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Author Topic: RPG soundtrack questions/recommendations  (Read 5027 times)
Anime & RPGl and
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« on: March 24, 2010, 12:25:12 PM »

Hi, I've been recently wanting to collect some RPG soundtracks and am a bit confused here. I have the Final Fantasy X OST, Final Fantasy VIII OST and Suikoden III OST. I enjoy them, but obviously some portions sound poor or low quality. I don't know much of why some sound really low quality. I hear people say well they are MIDI files or  they were ripped from the game or encoded from the game. I want soundtracks that are high quality sounding...like orchestras. Can someone recommend some soundtracks.

Thanks.
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2010, 01:56:09 PM »

I'm not sure orchestra is a category of quality, but I think you would like this cd:
Drammatica -The Very Best of Yoko Shimomura

A bit pricey, but its damn worth it. Some tracks that are arranged on there are the main theme from Legend of Mana, Organization XII's theme/battles, and a track or two from other games like Live A Live and Front Mission.

If you like orchestral music, try Infinite Undiscovery and Eternal Sonata. I suggest you actually just check out the Soundtrack reviews on the RPG Fan site, I'm sure you'll pass by something you like. Ah, and if you can, find the Grandia Soundtrack 1 that has a first CD of Orchestral music and a 2nd cd of Synthesizer(?) tracks. But good luck with that one.
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« Reply #2 on: March 24, 2010, 02:19:13 PM »

Thanks for the recommendation on that cd. I'll check it out. I like the music in games: Final Fantasy IX, Tactics, Tactics A2 and FFXIII. How are these soundtracks? The soundtrack reviews on this site are very helpful also.
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Wild Armor
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« Reply #3 on: March 24, 2010, 02:49:16 PM »

I felt the music in the original Final Fantasy Tactics were great, a lot of tension-filled tracks. I can't say much for the other games, but I did enjoy "Vamo' alla flamenco" from IX. I can't think of any other soundtracks off the top of my head you may like, but I'll be sure to pass by when I do. But do check out Infinite Undiscovery's ost, I felt that was one of Sakuraba's better projects. Here's one that I really liked (The beginning more than the rest): Heavenly Sword.

WAIT, Check out Star Ocean III's soundtrack seeing I brought up Mr. Motoi. My favorite track, and my ring-tone on my old phone, is Influence of Truth Appearance.
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« Reply #4 on: March 24, 2010, 03:06:16 PM »

Awesome thread! Why wasn't this here sooner?

I'm listening to the Digital Devil Saga OST right now. Highly recommended to anyone. Especially the ST to the second game.

Both Breath Of Fire IV and Dragon Quarter have some awesome OSTs. Dragon Quarter was composed by Sakimoto, who also did some of FFT and Vagrant Story. Which both happen to be great STs as well.

Here's a nice review for the Dragon Quarter OST http://chudahs-corner.com/reviews/index.php?catalog=CPCA-1067~68

I'll plug some favorites from the Vagrant Story OST

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-OZhAQipnkE&feature=related

ADMIN EDIT:  Since when did we start linking to mp3 sharing websites here?  Jesus, it's like it's 2005 again.
« Last Edit: March 24, 2010, 09:02:44 PM by D-Rider » Logged

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« Reply #5 on: March 24, 2010, 05:52:09 PM »

Hi, I've been recently wanting to collect some RPG soundtracks and am a bit confused here. I have the Final Fantasy X OST, Final Fantasy VIII OST and Suikoden III OST. I enjoy them, but obviously some portions sound poor or low quality. I don't know much of why some sound really low quality. I hear people say well they are MIDI files or  they were ripped from the game or encoded from the game. I want soundtracks that are high quality sounding...like orchestras. Can someone recommend some soundtracks.

Thanks.

