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C/NC: Video Game Music

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C/NC: Video Game Music

Crap
6
15%
Not Crap
19
48%
Too broad of a topic for me to vote
14
35%
I respect those that create it, but meh
1
3%
I loved Minibosses, The NESkimos, The Advantage, et al, but other than that, Crap
0
No votes
 
Total votes : 40

Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby OrthodoxEaster on Mon Jul 01, 2013 12:53 pm

Colonel Panic wrote:Dismissing "video game music" out of hand just because it's featured in video games is even more closed-minded though, because country, jazz and blues are all stylistic genres with easily definable characteristics which might not appeal to some. For example, some people might be bored by the sound of musicians improvising melodies, in which case it would be understandable to dislike jazz and blues. One might cringe at the sound of twangy, plucked stringed instruments, whiny steel guitars or "high lonesome" vocals, in which case country music would be distasteful. Some people might hate the sound of high-pitched, sustained singing with exaggerated vibrato, in which case it's understandable for them to hate opera.

But "video game music," like movie soundtrack music, is not a genre definable by any specific musical characteristics.


I don't think I ever outright dismissed it. Might have been compelled to vote if I felt that strongly. I simply implied that I am about as interested in video-game music as I am in the fashionableness of meter-maid outfits.

Colonel Panic wrote:Early video game music was indeed definable by certain sonic characteristics; since the 1990s when computers became equipped with audio playback capabilities, nearly all kinds of music have been featured in video games and nearly all of it is performed on traditional physical instruments and recorded in a real sound studio like any other music.


Sure. I'm aware that sampling and CD-roms totally changed the game (no pun intended) in terms of the actual sounds. That said, there's still a "wallpaper" aspect to just about every link I've clicked on here. Admittedly, I'm not big on incidental music and very picky, often disdainful of electronic music (so much of this stuff, particularly the old stuff, is still electronic at heart). Pretty picky about music in general, actually.

So much of this stuff just sounds like an exercise in genre to me--perhaps that's b/c it's supposed to fit some visual theme, as you've said. It's like navigating music specifically written for tv commercials. I'm sure there's someone who can find beauty in that, as well, but I generally am not impressed by what I've heard. Maybe part of it is b/c the goal of this music is not to simply exist as a piece of music for music's sake? I wonder if that's a handicap, given my own tastes?

Colonel Panic wrote:Most social groups consider it cool to be closed-minded about certain things, and the PRF is obviously no exception.


Is this considered a social group? I think I've had actual face-to-face interaction w/like four people on here, total. I've known at least two of them for nearly 20 years. Is there even a general consensus here on video games?

Colonel Panic wrote:Of course anyone is entitled to their opinion and can hate any number of things for any number of subjective reasons, but by the same token it's not unreasonable to point out when they're being closed-minded and stodgy about something they apparently know very little about.


But why on earth would I want to know more? Nothing I've heard here--the supposed cream of so-called video-game music--has impressed me all that much.

Colonel Panic wrote:That's the real value of a thread like this, the possibility of opening people's minds to an whole body of music created within a very specific context that many people are totally unaware of.


I agree w/you there. That's indeed valuable. But I am most likely just not convert material. At least, I don't think I am so far. I'm just not about to spend my days listening to hours of video-game music until something clicks, and I don't think the sole reason for this is my supposed close-mindedness.

Colonel Panic wrote:Here we are on a rock music message board and you're claiming a cultural superiority to popular music styles? Come on, dude. Drop the pretense.


Who's talking cultural superiority? I was just saying that I'm not very into acid-jazz, generic grunge, or LA-style gangsta rap. I simply don't tend to enjoy these styles of music--video game or not.

Colonel Panic wrote:But it's not "background music, audio wallpaper, or a genre exercise." Those are theme pieces for the games, not background music. In GTA, the player decides their own background music by choosing from a selection of multiple virtual "radio stations" on the car stereo, or alternately by playing music off their own computer hard drive.


