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View Poll Results: Original Music, yea or nay?
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Old 08-18-2003, 12:23 PM   #1
Uber_Saber
 
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Miss the Music?

Just the other day, I was humming something to myself and couldn't figure out what it was. I finally remembered it was the music for the credits in DF. (Which I hadn't heard for quite some time, but I have a pretty good musical memory.)

Then yesterday, I pulled out the old DF CD and started playing, wondering if the game was still as cool as I remembered it.

I wasn't so sure about the game being so cool now (of course, it is rather antiquated by now, but still... It's still pretty good.), but the music was even cooler.

This leads me to my question: Do you enjoy the straight John Williams music that seems to be repeated for every SW game now (Don't get me wrong, I really like Williams' work), or do you like having some original work composed?


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Old 08-18-2003, 03:39 PM   #2
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My speakers aren't working. I don't rememeber what the music is like. I do like the music for the other Jedi Knights thoguh, and the movies.


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Old 08-18-2003, 04:21 PM   #3
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I like the DF music. I like the way a lot of it is original music, features a lot of William's themes to tie it all together.
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Old 08-19-2003, 06:03 PM   #4
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Every Star Wars game simply must start with Williams' ouverture
But I like also very much the transition between this ouverture and each games or movies special theme. It is always some kind of surprise how the music is changing at this point.


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Old 08-20-2003, 10:39 AM   #5
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The new trilogy however is giving us more access to Star Wars music which is cool.
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Old 08-22-2003, 06:56 PM   #6
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I don't know how to answer ... because part of DF *IS* the quaint midi versions of the music and low-bitrate voices. But pumping the JKII music through my 2.1 sound system, feeling the saber ... ahhh ....

As for what the DF Mod should use ... that is where it gets tough. My inclination is the modern music, because with the updated graphics the old music will seem cheesy, IMO.

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Old 08-23-2003, 06:09 PM   #7
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I think if the pieces were performed by an actual orchestra, they'd be really neat. Unfortunately, the DF mod doesn't have that option.


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Old 08-24-2003, 02:53 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Uber_Saber
I think if the pieces were performed by an actual orchestra, they'd be really neat. Unfortunately, the DF mod doesn't have that option.
True...but if they have access to some decent sound samples, and the right software, they should be able to 'fake' it fairly well. I certainly hope so.
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Old 08-24-2003, 06:05 PM   #9
The Cheat
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yeah i miss having some really original music, now adays if you have heard the music from the movies you have heard the music from the games
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Old 08-25-2003, 12:22 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by The Cheat
yeah i miss having some really original music, now adays if you have heard the music from the movies you have heard the music from the games
Except for KOTOR, but then one review that really took time said that the non-Williams stuff didn't add anything ... Personally I'd be happy with some less familiar stuff being pulled from the ttwo prequels, as well as tapping unused (or underused) melodic sequences from the OT.

Of course, some of the major thematic passages are so emotionally evocative ... like the one used when you face Dessan in JKII ...

Mike


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Old 08-25-2003, 12:44 AM   #11
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Clone Wars, as bad a game I felt it was.... Had the best score for a game, with both OT and PT music combined to get your heart pumping. I hope if and when they make a new XW game, they use both OT and PT stuff

And KotOR? It did add something to the game. It was great. Just non-SWish It needed more Williams' stuff to be excellent. The music was good. I only heard 'the Force theme' once or twice, the rest was original. The music may not have put you in the SW universe, but believe me, everything else in it did!



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Old 08-25-2003, 12:59 PM   #12
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Ugh! Don't get me started on the Kotor soundtrack (It seems every time I critisize Jeremy Soule on a forum the topic dies), I'm waiting for the game for PC but I have the soundtrack, sounds like it might just as well have been composed for Neverwinter Nights or any other of Jeremy Soule's titles, they all sound alike.
Sometimes I sit and wonder how the score would have been if Clint Bajakian had composed it, He certainly can write a Williams'esqe score, just listen to Emperor's Tomb, although the Indy theme may be a bit overused it's truly a great score with a lot of new great themes.

