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Old 03-27-2014   #1
CobaltBW
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Default SRB2 Music Remaster Project

DOWNLOAD CURRENT VERSION HERE: http://mb.srb2.org/showthread.php?t=38900

The objective of this project is to replace outdated SRB2 tunes with more up-to-date productions and more compelling compositions. Sometimes this means simply giving an existing tune a paint job, but other times it could mean completely overhauling it.

This is an ongoing work of progress. I'm open to all feedback including criticism and suggestions, so let me know what you think.


What's new!

Mar 6 | Special Stage Pack
Mar 1 | Green Hill Zone
Feb 19 | Super Sonic [Revision 4]


Remaster Plans/Notes

- GFZ1 suuuuuucks
- make a cool ditty out of Aerial Garden Zone
- Red Volcano Zone 2 needs more work.
- Boss theme should be moved to tunes 12, and a new one should be composed in its place.
- Dark City and Doomship need a complete overhaul, but in which direction is uncertain due to the lack of level source material to draw off of. Thoughts were to go for something more jazz or MJ style for Dark City, and Doomship could potentially draw some influences from Sonic 2's Sky Fortress.
- ERZ3 is too short. Needs expansion.
- Get more samples of instruments used in Arrow's/SSNTails' remasters
- Nimbus Ruins and Desolate Twilight are cool guys that don't afraid of memes
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Old 03-27-2014   #2
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I would love to hear this as the style used for the super sonic theme, they style of the song seems so upbeat comepared to the current one.

I really enjoy the remasters you have now though, the GFZ and ERCZ ones are my favorites by far. Can't wait to hear the ERZ1 remaster too, the old ERZ1 needed some love.
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Old 03-27-2014   #3
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Just listened to all the tracks, and boy, am I impressed. My favorites are probably ERCZ and Super Sneakers. Can't wait to hear the rest after they're finished, good luck.

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Old 03-27-2014   #4
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Ok, so if the entire thing is as majestic as these samples, these had BETTER replace the current soundtrack in future versions, because my god, I was blown away (Is currently in love with RVZ1).
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Old 03-27-2014   #5
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Greenflower Act 1 sounds like the opening to a 90's sitcom. The new additions sound really out of place with the existing song, especially the section with the quieted percussion.

Deep Sea Act 1 sounds alright, but I feel like the lead instrument doesn't fit well with the otherwise acoustic-ish instrumentation. The new synth melody overlaying the song started to grow on me the more I listened, but man does its transition back to the beginning feel weird. I think it isn't exactly your fault--moreso it's an issue with how the song's chord progression was already written and how you're trying to maintain it. The major chords at the end don't segue well back into the beginning of the song, and it's probably less noticeable of an issue with the original track since it doesn't even try to smoothly loop back into itself. Anyway, I'd recommend trying to make the instrumentation meld together better, either by shifting things to a more acoustic sound or a more digital sound.

Red Volcano Act 1 is pretty good! I like what you did with the bassline; it goes the song a bit of an extra rock 'n' roll kick. The new background melodies blend in with the existing stuff, too, though the chords near the end seem contrary to the melody. If I had to make one suggestion, I think it'd do the song well to give the bass a little extra reverb and the orchestra hits some echo.

I don't feel like Red Volcano Act 2 or Egg Rock Core sound good at all at the beginning, but it's not because of your remastering--rather, those songs have some really bad dissonance that makes them grating to listen to. Red Volcano's issue is the parallel fifths in the leading background chords and the quick-paced chords after those are constantly a minor third apart. Really, the harmonies in those songs are just poor and could use a lot of tuning up if you feel up to the task. Beyond the first parts though, they do sound a bit better.

The brass in the Super Sneakers track sounds kind of over-the top, ahaha. It's an intense tune, sure, but now it sounds kind of silly.

As a general comment, I don't think these remasters necessarily have better production values than the original soundtrack does. It sounds... on-par, just without the use of any traditional midi sounds. Some zone soundtracks you didn't touch on yet, such as Techno Hill and Egg Rock, still have higher-quality instrumentation and orchestration than these remasters. That being said, it's not like there's no room for improvement, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this project goes from here.
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Old 03-27-2014   #6
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I'm really digging the DSZ1 music, it captures the feeling that the level should have perfectly. If the rest of them turn out this well, this'll be some exciting stuff.
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Old 03-27-2014   #7
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This is funny to me, I was just doing this exact same thing. I was remastering the songs my self and when they were finished I was gonna release them to the public here.
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Old 03-27-2014   #8
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@Netro: Well, maybe you two could do a collab, if the styles aren't too different.

@Blue Warrior: Neat job there, I especially liked Red Volcano Act 1, that one was great, although I still think that both the original and this should be expanded, 50 seconds is just too short for a level track.

