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. Alexbt


    TheRetroHobbyist Oldbie
    Seems you've done it. The web players aren't working for me but the ZIP did the trick.
    Seems there's two 'Jam' samples that are slightly different from each other. I won't deny that does seem to be the same as from the actual song, though if not for the actual 'Jam' on it, it's just an orchestra hit (one with a break of sorts), which was very popular from the late 80s into early 90's.

    And yeah, it does seem like we have some beatboxing on there that could very be MJ, if the story about the tape is true.
    It does seem like all the puzzle pieces are here, but as ever I'm not convinced MJ personally had much to do with what we got in the final game.
  2. Loop


    Pure of Heart. Dumb of Ass. Member
    “He wrote the lyrics and used a tape recorder to describe & beatbox what the music needed to sound like. He then delivered this tape to studio musicians and was present when they recorded this music, offering tips and criticism along the way.”

    The “Jam” sample is directly from the song, notice how you can hear the snare fade out on the longer one. And there’s no beatboxing from MJ programmed in the game, they’re mostly taken from sample libraries (like Fatboy Slim’s) and keyboard sound effect libraries.
  3. Laura


    Brightened Eyes Member
    I think that Michael Jackson was at one point considering working on the game but decided to pull out for any of the posited reasons early on. I don't think he contributed significantly to the game and that the real songwriters are 'MJ's Team': the people who are actually credited in Sonic 3.

    It's romantic to think that Michael Jackson secretly composed the tracks but I personally doubt it.
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  4. Mastered Realm

    Mastered Realm

    A green crystal Member
    Sonic 3 Special Stage is by Milpo, not Jun senoue.

    The two bonus stages he made are the Glowing Orb and the Slot Machine stages.
    I can't edit the wiki right now because the account system sucks, though.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  5. PhotonSeek


    Yeah, I'll fix that, along with the Angel Island Zone credit (as neither of the two composers mentioned there have admitted to composing it). At some point I also plan to add correspondences between Sonic Retro members and the composers, although some of the older ones lack quotes.
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  6. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    The one song we do have confirmation that Michael Jackson personally worked on is the Credits/Stranger in Moscow. Brad Buxer describes working with Michael Jackson on the chords and song in the Black and White interview.

    EDIT: Also interesting that was one of the few tracks that is completely replaced with S&K locked on, along with the Mini-boss.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  7. Meat Miracle

    Meat Miracle

  8. Black Squirrel

    Black Squirrel

    shaving is boring Wiki Sysop
    Northumberland, UK
    hey wiki you're so fine
  9. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Yeah I don't think they do, which is a problem. I was hoping someone would be able to identify the original source, where the sample pack took the sample from. Guess I'll just put the Norman Cook sample pack on there, since that pre-dates Sonic 3.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
  10. breakthetargets


    Actually, a completely new interview that was done earlier this year explains it even further. Brad had already worked on the song for the game by himself with no help from MJ. So basically, Brad went over to MJ's hotel at the time after MJ calls him, and once Brad arrived, MJ wanted him to play a bit on the piano in the room. He started playing different things in general but eventually he then decided that he'll play the credits theme he already wrote for Sonic 3 but arranged slightly differently. MJ took a liking to that and started working on a song based around that arrangement.. which basically ended up to become Stranger in Moscow. So in the end, only Stranger in Moscow was done as a collaboration with Brad and MJ, while the credits theme wasn't.

    Here's the video with the interview in question btw:

    The specific part of the video that you should go to is at 46:04.
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2019
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  11. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Very touching how Brad Buxer talks about Michael Jackson here. Also very interesting - thanks for sharing!

    From what is described here, it does sound like MJ had little direct involvement with the Sonic 3 project as Buxer says he wasn't up for much and didn't even want to hear the work for SEGA. The beatbox samples are all from sample packs, not MJ himself, even though they described cutting up his vocal sounds in the HuffPost article.

