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Re(1):Favorite sound programming by system
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[QUOTE] So everyone has their favorite game music composers by system, but I've been thinking about how non-linear the progression in music chip/ sound quality has been in game systems---let's talk about your favorite sound boards by systems, the ones you thought had the best 'distinctive synth instruments' or the nicest midi! Maybe you have a soft spot for those Super Famicom instruments, or you really dig PCE or Mega Drive super-bass? Better still if you can help me figure out the line between sound programmer's skills and what's actually available technically---I know I don't know! I think the 8-bit [b]Famicom [/b]library shines both for the skill of the composers and sound programmers who got such memorable songs out of such simple hardware, but also for the sharp, crisp electronic sound of the actual chip. Even when I was 10 years old, I knew that the l[URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W58UXk3EHhA]ast battle music with Koopa [/URL]in Mario 3 was INCREDIBLE and that the [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjclTGgLbS4]16-bit remake[/URL] was junk, and I think it has everything to do with the crisp, punchy sound of the Famicom's synth. [b]Mega Drive[/b] has always intrigued me even though it's far inferior to the Super Famicom. On one hand, there's a certain depressingly muddy, grimy bass and tinny treble sound quality that I associate with [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8gxIHVfrvGo&feature=PlayList&p=9BCCFBD565EC0834&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=2]first-gen shooters[/URL], and that's uniquely Mega Drive. On the other hand, you can still squeeze out glorious Dreams Come True-authored masterpieces like in [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vaBxXCH9b8]Sonic 2[/URL] with a bit of work. I've always been puzzled and amazed by the [b]Mega CD[/b]. I don't know if it's the availability of Redbook Audio or simply the greater space for better programming, but it produced sounds far outside what I thought Sega's humble system could do. [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DIhH1gxv0hM&feature=PlayList&p=F4B307815A870880&playnext=1&playnext_from=PL&index=1]Sonic CD[/URL] comes to mind and actually uses Redbook, but even the PCM music on Mega CD is incredible---Lunar 2's sound somehow has a repetoire of synth violin and oboe that [i]actually sound like[/i] violins and oboe, which I wouldn't have expected out of the MD and which made my favorite [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-YfIMWMtrs]last dungeon theme[/URL] ever. I remember being puzzled and disappointed that [b]Playstation [/b]midi was worse than SFC despite there being more sound channels. After FF VI, I couldn't believe how bad the sound quality (not composition as such) in VII was...even the compositionally fun [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7wJ8pE2qKU]One-Winged Angel[/URL] has awful synth next to [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ios6zLDR8AI]Dancing Mad[/URL]. On the other hand, Uematsu seemed to get ahold of a new sound programmer with VIII, producing some of the [URL=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Kjkanvutvk]best sound quality[/URL] I'd ever heard, so maybe it just required more work to make better use of PS midi? I could go on and on about the GBA's terrible soundchip and with how impressed I am with DS, even if it's still a shade weaker than the SFC after all these years... [/QUOTE] I judge the sound quality of any NES/FC emulator by how well it emulates Falsion. The FC is my favourite, though I certainly do love the SNES. The SNES blew me away with how lush and rich the audio was compared to the FC, but there's still one sore spot for me: Ninja Gaiden 3! The FC version's music was aggressive and intense, and was honestly my favourite of the NG soundtracks. The SNES NG trilogy I didn't like at all because the NG 3 music sounded like it had been smoothed over excessively in the translation. It just sounded wrong without the hard edge it had on the FC. The Genesis/Mega Drive wasn't bad at all (Moonwalker!), but it didn't arrest me in the same way that the FC or SNES did. The FC had the unfair advantage of being the system I really started with, while the SNES just seemed richer than the Genesis (though admittedly I didn't have much exposure to Sega CD games). To be fair, I was squarely in Nintendo's camp for the longest time.
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