The "Sonic The Hedgehog 3 & Knuckles" Quest for Music Composer Research

Discussion in 'General Sonic Discussion' started by T.Q., Nov 18, 2019.

  1. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

    A green crystal Member
    The instrument used in the GM Synth on Windows has a perfect fith harmony baked in the wave sameple itself. That's why it sounds so weird, it has nothing to do with the midi itself.

    This is how the midi sounds on a true FM renderer.

     
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  2. Chibisteven

    Chibisteven

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    There's too many people using the FM MIDI set with the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synthesizer out there. Hell, it fails with the General MIDI set just as bad. Someone seriously needs to patch the NUKED OPL 3 emulator into Sonic & Knuckles Collection's FM set maybe then people would get the message that FM set is intended for the cheap budget OPL3 hardware of the day and nothing else.
     
  3. The Other RaFaél

    The Other RaFaél

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    Yeaaahhh, it's always been my opinion that a majority of the FM Synthesizer set sounds a HOT MESS on anything other than something like a Sound Blaster 16 or the above mentioned NUKED OPL 3. When I first got the PC version in the early 00's, I was running a Yamaha XG something-or-other, and it while some tracks sounded decent, much of it sounded like hot shit saturated in ass water. (The sole reason I even wasted my allowance on S&KC was because I had been jamming out to AJ Freda's MP3 recordings of the soundtrack, not realizing that the game's soundtrack was MIDI-based and that the reason his sounded the way they did, was because of his soundcard and not the game itself. I also was floored at how identical the GM set sounded to the popular circulating set that was "composed by Paul Lapensee". Oh to be a naive 11 or 12 year old again lol).

    Also, is no one going to talk about that annoying percussion hit that accompanies the snare in most of the FM Synth tracks? What is that all about and why is it there? Perhaps another oversight by whoever was in charge of the soundtrack for the PC version? I realize it was a budget release, as someone stated, but the more I listen to the PC version soundtrack, the more nitpicky questions I have.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2019
  4. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

    A green crystal Member
    It's not annoying if you listen to it on the intended hardware. It uses two different drums layered to create a more impactful hit, on GM however, one of the notes used in the layered snare FM midis have, note 66 to be specific, is mapped to a really crappy 'tom' drum. That's why it sounds like crap.
     
  5. Laura

    Laura

    Brightened Eyes Member
    To be honest, the MIDIs for Sonic and Knuckles PC Collection have never been as bad as people make out. The videos I've heard still have the great melody.

    I'm glad everyone (myself included) have taken these tracks seriously now they have legitimacy.
     
  6. Dark Sonic

    Dark Sonic

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    No they weren't bad, just something about them seemed odd, I guess because we all knew they were different. Now that we have the context for why they exist though they feel more legitimate.

    Although the beta rendition of CNZ Act 1 was butchered in the PC version, it was played in a much more upbeat key in the Genesis beta which fits the zone more.
     
  7. The Other RaFaél

    The Other RaFaél

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    I've never had any real issue with the MIDIs (at least not the GM set...the FM synth is still kind of hit or miss for me, even on the intended hardware). The "new" songs can be jarring, if you're used to the Gen/MD version, but that's about it.

    I too have to say that I believe the PC version doesn't do CNZ 1 Act 1 any justice. It's enjoyable until you take a good listen to the Proto version; the higher key (which I wasn't crazy about at first, until it got to the final part of the song or the "chorus"), the funk-driven keyboard licks, the funky bass riffs. The PC version just sounds amateurish and lazy by comparison — when you break it down, there's lots of corners cut in certain parts. In comparison, it falls between passable and decent, but I almost now compare it to those MIDI renditions many of us used to do back in the 90's (you know how it was. Some were spot on, and others made you wonder if they were even playing the same game as you...)...

    I do remember people's biggest beef with the MIDIs was because of how they were RIPPED — something about completely throwing off the timing of the songs, and being unusable outside of general listening purposes or something like that. It was more of a technical thing than issues with the songs themselves, and the rip was more a victim of the limited resources for such things that was available at that time (these MIDIs were dated for 1997).
     
  8. Master Emerald

    Master Emerald

    A green crystal Member
    Perfectly extracted midis have been available since 2009.
     
  9. Shakidna

    Shakidna

    Rehash Rampage Member
    I think extra polish was made to the compositions after they were in Genesis format, and those changes never made it into the original midis, which were then ported to PC. The lower key, and other differences were probably he composers' first take.
     