I call it "background music," you call them "theme pieces," I guess.

Colonel Panic wrote:Of course you don't. Closed-minded attitudes seldom do acknowledge their own prejudice.


Personal taste is not a prejudice.

Colonel Panic wrote:If you're going for a laugh, then you have some catching up to do if you want to compete with the likes of this:

    zom-zom wrote:Annoying, stupid bloop-bleep garbage that only appeals to the players of these time-wasting games.


Sigh. So I need to work on my sense of humor, in addition to my supposed close-minded prejudice against video-game music? This is gonna be one tough summer. Man, you'd make a hell of a life coach.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Isabelle Gall on Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:17 pm

madmanmunt wrote:The 8-bit sound chip might the most inexpressive and limited music production device ever made by man. Hell, I'd rather take a harpsichord in one ear and bagpipes in the other.

Still, I'd kill to hear what Xenakis would have done with one.

What did you make of the sound of the UPIC system and Gendy program? Slightly more Buchla 700 than Commodore 64 but S.709 would make an excellent alternative theme for Bubble Bobble don't you think?

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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby madmanmunt on Mon Jul 01, 2013 2:48 pm

Well, blow me! The PRF grants every wish.

Robindoré mentions that S.709 "produces quite a polemical reaction in the audience."
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Antero on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:23 pm

cak wrote:
Antero wrote:Bands like the Advantage are idiotic.

Ah come on. Would you say that about a chamber ensemble playing Beethoven?

The only thing kinda dumb about it is that it's obviously a nostalgia-fest for alot of people rather than genuine enjoyment of the music. Nonetheless, celebrating good music which normally wouldn't see live performance at all is a noble cause. I would rather take one band of that over 100 bands playing their own niche variation on Shellac.

The nostalgia-fest aspect is obviously disgusting, but another problem is that the performance often strips away everything that made the music cool in the first place. A lot of the tunes those sort of bands tend towards, after all, are things like Mega Man - tracks that were trying to emulate guitar-based pop-metal within the limitations of the processor. They sound interesting because they're forcibly limited, and because of the sonic weirdness imposed by the hardware. Throw a full band on there and, eh.

Sometimes something sounds dopey and masturbatory if you play it on guitar, but like utter genius if a computer is doing it for you.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby robert thefamilyghost on Mon Jul 01, 2013 8:55 pm

Antero wrote:
cak wrote:A lot of the tunes those sort of bands tend towards, after all, are things like Mega Man - tracks that were trying to emulate guitar-based pop-metal within the limitations of the processor. They sound interesting because they're forcibly limited, and because of the sonic weirdness imposed by the hardware. Throw a full band on there and, eh.

Sometimes something sounds dopey and masturbatory if you play it on guitar, but like utter genius if a computer is doing it for you.

Yes! Like 75% of NES music was trying so hard to sound like the rockin' guitar shred that was quite popular at the time. You can hear it trying. But then it ends up missing the mark completely and sounding so much better than it would have without the limitations (like, the ability to record an actual guitar). Anyway, these bands are better when they avoid real instruments and play stuff on chips or electronics or whatever.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Twilight Sparkle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:14 pm

robert thefamilyghost wrote:
Antero wrote:
cak wrote:A lot of the tunes those sort of bands tend towards, after all, are things like Mega Man - tracks that were trying to emulate guitar-based pop-metal within the limitations of the processor. They sound interesting because they're forcibly limited, and because of the sonic weirdness imposed by the hardware. Throw a full band on there and, eh.

Sometimes something sounds dopey and masturbatory if you play it on guitar, but like utter genius if a computer is doing it for you.

Yes! Like 75% of NES music was trying so hard to sound like the rockin' guitar shred that was quite popular at the time. You can hear it trying. But then it ends up missing the mark completely and sounding so much better than it would have without the limitations (like, the ability to record an actual guitar). Anyway, these bands are better when they avoid real instruments and play stuff on chips or electronics or whatever.


If you track a lot of these classic game composers, they were in super shitty bands.