Anyway, I like the midi music in the old star wars games the most because of the original content, in the later games the reuse of Williams score got to be a bit much - I'm playing the games, but in my mind I see the scenes from the movies where the music is used...
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Old 08-25-2003, 01:44 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lundquist
Anyway, I like the midi music in the old star wars games the most because of the original content, in the later games the reuse of Williams score got to be a bit much - I'm playing the games, but in my mind I see the scenes from the movies where the music is used...
Funny you should mention that, as JKII had the opposite effect on me. I always liked 'Lando's Palace' theme, but it never hit me too hard until leaving Nar Shadda with Lando and heading to Bespin ... since then it has been one of my faves.

There is a 'matched' feeling for me with Dark Forces and the Midi music, but with JKII (and Jedi Academy) I want full bandwidth high-bitrate stereo surround sound ... I want to feel my saber swing like I did seeing AotC in the IMAX theater ... and have the cool booming music to back it up.

Mike


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Old 08-26-2003, 05:43 AM   #14
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Actually, there's been quite a bit of original music in Star Wars games over the years. X-Wing and Tie-Fighter both had original music by Clint Bajakian, Michael Land, and Peter McConnell (mostly variations on John Williams themes). Shadows of the Empire used a mixture of John Williams music and Joel McNealy's music (written specifically for the SotE project.) Rogue Squadron and Rogue Leader both had custom music (by Chris Huelsbeck (and James Jacobson for R.L.)) mixed in with John Williams music (R.S. was all synth/samples, R.L. had live soundtrack + synthisized/sampled new music.) Huelsbeck also did music for Battle for Naboo. Force Commander had 'new' music... well, at least new remixes, anyway. (Peter McConnell wrote new music where necessary, the mixes were done by David Levison & Jeff Kliment.) And Bounty Hunter had some all new themes and music also written by Jeremy Soule.

I think new, original music is great, especially when it's done well and mixed in and used with other established themes. It helps expand the Star Wars musical tapestry.
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Old 08-26-2003, 12:19 PM   #15
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Oh right, I forgot about the Rogue Squadron series! Chris Hülsbeck is also quite talented imo. I remember the good old C64 and Amiga days where he composed the music for such games as Turrican and R-Type.

I wish they had used more of McNeely's work for the SOTE game, but since the PC version had redbook audio I just made another music cd for the game to include more of McNeely's score. 'the destruction of Xizor's Palace' is one of my all time most favourite pieces of music, a truly excellent soundtrack.

Last edited by Lundquist; 09-04-2003 at 02:40 PM.
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Old 08-26-2003, 01:07 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by Lundquist
Ugh! Don't get me started on the Kotor soundtrack (It seems every time I critisize Jeremy Soule on a forum the topic dies), I'm waiting for the game for PC but I have the soundtrack, sounds like it might just as well have been composed for Neverwinter Nights or any other of Jeremy Soule's titles, they all sound alike.
Sometimes I sit and wonder how the score would have been if Clint Bajakian had composed it, He certainly can write a Williams'esqe score, just listen to Emperor's Tomb, although the Indy theme may be a bit overused it's truly a great score with a lot of new great themes.
Yeah, while it wasn't SWish, I thought it was spectacular. The Dantooine music was my favorite, even though it coulda been for Baldurs Gate and not an SW title

And you're right. That music in Emperor's Tomb was hard to distiguish Williams' from Bajakan's stuff. I love that game almost as much as KotOR and DF I don't think the main theme was overused. It only queued in fights and it just made them all the more exciting



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Old 09-04-2003, 01:24 PM   #17
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For the Dark Forces Mod the original DF midi music is being rendered to mp3 by the musician of the team. Actually his using a Roland Sound Canvas SC-88 to render the music, and adding some personal touches and improvements. Lemme tell you that I never thought midi music would sound sooo cool, you'll get quite surprised when you hear it.
Anyhow, I can bring him to the forums if you wanna ask some more technical detailed sutff about the music.



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Old 09-06-2003, 10:15 PM   #18
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The good old SC-88 - It still has a lot of nice features, the sound is just a little dated imo.
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Old 09-06-2003, 11:48 PM   #19
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The idea is to bring back the good old midi music using the hardware that is was supposed to be listened with. It sounds like a midi, but a hell of a midi.



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Old 09-12-2003, 04:04 PM   #20
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First of all, let me introduce myself as the guy doing the music for the DF MOD.

