FrankenGraphics wrote:In performed music, you need to transpose a piece to fit the optimal range of instruments used.
As a player you don't need to transpose anything - the arranger does. You play your music sheet as the aranger decided to. That's what a PAL NES is supposed to do - if the game says "I want to play an A note" then it should play an A note, not a G note.
As a professional musician, having to transpose at sight is actually a very
common request. Especially if you play accompaniment for a vocalist, very frequently they will need it transposed to fit their range, and they would almost never have a copy of the music already transposed for you. (For the most part, a vocalist transposing is as easy as just giving them another starting pitch, a consequence of most people not having absolute pitch.) It also comes up a lot if you play in a pit orchestra where very often you don't have the same set of instruments as it was originally written for, and when you substitute one instrument for another it's often written at a transposing pitch.
Of course, as an amateur there is not much compelling you to learn to do this. It's just as easy to refuse the task of transposing at sight if there's no job on the line for it. Similarly if you're writing music for amateurs to play, you really shouldn't expect them to have this skill, because most won't.
FrankenGraphics wrote:Those with absolute pitch may experience the transposition of a whole song as a bit "painful" because they've gotten used to hearing it in a certain key, and may need time to digest the change.
Or worse, imagine having absolute pitch and be singing in the choir - those, especially amateur choirs, are very prone to slowly and steplessly falling or rising in pitch without the aid of instruments.
Yep. As someone with absolute pitch, I was used to relying on it for performance for a long time (I started with piano), but over time I experienced a lot of situations where I had to learn to "turn it off" and go 100% by relative pitch. For instance, if a piano hasn't been tuned in a while and its overall pitch has sunk, it's not like you can just tune it back up on the spot- you gotta deal with it. I tried learning the saxophone and was initially shocked that C actually made the sound of B flat. Joining a choir and learning to sing was a huge transformative experience too, because yeah they drift all over the place! (I can think of more than one person in my music program who had absolute pitch and dropped out of choir because
of that problem.) Not to mention learning about other tuning systems, etc. where there's not even 12 notes per octave anymore... at this point absolute pitch is only useful to me for kinda specific situations, and relative pitching skills are the default thing and much more useful to me as a musician.
It's not just amateur choirs, by the way. People seem to have an idea that a "good" choir will not drift, but drift is actually a natural function of certain kinds of harmonic motion. Because of the disparity between just intonation and equal temperament, e.g. a modulation that proceeds one way by a major third but returns by a sequence of fifths must naturally drift to accommodate the tuning of that major third. The ideal choir performance will still shift, just less
than the weak choir, and in a more predictable and repeatable way.
rainwarrior wrote:Since PAL has a different colour gamut, should PAL versions also adjust their palettes to match the artists original intentions?
Should is a strong word in this context - but just sometimes maybe that could be beneficial. But palette data changes are probably going to differ more than gamut differences, so it'd be if the new colour was somehow closer to what the artist had in mind or would find favourable than was made available in the NTSC version.
Like everything I've said here, I think what's appropriate to do is not a one-size-fits-all situation. I posed the question of palette to stimulate the discussion, the difference in colour is immediately obvious if you play an NTSC and PAL game side by side, but the question for the developer is whether that change is a problem. In almost all NES cases you probably just want to leave the shifted colours where they are, preserving all the existing relative colour relationships more or less? I'm sure there are exceptions, though.
Of course, even without changing region there's a huge range of gamma/hue/brightness/tint/contrast settings across TVs of the same type and trying to be precise is pretty much a lost cause, but you still have people arguing to this day about whether Super Mario Bros. sky is "purple" or not.
FWIW I believe it was somewhat common to have a separate set of PAL palettes for PSX/PS2, where it was more practical to do so (and things like human looking skin tones were more critical), but eventually correcting the colour just became the hardware's job and it's thankfully not really an issue the developer has to deal with anymore.
(It's very analogous to the pitch question... actually just as well it's pretty normal for a graphic artist to do "colour correction" as a final step on a project too, similar to that late transposition thought.)
Same deal with the PAR thing, as tepples has pointed out here and more directly in other threads a square PAR makes rotational symmetry much easier to attain, and otherwise you get some warping effect across the rotation. That's potentially a good reason to compensate for the PAR difference, but it's still a trade-off against other factors. The rotation would need to be a very strong part of your game to want to start taking those trades. Like I doubt anyone would care about Castlevania's gears being elliptical rather than circular, it doesn't negatively affect the game even though it's not "perfect". (And yet again, emulators will give you square PAR, some people play with the image stretched to widescreen, NTSC, PAL, all sorts of factors here make relying on it very impractical.)