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News: Celebrating 30 years of Star Control 2 - The Ur-Quan Masters

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Chrispy
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #30 on: July 03, 2004, 07:56:26 pm »

Um.. wow. I did not expect to read this. Well everyones different and that goes with music tastes as well.

I have no problem with new compositions. I use this music to listen to primarily, and use in the game secondarily so I guess my mind is a bit more open. But with the definition of remix aside, there isnt anything wrong with a musician composing a peice of music. If you don't like the new peice of music thats ok but at leased keep an open mind.

I think that the new Ariloo/Mycon/Kohr-ah/Starbase and other new compositions line up highly with the original themes. You dont have to be an original star control 2 composer to be able to write good music.

And now a word about Across the Galaxy. haha, wow I used to hate this one, but after some simple listening and understanding I now love it. Its really relaxing, its a little wierd, its very good. This is just musical taste, but after the music was taken with an open mind.
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #31 on: July 04, 2004, 02:07:52 am »

Well.. The only thing that bothers me in most remixes is that they start slow. Especially Quasispace.. You don't hang around for ages there! It should start quickly! Not come to a climax in 2 minutes!

Also, I think Smaug doesn't like some of them because he has listened to the originals A LOT, like me. Some of them don't have the melody and the beauty the old ones had (most notably: Ur-quan. I don't like the voices there. It should be way eviller..)...
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #32 on: July 04, 2004, 02:32:29 am »

Moving away from the entire techno thing someone could arrange an orchestral version of the ur-quan theme, and have it recorded (money would probably be a factor here). That would truely do the classical-ness justice.
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #33 on: July 04, 2004, 02:37:36 am »

Yo Chrispy,

I am glad that you listened Hyperspace with open mind - I knew already when I was writing it that it might be a bit hard one to swallow when you're waiting for totally different kind of song. I think that "Across the Galaxy" might be the best remix I have done so far for this project (!)

It's always nice to get positive reviews about your songs when you're composer, but it's impossible to please everyone. I haven't ever heard of a band which *everyone* likes.  Too bad that "Precursors" cannot be the first that kind of band...  even when we are trying hard  Grin

Oh, and I am also very sorry to tell "Smaug" that he is late when asking us to be stopped because:

PRECURSORS might be back soon!

- Riku  Cool
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy.
« Reply #34 on: July 04, 2004, 11:24:40 am »

Ah, good. Some discussion.

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Tastes differ. In fact, if you read the reviews of the other people, you may notice that yours differs a lot from most people's. That doesn't make your taste bad. I think the remixers deserve more courtesy than what you're giving them. So you don't like all of them. Then use the old tracks instead for those.
This isn't a replacement project.


I'm not quite sure you understand the point of my post. I already have my opinions on the quality of the various tracks, and I will use them accordingly. The purpose of actually posting opinions is to get them out there. See what others think. And, most importantly, give appropriate criticism to the remixers.

Criticism that, as far as I'm concerned, a number of remixers sorely needed.

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Overal, I get the impression you didn't give these remixes a real chance.


That's an odd way of looking at it. If your milk is spoiled, you can't expect it to be fresh tomorrow. If it sounds bad today, it's still going to be bad tomorrow.

And I did find some very good songs in the remix; it's not like I said it was all bad.

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Also I think you didn't notice, that Command Corridor Nine was originally composed and remixed by Riku himself


Yes, I did, but a bit after I wrote that section. I considered revising it, but I decided to let the nature of it stand. Original composers can go back over their own works and destroy them; see George Lucas.

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To note about Riku's work something he has said, is that he usually tends to bend the song into remix and not into cover-remix. Especially with song he made originally.


I'm not sure what he means by that.

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You're waiting for Yehat, be my guest and tell me what you like in it before I rape it for you.


You asking? OK.

Take the Yehat .MOD file and load it into your favorite .mod editor. Swap out the samples with cleaner, better-quality versions of them. Record the result into a .wav file and compress it with .ogg. Declare victory.

Failing this, remember what you did with Orbit-1? Do that. That works for me. Or what you did with the Druuge. Maybe what you did with the Spathi and Umgah.

Remember what you did with the Battle music? Stay really far away from that.

