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  #1  
Old Jul 23, 2012, 06:24 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Default VGM CD's with Outstanding Audio Quality

To counterbalance the other thread about loudness war casualties, list albums you feel have outstanding audio quality. This can be dynamics, mixing, samples used, etc. Just soundtracks that feel good to listen to over and over again. Usually that is my ultimate telling if an album is produced well: Whether or not I want to listen to it often.

My examples:

Grandia I Original Soundtracks: Subconsciously, I knew I liked these albums. Even despite a large portion being throwaway "mood" tracks and having limited enthusiasm for the orchestral disc. There was always "something" about those town tracks on disc 2 of the first OST that I could just put on and chill out to (unusual for me, as I tend to prefer more action-oriented fare). And the battle themes are some of the best in the business. It's some of the best sounding music in my collection, possibly THE best. Rich, full, samples that can be considered gamey but still a joy to listen to. The only drawback is picking through those darn atmosphere tracks on the second album. That, and I don't think Iwadare's follow-ups come close to matching the audio quality of the first Grandia.

Guilty Gear XX#Reload: Korean Version (Japanese release): Not just VGM, this is some of the best produced metal I have in my collection. All the detail is there, with breathing room to spare. The metal industry should be using this album as the standard for producing heavy metal albums. It literally gives me chills whenever I listen to it. Musically, I prefer Ishiwatari's melodies by a longshot, but the quality of the music on this far outstrips any of his releases.

Puzzle Bobble Variety: Random mention, but I want to mention for the drum samples. The first six seconds of Qi-Qi are a treat.

Most Yasunori Mitsuda stuff: Until recently, I had Mitsuda pegged as the most overrated VGM composer. But I dig his sense of melody and the production on his albums helps to add a lot of warmth. You really can hear it on good equipment. On my old, cheap speakers, Time's Scar would actually cause crackling and I thought there were issues with the music. Then I listened on good speakers and it was like, "Woah!"

Ys Perfect Collection (I-IV): Most early Falcom CD's do fine (although the JDK Band sounds rather thin), but Ryo Yonemitsu's arranges shine in regards to sound quality, as do the companion discs. Very crisp, very detailed, but detail is revealed when the volume is turned up (to me, a mark of an excellent recording). I'm still discovering passages and parts I haven't heard before on these albums.

Most Final Fantasy soundtracks up through X: Yeah, everyone complains about the synth on FFVII. But the layering on the music helps Uematsu's melodies shine, so if the samples don't bother you too much, you're good to go. The bass on FFVI's Battle Theme actually sounds better than most recorded bass parts on live music. All in, no issues whatsoever (can't really comment past X, as I stopped following the series).

Most SNES soundtracks in general: Lufia 1 and 2, Axelay, Seiken 2 and 3, Mario RPG, the FF soundtracks as stated above...Just beautifully layered with the right touch of warmth. The only SNES releases I can think of that aren't a joy to listen to are the Rockman X soundtracks and the SPC sets are just fine in that regard.

Tokimeki Memorial Sound Collection 2: The samples on the first Sound Collection sounded cheap, but they nailed it on the follow-up. I experience a great sense of warmth from this disc, even the tracks that just kind of hang around and repeat the melody. The 3rd and 4th Collections are good as well, but 2 has my favorite selection in the 4 part series, so my bias exists.

Megaman Legends: I like what they did with this album. There is an unusual mid-bass to it that gives it some serious punch, while leaving the mids almost totally unharmed. Even on low end equipment, this one sounds amazing.

King of Fighters 95 Original Soundtrack: Because the unofficial Dynamic Range Database doesn't lie! http://www.dr.loudness-war.info/details.php?id=6734

Last edited by GoldfishX; Jul 23, 2012 at 10:35 AM. Reason: Added pretty bolding to original post for emphasis.
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  #2  
Old Jul 23, 2012, 08:10 AM
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Hey. I didn't even know you had an account on here when I posted that thread.

