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

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

Choose your favorite soundtrack version:

  1. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Prototype / PC

  2. Sonic The Hedgehog 3 -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

  3. Sonic [3] & Knuckles -- Mega Drive / Sega Genesis

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Well, I think it's missing the "Grab it while it lasts!1"-stickers
  2. Sid Starkiller

    Sid Starkiller

    Virginia, USA
    Paying off student loans
    Forgive me if this sounds conspiracy theory-ish, but might this be Buxer's way of forcing Sega to acknowledge the rights issue and get the royalties paid?
  3. OKei


    OKeijiDragon Member
    But Buxer doesn't own the rights to the song or the band...? What role would he have had on this LP issue?
  4. Loop


    Pure of Heart. Dumb of Ass. Member
    From what I could gather: It was released on January 21st by President Gator and Fervor Records, pressed by Pirates Press in the Czech Republic.
    On February 8th, Brad Buxer did an interview with Fervor Records at PCM, so he's well-aware of this release.

    On another note, according to Fervor, "Hard Times" is heard on Episode 306 ("Confessions") of Snowfall on FX.

    Oh, President Gator and Fervor Records have promoted it during Jan-Apr on the social media platforms, but considering they're small independent labels, it didn't reach out that much. Some people have grabbed their copies during that time, and it's being sold for RSD2020 too so, right now, there's less copies now for sure.
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  5. [​IMG]

    Oh man the font type and "Sonic Blue" Vinyl really is making that connection.
  6. Overlord


    Now playable in Smash Bros Ultimate Moderator
    Long-term happiness
    I hope whoever here gets it scans for the wiki. =P I'd buy it, but the shipping costs to the UK are more than the album!
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  7. Pengi


    Craig Stitt on Michael Jackson's visit to Sega:

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  8. I was interested about this STI jacket and decided to look it up. Apparently the jacket in question was only given to sonic team members working on sonic 3. As seen in the photo, the back of it had “Blue Gale” on it, a very slight nod to the original sonic code name. And presumably the arm(?) of the jacket had a sonic logo patch with STI under it as a different patch.

    I don’t know if this is on sonic retro or sega retro yet, but i wanted to leave this here because it was interesting.


    Attached Files:

  9. Linkabel


    I actually posted this a couple of times here in the forums. When I got it I got a message from Ohshima to see how I owned it.

    From what he told me the jacket was only distributed among members of Sonic Team and higher ups in Sega of Japan.

    I asked Craig to see if that was the jacket though and apparently that was not it. I attached the pics of it.

    It's still a cool jacket, it actually comes up on Ebay a lot.

    Attached Files:

  10. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I don't get the impression that Buxer is that bothered about Sonic 3, he often talks about it in interviews and doesn't get weird about it and want to change the topic as the other composers for the game do when it's bought up.

    Also, Fervor Records has always openly linked Hard Times to Ice Cap on their YT video, but that vinyl is still really funny.

    And in regards to Sonic 3 re-releases, I think they aren't re-releasing it at all, in any form, out of caution. I think the controversy is much more recent than the rumours online make out, primarily because I think Sonic and Knuckles PC Collection is a red herring. No matter why the music in that version was changed, Sonic 3 was ported (Sonic Jam), re-released, and its music remixed (PocketAdventure) after its release.

    I remember that the game stopped being re-released around the early 2010s and that's clearly when the issues with the composers really started. We have confirmation from M2 that it can't be re-released even in emulated form because of the music issues, so we know for sure that's the key reason why the game has fallen off the radar..

    I don't even think it's really a mystery anymore. Some or one of the composers started really kicking up a fuss about royalties or something else about their music contributions in the early 2010s and so SEGA are taking no chances and just aren't re-releasing it at all.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2020
  11. Liliam


    Previously Fred Oldbie
    This. It may be worth pointing out that Mushroom Hill Zone 1 is missing its intro, just like in the 1993 prototype:

    A theory that I've been entertaining is that the entire soundtrack was originally in MIDI format and converted to SMPS for the Mega Drive version, but the PC soundtrack is based off of those original MIDI files so it's missing some polish that was only added to the SMPS versions. This would explain why the Buxer/Jackson tracks are missing; presumably they delivered those songs in a medium other than MIDI, so the PC team didn't have that original source to work with.

    Throwing a wrench in that idea however, is the fact that the MHZ1 intro is present on the FM synth version:

    Which if the above is true, would suggest the FM tracks were somehow sourced from the final MD version, perhaps through audio logging of some sort. But then you would expect to find the Buxer/Jackson tracks there, right? I dunno.
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  12. muteKi


    Fuck it Member
    Fwiw the arrangement of hydrocity act 2 is different as well. The unusual chords in the first section are instead just a sus4 that gets resolved.

    This is actually different from proto HCZ, as that is basically identical to the final
  13. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    Carnival Night 1 sounds significantly different on the PC Collection than it does on the Proto. It's much more fast paced on the PC than it was on the proto. It obviously feels different for having a less elaborate instrumentation too, but that might be a result of the MIDI.