Just so you know, I have this playlist that I frequently listen to. It contains 3 songs from each directory of music on my drive, the 3 songs I pick as the best. For many directories, this was a difficult decision. From StarCon2, I selected Battle, Hyperspace, and Yehat. The Ur-Quan music was a close contender for the thrid spot, but the Hyperspace music edged it out. There was never any question about the Battle or Yehat music.

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It's refreshing to see someone so critical of our work, and I'm surprised it took 3 remix packs before someone did it.


I'm not. I find that it is frequently the case that, when a fairly close nit community is relying on a small group of talented individuals to produce some artistic content, they have a hard time criticizing it. Take Slylandro's post, for example. He seems to feel that it isn't someone's place to criticise unless they can produce similar art.

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Did you know that the original Star Control 2 music came about through a competition between amateur mod-trackers who for the most part had no idea what their music was going to be used for? The remix team, me included, can be considered experienced composers. We have all composed music for at least 10 years. The original composers were not.


All this does is let me say that experienced composers are being beaten by some amateur constest winners (and, Riku's, themselves). Some of your stuff is nice, but there is just too much deviation from the original in most of the others (and typically, deviation in a negative way)..

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In fact, Riku was hands down the best composer from the original game, in my opinion. With a few exceptions, his were the only tracks which showed real musical talent, harmony and planning.


While I certainly can't disagree with the notion that all his tracks were very good (I did pick 2 of them as my 3-favorite), I disagree with the notion that he was the only one who showed talent, harmony and planning. Dan, clearly showed some skill with the Battle, Druuge, and even the Arilou music.

Riku did a good remix job on some tracks, but he had no respect for his own original ideas. Almost as though he didn't trust himself.

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I'd say it's a pretty safe bet that the someone who composed this remix knew more than the original composer. It's a safe bet because he's the same composer, and unless he's somehow turned senile lately without me noticing, he should know a lot more after all these years.


It has been known to happen. An inspired composition, looked at years later by the original composer, can have all kinds of mistakes that the composer would, in his older, experienced version, not make.

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My final advice to you is to delete our remixes from your HD, remove us from your bookmarks (if you've bookmarked us), and never download any of our upcoming music. I think your memories of Star Control 2 will be better off like that. As you've clearly shown, the remixing project isn't for everyone.


Are you sure you read the entire post? I had some compliments (and yes, some constructive criticism too) in there, even one for your complete departure with the Arilou.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2004, 11:30:55 am by Smaug » Logged
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #35 on: July 04, 2004, 01:00:35 pm »

What you did isn't constructive criticism. What you did is attacking the remix team.
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy.
« Reply #36 on: July 04, 2004, 01:31:03 pm »

Well Smaug, I could agree with some of the points you've made, yes indeed, alas I'm afraid most of your comments are baseless and not nearly as constructive as you think. I will not start sorting out and quoting all your blabbering, but I believe you should think twice before you arrest, judge and sentence people who not only work for free, but also do it out of their free will and inspiration.

Your idea of a remix is simply despicable. "change the samples to cleaner/better instruments"? no problem! go here, look under "pablo", that's exactly what he did. knock yourself out - and don't forget, you could do it better.

oh wait, this one I shall quote for you:

Smaug's recipe for the flawless, utopian remix
Quote
Take the Yehat .MOD file and load it into your favorite .mod editor. Swap out the samples with cleaner, better-quality versions of them. Record the result into a .wav file and compress it with .ogg. Declare victory.


Okay Precursors, I'm sorry, you all should go back to your day jobs. Quit whatever you're doing! Smaug will make us much better remixs than yours with a 192kbps OGG files that have 4 channels but clean and better-quality samples!

Really, if you have criticism to write down, do it, but restrain yourself from adding needless remarks and ones such that repeat themselves.



On a happier note, to the remixing team - I was at a friend's house and listened to the songs with a complete 2.1 top quality sound system! we wanted to plug in the HTPC and play it on the (very! expensive) 6.1 surround but it was late so we'd do it another day - and things sound so much different! I'll put in the three things that bother me most, I guess:

Riku - Ilwrath - I now see what you mean by the distorted-electronic sample in the midst of the song - it doesn't sound as painful as it did on my stereo. still, I do believe it would sound better without it, or yet if it were a bit less noisy (while keeping quality). All in all, you've done an excellent job with this one!