Other than that, the Super Sneakers music was pretty good too.
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Old 03-27-2014   #9
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Wow, it really doesn't sound like you made GFZ1 any better at all to me. It still sounds as dry as the original.
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Old 03-27-2014   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Knux576 View Post
Also, please use more natural instruments for ACZ than the ones you've used for these remasters.
I don't know if I want to mess with ACZ1 as it's already in a pretty good spot. I'll keep it in mind if I do ACZ2 though.

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Greenflower Act 1 sounds like the opening to a 90's sitcom. The new additions sound really out of place with the existing song, especially the section with the quieted percussion.
The GFZ1 cover is a big departure from what we have now, but this is mainly because its flaws merited extensive reconstruction. The lead of the original was very grating, the song's tone was rather depressing and the chord progression overall was kind of awkward. What I mainly wanted to do was balance the optimistic keys with the more "tragic" ones, as well as get rid of the stupid F minor switch in the second half to improve the segues. Increasing the tempo made the tune overall more upbeat, so the quieter percussion in the next half seems to work well as a contrast; it also reflects the fact that this is a tutorial level which is not particularly demanding of the player.

The melody's second instrument and split into counter melodies helped to keep the timbre fresh, but the 90's sitcom syndrome might be a byproduct of some of those earlier elements; in particular, I think I may have went a little overboard with the melody's third set of bars (notably the accidentals), and the additional instruments probably could have been introduced a little more slowly. Even if I weren't to do anything about that, I think I would still choose this version over the original if I were in someone else's shoes.

Quote:
Deep Sea Act 1 sounds alright, but I feel like the lead instrument doesn't fit well with the otherwise acoustic-ish instrumentation. The new synth melody overlaying the song started to grow on me the more I listened, but man does its transition back to the beginning feel weird. I think it isn't exactly your fault--moreso it's an issue with how the song's chord progression was already written and how you're trying to maintain it. The major chords at the end don't segue well back into the beginning of the song, and it's probably less noticeable of an issue with the original track since it doesn't even try to smoothly loop back into itself. Anyway, I'd recommend trying to make the instrumentation meld together better, either by shifting things to a more acoustic sound or a more digital sound.
I'll look into it.

Quote:
Red Volcano Act 1 is pretty good! I like what you did with the bassline; it goes the song a bit of an extra rock 'n' roll kick. The new background melodies blend in with the existing stuff, too, though the chords near the end seem contrary to the melody. If I had to make one suggestion, I think it'd do the song well to give the bass a little extra reverb and the orchestra hits some echo.
I was also suspicious about the ending chords, but I'm not sure how to fix it yet. I have bad experiences with bass reverb, but I have like three separate basslines so it probably wouldn't hurt to try it on just one of them. I'll look into the hits.

Quote:
I don't feel like Red Volcano Act 2 or Egg Rock Core sound good at all at the beginning, but it's not because of your remastering--rather, those songs have some really bad dissonance that makes them grating to listen to. Red Volcano's issue is the parallel fifths in the leading background chords and the quick-paced chords after those are constantly a minor third apart. Really, the harmonies in those songs are just poor and could use a lot of tuning up if you feel up to the task. Beyond the first parts though, they do sound a bit better.
I had a feeling that the dissonance was intentional, so I kept it in. I don't have much to go on for RVZ2 anyway, so I'll keep it as is until we have a playable demo of the act. In the future it will probably need to be looked at more.

Quote:
The brass in the Super Sneakers track sounds kind of over-the top, ahaha. It's an intense tune, sure, but now it sounds kind of silly.
Yeah, not proud of this one right now. The only obviously good thing about it over the original is the percussion. Need to patch it up at a later date.

Quote:
As a general comment, I don't think these remasters necessarily have better production values than the original soundtrack does. It sounds... on-par, just without the use of any traditional midi sounds. Some zone soundtracks you didn't touch on yet, such as Techno Hill and Egg Rock, still have higher-quality instrumentation and orchestration than these remasters. That being said, it's not like there's no room for improvement, and I'm looking forward to seeing where this project goes from here.
I'm not interested in touching on Techno Hill or ACZ1, since I think they're technically and compositionally competent and don't have a lot of room for improvement. However, I think the benefits of purely remastering tunes are more apparent in the Special Stage cover; the original tune had a decent composition but certain elements such as the melody line were muddier. With my tools I could add sharper instruments with more depth, and also make minor tweaks to the melody to make everything flow a little better.

Egg rock is... a mixed bag. Notwithstanding their already absurd volume levels, the entire thing is just one giant solo. I'm not happy with it from a compositional standpoint.
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Last edited by CobaltBW; 03-27-2014 at 09:48 PM.
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Old 03-27-2014   #11
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Blue, I'm absolutely in love with the ERCZ remaster. It's fantastic.