The music to the first few Sonic games is not only some of the best game music out there, it is some of my personal favorite music anywhere. When he wasn't doing that, he was composing for this



You can even here touches of Sonic in his bass playing.

Limitations did a lot for these people. I think as a general rule, it does a lot of good for anybody.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby lemur68 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:17 pm

I love The Advantage. Screw you people.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Twilight Sparkle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:18 pm

I've never heard of any of those bands. Post some shit, yo.

Last edited by Twilight Sparkle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby placeholder on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:19 pm

robert thefamilyghost wrote:Yes! Like 75% of NES music was trying so hard to sound like the rockin' guitar shred that was quite popular at the time. You can hear it trying. But then it ends up missing the mark completely and sounding so much better than it would have without the limitations (like, the ability to record an actual guitar). Anyway, these bands are better when they avoid real instruments and play stuff on chips or electronics or whatever.


Absolutely agree. Yamane's spectacular score for the NES version of Double Dragon is the best example I can think of off the top of my head. Especially the Mission 3 theme. It's fucking awesome. And the NES score kills the arcade one.



I have no use for guitar-rock bands doing retro-game music (The Advantage, Minibosses, and the like). It's not for me.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Twilight Sparkle on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:23 pm

Sometimes covers can be pretty, pretty great

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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby lemur68 on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:27 pm

Twilight Sparkle wrote:I've never heard of any of those bands. Post some shit, yo.


big_dave wrote:This is just about finding a dorky selfie on his blogspot?

Jesus, this is the Space Ace by Don Bluth of internet intrigue.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby robert thefamilyghost on Mon Jul 01, 2013 9:38 pm

lemur68 wrote:

I think they did a pretty good job of keeping to the spirit of the originals here. They mostly seemed to resist the temptation to "rock" it up.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Anthony Flack on Mon Jul 01, 2013 10:36 pm

How 'bout Duracell?

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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby pwalshj on Mon Jul 01, 2013 11:09 pm

Katamari. FTW.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby Twilight Sparkle on Tue Jul 02, 2013 6:51 pm

Anthony Flack wrote:How 'bout Duracell?



So far I'm not into the whole rock cover thing, but I would love to see this guy live, he is killing.




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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby cak on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:30 pm

robert thefamilyghost wrote:I think they did a pretty good job of keeping to the spirit of the originals here. They mostly seemed to resist the temptation to "rock" it up.

That's exactly what I like about the Advantage. Most of these vgm cover bands do their best to let you know they're playing vgm covers by altering the arrangements and style, but the Advantage keep it simple and, as a result, almost sound like they wrote the music themselves.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby japmn on Tue Jul 02, 2013 8:49 pm

pwalshj wrote:Katamari. FTW.


I bought a PS2 just to play Karamari. True Story. It was the entire reason I bought the thing, and the only game I had for about a year. Worth it!
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby thelonelymastodronus on Fri Aug 09, 2013 3:08 pm

I admit, most of the video game music that I like is crap and I wouldn't give a shit about it when taken out of context. But this, this is divine.



It only works with the steelpan though. I'm aware of how stupid it is, but I can't help but love it.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby jojobongo on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:26 pm

pwalshj wrote:Katamari. FTW.


YES

The Lemmings music on the Amiga, the piece of music that combines The Wedding March and The Funeral March: Not crap

Shawn Lee's Bully soundtrack: Not crap

The soundtrack to Ico: Castle In The Mist. That theme song, the waltz on the mandolin, is beautiful. Not crap.

I remember playing the Spyro games on the PS1 and enjoying Stewart Copeland's soundtrack, and music for RPG's is generally pompous, epic and awesome. The Chrono Trigger and Zelda theme songs are great. The Alundra music was brilliant.
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Re: C/NC: Video Game Music

Postby cjh on Fri Aug 09, 2013 5:42 pm

The background trickle in Xevious is one of the earliest ('82) examples I can think of as continuous background music. Many earlier ditties though.

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