    I'm almost certain that the PC version of Carnival Night 1 is based on a different version of the song than was on the Proto.
  14. SuperSonicRider


    I kinda wonder if certain songs in S&K Collection being based on the prototype songs was a mistake of some sort. Like, if they were in the prototype version of the game, at some point it must've been on record or something internally that "hey, these are the songs we're going to use for Carnival Night, Ice Cap, Knuckles, etc." It seems that the MJ/Buxer-associated songs were a relatively late addition, or at least were almost surely implemented later than the PC melodies. One thing that could discredit this tho (&, again, I'm not the most technically inclined person, so someone please feel free to correct me if I'm wrong here) is that in what is...mostly a pretty faithful port of S3&K, all games (S3, S&K, S3&K) in the S&K Collection appear to have changed some music cues to make sound #18 play for minibosses. This is consistent with the Nov. 3 prototype, but not with the final versions of MD/Genesis S3 or S&K/S3&K; all use sound slot #2E for the minibosses from what I know. (In S3 alone, #2E is the "hey c'mon!" miniboss theme; in S&K/S3&K, it's a duplicate of the song at #18 which is what most people know as the S&K miniboss theme. #2E in S&K Collection/the prototype is the infamous "unused theme." Speaking of which: )

    I don't have any solid new info on this at all, but I did want to reiterate it because I think it's useful information to note :) Probably likely too, because while I do enjoy that theme as a Super Sonic song just because it's not repetitive, I don't think it truly *fits* Super very well. Over a special stage or bonus stage though, I could see it (in fact it goes pretty well over the Mania special stage, for whatever that's worth (which can't be much lol))
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
  15. Ashura96


    Also bought one of those Hard Times vinyls. Curious to see what the quality is like for a $10 release.
  16. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    The truth is that we have no idea why the prototype songs are on Sonic and Knuckles PC Collection.

    Did the porting team get given an early prototype of Sonic 3 by accident, which was close to the one at release in terms of level design but had the non MJ Team music? Possible. The PC ports of Final Fantasy 7 and Halo were both accidentally based upon early prototypes. These mistakes were common when PC porting wasn't as popular as it is now.

    Did the PC version not use the MJ Team songs because they only had the right to use them in the Genesis format? Also possible. Sonic Pocket Adventure uses the Knuckles' drum beat in a different format, but perhaps that flew by unnoticed or a drum beat wasn't considered enough to represent copyright infringement.

    Did the PC version use a MIDI soundtrack which was originally used for the Genesis version, but the MJ Team never used MIDIs and so they were lost in transmission. Possible, as @Fred claims.

    Was it simply a massive fuck up? Did they use the wrong OST on the PC version out of complete incompetence and carelessness? Possible, but probably unlikely.

    Either way, for whatever reason the game's OST was changed, I think it has no bearing on the recent legal troubles. Sonic 3 was ported to Sonic Jam in the same year and was re-released for years later. Perhaps SEGA did have an agreeement that they could only use the Genesis versions of the MJ Team tracks or they would have to pay out for more royalties (ala Nakamura with Sonic 1 and 2). Either way, the problem has clearly escalated now, and they are cautious of re-releasing the game even with the Genesis soundtrack.

    The Sonic and Knuckles PC Collection is an interesting topic but I think it is a red herring when it comes to the recent music legal troubles.
  17. Loop


    Pure of Heart. Dumb of Ass. Member
    For sure they knew what they had in their hands. On the PC port, Ice Cap 1 has the same drum MIDI as Ice Cap 2 - looking at the proto, Ice Cap 1 had very minimal percussion, which leads me to believe the original MIDI of Ice Cap 1 either had no drums or that minimal arrangement.
  18. Firippu Maiefusuki

    Firippu Maiefusuki

    This might be unimportant, but I'd also like to mention the Sonic & Knuckles album released in the 90s with re-recorded versions of some Sonic & Knuckles songs by Akinori Minami.

    While some parts clearly seem improvised, which would suggest they were added for the album, there are some interesting oddities as well. There's a small detail that caught my attention in particular.

    At the very end of the Sky Sanctuary loop, only the ost version and the prototype use an extra note not present in the final or the pc version. Sky Sanctuary in general shares a lot of elements with the prototype version. This would suggest there was indeed another, even earlier version of the soundtrack. This could also possibly clear up why Mushroom Hill lacks an intro sometimes, as the intro to the song featured in the album is way longer, and quite different. Another thing of note is the fact that the songs on the album rarely (in terms of the number of instruments used) break the genesis limitations. Even in the different intro to Flying Battery, when a new instrument is added, the main guitar sound only gets one note, while it used two a second ago, to make sure the limit of sounds doesn't end up too big.

    Also, no one seems to have mentioned the weird part of HCZ 1 at 0:47 in the midi version
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2020
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  19. Brainulator


    Regular garden-variety member Member
    I also noticed that prototype CNZ2 and LBZ2 have bits at the halfway point of the midsection of the song where they use multiple notes where the PC version uses one (respectively, 0:29 and 0:33).

    Also, I'd love to have Buxer speak to us. He seems amicable about the whole situation, and I wouldn't be surprised if Icecap's music could be cleared akin to Sonic 1 and 2's music.
  20. Afro Thunder

    Afro Thunder

    Call Da Doctor! Member
    NS, Canada
    Trying to get outta Dr. Dre mode, and actually release an album.
    Not possible since it ain't Buxer who owns Hard Times; it's his former bandmate Bruce Connole. From BMI's music repertoire:


    Even if Brad actually had a hand in writing and composing the track, it would still need to be cleared by Bruce, and I would imagine he wouldn't be too happy about his ex-bandmate jacking a song he wrote for a video game, and claiming it as his own.
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