Just a little FYI though, it's not Rock Canyon Zone, but Rocky Mountain Zone.
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Old 03-27-2014   #12
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Fixed, thanks.
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Old 03-28-2014   #13
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I desperately await act two for GFZ.
I must say deep sea zone..is a bit too bass at the beginning with the piano. It's kinda jarring.
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Old 03-28-2014   #14
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I don't like GFZ1 much at all. Too many liberties taken with the original source material for my tastes.

I'm quite liking all of the others, though.
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Old 03-28-2014   #15
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Hey, these are pretty neat! I like hearing people's takes on the tracks.

Sorta feels like they'd be for some kind of 'SRB2 Fan Remix', though... One part of the art direction for SRB2 involves the music, and how we generate the music comes from equipment and techniques of the time period we're trying to mimmick. This is why Nev3r's Arid Canyon tracks were never straight-up used .... what we did was separate out the guitar tracks (stuff that was difficult to replicate in MIDI, essentially), and built out a 'karaoke' track using our standard synthesizers and mixed the two.

Another aspect is that some of the equipment we used was also directly involved with a lot of Sonic projects of the early 90s - specifically the genesis games, AND even AoStH. I have a drum kit that Cyan Helkaraxe made that he calls the 'Sonic 3 Kit'. Sonic Adventure also used a lot of it, too (see http://ssntails.srb2.org/SA09C.MP3 ... yes, that's a MIDI... as is this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Resort.mp3 and this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Ww.mp3 ... OR this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Sonic%20Adv...hao%20Race.mp3 ).
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Old 03-28-2014   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SSNTails View Post
Hey, these are pretty neat! I like hearing people's takes on the tracks.

Sorta feels like they'd be for some kind of 'SRB2 Fan Remix', though... One part of the art direction for SRB2 involves the music, and how we generate the music comes from equipment and techniques of the time period we're trying to mimmick. This is why Nev3r's Arid Canyon tracks were never straight-up used .... what we did was separate out the guitar tracks (stuff that was difficult to replicate in MIDI, essentially), and built out a 'karaoke' track using our standard synthesizers and mixed the two.

Another aspect is that some of the equipment we used was also directly involved with a lot of Sonic projects of the early 90s - specifically the genesis games, AND even AoStH. I have a drum kit that Cyan Helkaraxe made that he calls the 'Sonic 3 Kit'. Sonic Adventure also used a lot of it, too (see http://ssntails.srb2.org/SA09C.MP3 ... yes, that's a MIDI... as is this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Resort.mp3 and this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Ww.mp3 ... OR this http://ssntails.srb2.org/Sonic%20Adv...hao%20Race.mp3 ).
That's a good point, and one that I've found after listening to the SRB2 intro cutscene for the first time in ages; I don't think that I could redo the music for that in good heart without faithfully reproducing its cheesy electric guitars that pop up when Eggman's banging his fists.

I used to have the S-YXG50 synthesizer, but that went to the wayside once I transferred all of my stuff over to Windows 7. I could get the VSTi, but now I'm accustomed to Reason's sound flexibility... which unfortunately doesn't really support VSTis.

At any rate, I've mostly been aiming for an inbetween of Sonic 1-3's style of sound and SRB2's, but I should look into porting some of the old sounds over sometime; the percussion in particular is probably the most distinguished thing about Yamaha XG. I'd also be interested in perhaps integrating some of Cyan's drums into my mixes, so let me know if you can provide a link to that.
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Last edited by CobaltBW; 03-28-2014 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 03-28-2014   #17
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SW60XG != S-YXG50.. they sound VERY different. The MU100 rack synth is a more modern device with mostly backward compatibility with the SW60XG (I haven't noticed a difference on SRB2's tracks, at least).

The 'Sonic 3 Kit' is a .x5 parameter file for the Korg X5D(R) synthesizer, unless you have that piece of hardware it'll be useless to you. (It doesn't contain samples, it just is a bunch of instructions telling the synthesizer how to organize its samples, envelopes, attacks, whatever).
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Old 03-28-2014   #18
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I see. Do you still have it on you? If you can record a wav of all the sounds played in order, I can just splice it and use them as instruments.
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Old 03-28-2014   #19
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I'm not so sure that would work.. Sometimes a different sound is used depending on the velocity of the note, previous notes pressed, factors like that. It's not just straight up wav sampling.

Plus I don't have time to record an octave of each of the instruments. x_x You're looking at 240+ just for the X5DR alone.

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Old 03-28-2014   #20
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Yeah, at some point sampling/soundfonts probably wouldn't work in the end. Certainly not with MIDIs like the ones I made to "fill in the holes" for ERZ1/2/3&Battle and such. Can't match the original oggs in some ways. =V
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