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Thread: The Pulstar soundtrack will be getting a Vinyl & CD release soon

  1. #101
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    back on topic, so to say, my question still stand:

    after the introduction of NGCD, did SNK (and its partners) become so lazy to basically compose for NGCD first, and then just use ADPCM to get a "lazy" compressed mono stream?

    That would be ..significative, especially with regards to what version (NGCD or ROM) got the main attention during development, which is what I'd like ultimately to understand.

    So far, it seems to me the ROM tracks post-94/95 have yes become "lazy" ADPCM mono streams, but still coming from a different master than the NGCD one.

    I'm sure it differs from game to game, (and to composer to composer preferences?), but even checking the games versions and the OSTs would tell a lot already.
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  2. #102
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    I don't really want to drag this/derail this thread any more, but, hell, I get people want to hear the music in the game they played, but a middle ground solution with stereo sound and not downsampled to cell phone call quality might be just the right ticket.

    I'm speaking for myself of course, but if I'd found out that the OST I've bought is mono and all cracky like an old radio broadcast I'd be quite upset, no matter what.

    Quote Originally Posted by massimiliano View Post
    after the introduction of NGCD, did SNK (and its partners) become so lazy to basically compose for NGCD first, and then just use ADPCM to get a "lazy" compressed mono stream?
    That would make perfect sense to me and, actually, a great way to cut game producing expenses.
    Last edited by donluca; 09-23-2019 at 01:23 PM.

  3. #103
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    Quote Originally Posted by donluca View Post
    I'm speaking for myself of course, but if I'd found out that the OST I've bought is mono and all cracky like an old radio broadcast I'd be quite upset, no matter what.
    I get that, but we may have to consider the specific context, in the nineties it was still the only way to play music tracks for their entire length on a consumer setup with speakers, which at least for people like me, was already a good reason alone to buy the OST...but as said, the better quality if available would have been welcome of course, from my prospective we still talk about the same music...the game's original one..no violins.

    Quote Originally Posted by Donluca
    That would make perfect sense to me and, actually, a great way to cut game producing expenses.
    and that was my other "philosophical" question: which game version is the "original" one then? The NGCD one, for which the music was actually meant since development, putting the ROM ver in a secondary role?

    Looking at "literature" (Scitron) the reference game is the ROM one, but this music production detail would indicate that the AES stopped being at the top of the food-chain, at least for audio "creative process", while I guess most people expectation with regards to the AES music is still that it should be simply a "different" thing, because composed for different hardware, not related to the arranged NGCD ver. at all.

    From a diversity prospective, and thinking of the ROM version as the main one, I hope the games that had such "lazy" treatment are few!
    Last edited by massimiliano; 09-23-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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  4. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by massimiliano View Post
    back on topic, so to say, my question still stand:

    after the introduction of NGCD, did SNK (and its partners) become so lazy to basically compose for NGCD first, and then just use ADPCM to get a "lazy" compressed mono stream?

    That would be ..significative, especially with regards to what version (NGCD or ROM) got the main attention during development, which is what I'd like ultimately to understand.

    So far, it seems to me the ROM tracks post-94/95 have yes become "lazy" ADPCM mono streams, but still coming from a different master than the NGCD one.

    I'm sure it differs from game to game, (and to composer to composer preferences?), but even checking the games versions and the OSTs would tell a lot already.
    SNK never did it except for MS5. It was mostly later third party titles. But even KOF 2003 had proper chiptune music. Not pre-recorded tracks.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    SNK never did it except for MS5. It was mostly later third party titles. But even KOF 2003 had proper chiptune music. Not pre-recorded tracks.
    Ok, that's good to know, thanks, but as Suicidekiller reported, this seems the most complete list?

    Blazing Star
    Matrimelee
    Metal Slug 5
    Pulstar
    Rage of the Dragons
    Sengoku 3
    Strikers 1945+


    Looking at people's comments about the vinyl release from Brave Wave, looks the CD and ROM tracks are essentially the same... I don't have the vinyl release, but IIIRC BW mentioned using the original masters...looks more and more a specific issue with Pulstar along the above games?
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  6. #106
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    Quote Originally Posted by massimiliano View Post
    and that was my other "philosophical" question: which game version is the "original" one then? The NGCD one, for which the music was actually meant since development, putting the ROM ver in a secondary role?
    This is the classic chicken and egg situation.

