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Adam Corn Jul 13, 2013

LiquidAcid wrote:
GoldfishX wrote:

The recent Last Ranker discussion was interesting, unfortunately, I fully agree with LiquidAcid about the sound programming on that one.

Nice to see that some really care about these "technical" details. I wasn't so sure, since nobody replied to the thread after I dropped the "number bomb" big_smile

The number bomb didn't do much for me.  I'm much more interested in hearing how people think it sounds than in some big block of numbers.

The thread had probably run its course anyway though. smile

GoldfishX Jul 13, 2013 (edited Jul 13, 2013)

It's kind of strange to me that VGM seems to be growing in acceptance, but actual discussion on it (old or new) is hard to come by on forums. Even vgmdb, which has a lot of traffic from respected VGM veterans, actual discussions are few and far between. Maybe it was the whole niche thing that made it more interesting before? To a certain extent, that is true for me in any case.

Edit: I use a different set of numbers from Liquid (I use the figures from wavgain or mp3gain to measure loudness) and it just came back way out of my tolerance.

LiquidAcid Jul 13, 2013

Adam Corn wrote:

The number bomb didn't do much for me.  I'm much more interested in hearing how people think it sounds than in some big block of numbers.

Well, I already explained what I think about the music (great) and the sound/mastering (bad). The statistics were just there to illustrate my point and the fact that I'm not just "hearing things".

I mean, don't you guys ever ask yourself why you sometimes feel fatigue while listening to music that isn't exactly bad/boring? At least for me, I've isolated two issues:
- the aforementioned mastering
- excessive stereo separation

The first one is worse in the sense, that you can't really correct one. The stereo separation issue is equally bad, but you can easily kill it by inserting a crossfeed into your playback chain (e.g. I use a digital crossfeed: bs2b (the Bauer stereophonic-to-binaural DSP)).

LiquidAcid Jul 13, 2013

GoldfishX wrote:

Edit: I use a different set of numbers from Liquid (I use the figures from wavgain or mp3gain to measure loudness) and it just came back way out of my tolerance.

However I presume my stats are more accurate. I use r128gain for scanning, which computes loudness/dynamic range according to the specifications proposed in EBU R128 (google for it if you're interested). This is much more accurate than the old ReplayGain 1 standard. For peak detection r128gain resamples to 192kHz, which takes quite a while, but produces very accurate results.

Adam Corn Jul 13, 2013 (edited Jul 13, 2013)

Nobody is arguing that excessive loudness isn't a problem.

I looked at that long list of numbers for half a second then looked away.  Not really what I'm looking for when it comes to talking about music.  Not a big deal though, I'm just saying.

Yotsuya Jul 13, 2013

GoldfishX wrote:

It's kind of strange to me that VGM seems to be growing in acceptance, but actual discussion on it (old or new) is hard to come by on forums. Even vgmdb, which has a lot of traffic from respected VGM veterans, actual discussions are few and far between. Maybe it was the whole niche thing that made it more interesting before? To a certain extent, that is true for me in any case.

Well I think there are several factors: First is probably the initial excitement is long gone for veterans and coupled with that is a lot of these discussions have already happened, possibly multiple times over the years. Another thing is with music, discussion is nice, and sharing enthusiasm is nice, but sometimes there isn't a lot to say because the music says it all, after all if it could be expressed in words there would be no need to make the music. Finally some of the people on the forums are assholes and it kills the mood smile

What makes sense to me is if some people just continue making discoveries and posting them in the review section, because that is the backbone of the site, and forum discussion hopefully follows suit.

All that said, there has been a tremendous amount of coverage, discussion and cataloging of vgm in the past decade, so a respite now and then isn't necessarily a bad thing.

LiquidAcid Jul 13, 2013

Adam Corn wrote:

Not really what I'm looking for when it comes to talking about music.

Then I don't understand you.

You specifically asked this here:

Adam Corn wrote:

Those of you with complaints about the mastering, do they apply to the acoustic pieces as well?  They sound nothing but beautiful to me.