Ummm. I would say Shinji Hosoe's mastering is good on IBARA. Yasuhisa Watanabe's Senko no Ronde series music sounds very good too. Are you open to people sending you files to assess their quality? (There is one track that causes my physical discomfort on IBARA I'd like to send http://vgmdb.net/forums/showpost.php...54&postcount=7)

One specific cd that has not suffered at all to the loudness wars and is quite soft is Ninja Ryukenden -G.S.M. TECMO 1-.
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Last edited by Vert1; Jul 23, 2012 at 08:16 AM.
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  #3  
Old Jul 23, 2012, 08:16 AM
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Pretty much every Yasuhisa Watanabe album is godly produced imho, when it comes to pure sound quality. Contents is often superb as well ^^

edit: I see you beat me to it Vert XD

Last edited by Alcahest; Jul 23, 2012 at 08:19 AM.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 08:21 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Heh, I don't really consider myself an expert. I think it's more subjective, from listener-to-listener. I don't even have software to look at the waveforms (I only assess the loudness using the replaygain tools), most of my examples were just from listening experience. I'm happy enough with my current set-ups to judge stuff now, I literally don't trust my own opinions from a couple years ago.

To be honest, before I knew about the loudness wars, I assumed my own hearing and ability to actually enjoy music were deserting me. So that is why I am borderline paranoid about production on albums now. I can always refer back to the CD's I listed above to make sure my hearing and sense of musical pleasure are not deserting me.

Most of the discussion here seems to be on individual albums, translations and who-composed-what (I'm more of the "listen-first, ask who did the stuff later" listener), so I only make infrequent visits to the forums. I do see a lot of familiar faces in the VGM fan community though.

Last edited by GoldfishX; Jul 23, 2012 at 08:31 AM.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 09:12 AM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vert1
Yasuhisa Watanabe's Senko no Ronde series music sounds very good too. Are you open to people sending you files to assess their quality? (There is one track that causes my physical discomfort on IBARA I'd like to send http://vgmdb.net/forums/showpost.php...54&postcount=7)
There's a track on Tobal No. 1, "Vice", that has an approx. 15kHz tone going the entire time. I'm thinking about slapping on a permanent low-pass filter on that one, as much as I hate to.

The original release of the Vagrant Story soundtrack sounds phenomenal. I never heard the reprint, but I've heard it wasn't nearly as good.

Persona 4 comes to mind as a recent pop/rock-flavored score that is very well-produced.

Mitsuda's work was already mentioned, but I'll throw in three of his best from a production standpoint, Kirite, Moonlit Shadow, and Colours of Light (the song compilation, entirely remixed and remastered).

Also, the notorious Chrono Trigger: The Brink of Time album, think what you will of its arrangements, has some pretty good production values (aside from an obviously thin string section).

VGM piano CDs are hit and miss in the recording department, but they're usually reasonably mastered.

The Dragon Quest Symphonic Suites from the 90s recorded with the London Philharmonic are mastered like classical music, so they are entirely uncompressed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX
Lufia 1 and 2
Did anyone else here notice that Lufia 1's music is all out of tune? That is, it's not in tune with the standard scale. It's off by about half a step or so (a quarter tone). I wish I could say that my perfect pitch let me hear this, but it was actually just me trying to figure out what key one of the tracks was in.

Last edited by Xenofan 29A; Jul 23, 2012 at 09:15 AM.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 07:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
Did anyone else here notice that Lufia 1's music is all out of tune? That is, it's not in tune with the standard scale. It's off by about half a step or so (a quarter tone). I wish I could say that my perfect pitch let me hear this, but it was actually just me trying to figure out what key one of the tracks was in.
I feel like this happens with lots of SNES music, although I don't know for sure. I always just figured it had to do with production of the instrument samples.

Oh, I suppose I should contribute something to this thread. Xenofan mentioned the Dragon Quest albums. I can't think of much else off the top of my head that stands out. For as involved I am in composition and arrangement and VGM in general, I don't pay too much attention to mastering/mixing/that sort of thing. Not really my specialty (which is plainly evident if you've sat through one of my compositions...).

So, uh, hmm. Napple Tale maybe? Nobunaga's Ambition Tenshouki, definitely. Bomberman 64. Moon (1997). NiGHTS? Sure. Racing Lagoon to some extent... no idea how they got that kind of bass out of the PSOne. Uncharted Waters 2 SE. That lame bonus soundtrack disc that came with Rhapsody. Anything featuring Masashi Hamauzu's music played on a real piano. Shenmue. The non-CD versions of Terran music from SC2.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 07:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
There's a track on Tobal No. 1, "Vice", that has an approx. 15kHz tone going the entire time. I'm thinking about slapping on a permanent low-pass filter on that one, as much as I hate to.
There are a handful of tracks on Lost Odyssey that have a 16 kHz noise on them, so I just significantly reduced the volume right there and left the stuff above and below intact. There may be more, but I found this on "A Sign of Hope", "Great Ruins of the East", and "Seth's Theme".

