Soundtrack Central The best of VGM and other great soundtracks

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Stephen Aug 28, 2007

I just got this from NIS after they fixed the CDs.  Apparently, it includes mp3s as well, because my stereo system went into mp3 mode.

Sakimoto still uses the same synthesizers since the FFT days.  The OST is much more melodic than Vagrant Story, but it has some tracks where the melody  plays "off-beat" notes, like Sakuraba does on a few of his Tri-Ace music.

I think Sakimoto has put out a higher percentage of better tracks on this album, since the OST is only 18 tracks long.

Cedille Aug 28, 2007 (edited Aug 28, 2007)

Stephen wrote:

Sakimoto still uses the same synthesizers since the FFT days.

Sorry, but it's a tad hard for me to grasp what you meant. Granted, his orchestral style hasn't since changed all that much, yet I think the hardware synthesizers (e.g. SR-JV80 expansion boards) that he used in FFT have entirely been replaced, and as of 2007 he seems to work mainly with samplers and VSTi. Just in case you didn't know yet, beside Sakimoto, 4 composers from Basiscape work on this game, despite no official track-by-track credit. So, maybe you ascribe something that could be from other composers to only Sakimoto?

It's glad to see a positive opinion on their collaboration, nonetheless.

Stephen Aug 28, 2007

Cedille wrote:
Stephen wrote:

Sakimoto still uses the same synthesizers since the FFT days.

Sorry, but it's a tad hard for me to grasp what you meant. Granted, his orchestral style hasn't since changed all that much, yet I think the hardware synthesizers (e.g. SR-JV80 expansion boards) that he used in FFT have entirely been replaced, and as of 2007 he seems to work mainly with samplers and VSTi. Just in case you didn't know yet, beside Sakimoto, 4 composers from Basiscape work on this game, despite no official track-by-track credit. So, maybe you ascribe something that could be from other composers to only Sakimoto?

It's glad to see a positive opinion on their collaboration, nonetheless.

Oh, I didn't know that Sakimoto wasn't the only composer on this OST.

I have no idea the actual equipment he and his team is using, but some of the instruments sound very similar to the ones he used back in FFT.  For example, in the first track, I thought Sakimoto was using instruments from his FFT days.  I'm not a musician or studio engineer, so it sounded like the same synth to me.

loveydovey Aug 29, 2007

Cedille wrote:

...yet I think the hardware synthesizers (e.g. SR-JV80 expansion boards) that he used in FFT have entirely been replaced, and as of 2007 he seems to work mainly with samplers and VSTi.

I gather from that statement that samplers and VSTi (what's that btw?) are generally of better sound quality than synthesizers?

Cedille Aug 29, 2007 (edited Aug 31, 2007)

loveydovey wrote:

I gather from that statement that samplers and VSTi (what's that btw?) are generally of better sound quality than synthesizers?

To put it simply, Virtual Studio Technology Instrument is a term referring to software synthesizers (I should add VSTi is plug-ins that you can access from inside your sequencer aka DAW, as opposed to being stand-alone applications). Although not a few people point out hardware is more stable and more expressive, software is generally easier for you to handle. Also, if I go so far as to say that emulating real music by computer is a matter of having as many digitized samples as possible, software synthesizers have a superiority in this regard. A top-notch VSTi such as the VSL full edition covers every pitch on a chromatic level, a wide range of velocity change, many articulations (e.g. legato, staccato, sustain), different microphone positions, blah blah blah, but it reaches good 550GB. While it costs too much to develop a hardware synthesizer that has such a large capacity for some reasons, nowadays it's not uncommon for someone to have 1 to 2 terabyte hard disk space in total and a Mac or PC with large hard-disk drives can have it without difficulty.

By the same token, we can say software samplers excel hardware samplers in capacity. Sakimoto has an EMU hardware sampler but it has only 20GB space. While maybe 20GB was large enough when released, now its really hard to contain today's large multi-timbre libraries, ones including a wider range of instruments. With software samplers such as Giga Studio and large hard disk drives though, everything could be stored at once. Therefore, only when composers focus on hardware's sound and tone which they feel is more expressive and stronger, is hardware preferred.

Anyways, as I clearly see many people in this forum get sick of my digressing (all the more for my sciolistic knowledge and inappropriate terminology), I shall shut up.