Espen/TA - Kzer-Za - still with the 'kssshht' sample - again, it sounds better there, of course, yet even my friend, who never heard of Star Control (!! hehe) agreed that this sample might not be the best choice after all. Perhaps instead of replacing it, try just removing it and seeing how it does?
P.S., I notice there are.. things.. whispering in the background at some points of the song? cool Wink

Riku - Kohr-Ah - unlike the other songs, the synth, the flanger and echo effects sound worse with the subwoofer.. it might be only the sound configuration at that time, but now that I hear the track again, I don't think the synth and flanger mix very well. did you try a chorus sample instead? I have to say that as good as this one is, I think I've grown to like the bonus version of it better! perhaps it's the flanger after all.

otherwise, he really liked the VUX song and a few others which I couldn't tell, as it was pretty late. I hope to hear it sometimes on the 6.1 system - even if you didn't design the files to support surround, I still think it'd sound better than through a stereo system.

keep up the excellent work!
« Last Edit: July 04, 2004, 02:07:07 pm by Censored » Logged

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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #37 on: July 04, 2004, 03:04:26 pm »

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What you did isn't constructive criticism. What you did is attacking the remix team.


Really? I suppose that, with comments like:

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Surprisingly good.


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Much like the 3DO remix of the QuasiSpace music, you could slide this into the game and (except for the quality difference in terms of samples) it’d work just fine in place of the original


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Also, btw, this is an excellent example of the right way to deviate from the original.


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Very well done.


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It just all somehow seems to work. It fits together well, and it sounds very Spathi-ish.


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Shockingly good. Notice how it takes few liberties with the original melody. It flows just like the original.


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Yes, indeed. This is the good stuff. Few liberties taken with the melody, everything sounds like it fits together. Very good.


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I don’t care for the sound sample they used for the melodic line (the kind of reverse sound doesn’t work here), but overall very nice.


I could see how someone could classify this as an attack... Roll Eyes

I may have been somewhat harsh when dealing with some of the less enjoyable compositions, but I always gave credit where I felt it was due.

Quote
you could do it better.


Where did this nonsense come from? Did I ever compare my compositional skills (re: less than infant level, at best) to those of the Precursors? Did I interject my musical skill at all? Ever?

People do have the right to offer a critique, even if they are not an expert in the field. You don't have to be an expert in making videogames to have an opinion of one. And you don't have to be an accomplished composer to have an opinion of a composer.

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Smaug's recipe for the flawless, utopian remix


As the post indicates, that's the formula for the best version of the Yehat remix. Which is because I consider the Yehat music, as is, to be perfect (for what it is. It isn't the perfect piece of music, but it is as good as it is going to get) and not in need of improvement, except for technical issues like sample quality.

And I would prefer a sample swap to them doing something like adding a bagpipe (to match the Yehat's psuedo-Scottish origins) that ruins the piece. It is better to have a minor change that is an unquestioned improvement than a major change that could corrupt a wonderful piece of music.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2004, 03:04:52 pm by Smaug » Logged
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #38 on: July 04, 2004, 03:38:54 pm »

Quote

And I would prefer a sample swap to them doing something like adding a bagpipe (to match the Yehat's psuedo-Scottish origins) that ruins the piece. It is better to have a minor change that is an unquestioned improvement than a major change that could corrupt a wonderful piece of music.


Ah, there, you see? now THAT'S good criticism. or, pre-critique at most. Here you're thinking a bit.. See, in your posts, aside from "punishing composers severly", most of your critique was actually telling the composers how to remake the songs, the way YOU want them. Only problem is, it's always the same way - not doing a thing with the old versions.

Unlike the rest of the visitors here who replied either by giving a few heads-up on any specific thing they didn't like in the song, and sometimes trying to make suggestions (as much as we, the untalented, can) or by a simple warm compliment, you decided to advertise your opinion in a most impolite and unfriendly manner. If you have more critique, I suggest you at least try and think of a better alternative than sample-switching with the original.