I demonstrated that the mastering issues affect all of the tracks (I can also do this for disc 2 if you don't believe me), therefore answering your question.

Now you tell me that this is not what you're looking for. What are you looking for then?!?

Adam Corn Jul 13, 2013

I think there are three main reasons why the VGM discussion has died down somewhat and they're all related:

- High-speed internet
- BitTorrent
- YouTube

Really, back in the day when we were all so eager to talk about anything and everything VGM, besides it being new and novel, the main reason was because you wanted to know about an album before you dropped $30+ on it.  And at that time asking other people what they thought about it was the best way to know.  You even had a lot of discussion about where to simply find the album in the first place.

Now there's far less need to report your opinion on a soundtrack or ask others for theirs when you can just go to YouTube and listen for yourself.  Or browse a few sites and find the whole thing in CD quality to download in a few minutes' time, which of course eliminates the whole availability issue and discussion as well.

None of this is knocking the fact that we can now actually listen to a soundtrack before spending money on it and possibly getting burnt.  I'm all for that.  (Though I am one of those who will argue that the easy availability of free high quality downloads may have hurt the industry as much as helped it.)

What it does mean though is that people naturally don't feel the need to discuss VGM the same way they did before.  That's IMO the main reason for the drop in discussion.  There are other reasons as well, some of them have to do with the way I run the site and those are the things I plan to address going forward.  It's my hope that the site and the forums will continue to be around and be a little more active with some changes in store to better suit the times.


LiquidAcid wrote:

Now you tell me that this is not what you're looking for. What are you looking for then?!?

Dude I was just asking whether the loudness issues that you and others perceived with your own ears applied to the acoustic tracks as well.  To which a simple short written reply is perfectly enough for me, without the long list of numbers.  That is all, enjoy your Saturday night. smile

Cedille Jul 13, 2013

I'm not certain that illegal downloading is the cause of a decrease in discussion (and sales as well). You certainly don't need to ask for opinions and read reviews from others who are likely to have different tastes than you, and that should be the case, as music is so subjective. If VGM becomes so available regardless of actual expenses, it also becomes easier to share far more topics to discuss than talking about soundtracks of which games we actually play or soundtracks we actually purchase.

I rephrase, but maybe we've been tired of bulletin board systems and decide to stream our shits in Twitter or Facebook. VGM community was more active and passionate, but we also had many elitists, nostalgists, whores or nutters (and I don't pretend I was a saint ;p ).

GoldfishX Jul 13, 2013 (edited Jul 13, 2013)

Adam Corn wrote:

I think there are three main reasons why the VGM discussion has died down somewhat and they're all related:

- High-speed internet
- BitTorrent
- YouTube

Really, back in the day when we were all so eager to talk about anything and everything VGM, besides it being new and novel, the main reason was because you wanted to know about an album before you dropped $30+ on it.  And at that time asking other people what they thought about it was the best way to know.  You even had a lot of discussion about where to simply find the album in the first place.

Now there's far less need to report your opinion on a soundtrack or ask others for theirs when you can just go to YouTube and listen for yourself.  Or browse a few sites and find the whole thing in CD quality to download in a few minutes' time, which of course eliminates the whole availability issue and discussion as well.

None of this is knocking the fact that we can now actually listen to a soundtrack before spending money on it and possibly getting burnt.  I'm all for that.  (Though I am one of those who will argue that the easy availability of free high quality downloads may have hurt the industry as much as helped it.)

What it does mean though is that people naturally don't feel the need to discuss VGM the same way they did before.  That's IMO the main reason for the drop in discussion.  There are other reasons as well, some of them have to do with the way I run the site and those are the things I plan to address going forward.  It's my hope that the site and the forums will continue to be around and be a little more active with some changes in store to better suit the times.