I don't quite understand your statement about those soundtracks being "low quality." I mean, most game music operates within a particular sound set. If you liked the way it sounded in the game, it will sound fine on the soundtrack 99% of the time. The three soundtracks you mentioned all have music that should be 100% alike to the in-game experience (with exception to FMVs that also include voice or sound effects).

Wild Armor's recommendation of drammatica is also my number one recommendation to you. I love that album like crazy.

The FFXIII soundtrack is beautiful, and if you think you like the composer (Masashi Hamauzu) for his style, I would recommend trying to procure pretty much anything else from him. A recent release that had no North American localization was Sigma Harmonics for the DS. You may enjoy that.

Recent Nobuo Uematsu projects, including Anata o Yurusanai and Lost Odyssey, are pretty good.

Also, if you're looking for orchestral arrangements, be sure to check out the CDs published by orchestral groups that focus on VGM. For example, the Eminence Symphony Orchestra has "Echoes of War: The Music of Blizzard Entertainment" (which we've reviewed since it has WoW and Diablo on there). Eminence also has a variety of other CDs, and some of this music is available on iTunes. Then there is "PLAY!" which has released one CD. Outside the realm of RPGs, the German "WDR Radio Orchestra" recorded a great tribute album for Chris Huelsbeck called Symphonic Shades. The WDR are also the people who recorded drammatica. I think they do a bang-up job!

If you want to delve more into rock and contemporary genres over orchestra, I would suggest studying the vast Falcom discography (though they also have orchestral CDs of course).

Patrick "Ramza" Gann
RPGFan Soundtracks chief / guru / obsessive audiophile
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« Reply #6 on: March 24, 2010, 07:14:27 PM »

If you're looking for orchestrated versions of Final Fantasy VIII songs then you should check out the Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec album, it's great. http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-8l-49-en-15-fithos+lusec-70-7d0.html

Otherwise, some good suggestions have been made already.
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Parn
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« Reply #7 on: March 24, 2010, 11:29:48 PM »

I don't quite understand your statement about those soundtracks being "low quality." I mean, most game music operates within a particular sound set. If you liked the way it sounded in the game, it will sound fine on the soundtrack 99% of the time. The three soundtracks you mentioned all have music that should be 100% alike to the in-game experience (with exception to FMVs that also include voice or sound effects).

It's possible he may have some pirated knock-offs as opposed to the real thing.  That's the only thing I can think of.
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Anime & RPGl and
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« Reply #8 on: March 25, 2010, 09:06:03 AM »

I don't quite understand your statement about those soundtracks being "low quality." I mean, most game music operates within a particular sound set. If you liked the way it sounded in the game, it will sound fine on the soundtrack 99% of the time. The three soundtracks you mentioned all have music that should be 100% alike to the in-game experience (with exception to FMVs that also include voice or sound effects).

It's possible he may have some pirated knock-offs as opposed to the real thing.  That's the only thing I can think of.

Hello all,
The soundtracks I have are not bootlegs...100% positive on that. I only will buy legitimate. I guess what I mean is sometimes I get the impression while listening to these tunes, which I do enjoy, that they sound a bit "dumbied down", for lack of a better phrase, maybe due to the hardware the were recorded for. Does that make sense? For instance, FFX OST sounds of a higher quality than FFVIII. I'm guessing due to the fact FFX was for higher technology based platform, that being the PS2 over the PS1. Do the composers recorded a version with "actual instruments" and then compress it so it fits on the disc along with the game and the result is a version of the music that is lacking in instrumental depth?
This is a musical genre that I'm finding that I truly like and I will check out. Thanks to all. Please more recommendations are welcome. FF games are my favorite so I'm a bit more attached to that music.
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« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2010, 10:17:37 AM »

I'm not sure why this didn't hit me earlier. Shadow of the Colossus OST. The game had an amazing soundtrack, and with live instruments. The game was literally a string of boss battles with some Horse Riding + exploring in between. Hurrah Boss Music.
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« Reply #10 on: March 25, 2010, 06:59:29 PM »

Do the composers recorded a version with "actual instruments" and then compress it so it fits on the disc along with the game and the result is a version of the music that is lacking in instrumental depth?
The Final Fantasy VIII OST is an example of a soundtrack where the music sounds exactly like it does when you play the game.  Basically, the music you are hearing is not performed with real instruments.  The sound data is fed into the PlayStation's sound chip, and the PlayStation gives out synthesized sound.