  10. The Other RaFaél

    The Other RaFaél

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    Yeah, I downloaded those a long time ago. I was merely pointing out that the original rip was one of the biggest complaints I heard about the midis.
     
  11. The Other RaFaél

    The Other RaFaél

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    That's what I assumed as well. I figured it was something similar to the little edits that were made when Sonic 2's soundtrack was being programmed for the MD. Like how certain patterns and nuances are in Masa's demos that are nowhere to be found in the actual game.

    Sorry for the double post. The page crashes when I tried to edit my previous post.
     
  12. Shakidna

    Shakidna

    Rehash Rampage Member
    I just realized Ice Cap 1 and 2 (proto) have different basslines.
     
  13. muteKi

    muteKi

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    Jumping off this fact, something that I've been thinking a little bit about is that while the FM synth arrangements for the tracks from the final use the same arrangements more-or-less as the final, the MIDI versions often lack some of the extra flourishes or have slightly different chords being used. Examples: AIZ1 is missing the backing horns in the intro, HCZ2 doesn't use the more jazzy chords in its intro, favoring to just resolve from a suspension, MHZ1 obviously doesn't have its lead-in.

    But as for the tracks that were otherwise replaced, the arrangements are still underbaked (CNZ1 in particular) and don't seem to have been developed as much as with the tracks in this release of the game. Sure, ICZ1 might feel a little weird with its especially basic percussion but like you say the bassline isn't actually the same between acts, where the drums in the intro might be the only real obvious difference between the tracks in the PC version. Even the FM synth tracks share this property with the MIDI tracks! While I wouldn't be surprised if the for-MIDI tracks are based on the demo versions of the tracks that were then arranged into the game, that doesn't really account for why the prototype's arrangement for the unique music doesn't more reflect the sound in this game.
     
  14. BinBowie

    BinBowie

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    Is it just me, or does Launch Base Zone's music from the beta sound like it belongs in a Shoot Em' Up game?
     
  15. sonicthesnot

    sonicthesnot

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    It sounds like it belongs in the trash. What an awful track.
     
  16. rata

    rata

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    Act 1 is okay, act two not that much. It isn't worse than final though.
     
  17. RepRevo

    RepRevo

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    If it took Shakidna this much time to take notice of the alleged difference in Ice Cap, and muteKi's mild disagreement, could it possible that the music programmers for SKC could have made the bassline for both acts the same because nobody gave feedback on the altered bassline? Would the S3 demos show a different side to this question?
     
  18. XCubed

    XCubed

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    I do honestly think this was an oversight. No way the bass lines should have been the same and the prototype reveals that.

    I still honestly don’t think these “lost” tracks live up to the final product. Yes, the final trio of zones still sound out of place with the rest of the soundtrack, but it’s still just better music. Hard Times translated to Ice Cap just fine.

    In the end Sega was better off paying Masato Nakamura what he wanted. Probably should have struck a better royalty deal too. You know we’d have a solid set of music that would have slapped across the board.
     
  19. I agree that the majority of the "lost" tracks are underwhelming, but at the risk of beating a dead horse to a second death, I have to praise the "lost" Launch Base. Its not better than the MJ crews' Launch Base, but is still great. I'd actually love it if both had been featured in the end product, or a hack. The MJ crew version could be featured when playing the game as S3, with the presumed in-house version being featured in S3K. Either that or have a different version for each act.

    The in-house Ice Cap and Casino Night are pretty boring though, especially when compared to their MJ crew counterparts. I do find their relative blandness to be really interesting though, given how universally acclaimed the rest of the in-house soundtrack is and was. Its unforunate that the unearthing of the 1993-11-03 prototype hasn't gotten us any closer to definitively pinning down who produced what or even when. Instead it has us questioning what we already fairly concretely believed, such as how involved Jun Senoue really was.

    On the topic of Jun... As much as I'd love to experience the reality where Nakamura was retained for Sonic 3, how do ya'll think that would have influenced Sega's decision/need to hire the young Jun? Pardon me if this is too off-topic, but I don't think that Jun would have been tapped to compose what he did for S3K and 3D Blast, or possibly even been hired at all, if Nakamura was kept around.
     
  20. muteKi

    muteKi

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    I take back my previous statement slightly; in S&KC there is a very slight difference between the act 1 and act 2 basslines for ice cap's midi arrangements (not the 'fm' arrangements). It's still not as different as the Genesis mixes are between each other. It's a very strange distinction here!