Suggest some excellent NSF and GBS files to listen to.

Discuss NSF files, FamiTracker, MML tools, or anything else related to NES music.

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tepples
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Post by tepples » Sat Oct 07, 2006 2:07 pm

NewRisingSun wrote:Am I the only one who finds these fast arpeggios-imitating-polyphony atrocious? Apparently not, considering that Japanese composers never did that (to my knowledge).
Plenty of Japanese games did that in sound effects. For instance, the line clear sounds in Dr. Mario are arpeggiated, and so is the sound after you select missiles in Top Gun. But one way to settle the arpeggio debate is to compare apples to apples: "Butterfly" without (sequenced by a Konami GBC programmer) vs. "Butterfly" with (sequenced by myself).

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Bregalad
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Post by Bregalad » Sun Oct 08, 2006 2:01 am

Am I the only one who finds these fast arpeggios-imitating-polyphony atrocious? Apparently not, considering that Japanese composers never did that (to my knowledge).
I agree, but in *some* case it may sound good, while in almost all cases it sounds bad, in function of the style of the music. If the pitch doesn't change too fast, it sound better, and it sound a bit like tremolo strings.

Porting a normal tune to arpeggios sound atrocious, but sometimes maybe composing the sound directly using arpeggios (on only ONE channel at time) wouldn't sound so bad.
The fact I found arpeggios horrible dissuaded me to include this in my ultimate music engine, and now it seems that to make good-sounding noise drum un-looped arpeggios are almost needed (you don't want to parameter a slide or something on each note, so it would be better to just apply some un-looped arpeggio to the whole drum sequence). So as long as un-looped arpeggios may be implemented, I don't think it is very hard to include looped arpeggios even if it is to almost no use it.

BTW all SFX from Air Fortress are very arpeggio-ish, and that doesn't always sound very good, but it is kinda fun.
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ccovell
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Post by ccovell » Sun Oct 08, 2006 6:36 am

de gustibus non est disputandum

Or something like that. I happen to love the sound of arpeggios (when used skilfully), and find a lot of the Japanese tunes, though melodic, boring in their instrumentation.

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Post by Bananmos » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:17 am

As the European arpeggio junkie that I am, I second that opinion.

NewRisingSun
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Post by NewRisingSun » Sun Oct 08, 2006 11:58 am

The way I see it, "skillful" use of arpeggios means using it to add "texture" to the sound, whereas "unskillful" would be that the composer is just cramming three voices into one channel because cheap harmonies are the only way he knows to convey emotion.

Good examples are "Incredible Crash Test Dummies" and some tracks in "Asterix". Generally, using ONE jump at the start of a note to add a short glimpse of an octave interval is often a good idea.

Bad examples include the title of "Fushigi no Umi no Nadia" (to correct myself, a Japanese game), "Beauty and the Beast" (both confirming Bregalad's point, all conversions), and with regards to "cheap harmonies", "Fire Hawk" Track 4, and "Micro Machines" all except 3.
But the worst offender of course is the triangle channel in "Fantastic Adventures of Dizzy", track 3 --- you can torture me with this one. (And while I'm at it, what's with "Dizzy the Adventurer" constantly resetting the square wave? It's as if my emulator had a sound buffering problem.)

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Post by tepples » Sun Oct 08, 2006 12:53 pm

NewRisingSun wrote:(And while I'm at it, what's with "Dizzy the Adventurer" constantly resetting the square wave? It's as if my emulator had a sound buffering problem.)
Any software pitch bend or arpeggio that crosses the A above middle C will reset the square wave.

So what did you think of my "Butterfly" cover?

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Post by NewRisingSun » Sun Oct 08, 2006 1:31 pm

Any software pitch bend or arpeggio that crosses the A above middle C will reset the square wave.
But "Dizzy the Adventurer" even resets it within a constant note, causing a very scratchy sound.
So what did you think of my "Butterfly" cover?
It's very nice from 00:07 on, but annoying in the first 7 seconds. I would add some kind of envelope to the channel playing the arpeggio (to the larger arpeggiated chord, not the individual arpeggio notes of course) in those first 7 seconds.

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Post by mic_ » Mon Oct 09, 2006 6:19 am

Although the people at Sunsoft and Natsume managed to create great soundtracks with other means, I think the "european style" also has its golden nuggets. Most tracks by Tim Follin and Jon Dunn, in particular, kick ass.

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