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[Article] Polyhymnia - A soundtrack remix project

Posted at 17:02 on July 11th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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From clanging two objects together to tuning dozens of highly creative sounding boxes, from the earliest beeps of primitive speakers to almost pitch-perfect polyphonic surround sound, music holds great power: The power to stir emotions, to shake up your feelings and more often than not set you in just the right mood. Imagine a grand choir, singing in a foreign language. Don’t you feel a certain touch of grandness? Or how about a sonorous cello quartet and their almost tangible sorrow? The strength, the liveliness that hums within the strings of an electric guitar? And finally think of the laughter or strained faces caused by the chirpy beeping of the good old PC-speaker. Its no wonder that music has been with video games right from the start, because if done rightly it can be an incredibly powerful tool.


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Posted at 11:08 on July 12th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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While I can't quite match up strings with Monkey Island, I really like how you brought out the contrast between the furious credits music and the relatively calm beginning episode theme.

Talking about fitting music supporting the mood of the game perfectly, I always have to think of Proliferation. If I remember correctly, it only has three tunes, but those are great! They incorporated sounds akin to missiles launching etc. seamlessly into the melodies. At the time the game was new, I actually had a computer with two sound chips (one on the mainboard, one dedicated sound card). Switching between the two for the MIDI synthesis made a huge quality difference!
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 11:09 on July 12th, 2015
Posted at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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How about remixing this theme it is one of my favorite:
http://www.allowe.com/download/audio/mp3/LSL1%20Theme%20PC%20tweaker.mp3

About software synthesizers, what do you think about „sunvox“?

Is Proliferation from 2000 or 1995?

DirectMusic was an technology it was used to blend music based one situation. I never found an game were it was used. The only games which i knew where the music changed by situation is Super Mario World (Yoshi or not) and Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams(Dark or Light). I think both games mutes specific (tracker) channels to archive the effect.
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Posted at 16:21 on July 13th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 11:08 on July 12th, 2015:
While I can't quite match up strings with Monkey Island, I really like how you brought out the contrast between the furious credits music and the relatively calm beginning episode theme.

Thanks! Personally I am bit more satisfied with the episode theme, which seems to lend itself better to the strings.

Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 11:08 on July 12th, 2015:
If I remember correctly, it only has three tunes, but those are great!

Reminds me of Space Invaders which has an ultraminimalistic yet incredibly effective soundtrack.

Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
How about remixing this theme it is one of my favorite:
http://www.allowe.com/download/audio/mp3/LSL1%20Theme%20PC%20tweaker.mp3

Hey, great idea! Will put it right on my TODO list.

Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
About software synthesizers, what do you think about „sunvox“?

Well, I am still looking for a decent tracker (the one I used before was rather... userunfriendly, and now I am just editing the sequencer manually), so I might give it a try.

Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
DirectMusic

The first game that comes to my mind, as far as dynamic music is concerned, would be Tie Fighter, and therefor the iMuse system. Don't know if modern games have dedicated systems for it, but most of them change soundtracks on the fly, e.g. when a chase scene sets in, a character dies etc. Still, the changes are far to sudden and obvious.
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Posted at 16:34 on July 13th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
Is Proliferation from 2000 or 1995?

The version I played most if from 2000, but I know that it had some updates over the years. Do you have any indication there is one from 1995?

Quote:
DirectMusic was an technology it was used to blend music based one situation. I never found an game were it was used. The only games which i knew where the music changed by situation is Super Mario World (Yoshi or not) and Giana Sisters Twisted Dreams(Dark or Light). I think both games mutes specific (tracker) channels to archive the effect.

I don't know about DirectMusic, but as for music adapting to the situation in general, I would throw in Monkey Island 2 (which even has dedicated smooth transitions between many tunes long before Twisted Dreams), Dune 2 and Alone in the Dark.
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Edited by Mr Creosote at 16:35 on July 13th, 2015
Posted at 20:13 on July 13th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Great article Herr M! By the way, remember Ramparts/Knightmare title music? My bad, i had simply forgotten i had come across it before, that was a while ago though, but there is a remix of it, and in fact a few different versions right here http://zxtunes.com, and the following seems to be the best one so far: http://zxtunes.com/downloads.php?id=90&md=remix_mp3

BUT... if you could possibly improve it even more you're more than welcome to do so :)
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Edited by Vagabond at 20:18 on July 13th, 2015
Posted at 06:27 on July 14th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 16:34 on July 13th, 2015:
Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
Is Proliferation from 2000 or 1995?

The version I played most if from 2000, but I know that it had some updates over the years. Do you have any indication there is one from 1995?

All files in the download are from 1995. The screenshots show Windows 3.11. Most other game sites state that the game is from 1995.(But use pictures possible made on Windows 98 or 2000)

Finally i found a game that uses DirectMusic Gothic 1 & 2:
http://wiki.worldofgothic.de/Quickstart/DMP
The only problem with DirectMusic is it is only available for windows so game developers must create complete new music for other systems.
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Posted at 16:28 on July 14th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by MasterLee at 06:27 on July 14th, 2015:
Originally posted by Mr Creosote at 16:34 on July 13th, 2015:
Originally posted by MasterLee at 20:57 on July 12th, 2015:
Is Proliferation from 2000 or 1995?

The version I played most if from 2000, but I know that it had some updates over the years. Do you have any indication there is one from 1995?

All files in the download are from 1995. The screenshots show Windows 3.11. Most other game sites state that the game is from 1995.(But use pictures possible made on Windows 98 or 2000)

Hm, this feels a bit like hijacking this thread, but it's a chance to set things right, so I'll just at it.
  • File timestamps: fair enough, this is an indication
  • Other sites: worthless in my view; websites usually just copy from each other without any independent check
  • The game being made for Windows 3.1: a minor clue at best; small, independent developers often stick to environments they are familiar with way beyond their lifetime
I just checked the game itself again. It states 'copyright 2015'. So obviously, it simply displays the current year there. I'm pretty sure this is where the original 2000 currently in our database came from. So I also have no strong indicators for this to be true. Tough one. So I guess the file timestamps win.
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Posted at 18:01 on July 14th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Another evidence:
cat PROLIF.EXE|grep -a 2000

cat PROLIF.EXE|grep -a 1995
Quote:
(c)copyright 1995 by Martin Brtsch
ParentFonTLabel
lblCopyrightLefthTopHWidthHeightCaption1995 - Silicon Commander Games
ParentFoTRzLabeRzLabel1LeftTopWidthHeightCaption/Proliferation 1.0 1995 Silicon Commander GamesColor@


The Readme is also from Dion Kurczek. He also wrote the signature in the keyfile.
According to HLP file the game was developed by Dion Kurczek and graphics where by Rebecca Rose. But there is no reference to Martin. Maybe the copyright message was altered in code to remove evidence that Martin was involved in game development.
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Edited by MasterLee at 18:02 on July 14th, 2015
Posted at 22:07 on July 14th, 2015 | Quote | Edit | Delete
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Originally posted by Moebius at 20:13 on July 13th, 2015:
By the way, remember Ramparts/Knightmare title music? [...]
BUT... if you could possibly improve it even more you're more than welcome to do so :)

I will give it my best shot. ;) Could be though tough, since the original sounds so cool already.

Re Proliferation: Feel free to solve the mystery. Seems quite fascinating.
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