I'm sure you'd like to tell us your true mind, but you don't have to color it the way you have, and certainly you cannot tell the composers what to do - if they decide to make the whole music anew, that's their decision to make, and if you don't like it - as said before - you can go on and play with the 3DO pack.
« Last Edit: July 04, 2004, 03:41:55 pm by Censored » Logged

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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #39 on: July 04, 2004, 06:01:24 pm »

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UQM-Precursors Remix Review
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #40 on: July 04, 2004, 06:37:04 pm »

Some random replies to posts above this:

I would like to ask people here to stop using the "oh yeah? Well, perhaps you can make better music then?" argument. It's simply the oldest and poorest argument in the book when it comes to art. People have the right to criticize, and they have the right to be harsh, even if they do not possess the artistic skills required to create the same art themselves. If I go to the cinema and see a movie I don't like, that doesn't mean I can't criticize that movie unless I can make something better. No, Smaug is entirely within his right to come to this board and criticize, and as I said, it's refreshing. He did not make a good impression by posting a trollish post though, but he stopped doing that from his second post and onwards, so he's okay with me.

Smaug, you mention trying to simply replace the original instruments with better versions of themselves. We've tried this for a few songs, and it was a disaster of epic proportions. Quite honestly, I consider at least 1/3 of the original Star Control 2 music to be utter crap, and this remixing project reinforced that idea since I got to play with the details of many of these songs. The poor sound quality of the originals helps camouflage their lack of harmony, planning, and even simple scales. For example, looking at Zoq-Fot-Pik, which is a song I'm currently remixing, you'll notice that it's weird and crazy, and fits the race somewhat well. Replace the instruments with similar, high-quality versions, and you'll be jumping for the stop-button. Trust me. The reason I changed the Arilou as much as I did was because it also had this syndrome. The original was crap, pure and simple. Of course, this is also about opinion, but I can at least back mine up with knowledge about musical structure and harmony.

On the other hand, some of the originals were so good that their remixes required only minor changes, like the Thraddash. We kept almost everything as it was, and added stuff on top of it, because Riku's original showed plenty of musical skill. There was harmony, and there was skillful musical structure. We could also say this about the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, but sadly, we didn't have good enough sample material to recreate it as an orchestral piece. We tried, but it wasn't good enough. Hence the version you have today.

Censored: I tried removing the "ksshht" sample from the Ur-Quan yesterday, and the result was disturbingly empty. That sample is vital to the balance of the music.

"Yes, I did, but a bit after I wrote that section. I considered revising it, but I decided to let the nature of it stand. Original composers can go back over their own works and destroy them; see George Lucas."

This sentence strikes me as not only weird, but outright disturbing. Are you really serious? This is a message board post, not a movie that redefined cinema in the 70's!

Chrispy: VOiD and I actually seriously considered if we had the right kinds of contacts to create an orchestral version of Ur-Quan with a real symphony orchestra, but we abandoned the idea after a while. We do not have the contacts to have it done for free, so it would have cost us a good deal of money. It would have been totally amazing though. Smiley

Megagun: we've made a conscious effort to make the remixes start of much faster than ordinary music with a few exceptions. The remixes that need fast starts should already have them.

PS: My apologies to Dan Nicholson for me being ever critical of his original Star Control 2 themes. Wink
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #41 on: July 04, 2004, 07:44:18 pm »

Ooh! Shiny! Remix pack 3 is here! Cheesy Let's see what we have:
  • Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah - Cleansing Required: Spooky and quite interesting. Close enough to the original to remain recognisably Kohr-Ah, but lots of new stuff.
  • Ilwrath - All Evil: Evil spiders coming to get you! Very dramatic, scary and funky all at once. Good show, Riku.
  • Mycon - Rebirth: Why does this make me think of hyperactive mushrooms with personality disorders? Wink Different, yet still the same tune. Riku shows that the same tune can sound completely different. I liked the original and I like this, but for different reasons.
  • Thraddash - Culture 19: Awesome! Every single aspect of this is so right... I can't review this, I just want to listen to it. Medieval Future just went from very cool to extremely cool.
  • Umgah - Genetic Modification: 100% happy blobby weirdness. This Human Earthling is having much fun with this tune!
  • Ur-Quan Kzer-Za - Now And Forever: A refreshingly different take on the Ur-Quan theme. I'm still not sure about that squelchy snare drum replacement and the singing, but the whole thing seems to fit together very well and it actually suits the Ur-Quan just as well as the more traditional imperial style.
  • VUX - Ultra-gross: Why do I get the feeling this guy took one look at me and decided he wanted me dead? Very nice.
  • Orbit IV - Cold Tectonics: Creepy in a empty and desolate sort of way. Good ambient stuff.
  • Orbit V - Extraterrestrial Lifeforms: Nice and scary. Keeps you looking over your shoulder for nasty monsters out to eat you.

