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Thread: Poll - Sound Quality

  1. #1
    Cosmo Nova RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Poll - Sound Quality

    What sound instrumentation do you prefer for RPG music?
    Chiptune
    Higher-quality synth
    A blend of synth and live instruments
    A live band
    Full orchestra
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  2. #2
    A Witness to Destruction Moderator DarkRPGMaster's Avatar
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    Very VERY tough choice. Between them all, I find myself aiming towards Full orchestra or the blend.
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  3. #3
    chaotic neutral observer ironmage's Avatar
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    All other things being equal, I'd love a full orchestra, but I grew up in the NES/SNES era, so I'm usually satisfied with a good quality synth. If it came down to a choice, I'd rather the resources for hiring the orchestra went into getting a better composer, or writing a few more tracks.

    Vocal work is a definite asset in any soundtrack, though. (Nier and TWEWY come to mind).

  4. #4
    I didn't learn anything! MasterChief's Avatar
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    I went with the blend. I'd honestly rather have games (not just RPGs) employ a full variety of musical styles. Pop, rock, rap, synth, you name it. Everything having an orchestral soundtrack makes it all sound kinda samey.

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  5. #5
    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    I can't really answer the question, as it depends entirely on the game. FFXII was almost purely orchestral (and should have been performed by a live orchestra); but FFXIII was all over the place, and the high-quality synth was blended with live instrumental performances. Both were appropriate scores. And 4 Heroes of Light was intentionally chiptune + lo-fi synth, and it fit the style of the game perfectly.

    These days, most Japanese console-game scores do a mix of live instruments and synth. Western scores, curiously, seem to largely stick to ambient electronic music and synthesized orchestra samples.

    If a score is going to be pure orchestral, it should be performed live. However, the expense to cover this is extremely high, and very very few games, ever, have employed a full symphony orchestra recorded in an actual concert hall. I can't think of many myself. Ragnarok Online II had a few tracks, and FFXIII had several performed by the Warsaw Philharmonic in their native hall. And, of course, there's Dragon Quest VIII, the North American version anyway. That featured the Tokyo Met like many of the DQ Symphonic Suites. But everywhere else it's usually a studio orchestra recorded on a sound stage, and it just doesn't sound the same.

    Though I love the orchestra, I'd rather hear less of it in video games. Mostly because not a lot of composers seem to know what to do with it. On the flip side, more scores like Vandal Hearts 1&2, Actraiser 2, and Shining Force 2 would be appreciated. Those composers? They know what they're doing.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by MasterChief View Post
    I went with the blend. I'd honestly rather have games (not just RPGs) employ a full variety of musical styles. Pop, rock, rap, synth, you name it. Everything having an orchestral soundtrack makes it all sound kinda samey.
    Blue Dragons boss battle music makes me disagree. I would rather just have orchestral. I like rock, but I think that many genres dont stand the test of time like orchestral music does.

  7. #7
    Member lolwhoops's Avatar
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    personally, i find most types of music appealing as long as they suit the game. Good music, that is. I have to say that the Blue Dragon boss fight music is a good example of something that doesn't sound too bad until you loop it 700 times as you play through the game. Vocals should be saved for moments that expire when the words do.
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  8. #8
    I don't really know these categories, I rather know music by genre.

    My answer would be: Whatever Valkyrie Profile 1 does.

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    I find that most modern day "chiptune" soundtracks fail to capture the charm of the originals. Games like Phantasy Star II and Sword of Vermilion had the kind of music that stays in your head decades after you play them.

    I tried the chiptune setting of Final Fantasy Dimensions a few times, but always switched back a few minutes later.

  10. #10
    Familiar Face Administrator Strawberry Eggs's Avatar
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    A blend. Honestly, I'm not really good at telling the difference anyway. :P
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    Member Jitawa's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1OsApDSIw So, what would you call this?

  12. #12
    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jitawa View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1OsApDSIw So, what would you call this?
    Terrible.

    Oh, you meant in the context of this poll. It's "A blend of synth and live instruments". Composed by Kenji Ito and arranged by Tsuyoshi Sekito. That's Sekito himself playing the vaguely Spanish guitar part (this is the extent of Ito's grasp on multicultural authenticity, ladies and gentlemen). Or perhaps Sekito deserves some of the blame for the excessive cheese.

    Oh and hey, hear that synth string part in the background at 1:00? Yep, that same chord progression has been in every Kenji Ito composition ever.

    And I don't want to talk about the voice part because it makes my brain hurt. Seriously, what is she doing?

  13. #13
    RPGamer Staff RPGamer Staff GaijinMonogatari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post

    And I don't want to talk about the voice part because it makes my brain hurt. Seriously, what is she doing?
    Wailing for the sake of wailing, I always assumed. If that makes your brain hurt, though, how about this?

  14. #14
    Member esuko's Avatar
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    Lovely, reminds me first time when I heard Yoko Kanno's Cats on Mars at a friends party. After that it was dowhill/uphill depending on the viewer To the question, blend for me too.
    Last edited by esuko; 07-08-2013 at 09:07 PM.

  15. #15
    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GaijinMonogatari View Post
    Wailing for the sake of wailing, I always assumed. If that makes your brain hurt, though, how about this?
    Actually, I really like KERA MA GO (and the whole Moon soundtrack, for that matter). It's an eclectic mix of fun, creative music.

    I will say I prefer the shorter, piano version of KERA MA GO, but both are great.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jitawa View Post
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1k1OsApDSIw So, what would you call this?
    I prefer the intro to that game then this bit.

    Personally, I prefer music that attempts to be part of the game whenever possible, which I guess implies a mix. Thinking about it a little bit more, in order for the music to adapt to the action you would need something synth generated (even if not in a synth style) in order for that to work; except of course for non-interactive sequences.

  17. #17
    Veteran RPGamer watcher's Avatar
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    I think it's time for a new poll, this thread is dead.

  18. #18
    Cosmo Nova RPGamer Staff JuMeSyn's Avatar
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    Results? Here they are.
    Full orchestra 1005 55.99%
    A blend of synth and live instruments 510 28.41%
    Higher-quality synth 147 8.19%
    Chiptune 103 5.74%
    A live band 30 1.67%
    Total Votes 1795
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  19. #19
    Member Confessor Rahl's Avatar
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    Full orchestra or a blend all the way.


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  20. #20
    Member Jormungand's Avatar
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    I find it interesting people want a full orchestra when so few games actually have live orchestral music. And when they do, it's usually just a few tracks here and there. Or it's just an ensemble and not a full orchestra, recorded in a studio rather than a concert hall.

    I still dream of the day I will hear the (full) score of Final Fantasy XII performed live. Sakimoto is one of those composers whose synth creations have become stale--not in terms of composition but rather because of the same instrument samples being used over and over. The FF12 soundtrack would have been appreciated a lot more for its nuance if it were performed by a live orchestra. Of course, that also would have been impossible: the soundtrack approaches 100 individual pieces, and no one, certainly not Square Enix, has the financial muscle to make that happen.

    So, yes, full orchestral recordings would be appreciated, but are extremely expensive. Then again, one thing all developers could do with less of is the amount of money devoted to graphics development. Shave a bit off the visuals and put it toward the music.

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