    What I find most interesting is he says they had 41 cues written for the game. I'm starting to wonder if Roger Hector and Brad Buxer may have both been half right, perhaps they had more MJ tracks ready to go, and they had to pull them from the game, but kept just some of the tracks. Unpopular opinion perhaps for some, but my theory is that the ones that they kept were likely the ones they felt were significantly better than the prototype tracks and didn't want to roll those ones back.
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  12. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    The 41 cues thing also provides an explanation for why Roger Hector thought all the music was scrapped. Imagine he sits down and listens to the cassette with all the cues planned for every level and act. Later he plays Sonic 3 - he doesn't hear anything like it as Angel Island Zone's music or Hydrocity Zone's music, and perhaps the knuckles theme and mini boss theme just pass him by (heck if he used level select to scan through the game he may not have even heard the mini boss), and so assumes that everything was scrapped.

    With that much music, maybe only listened to once or twice, it would also be tough to remember every track you heard and match it to anything in the game as well.

    Then for Sonic & Knuckles, they decide they don't want to use any of the music at all (likely that the 41 cues included S&K zones as well, since Sonic 3 was originally going to be one game), so Howard Drossin is brought in for that part and he conflates that for everything being replaced as well.

    I think it's just an honest mistake.
  13. Taylor


    I realize this is getting pretty deep into subjective speculation territory, but you may be right on this. The PC tracks are all very upbeat, while the MJ crew tracks are somewhat darker. Compare PC Launch Base sounding like a triumphant romp for Sonic vs Genesis Launch Base sounding more...muted? Lowkey? I'm not sure how to put it.

    The PC tracks work fine from the mindset of "these are just some levels in the game's middle segment", but maybe after the split happened, they decided to go with MJ's darker music to make Sonic 3's last few zones feel more climatic and appropriate of an ending? Sure, they were planning release S&K later, but you wanna end on a strong note to give people a reason to keep buying your games. That could even be part of the reason why S&K PC reinserted those tracks, because everyone buying it knew those stages weren't the actual climax of the game.
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  14. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    It's no use! All they do is talk about Michael Jackson! :psyduck:

    Michael Jackson's musicians composed music for Sonic 3 (I hope they got paid for that), which means that one of them must have prepped a demo tape specially made for Sega's sound team/sound engineer, right?
  15. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Brad Buxer mentions in that podcast interview bringing a cassette tape with all 41 cues on it to show Michael Jackson at his hotel. I'd love to hear that tape and those demos! Brad Buxer doesn't seem to have much online presence though to ask him about it unfortunately.
  16. Gestalt


    Sphinx in Chains Member
    Yeah, WHAT ELSE happened besides songwriting?
  17. T.Q.


    The Sims 2, Tim Drake [Robin] Member
    I can agree on that too, the account system sucking. I've been encountering problems with the editing. The Wikimedia thinks my edits contain spam. And then after try a few more times to edit, I get a message to try back in a few minutes (more like in an hour).

    I've been trying to revamp the tables, but I'm at an impasse until an admin adds my user name "T.Q. NEW" to a whitelist or something.
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2019
  18. Qjimbo


    Your friendly neighbourhood lemming. Oldbie
    Yeah there’s definitely some issues on the wiki, the audio player seems unreliable as well. I realised I had to use an old forum password to login to my wiki account. I hope one of the site admins is able to get your issue fixed.
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  19. Neo Geo MVS

    Neo Geo MVS

    Giga Power Pro-Gear Spec Oldbie
    It would be nice if we could use our forum accounts to log into the wiki. There are XenForo -> MediaWiki authentication plugins, but I'm not sure if they are compatible with the versions running here. As for me, I can't reset my password on the wiki, because it says there is no email address recorded for my account.

    Speaking of the wiki, here's something that might be worth noting for the list being discussed: part of the melody for Carnival Night Zone is borrowed from "Entry of the Gladiators" by Julius Fučík. To a lesser extent, it seems like Mystic Cave Zone from Sonic 2 borrows from it, too...
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  20. Vinnie


    Yes, I was quite surprised how many games actually used samples from this library and there are probably many more than the video. Also Hey Qjimbo, it's nice to see that after such a long break, there are many regulars still around, especially from The Glowing Bridge days.

    Yes I've thought the same for the longest time. The only track I thought sounded close to being completely composed by MJ was the Credits music from S3 but even that seems to have been debunked.
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