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Old May 5, 2016, 05:25 PM
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DragoonEnRegalia DragoonEnRegalia is offline
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Originally Posted by Despatche View Post
This right here is the entire problem with the Falcom community. They live off incredibly dull arranges and cannot process proper FM synth. It is absolutely horrifying behavior that shows a complete lack of taste and respect to anyone who creates or consumes music.
I don't see anyone deeply involved in the non-East Asian Falcom community dismiss Falcom's old FM-synth music, not in recent memory. Usually someone new to Falcom games (exposed via something like Trails in the Sky FC/SC or Ys: Memories of Celceta) is going to start with newer Falcom music, but state an interest in the older stuff whether they get to it or not. Who knows how Falcom's own Japanese fans, old and new, react to FM-synth music vs. sequenced PCM stuff and live-instrument recordings. I'm still a fan of their recent works (jdk Band Theta aside) despite my own preference for FM synth, something which at least Kamikura shares. (Collected Music of Ys and Falcom Music Chronicle are worth listening to for both acoustic and rock arrangements). And most fans dislike the Kiseki Evolution arrangements either overall or per soundtrack release—I'm not seeing blind jdk Band worship as much these days.

Originally Posted by Despatche View Post
FM, FC, SFC, PCE, they're all far superior. Ys VI and Origin, both far superior. Felghana is irredemable trash. There is zero soul within the Felghana soundtrack, even as the game threatens to be one of the greatest RPGs ever made.
Let's agree to disagree. I'm annoyed that Oath in Felghana's OST became the new standard enthusiast press/hobbyist webmasters and contributors writing about Ys music decided to champion, too. But it's still really good work by Jindo in his second year working with Falcom, dumbness like Illburns Ruins aside. I love how some of the songs were expanded, meaningfully (either by varying the melody and/or adding/subtracting instruments/motifs), and the subpar mixing would have to be far, far worse before I'd have trouble making out parts of tracks individually. Chop!!'s a good example of what Felghana does well. Right now I'd rank Felghana up with Ys III PCE, with X68k a notch below.

Originally Posted by Despatche View Post
I is horrible, II is incredible. When they did Complete, they redid I to sound more like II. Ys I+II Complete is almost the best way to hear those games; Ys I+II PCE is very interesting and some tracks turn out better.

Ys III X68000 also threatens to be the best way to hear that game, alongside Ys III PCE.
Ys Eternal's CD-DA arrangements can be a bit lacking, but the GS and SC-88 MIDI tracks strike a balance between referencing the past (sometimes even quoting Yonemitsu arrangements) and reinterpreting in a new way. II, meanwhile, has a great SC-88Pro soundtrack which never got the full album release it deserved, perhaps because Falcom wanted to keep something exclusive for anyone who had saved up money to buy the sound module. Ys MIDI Collection is the weakest of that album series, but still good.

Originally Posted by 《J》 View Post
I don't really enjoy most of the new songs, but I blame it on Falcom out-sourcing the arrangement of Sound Team jdk's music to Jindo & co. because the compositions themselves are great. Can't say I'm a fan of this direction in Falcom music, and Falcom really needs to grow out of this parasitic dependence on violin that has been noodling Sound Team jdk stuff for about a decade.

Thankfully arrangers were barely involved with Sen no Kiseki II/Tokyo Xanadu and didn't prevent them from sounding really good.
This seems more like a problem with Celceta's troubled development, leading to a scenario where jdk Band could step in and get the job done when Sound Team jdk either couldn't and/or was too busy elsewhere. Jindo, Okajima, and Kamikura arranging in-house tunes for the game itself doesn't immediately lead to inferiority (check The Azure Arbitrator in OG Ao no Kiseki). Sadly they did their best work together on the Zanmai albums, only a few of which were planned before Kamikura (and maybe Okajima?) left.

Myopic focus on violin/guitar leads is definitely hurting both parts of jdk, even though past albums (Ys III SAV) and tracks featuring both sax and high brass demonstrate the potential to diversify. Same goes for how Falcom handles their vocalists these days, trying to prop one up as their diva (Kotera) until she leaves for reasons they're scared to hint at publicly, leaving them to try again (Sasaka). This makes no sense to me. Why not just network more aggressively in a variety of music industry circles to find aspiring vocal talent, interview them about doing occasional/recurring vocal arrangements, and make sure to do the same with pianists/brass, wind, and string players? Once upon a time Falcom had a war-chest thanks to Dragon Slayer II: Xanadu and other J-PC releases, giving them chances to experiment and take risks by contracting outsiders to do arranged CDs, and now they've surely got coffers bursting from the seams thanks to Kiseki money and exploding stock values. It's high time for Kondo, Ishikawa, and whoever else manages jdk to revive the old Falcom music era with more Zanmai, better vocal albums, and the return of proper Super Arrange CDs. At the very least they can count on international appeal from outside East Asia, and I don't mean just the three of us posting.

Originally Posted by 《J》 View Post
Live arranges are overrated.
Falcom vs. jdk Band 2010 could have been better. Now, jdk Band 2008? That's some of the best product they've done, especially that arrangement of Kraken from Sorcerian.

Re: Soundtrack Central/RPGFan/VGMO being enemies to game music (discussion), I feel that, whether they're awful or not, most of the people I've seen discussing game music in detail elsewhere don't show signs of concentrated ignorance, dismissal, and circlejerking. Actually there's not enough discussion of older music, especially of the Roland/Yamaha/&c. sound module variety, to begin with. These sites haven't made too big an impact on discussions after so many years, instead appealing more to industry musicians and enthusiasts who are often skeptical enough to avoid taking authors' canon(s) for granted, being curious and skeptical enough to listen to game music themselves. I agree with most of the observations above, of course. Buyer's-guide reviews of game music albums have led to multiple, less than historical canons forming and potentially misdirecting listeners from escaping their comfort zones. They're almost worthless in an age where it's getting easier to listen to game music whether you own it or not, and I don't feel reviewers are doing a good job either of disclaiming their biases (with arguments for them) or succinctly describing the music without aping Pitchfork. VGMO's interviews and liner note translations (an area where Shmuplations could rival them) are the site's saving grace, I've concluded after trying my hand at writing reviews (back in the SEMO era) before concluding I'd do better writing opinionated, history-focused feature articles or concert digests.
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