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Author Topic: Sound and Musical enhancements  (Read 5595 times)
Heatho
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Sound and Musical enhancements
« on: February 10, 2006, 04:16:59 am »

Im aware that there are remix packs, but I don't entirely agree with the direction that they take a the remixes, a few of the races lose their original appeal, such as the Ur-Quan, with the impending doom imperial march kind of feel to their song taken away. Or the Mrrmmmr-rrmmrm with their original victory song, a catchy and slightly sinister electronic percussive tune that exudes cool.

Now to my point, I was wondering if anyone has done a general sound enhancement for music and ship sounds? I think that all the music in the game could benefit from an overhaul, not something as strong as a remix though. All the bass should be bassier, the whines whinier and the wails wailier. Maybe they could be re-orchestrated 'in a do-able at home sense'. I'd seriously look forward to the day when I can listen to the Yehat theme song with crisp clarity and rumbling bass, but the current music for the game just isn't tooled for the majestic aural splendour we crave now days and a great speaker set up and sound card just goes to waste.

Sound effects need a makeover also, at present my computer sounds like an arcade machine when I play Ur-Quan masters and yes, everything sounds as it did and should. Plasma bolts should sound throaty and mean, they should kick you in the ear drum and give your grandpa sleeping down stairs messy underpants. The Ur-Quan theme song should resonate through your neighbourhood and make people fall to their knees and beg to be enslaved and not vaporized.  Because people would, if human hearing were able to still detect midis in any coherrent form.

This is a question and a proposition, is their any kind of sound enhancement that I don't know of, one that enhances the original sounds, not completely changes them? If not, I propose that such an enhancement would do wonders for the game. Star Control 2 music is some of my favourite and the most memorable in my mind, it just needs a facelift to benefit from current set up and really rekindle intself in 150 decibel glory.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2006, 06:02:30 am »

I'd love to have the sound "re-mastered" but wouldn't that be damn near impossible?

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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2006, 06:29:48 am »

Remastered was the word I was looking for, thanks.

I've had another listen of the Precursors remix packs, these are the songs I think really fit in with what I was getting at, because they are faithful to the original and worthy replacements:

*Thraddash theme
*Vux theme
*Pkunk theme
*Ur Quan theme (a good remix that does fit, but once again deviates from the orginal too much)
*Quasispace theme (faithful,absolutely beautiful, majestic, a triumph, it gives the feeling of truly transcending reality)
*Umgah theme


Most of the others I feel abandon the feel and intent of the original songs, I'd download the remix packs but some of them include what i'd refer to as the sour grapes of the bunch, the ones that have an excess of mandatory techno cliches and arn't really star control, but have more of a gay nightclub feel.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2006, 06:42:36 am »

So, if such a thing is attempted, there will be three soundtracks: an original soundtrack, a remixed soundtrack, and a remastered soundtrack. More options is always better, right? I say go for it.

It would be unfair to expect the Precursors to produce two versions of every song. If there is to be a remastered soundtrack, it must be done by (other) fans. Where to find such fans? If anybody here frequents the forums at OverClocked ReMix (I do, but I don't know if I'd be up to the task alone), we could organize a project there and (try to) get the support of that enormous talent pool.
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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2006, 07:30:44 am »

I'd also imagine that a remastering of all the music and sounds wouldn't be as much work as the Precursors have done, as you don't really have to come up with anything original, just make the existing tracks crisper and better. That'd be a start anyway, some tracks might need complete reworkings, Im far from an expert in the matter.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2006, 07:42:40 am »

I've said this before, but it probably needs repeating: Some (about half, perhaps more) of the music in SC2 is absolutely horrible. Amateurish, aimless, chaotic garbage. In my opinion of course, but I do have the musical experience to back that up.

The reason this isn't noticed by most people who listen to the original music is twofold:

1) Nostalgia takes the upper hand. I consider nostalgia to be the 8th sin.  Wink
2) Low samplerate. The samples are of such low quality that they obfuscate the low quality of the music. Once you start replacing the old samples with similar, cleaner ones, even nostalgia won't help the music.