Regarding Grim Grimoire, my major concern is who did what. Iwata has a more minimal and melody-oriented style than Sakimoto, and Kaneda has some humor, but who knows Abe or Kamikura. Some say they are nothing more than pale imitators, but I need a few more albums to confirm it.



EDIT:I found my post too terrible to keep it unedited.

oddigy Aug 29, 2007 (edited Aug 29, 2007 by Amber)

Cedille wrote:

Anyways, as I clearly see many people in this forum get sick of my digressing (all the more for my sciolistic knowledge and inappropriate terminology), I shall shut up.

Please don't.  You're much more eloquent in your technical breakdowns than I could ever hope to be.  You're saving me a lot of typing. XD

(I used to work for E-MU Systems as QA lead for their digital audio sample libraries, and could drone on for hours about software samplers and the crazy crap that goes on with them, and it's tempting to sometimes, but I don't really feel that this is the place.  I have a hard time summing up a technical description in just a few words.  I guess in this case, detailed explanations are necessary... ugh there I go contradicting myself again.  Ok, *pulls hands away from keyboard*)

*runs off*

loveydovey Aug 29, 2007

Amber wrote:

could drone on for hours about software samplers and the crazy crap that goes on with them, and it's tempting to sometimes, but I don't really feel that this is the place.

I would welcome that sorta "crazy crap" here!

XLord007 Aug 30, 2007

To answer the thread title, I liked it.  Well worth whatever I paid for it, despite the goof-ups by NIS with the first version.

Wanderer Aug 30, 2007

I think the title theme to GG is absolutely gorgeous. The rest of the soundtrack (what little there is of it) doesn't do much for me.

Red HamsterX Aug 30, 2007

Stephen wrote:

I just got this from NIS after they fixed the CDs.  Apparently, it includes mp3s as well, because my stereo system went into mp3 mode.

I haven't actually looked at the headers myself, but I think they didn't quite get it right this time, either.

A number of CDDA sanity checks failed when I tried to rip the disc and subsequently play it back. The failures weren't fatal or significant in any way, so I'm not inclined to complain, but it looks like NISA didn't quite make the replacement discs to spec, either. I'll post more if I somehow get bored of Metroid.


As for the music itself, I'm honestly not sure what I think. I still need to listen to it all the way through, so my opinion is definitely going to change. However, right now, I can say that I like it (and I love some of it), but it felt a little disjointed in the game.

Of course, it might flow a lot better as an album, but the shifts in the game exposed the different compositional styles in a somewhat abrupt manner. Of course, after a few seconds, the new tracks felt appropriate, but shifting wasn't as smooth as it could have been. (Maybe one of those usually awful crossfade effects might have worked, given the game's overall style)

Stephen Aug 30, 2007

Red HamsterX wrote:

I haven't actually looked at the headers myself, but I think they didn't quite get it right this time, either.

A number of CDDA sanity checks failed when I tried to rip the disc and subsequently play it back. The failures weren't fatal or significant in any way, so I'm not inclined to complain, but it looks like NISA didn't quite make the replacement discs to spec, either.

I put the CD into the computer, and I see only.cda tracks.  I don't see any mp3 tracks.

Can audio tracks have titles?  My stereo was displaying the title of the track as if it was an mp3, but it doesn't look there are any mp3s on this CD (or it is hidden)

Red HamsterX Aug 31, 2007

Stephen wrote:
Red HamsterX wrote:

I haven't actually looked at the headers myself, but I think they didn't quite get it right this time, either.

A number of CDDA sanity checks failed when I tried to rip the disc and subsequently play it back. The failures weren't fatal or significant in any way, so I'm not inclined to complain, but it looks like NISA didn't quite make the replacement discs to spec, either.

I put the CD into the computer, and I see only.cda tracks.  I don't see any mp3 tracks.

Can audio tracks have titles?  My stereo was displaying the title of the track as if it was an mp3, but it doesn't look there are any mp3s on this CD (or it is hidden)

Yes, they can.

It's called CD-Text, and virtually nothing implemented it at any time near its introduction. Your stereo might support it. (But it's pretty much dead, as evidenced by the fact that you've never heard of it before)

I've burned discs with CD-Text before for testing purposes (curse you, experimental cdrecord builds), but none of them have appeared weird when I tried to access them using the routines I've been using for this disc.

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