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MIDI Power Pro 6 - Akumajou Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight
Catalog Number: KICA-7928
Released On: November 27, 1998
Composed By: Michiru Yamane
Arranged By: Eisaku "Bootsy" Nambu, Haruhiko "boot" Kuroiwa, Hiroshi "Ebi-chan" Ebihara
Published By: King Records
Recorded At: Unknown
Format: 1 CD
Tracklist:

01 - Ring of Pales
02 - Golden Dance
03 - Crystal Drops
04 - Moonlight Nocturne
05 - Blood Relations
06 - Marble Corridor
07 - Festival of Servants
08 - Dracula's Castle
09 - The Tragic Prince
10 - Wandering Ghosts
Total Time:
58'31"

Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight had one of the most artistically superb soundtracks of any video game to date. Perhaps because of its excellence there really hasn't been much in the way of arranged versions of any of the game's tracks, so when I stumbled upon Midi Power Pro 6 in my favorite used CD store, I thought myself quite lucky. I've always wondered what NitM's soundtrack would sound like if it were arranged, and, slightly to my dismay, I found out.

Midi Power Pro 6 contains just that: MIDI arranged versions of various NitM tracks, including some of my favorites such as "Ring of Pales," "The Tragic Prince," and "Wandering Ghosts." Most are on the range of 6+ minutes long and build on the original melodies in a logical and beautiful way. In addition, the instruments employed range from harpsichord and accordion to acoustic guitar and maraca.

The only problem with this album is that the MIDI quality really shows itself. Anyone who has listened to the NitM soundtrack knows that the sound quality, the fidelity of the synths to real instruments, was quite high. These MIDI arrangements, unfortunately, rarely sound faithful to their respective instruments, especially the electric guitar, surprisingly enough. Though piano and accordion are pretty well done, most of the other instruments sound rather fake. Now, one could very well argue that this was the purpose behind it being a MIDI album, but I just was left with the feeling that had these wonderful arrangements been done on real instruments, or even just higher-quality synths instead of MIDI, that this album would have topped the OST in every respect (aside from quantity of tracks).

Still, if you can get over the MIDI, this is a great album to pick up if only for the wonderful arrangements. I found this album for $10 used, but expect to pay a good bit more for it new.

Reviewed by: Damian Thomas

Dracula X: Nocturne in the Moonlight is one of my favorite game soundtracks of all time, so I met MIDI Power Pro 6 with much enthusiasm. The album is what seems to be most of the game's tracks arranged using different MIDI instrumentation. However, the end result turned out to be a lackluster soundtrack. MIDI Power Pro 6 basically takes the original pieces and poorly arranges them to create ten inferior versions of songs that were originally outstanding in instrumentation.

What initially bothered me was the fact that individual tracks contain more than one piece; some can contain three completely different songs. There are ten tracks on the CD, but the entire Symphony of the Night soundtrack seems to be here. I didn't bother comparing and counting every track out, please forgive me.

The major problem with the album itself is the MIDI instrumentation. The song compositions are perfect. The pieces were originally amazing, so the actual songs need no critiquing; they're wonderful, diverse, and catchy. However, the poor instrumentation on this album does these pieces no justice. Songs such as "Marble Corridor," which in its original form was an amazing piece with a pounding bass line and crisp synthesizer blaring out a continuous catchy riff has been degraded into a heap of MIDI nonsense. Bass lines are nowhere nearly as defined, sounds not nearly as crisp, and overall the MIDI is just worse than the original.

Commenting on tracks singularly is useless, all ten tracks suffer the same syndrome. For the most part every track is initially recognizable to fans of the original soundtrack. There are a few exceptions here and there, but it soon becomes apparent. Usually that's due to a new intro as composed by the arranger, but in this case it's just poor MIDI instrumentation and programming. Do yourself a favor and buy the original Nocturne in the Moonlight soundtrack, it's a classic. This soundtrack does it no justice.

Reviewed by: Robert Bogdanowicz



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