Only a handful of tracks from the original are good enough to stand more or less on their own, and this is often reflected in the Precursors remixes by them being very faithful.
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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2006, 07:53:50 am »

Its true, some of the original tracks are pretty bad, but a good portion are great.
Alright, something between a remastering and a remix is needed then, like I said, some of the tracks may need a lot of reworking.
Strangely I feel barely any nostalgia, playing it again made it all seem so new to me and I still love most of the music.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2006, 08:01:04 am »

Alright, something between a remastering and a remix is needed then, like I said, some of the tracks may need a lot of reworking.
So, pretty much the precursors project?

It seems kind of silly to re-do the whole thing. Maybe just do a fanmade "replacement pack" which replaces the precursor mixes you dislike.
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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2006, 08:06:36 am »

Well no not quite, I like a few precursor remixes like I said, but many of their tracks deviate too much like I said. So the safest way would be a remastering I suppose, even of those original tracks some consider bad. That way your typical vanilla Ur Quan installation can be true to the original, but just sound a lot better.
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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #9 on: February 10, 2006, 08:08:17 am »

It would be like the scalers that have been added that improve the look of the game without changing anything, but for sound instead.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #10 on: February 10, 2006, 09:34:47 am »

It would be like the scalers that have been added that improve the look of the game without changing anything, but for sound instead.
The closest equivalent to the scalers would be the superior MOD playing routines used by UQM compared to PC SC2 on most soundcards; instead of playing the music without even basic interpolation at a sampling rate of less than 10 kHz with a shoddy timing system, UQM has a nice and stable mixer outputting at CD quality. The MOD files are still the same, but the difference in sound fidelity is noticeable. Replacing the original samples with higher quality equivalent samples would be the next step, but finding high quality samples of exactly the same sounds is likely to be impossible.

In other words, UQM is pretty close to the limit of what purely technical measures can do to improve the music.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2006, 02:19:15 pm »

The reason this isn't noticed by most people who listen to the original music is twofold:

1) Nostalgia takes the upper hand. I consider nostalgia to be the 8th sin.  Wink
2) Low samplerate. The samples are of such low quality that they obfuscate the low quality of the music. Once you start replacing the old samples with similar, cleaner ones, even nostalgia won't help the music.

Frankly, I have to agree with TiLT on this one.

However, you can't expect everyone to love every single remix, over the original. I know I don't like too many deviations, for example, the brand new commander song. It's good, but I don't feel the nostalgic hand upon me Wink
Alas, for every song I hope only to be  remastered, there would be other people wishing it so for other tracks. Who would decide which to be remastered? It's impossible to please everyone, and it's a big task to remaster all of them.
Naturally if the tracks would've only been remastered in the first place people would ask for remixes instead.

To make it short, if I had the choice of only (the current) remixing OR only remastering, I would go for the first.
If you can organize a remastering team - go for it, though I somehow feel it's a bit unfair towards the Precursors' efforts..


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Heatho
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2006, 02:34:32 pm »

I think the precursors have done brilliantly on a lot of the tracks so far, but the remastering I speak of would be mostly technical, something to replace the existing original tracks as they would be the same but of higher quality and greater appeal. As There are some precursor tracks that I've taken to listening to on their own as of today. As Novus said, the existing music files have been improved as far as they can. Replacing certain sounds with higher quality ones would be the aim of a remastering I suppose, If such as thing were accomplished, Im quiet sure that there would be no need for the original music files, as the new ones would be faithful and so much better. People would only have to choose between the "originals" and the hopefully tastefully remixed ones, which once again have some great and worthy tracks.
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Novus
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #13 on: February 10, 2006, 04:41:44 pm »

If the "remastering" isn't done extremely carefully with improved samples of exactly the same sounds, there will almost certainly be a few purists out there who will insist on the original MODs. I've seen people complain about minor differences in filtering in regard to other retro music projects; we're lucky that no one has showed up to demand that UQM implement a 4 kHz lowpass filter on the music to emulate the mixing on the Sound Blaster.
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Re: Sound and Musical enhancements
« Reply #14 on: February 10, 2006, 04:58:08 pm »

Yea, there still might be some who prefer the old MODs for their low quality! They want all the anchors to be as is, leaving the rust and barnacles alone.
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