITELY makes me think of Hydrocity Act 1, or maybe some Chaotix tunes. The whole concept of a jazzy city tune, as well, goes back even to Casino Night, although that was more Vegas-style jazz, whereas this is a bit more akin to smooth jazz (with considerably more swing). Still works, personally.

    As for what the music should SOUND like... well, we still need to decide on the target platform, or at least what kind of style we're shooting for. I've already said we should be shooting for a Saturn-era 2D platformer, which basically looks and plays like a Genesis game but is miles prettier - and this carries over into the audio, as well, given that the CD format allowed for redbook audio and that developers were none too shy to embrace it. While YM2612 music would certainly be retro, there's really no reason we have to tie ourselves to it, especially given that, honestly, music that sounds more like the original instruments, as opposed to synths, would be far more fulfilling in the long run. Maybe music modules (eg: IT, XM, S3M, etc.)? The Saturn's sound chip, although I'm hardly being technical here, produced sound basically akin to that - MIDIs run through with fancy voices, like a higher-quality SNES sound chip. (It also had ADX towards the end of its lifespan, but still.)
     
  16. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

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    Modular music would be neat. That would most certainly be the step between MegaDrive and Saturn Redbook Audio, just like the graphics here are a step in between 64 on-screen colours and 16 million.

    I think CD quality music is too open ended. There really isn't any limits there, and unless there's a distinct style in place everyone's contributions will sound different. With modules (or MegaDrive-like music) you can put in the instruments you want and then go nuts, and it'll still sound like it's from the same game (well, assuming they're not completely stupid).
     
  17. Dr. Mustache

    Dr. Mustache

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    I think if it's gonna be a retro sonic game. That Megadrive style music would be cool. That's just my opinion of course
     
  18. Galaxia

    Galaxia

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    I'd prefer chip music to real instruments personally...
     
  19. Tweaker

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    Using Mega Drive-style music is more needless limitation. If we figure that "Sonic 4" would have been roughly around the Saturn era, and that therefore this is a Saturn-era game, CD audio only makes sense. Remember, we're pushing into 1995-1996 now, so this kind of stuff is not only common, but expected.

    Sonic CD had one of the most brilliant soundtracks—if not the most brilliant—ever in a Sonic game. And it came out in 1993! I think that says a lot about how well CD audio can fit the environment of a Sonic game, and not be limited to the test of time.

    Nobody is saying we can't do music in that sort of style—early 90s synths made Sonic CD's music great, too—but I think it's dumb to say we can only have x and x about of music channels and x and x type of instruments. It's dull, it's boring, and it's needlessly conservative. Let's do something better.
     
  20. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Using a modular format does have the fact that you can fairly easily change tempo and the number of instruments depending on certain factors. I for example would like to see boss music that develops, like Sonic 2's, over a fairly simple theme, but becomes more complex as the number of hits the boss has taken increases, or speed up as Super Sonic runs low on rings, like in Sonic 3K. I suppose that you could use, say, an ADX with multiple streams to make up for this in terms of layering on additional parts, but I don't know so much about actually changing tempo -- and I recall the other project around here having a long discussion on this matter as well.