Soundtrack Central The best classic game music and more

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Adam Corn Oct 14, 2018

Even given how much the music industry has changed in the time this site's been around I'm not sure we've ever had this discussion. So, what are your means of discovering new VGM? (By "new" I mean "new to you", not necessarily only new releases.)

I assume the main means for casual listeners is to simply play games, and for ones where the music strikes a chord to see if there's an OST (or just stream it from YouTube). But for those of you interested in arrangements of favorite OSTs and/or OSTs for games you've never played, how do you find them?

As with other types of music, these days I find most of my new VGM on Spotify's Release Radar and Discover Weekly playlist, as well as by occasionally checking some curated playlists I'm subscribed to. I know that leaves a lot to be discovered though, which is why I'm looking forward to everyone's suggestions. smile

XLord007 Oct 14, 2018

For Japanese stuff, I just look at the VGMdb release calendar and order whatever sounds interesting. For Western stuff, it's mostly based on indie games I play. If I play an indie game and like the music, I'll make a mental note to lookout for a collector's edition that comes with a CD and pick that up if/when it ever releases.

jb Oct 14, 2018

I dont really play games. I generally buy things from artists, series, or labels that I’m familiar with. On a whim every once and a while I will pickup something completely random based on arbitrary things like liking the name or the cover art but that’s usually when I don’t have much to order in a given 3 month window. That was how I found both Suisei no gargantua and Brave Frontier soundtracks.

FuryofFrog Oct 14, 2018

Most of the time I find new music from new games I'm playing. If the artist is someone I haven't heard of before I go down the rabbit hole and find all their previous stuff. That or I pay attention to all my favorite artists. Oh, the last way is recommendations from here. I have all you guys to thank for my love of Ryo Yonemitsu and Yuzo Koshiro.

GoldfishX Oct 15, 2018

Loyalty tends to go a long way, in regards to companies, composers, consoles and gaming eras. I've played enough games and listened to enough albums to establish my comfort zone, so anything that looks like it might fit in that zone is probably worth a look. The glut of retro collections released over the past 7-8 years or so generally hits some familiar territory (both in regards to games and sound systems) and you know stuff like a new Sonic or Mario is probably going to yield a good score to go with it (although Sonic Mania's score was a huge letdown).

Youtube is quintessential at this point. Need to sample something (or an entire album)? Punch it in the search bar and it's probably there. It's funny, on one hand, my VGM listening has been all over the place and on the other hand, it's remained super consistent. The other day on YT, I was cycling through random Ace Combat and Cave tracks, then somehow I ended up going through half the Jumping Flash 2 soundtrack.

Nowadays, I just don't see playing games as a reliable option for discovering music. As backwards as that sounds, it just doesn't happen very often with me. Probably the last time I played something and immediately wanted the soundtrack was Persona 4 Arena (although that lead to about 4-5 separate soundtrack purchases from the franchise!) and probably Mario Kart 8/3D World/Smash Wii U (I would have been shocked if any of those 3 had turned out subpar).

Judgment Day Oct 30, 2018

I wanna try to get back into playing games and VGM listening, but life keeps getting in the way of pursuing the interest compared to years past. But I do agree with what GoldfishX says. I don't think playing the games should be a prerequisite to buying a soundtrack, but I think that's been a trend for me almost since the beginning of my soundtrack collecting back in 1994. After getting Kefka's Domain and the SoM soundtrack, I basically did an impulse buy at a comic convention and bought Disc 2 of the Final Fantasy V OST, after never even playing the game up to that point. I just knew if it never saw the light of day in the US, I'm at least going to "hear" it. And thanks to my new found relationship with San Francisco LaserDisc, that's where my days of buying imports began. Fast forward to today: Tastes variate, but a song or a soundtrack that's good enough will catch our eyes/ears for the most part. Word will spread based on the information super highway that we live in today, versus actually "calling" in my order (was collecting since pre-internet).

That being said, I'm still of the ilk of buying physical copies if the soundtrack is good enough to warrant a purchase, among the last being Cuphead. I'm also still subscribed to CD Japan and the like. So if something catches my eye, I'll take a closer look. Also, YouTube is also a great source, especially if the algorithms detect your listening trends. Stuff might come up in the suggested column on desktop, the "Up Next" section, etc. And with me developing most parts of day, I'm pretty much always listening to the Tube when my podcast fix is done (do they even have a VGM podcast out there?).

With me not being on top of the latest and greatest, I'm pretty much limited to remixes and compilations of scores from the past. Cuphead was a huge exception; they really did their homework and it was a breath of fresh air to listen to on LP. I think I'll have that itch again once I get my gaming room set up in the house, which is a project I see coming to fruition in 2-3 years.

longhairmike Nov 3, 2018 (edited Nov 3, 2018)

As i have not been a gamer in 15 years, i have no interest in new game music.
However, i enjoy discovering new-to-me 16-bit osts on youtube. there is a channel classic vgm that has tons of snes & famicon stuff that i'd never even heard of, much less heard the music … /playlists

VGMaddict Nov 5, 2018

It's strange, but I keep going back to the albums I discovered on here or all the way back when Clouds Villa was still around.

New stuff is mostly the new games I play, like Breath of the Wild.

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