I think this is certainly true for reviews. It's THE reason I feel zero reason to write VGM album reviews anymore. Why should I spend a good 3-4 listens and a number hours getting to know an album/write my thoughts out when someone can just go sample/"own" it for themselves and form their own opinions? My mentality when writing was always, "should whoever is reading this go out and spend their hard earned cash on this album".

But there is always that inner desire to at least put down a quick opinion on whatever I listen to that leaves an impression on a forum and have something resembling a discussion in the public eye on it. That is what I'm surprised this has largely disappeared from most VGM forums.

What I would like to see on sites like VGMdb is a spot for capsule reviews. Nothing full length, but like 3-5 sentences, maybe a couple favorites/disappointments. Just something/ANYTHING to spur discussion. I always liked these on the old Game Music Online site. Some were informed, some were clearly written by people unfamiliar with VGM, but there was always a good mix.

rein Jul 13, 2013

I think that another major factor contributing to the decline in VGM discussion is that buying game soundtracks is increasingly an exercise in frustration, even as samples become easier to find.  It seems to me that there's a trend towards making soundtracks available only with special editions of games or exclusive to a single store like Konami Style, and this is making VGM collecting too much of a chore.  I miss the days before these innovations, when game soundtracks just had normal commercial releases.

Adam Corn Jul 13, 2013

GoldfishX wrote:

My mentality when writing was always, "should whoever is reading this go out and spend their hard earned cash on this album".

But there is always that inner desire to at least put down a quick opinion on whatever I listen to that leaves an impression on a forum and have something resembling a discussion in the public eye on it.

Agreed completely on both points.  Reviews still have a place I think - it's a lot quicker to read a few short reviews on an album than listen all the way through it yourself, especially if it's one of these two or three-disc numbers.  If it's a series or composer I know and love I'm still gonna want to hear it for myself, but for series I don't know or generally don't follow a favorable review can go a long way towards making me check it out.

GoldfishX wrote:

What I would like to see on sites like VGMdb is a spot for capsule reviews. Nothing full length, but like 3-5 sentences, maybe a couple favorites/disappointments. Just something/ANYTHING to spur discussion.

Man it is almost as if you're saying this to spite me.  Why not post them here??

GoldfishX Jul 13, 2013

lol, what I meant was like on the individual album pages for the capsule reviews, not the forums. I started a thread a few months ago where I was sort of doing that.

Zorbfish Jul 14, 2013

GoldfishX wrote:
Adam Corn wrote:

Reasons..

It's THE reason I feel zero reason to write VGM album reviews anymore.

Also the reason I stopped contributing to VGMdb. Got sick of finding RAR-dumped entries created immediately after said release date of an album.

jb Jul 14, 2013

What do vgmdb data submission and rars of music have to do with one another?  You're only stifling the community by willfully not submitting data. It's not like music is somehow pirated less because vgmdb data is missing or inaccurate. You're really just hurting fans imo.

longhairmike Jul 15, 2013

so after Egypt's president Mohammed Mursi was ousted last week,, the new interim prime minister has already assembled most of his new cabinet.
that tells you right there that he didnt get it from Ikea

Zorbfish Jul 16, 2013

jb wrote:

What do vgmdb data submission and rars of music have to do with one another?  You're only stifling the community by willfully not submitting data. It's not like music is somehow pirated less because vgmdb data is missing or inaccurate. You're really just hurting fans imo.

I never said it was a problem of piracy, it's much simpler than that. I used to spend hours compiling data for submission in my early days on the site. But there were plenty of occasions where I would be gathering that info only to find later when I about to submit that someone put said album up as soon as it hit the sharing network. It happened enough times that I simply stopped. I can use that time elsewhere now, knowing that typically within a few days someone will have found/downloaded the album and already dumped its contents to the db regardless of my efforts.

longhairmike Jul 17, 2013 (edited Jul 17, 2013)

so after I was convicted for spray painting the bulk foods section of the grocery store, my reputation was ruined and everyone kept giving me these evil looks like i was some sort of pecan-artist

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