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Old 03-08-2008, 08:16 AM   #1
SimSaw
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How were "enhanced" tracks done in Loom and CMI?

I've been wondering how LucasArts has made the music audio track on two games. First is Loom CD with speech and audio on one track. Have they played simply MIDI back there on a special sound card or have they used some special sythesizer software (like today's known Timidity)?

The same I've been wondering for Curse of Monkey Island. I somehow managed to find the MIDI's on some website and presented them to a friend. He told me that if I could obtain the right sound card, I could have the music as it is in the movie. Another friend told me he thinks that LucasArts used a real music orchestra, but I consider this as far too expensive for the budget of a computer game.

Especially the later one would be nice as I wanted to do some parody for myself on one of the movie cutscenes and only with the original music is the right atmosphere.
So does anyone know how these were created?

Last edited by SimSaw; 03-08-2008 at 12:47 PM.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:00 AM   #2
Sven_Q45
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Welcome. Greetings from Germany to... uh Germany.

Interesting question. I only know, that the sound and music from the FM-Towns versions are made in a studio.
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Old 03-08-2008, 11:37 AM   #3
Longcat
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you should ask the owner of Soundtrack Island, Zaarin, he knows about most of these thing, you can find him over at the scummvm forums or in #scummvm on freenode(irc).
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Old 03-08-2008, 12:27 PM   #4
s-island
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Never visited the Scummvm forums, but I lurk on this one.

The only thing I know about the Loom CD is that the music (both PC CD and FM-Towns CD), the audio drama (and I also assume all the speech) was done at Earwax studios. Same place that did the FM Towns soundtrack for Zak McKracken as well and I think MI1 CD was done there too (Earwax is credited in the opening credits, but they are for the floppy version too so...).

No idea what kind of hardware they used to create the music.

The CMI MIDIs floating about are probably from the former Mojo hosted site Highland Productions. They were made by listening to the music. CMI used both sampled instruments and live musicians.
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Old 03-08-2008, 05:59 PM   #5
ThunderPeel2001
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They were created using expensive synthesizers and probably some live musicians. Unlike the earlier PC games (like Monkey Island 1 and 2) which used very small MIDI files and played sounds from the soundcard, the Curse of Monkey Island and Loom CD had pre-recorded music that was essentially saved as an MP3 (or PCM, in the case of Loom CD).

As such you can't reverse engineer the files unfortunately. Your best bet is to just download the MP3s of the music you want from somewhere like WorldofMI.com or TheScummBar.com

Hope that helps!

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Old 03-08-2008, 06:01 PM   #6
s-island
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Monkey Island 1 and 2 had MIDIs created for the external sound module MT-32. Cost about $500-600 back then, so that one was expensive as well. :P
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Old 03-10-2008, 07:13 PM   #7
elTee
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I'm sure I read an interview with Michael Land where he talked about playing the flute on the CMI soundtrack, or something along those lines. Either way I got the impression some parts of the soundtrack had live musicians on it.


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Old 03-11-2008, 09:55 AM   #8
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If you just listen closely to CMI soundtrack songs you can hear a distinct difference between the (generally live-recorded) lead instrument and then the synthesized backing instruments.

An example: Edward Van Helgen theme, the bassoon at the top of the mix is real while the the piratey string section is a synth. They really did a great job though blending the different sources...I think in Grim Fandango they moved to mostly recorded music, but even with synths CMI sounds amazing.

...as a side note, itunes says I've listened to the Edward Van Helgen theme 53 times. I have a wired attraction to this song.
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Old 03-11-2008, 02:25 PM   #9
QueZTone
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on an interesting note... i THINK emperor's tomb was the first lucasarts game to be featured with a real orchestra performing for the recording of the game's soundtrack


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