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Laserschwert

Orchestral score?

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With both "Broken Age" and "Grim Fandango Remastered" utilizing the talents of the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, do you think that DOTT might get an orchestral recording of its soundtrack as well?

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This would be both awesome and problematic. Awesome because it would sound great. Problematic because it would very hard to get it to work with iMuse. (Not impossible, but very tricky. You'd have to do lots of transitions and be very careful with editing the masters to do it seamlessly.)

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An orchestra is no silver bullet for improving the audio experience of video games. Some of the most boring video games music has an orchestral score. Sometimes it's a benefit, sometime it's not and can rip away the authenticity, the character and just this sound which made the music special once. I prefer a proper electronic soundtrack for this one.

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Although the DOTT soundtrack was most likely composed with the classic Warner-cartoons as a template (with some Danny Elfman added), which would surely justify at least a small ensemble. Especially the main theme sounds awesome played by an orchestra:

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Doesn't sound good to me.

I have no idea what they had in mind when they wrote the music but listening to the music and looking at the game i definitely prefer no orchestration and would go an electronic focused route (synths, guitar with efx, ...) as it seems to fit nicely to the game and offers cool possibilities.

F.e. when they're doing orchestrations of old SID tunes, mostly they don't work because by exchanging this very special sound they also remove a large part of what makes those sounds tick. You have to be aware of this and add something special on your own then, so that the music works in another way again. Music written for an orchestra/sound chip is different. So far we had a rather boring orchestral soundtrack in The DFA, the orchestral version of GF might be good, dunno how good it will be compared to the original (which is crazy good) and it would be nice to have something different this time.

Wow, i didn't realise that A Nightmare before Christmas came out the same year. DOTT feels older to me in comparison.

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Yes, the style of DOTT would work great with an orchestra playing. And MI2:SE proved that with a bit of work it's possible to reproduce a lot of what iMuse did. They even managed to do a pretty good woodtick with that, with correctly-timed transitions and everything. In comparison, the use of iMUSE in DOTT was fairly simple, and should be easy enough.

I'd sacrifice a tiny bit of score interactivity for a 'proper' orchestral soundtrack in this game, anyway. But it's a hefty score, and a bigger task than rerecording -some- of the GF soundtrack.

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Well, that's what i have in mind when watching the game, characteristic electronic sounds, which could be really exciting.

I probably repeat myself but i don't think that it's the best trying to sound as normal/real/orchestral as possible. It's understandable that they were trying to go into this direction those days. As he mentioned the AdLib, it had a charming warm sound (still the best Woodtick version), much more interesting than most of these wannabee orchestral sounds from the past with cheap quality samples and bad mixing.

I understand the desire to work with an orchestra for video games but the results often are mediocre. Maybe (might be only on a first glance) more professional produced music but nonetheless it often produces less exciting music. I don't see the benefit when the music afterwards isn't able to touch me anymore. The DFA got some orchestral music. Was it great? Nope. Will people talk about it for years to come? Nope. They might have better spent the money on better compositions instead of an orchestra. It was more fun listening to CQ2's tunes.

You want to listen to specific music also where it's meant to be heard, especially with an orchestra. "With a real orchestration" is good for marketing but it doesn't tell you anything about how good the music is.

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I think the majority of the DOTT music lends itself to an orchestral interpretation. That live version of the opening titles isn't the greatest (partly because of the nature of the recording, I'd guess), and not the intrepretation I'd want for the special edition, but I'm sure if Peter McConnell and/or Clint Bajakian redid it orchestrally they'd do a fantastic job.

I love the original music, but if the special edition is redoing it with live performers, I'll be very excited to hear it.

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I think real musical instruments are always going to sound better. I'd love to hear it done properly, so it wasn't just converted to a normal orchestra, but rather pieced together using weird and rare instruments so it kept its zany quality.

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I sincerely hope they do use MSO again if possible or at least some live instruments if not a whole orchestra. Would be awesome!