And the bonus stuff:
  • Ur-Quan Kohr-Ah - The Eternal Doctrine: I think Riku's remix is just a little bit better than this one. This one is maybe just a little bit too much on the ambient side. Quite good, though.
  • Ur-Quan (Erol Otus): Interesting idea, but I don't think the organ idea works too well.
  • VUX - Acid in the Eye: Overextended VUX acid mix. This one takes ages to build up, but it's great for background listening. Espen's and Tore's mix fits into the game better, though.
  • Kohr-Ah Battle: Another good and different battle tune.
  • Mortal Melee! Tekkno: A bit over the top, this one. Very entertaining, though.

I'd like to thank the remixing team for another quality remix pack. It was well worth waiting for.
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #42 on: July 04, 2004, 07:53:27 pm »

I have basic orchestral version of the yehat and ur-quan themes on my comp. I kinda gave up knowing that I would never get a good orchestra to play them, me being a 15 year old kid and all.
My city youth orchestra (the one I play in and can therefor minipulate a little bit) isnt all that good.
Maybe someday we can have recorded orchestral versions to go along the techno remixs.

As for smaug it is all painfully clear to me. He is looking for completely different music then what you are making. The original melodies are fun and he wants nothing more then melody. I guess its just a difference in taste.
To Smaug: If you truely are looking for what you say your looking for, I dont think anyone can make any improvement on the originals.

As for that little wisp sound in the kzer-za theme, it doesnt really blend. Its not really supposed to though. When it sounds it stops the bass and the song sounds like its pausing everytime it sounds and then dives back into bass. I think its just a matter of getting used to it. There is a section of the song without it at 1:55 in if anyone wants to compair.

Quote
Riku - Kohr-Ah - unlike the other songs, the synth, the flanger and echo effects sound worse with the subwoofer..

Its sounds even worst with 2 subwoofers. Luckily I like it that way. Tongue
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #43 on: July 05, 2004, 02:02:24 am »

I personally welcome Smaug's input. I agree with a lot of what he's saying to a lesser extent. The somewhat hostile critique makes for a good counterbalance to all the brown-nosing most other people give out.
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Re: Official remix addon 3: The Ur-Quan Hierarchy
« Reply #44 on: July 05, 2004, 03:16:54 am »

Quote
We've tried this for a few songs, and it was a disaster of epic proportions. Quite honestly, I consider at least 1/3 of the original Star Control 2 music to be utter crap, and this remixing project reinforced that idea since I got to play with the details of many of these songs. The poor sound quality of the originals helps camouflage their lack of harmony, planning, and even simple scales. For example, looking at Zoq-Fot-Pik, which is a song I'm currently remixing, you'll notice that it's weird and crazy, and fits the race somewhat well. Replace the instruments with similar, high-quality versions, and you'll be jumping for the stop-button.


Hmm, I hadn't considered that the low quality of the samples might disguise other lingering problems in the piece itself. Well, my other suggestions for the Yehat music stand Wink

Certainly, a lot of the SC2 music is a "melodic" sequence of various unusual sounds. I suppose it's kinda like remaking a 3D game from a low-powered machine to a high-powered one). You could just take the textures and scale them up, and adding some detail to them, but you will quickly find that you should consider redrawing them from scratch, as well as all the models.

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This sentence strikes me as not only weird, but outright disturbing. Are you really serious? This is a message board post, not a movie that redefined cinema in the 70's!


There are a lot of Star Wars fans who have come to see the Star Wars Special Edition set as a bastardization of the originals. I was attempting to contrast Riku's remixes of his own original music with this.

Quote
We could also say this about the Ur-Quan Kzer-Za, but sadly, we didn't have good enough sample material to recreate it as an orchestral piece. We tried, but it wasn't good enough


Are good orchestral samples really so hard to come by? With all the remixing that goes on over the Internet these days, I assumed there'd be some 300MB repository somewhere of exceptional orchestral samples.
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