    Neo Geo MVS system came out in 1990 and NGCD in 1994. What we have to understand from a game-to-game basis is: after 1994, did they develop with both systems in mind? If that's the case, then I'd say that the NGCD is definitely the OST because that would be the main "target" for the composers and then they'd just bring it over to the cartridge system.

    I don't know the NGCD at all so I don't know how much different the soundtracks are, but if they are *very* different, then it's really hard determining which is the "original". We could say that both are.

    I'm just thinking aloud at this point, I'll try and investigate the matter more so hopefully I'll be able to contribute in a more constructive way.

  7. #107

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    That list is missing all of the later Visco titles, starting around Breakers 1. Don't forget Ragnagard.

    Massi, this is something I just notice right away with my ears. I grew up with FM sound and others, so the difference between something crisp and composed on the sound chip vs something muddy and using unfamiliar sounds more akin to a CD game is obvious.

    I'm sure if you just pay more attention the next time you will get to know the difference just from listening.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo Alec View Post
    Massi, this is something I just notice right away with my ears. I grew up with FM sound and others, so the difference between something crisp and composed on the sound chip vs something muddy and using unfamiliar sounds more akin to a CD game is obvious.
    Yeah, this is probably the best way to make a list like the one massi has in mind. I never used to notice such differences, but it changed when I began to collect/play Super Famicom games and to compare their sound to that of Mega Drive games. SFC is so dull and muffled, especially the drums, compared to MD's FM it's like day & night.

  9. #109
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    I agree...also, I thought the situation would have been somehow simpler, like having the music totally in mono from a year onwards, but looks it wasn't the rule, too many different cases.

    Far from the quality of a synth generated (which I agree is pretty distinctive) VS a low bitrate stream, my bigger concern was finding where the music is mono, but that's easy to spot with a pair of earphones...it just takes time
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  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Missile View Post
    Like if I was going to buy Super Mario Bros soundtrack on NES. I wouldn't want the version the guy might have played on his synth/sample keyboard and 8 Track before putting into NES form. Same with Gameboy Tetris - I want it to be what's on the Gameboy not some orchestral version.
    I agree with this general idea, that a soundtrack should fit not only the mood of a game, but also the hardware it's played on. From an artistic/aesthetic point of view, there's a strong link between hardware performance and, for the lack of a better word, its soul. That's why I wasn't interested in the MSU-1 chip for the SNES. Using it didn't feel like an organic whole anymore.

    There may be yet another reason why a composer's "synth/sample keyboard and 8 Track" can feel like a downgrade, despite its higher quality and all artistic intentions. Any video game music detached from hardware limitations and freed from serving a video game as background, will have to compete with music done outside of video game commissions.

    As brilliant as Koshiro's tunes are in the video game world, once they'll leave that world they'll always loose to Soul II Soul, Public Enemy, Jeff Mills or Mahler, or whatever their influences are. If I'd listen to video game music compositions without the hardware/software context, i.e. the way their composers have recorded them, they'd feel average at best. There's no way Thunder Force IV guitars can compete with Van Halen. Even the mighty Zuntata will probably loose to Detroit, Chicago, Rephlex or Stockhausen.

    Seems video game music is deemed to be King Rat: brilliant inside its gaming prison camp, awkward in the real world, where everything has already been composed more brilliantly, more original and better sounding, too.

  11. #111

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    I agree with Missile's point too, but it doesn't apply in this case. Pulstar's music is just a recording, not something made with the Neo's sound chip. It basically is the equivalent of an MSU-1 that can't play the music back at full quality.

  12. #112
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    Theoretically, it still does apply: the lower quality could count as an MVS/NGH characteristic. But on a practical level I totally agree, there's basically no difference except lower bit-rate, and not even purists would accept the cart system's stream-limitations to be defining for Neo Geo's sound.

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