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This would be both awesome and problematic. Awesome because it would sound great. Problematic because it would very hard to get it to work with iMuse. (Not impossible, but very tricky. You'd have to do lots of transitions and be very careful with editing the masters to do it seamlessly.)
Yes, the style of DOTT would work great with an orchestra playing. And MI2:SE proved that with a bit of work it's possible to reproduce a lot of what iMuse did. They even managed to do a pretty good woodtick with that, with correctly-timed transitions and everything. In comparison, the use of iMUSE in DOTT was fairly simple, and should be easy enough.

I'd sacrifice a tiny bit of score interactivity for a 'proper' orchestral soundtrack in this game, anyway. But it's a hefty score, and a bigger task than rerecording -some- of the GF soundtrack.

It's definitely true that live music recordings have successfully used iMUSE in the past. The later LucasArts games that had an orchestral soundtrack (or at least partially had one) actually did have iMUSE as well. They first worked out how to use instrumental cues instead of MIDI for The Curse of Monkey Island (at least for adventure games, I'm not sure if a non-SCUMM game that used iMUSE had a non-MIDI soundtrack prior to CMI). Grim Fandango and Escape from Monkey Island also had iMUSE as GrimE incorporated iMUSE for it's music cues as well.

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A giant HELL NO to electronic sounds. Old Warner Bros cartoons were fully orchestrated. That's what the team was going for with the tech at the time.

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Hmm, i think f.e. an analog synth, a guitar (maybe with a slicer), a drum machine, utalizing a sound chip's capabilities ... are "real" instruments and they can create pretty damn good music/sound. I doubt that we have the same things in mind here.

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I hope that's the area they're really sinking money into. This is THE thing that may come out of the whole "feather duster the old stuff and sell as new" strategy. And it may not even be prohibitively expensive. I'm not too sure, but the parts demanding a full orchestra seem actually not that all encompassing, and very small ensembles ("Red Edison") are rather the rule than the exception.

I'm fairly certain that an 'original mode' that switches the orchestral/real instrument rendition with the midi originals is not too much to ask for as an option as well.

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We don't have any firm plans yet. But, just like on Grim Fandango Remastered my plan is to sit down with Peter McConnell and ask him what he would have done during the original development if he had all of the modern technology.

iMuse can be tricky since there are some dynamic transition flags, but we had to deal with that stuff on Grim too.

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Hmm, i think f.e. an analog synth, a guitar (maybe with a slicer), a drum machine, utalizing a sound chip's capabilities ... are "real" instruments and they can create pretty damn good music/sound. I doubt that we have the same things in mind here.

Dott's soundtrack was a mix of jazz and light orchestra with the addition of electric organs and guitars. I don't recall any synth instruments in the game.

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It's fairly clear to me that the soundtrack was intended, for the most part, to evoke the classic cartoon through-composed small ensemble style of music.

Compare the music to this Tom And Jerry cartoon (after the introductory parts)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tK5W3TFr1Ew

to the music accompanying the introductory sequence of DOTT, up to where the title sequence starts.

Clearly the Tom and Jerry cartoon is more action packed and frenetic, but has a very similar way of punctuating what's going on with small musical phrases, but returning to overarching themes.

I'll eat my hat if Peter McConnell doesn't vastly prefer an orchestral approach to the in-game music. The question will be what is possible to do within the budget. On a tight budget, I'd be happy with a high-quality realisation of the in-game music, using modern sample technology, and selected live instruments for solo parts.

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Watching those two videos, it's clear that live musicians would sound a millions times better, while still keeping the original intention in tact. An orchestra (with a few odd instruments at hand) would be brilliant. That said, I recall PM saying that three people worked on the music for DOTT. I personally always loved the mellow music of Hoagie's world -- the music that plays when he visits the twins doing the sculpting can sound wonderful, depending on what music system you chose.

Live music certainly would elevate the game the most for me.

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That said, I recall PM saying that three people worked on the music for DOTT.

Check out Laserschwert's mixnmojo link, PM talks a bit about how the music was divided on DOTT:

How were the duties split between yourself, Michael Land, and Clint Bajakian on the game?