I was one of the lucky few who owned a Roland SCC-1 and later SC-88 starting at around Christmas time 1993. All I had listened to before then were the FM synth tracks from my SB Pro and later SB-16. Obviously the difference between the two was like night and day.

The first game I tried out with my SCC-1 was X-Wing and I was blown away. Other games were out with equally impressive soundtracks during that time such as Privateer and Tie Fighter. You could tell which way the battle was going in those games just by listening to the music (And if you were in an X-wing fighting a losing battle and then heard the music for a Mon Calamari cruiser coming in from hyper space to help you it almost made you shout for joy).

The way a MIDI soundtrack could be manipulated during game play added to the excitement especially when your actions tilted the scales of the battle and was re-enforced by musical cues.

Then there were other games that just played straight music but the music was very well done and took advantage of the GS synths abilities. Doom, Doom II, Descent, Descent II, Origin games, Other Lucas Arts titles, and especially some sierra games (Space Quest series had some great and funny soundtracks!). Of course there were not many people educated enough or willing to spend $400+ on a synth just for better music in games at the time and they had to listen to a very watered down version of the MIDI music either through FM synthesis or very bad wavetable synthesis on the AWE 32 or some knockoff soundcard. Needless to say not too many people shed a tear when the transition to redbook audio or other digital formats took over in the mid 90s.

Diablo was one of the first to adopt digital audio for music as it became ok for game publishers to rely on CD-Roms only for distribution and not have a floppy disk counterpart. It wasn't redbook audio but the music was high quality and set the mood well for the game. Mechwarrior II was also one of the first to do this. Although the menu screens had MIDI the in game music was redbook audio. Most people were happy with this. However the refreshing nature of the high quality and high fidelity soundtracks came at the price of a very static musical environment. No more musical cues when you destroyed the enemy or won a battle.

Lucasarts adopted this for SOTE and JKII in 1997. These games had static redbook soundtracks that didn't change no matter what was going on. X-wing vs Tie fighter tried to keep the dynamic (as in versital) nature of the X-Wing series using redbook but had to scale it back a bit. There would be a 20 or so minute track of different Star Wars action music playing in the back ground. If you won the Redbook audio would switch over to another track to victory music an likewise if you lost you'd get failure music (usually with 1-2 second pauses in the game while it switched tracks). The musical cues were greatly diminished in the game but the format remained familiar with what had already been done before.

As computers became more powerful and more could be done with audio processing the digital music medium did catch up a bit so to speak. X-Wing Alliance (And now Jedi Knight II) was able to cross fade digital music so we got the musical cues back that we hadn't had since 1995. But we only had the John Williams score which had by that time been rehashed and rehashed over and over again to fit every star wars game no matter the plot, outlook, or mood of the game. Gone was the Tie Fighter music where John Williams (excellent!! Don't get me wrong I love the Star Wars music!) music was adapted to fit the needs of the game. The subtle variations of the imperial music to make it sound more noble and inspiring made it a heck of a lot of fun and an awesome experience to hunt down and destroy the rebel scum and foil their plans while maintaining the honor and integrity of the empire. Yes I think the music had a lot to do with setting the mood for that game (as well as Dark Forces for that matter) which gave it just the right flavor to get you in the mood to play as the empire.

Alas the marketing of Creative Labs and the ignorance of the masses caused many people to miss out on high quality MIDI soundtracks.

Well there you go, my whole $0.02 worth!

Ben
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Old 09-12-2003, 05:04 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally posted by Benevolence
First of all, let me introduce myself as the guy doing the music for the DF MOD.

<snip>

Well there you go, my whole $0.02 worth!

Ben
Whew! That's some 2 cents ...

I was playing those midi based games through my music system, so I had the good sound as well ... what a difference ...

I like many of the themes ... I know someone had posted them a while ago, but I don't recall where ...

Thanks for the info !
Mike


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Old 09-13-2003, 11:50 AM   #22
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Thanks for the dissertation, Benevolence. Makes a good read.

I had forgotten about Tie Fighter's variations on the Imperial Theme. I used to have those Midi's somewhere...


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Old 09-15-2003, 02:06 PM   #23
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Talking about Tie-Fighter made me think of 'X-wing Collecter's series' where LA had converted the old midi to digital audio (except the in-flight tracks which are still cd audio) but they used god awful synth for some reason...
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