But there are soundtracks you can buy for some games that have arrangements using real instruments for the same songs.  Final Fantasy VIII is one of those games that has one.
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« Reply #11 on: March 25, 2010, 07:27:42 PM »

Do the composers recorded a version with "actual instruments" and then compress it so it fits on the disc along with the game and the result is a version of the music that is lacking in instrumental depth?
The Final Fantasy VIII OST is an example of a soundtrack where the music sounds exactly like it does when you play the game.  Basically, the music you are hearing is not performed with real instruments.  The sound data is fed into the PlayStation's sound chip, and the PlayStation gives out synthesized sound.

But there are soundtracks you can buy for some games that have arrangements using real instruments for the same songs.  Final Fantasy VIII is one of those games that has one.

For the history of games even up to this day, MOST of it is done with keyboards and tracking software. There's still plenty of "sequenced music" in the world, particularly on the DS, PSP, and Wii.

The common thing for game music, ESPECIALLY RPGs, is to have maybe 10% recorded with a live orchestra, then maybe about 20% synth with maybe one or two live instruments atop the synth (see, for example, Romancing SaGa Minstrel Song with the violins and guitars); and then the rest of the tracks are full-out synth. Some trick you into thinking they're real when they're not, depending on the capability of the synth voices and whether or not it needed to be downgraded for the sake of compression on disc.

Ramza
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Fadedsun
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2010, 09:48:15 AM »

What's everyone's favorite map themes?

I'm very fond of the map theme from Valkyrie Profile:Silmeria.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=383J2_wVuSs

This comment on the video sums up my feelings: "This music represents what has been lost in many games and movies. Intensity through tranquility. I think this piece is mind blowing, and deserves an award. Visceral ambiance portraying a godlike birds eye view over a mystical world."

I don't think it deserves an award, but it is a very beautiful track and a side of Motoi Sakuraba that I never heard before this game.

This is from Revelations:Persona http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjefW3OV2ao&feature=PlayList&p=CE19588F1DA9BEC1&index=0&playnext=1

Absolutely one of my favorite map themes. It's sad they took this out of the PSP verison.

Hmm, this may have topped the Silmeria map theme. Another Sakuraba track, but from Baten Kaitos. I never played the game and I didn't know that Sakuraba did the music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e6YOJP4tEWs&feature=PlayList&p=CE19588F1DA9BEC1&index=26
« Last Edit: March 26, 2010, 11:06:37 AM by Fadedsun » Logged

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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2010, 01:17:11 PM »

If you're looking for orchestrated versions of Final Fantasy VIII songs then you should check out the Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec album, it's great. http://www.play-asia.com/paOS-13-71-8l-49-en-15-fithos+lusec-70-7d0.html

Otherwise, some good suggestions have been made already.

I just wanted to second this one. Bar none my favorite soundtrack album. Some really well-imagined orchestra arrangements from FFVIII. The arrangement of the title track "Fithos Lusec" is especially interesting. In fact, it REALLY sounds like a track orchestrated by Hamouzu, because it includes some similar atonal piano trappings that you find in a lot of his music. Other highlights are Man with the Machine Gun, the battle theme, and The Oath.
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2010, 07:30:20 PM »

What's everyone's favorite map themes?

My favorite of all time is still Main Theme 1 from Albert Odyssey Gaiden.  On three separate occasions I've heard people say it "sounds like Chrono Cross" which is funny to me considering Chrono Cross came out three years after Albert Odyssey Gaiden did.  I love Naoki Kodaka's work.
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