We each took a time period, more or less, with a couple of exceptions. As I recall Clint was Past, I was Present and Michael was Future. I seem to remember one of the exceptions being that I may have written a little fugue on the Dr. Fred theme for the past. Clint and I split the opening, too. I did the bouncy trumpety theme, and Clint did the dark and wacky alternate parts.

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From GamesBeat's interview with Peter:

GamesBeat: Talking about Day of the Tentacle, we know that game is getting a remastering. Is that another soundtrack you think you’re going to get back into?

McConnell: We’re in such an early stage on that, I don’t really know what’s going to happen. I imagine it being more of a rendering of what’s already happened with better sounds. Day of the Tentacle is just not quite as inherently orchestral as Grim is. It’s from an earlier time. But I have no idea. I’d love to do whatever we can with it. Maybe it depends on how well Grim sells. [Laughs]

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I'm actually a little surprised by Peter's response there. Because it seems clear to me that while not necessarily -orchestral- throughout, the instrument set used is predominantly traditional classical instruments with some synth and guitar on a few tracks. But it's possible that at this stage he wants to limit expectations on what can be done because remastering the soundtrack of DOTT is going to be a bigger job than Grim no matter how you do it, and that requires a budget.

I would hope for something along the lines of MI2:SE where it's a good mix of live instruments, and good samples, with maybe an orchestra for the bigger moments like the credits.

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So was the last 20% of LucasArts' DOTT SE the soundtrack or something? They used live instruments for the Monkey Island games.

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So was the last 20% of LucasArts' DOTT SE the soundtrack or something? They used live instruments for the Monkey Island games.
Well, they used a mixture of live instruments, and high quality samples.

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If you not record an orchestral soundtrack, please let the MIDI-Music as it is! I mean with original SoundBlaster emulation. I hope you don't replay the old MIDI files with modern virtual instruments. Virtual instruments sounds very cheap and mechanical. I like the old MIDI sound and I like hand made sound. But I hate virtual instrument sounds.

Look here. I do not know who did that, but all music files on that site are awful, very awful. The virtual instruments sounds very cheap, mechanical, loveless and not coordinated in volume and dynamics. Such simple MIDI replays with virtual instruments contains no feelings. I hope Double Fine does not make such a crap:

http://soundtracks.mixnmojo.com/

This is a rape of the beautiful LucasArts music.

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? I don't know what you mean. The soundtracks on that site are mostly the Roland MT-32 versions, which are just as original as the SoundBlaster versions. And they sound GREAT!

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? I don't know what you mean. The soundtracks on that site are mostly the Roland MT-32 versions, which are just as original as the SoundBlaster versions. And they sound GREAT!

Those DOTT soundtracks are not the MT32 versions, but they do sound good to me, mostly. Arguably, though, the MT-32 versions of the soundtrack would be the most original and authentic, since it's likely they were originally composed using those sounds.

A sampling of how that sounds is:

I think this would be a great base for the 'old mode' soundtrack, but honestly I'd be very disappointed if that was all they did to the soundtrack.

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O, you're right! Absurd! Yeah, when I listened to a few of the Day of The Tentacle themes and the Swamp theme from Monkey Island 2, the differences are obvious.

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I think the Roland MT-32 samples are actually pretty expensive, so I'm not sure they'd be allowed to include the soundtrack as it was intended, but rather the lesser Soundblaster version. Not sure.

If you not record an orchestral soundtrack, please let the MIDI-Music as it is! I mean with original SoundBlaster emulation. I hope you don't replay the old MIDI files with modern virtual instruments. Virtual instruments sounds very cheap and mechanical. I like the old MIDI sound and I like hand made sound. But I hate virtual instrument sounds.

As KestralPi has pointed out, the "Soundblaster Emulation" was NOT the original soundtrack, but rather just what people who couldn't afford the original soundtrack (Roland MT-32) listened to. That was the cheaper emulated version, rather than the original intended one. (Yes, it took me a while to wrap my head around this, too.)

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