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Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
The original release of the Vagrant Story soundtrack sounds phenomenal. I never heard the reprint, but I've heard it wasn't nearly as good.
I think that issue is rather overblown, actually. Some things sound better on the reprint, some sound better on the original, but they both sound terrible, frankly. Either of them put against the in-game audio or PSFs sounds bad. Just as with Final Fantasy Tactics, the original issue of Vagrant Story has added reverb that sounds worse than the Playstation's own reverb.
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Old Jul 23, 2012, 07:35 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _if View Post
There are a handful of tracks on Lost Odyssey that have a 16 kHz noise on them, so I just significantly reduced the volume right there and left the stuff above and below intact. There may be more, but I found this on "A Sign of Hope", "Great Ruins of the East", and "Seth's Theme".
I never heard this before. I listened just now with a spectrogram on, and I could see it, but still couldn't hear it. Then I turned up the volume, and my ears began to bleed. I just listen very quietly, I suppose.

The tone in this case is probably something that filtered through one specific recording session that nobody caught because they couldn't hear those frequencies anymore.

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Originally Posted by Jormungand View Post
I feel like this happens with lots of SNES music, although I don't know for sure. I always just figured it had to do with production of the instrument samples.
Oh yeah, it's also true of Breath of Fire 1's score.

Last edited by Xenofan 29A; Jul 23, 2012 at 07:40 PM.
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  #9  
Old Jul 24, 2012, 09:11 AM
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Off the top of my head, I can only think of Ragnarok Online Complete Soundtrack and possibly Emil Chronicle Online - although it's been a while since I heard them and currently unable to verify.

Also, everything I've heard by Yack. Damn, beaten to it twice.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
Most Yasunori Mitsuda stuff: Until recently, I had Mitsuda pegged as the most overrated VGM composer. But I dig his sense of melody and the production on his albums helps to add a lot of warmth. You really can hear it on good equipment. On my old, cheap speakers, Time's Scar would actually cause crackling and I thought there were issues with the music. Then I listened on good speakers and it was like, "Woah!"
Not to shadow Mitsuda's efforts, but I think Ryo Yamazaki deserves credit here too. I often wonder what Xenogears would have sounded like with Yamazaki instead of Hidenori Suzuki operating.
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Old Aug 13, 2012, 06:20 AM
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Adding:

Konami Sound Racing History Perfect Selection: There is some serious separation here! Very wide open, lots of breathing room, even the arrangements that aren't too interesting are enjoyable to listen to (although the synth in the slower arrangements is annoying in itself). This was a favorite from awhile ago, going through it with more careful ears/better equipment shows why it was so addictive.

Tbh, this pretty much goes for all of the Nazo Nazo Perfect Selections, but Sound Racing History really stood out in that regard.

20th anniversary a TRIBUTE to GAME-sounds for music-CD - Most rock doujins that are released are just blasted to hell and back, but they got pretty much everything right on this one. Along with Guilty Gear XX Korean Version, one of the best sounding guitar-based VGM albums I've heard. That Warhawk arrangement is probably the best example of how to make a rock arrangement sound...crunchy, yet warm at the same time.
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Old Aug 14, 2012, 05:59 PM
Jodo Kast Jodo Kast is offline
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I find almost every SNES/SFC OST album made in the 1990s to be rather impressive. The finest example is probably Seiken Densetsu 3.

Madara Special is one of the cleanest and smoothest Konami albums I have heard.

The arrange disc of Super Mario World sounds superb.

Music From Jesus ~ The Fearful Bio Monster has a pure clarity unmatched by anything recently produced.

As a general rule, older vgm albums are superior to newer ones, with the exception of some concerts and orchestra albums (like Gradius in Classic).
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 06:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Jodo Kast View Post

As a general rule, older MUSIC albums are superior to newer ones, with the exception of some concerts and orchestra albums (like Gradius in Classic).
Fixed. But yeah, anyone releasing/producing music should just mirror how music was produced in the late 80's to early 90's to make it sound best on CD. I like how I can literally walk into a music store, buy just about any CD produced during that era and have no issues with how they're produced.

Luckily for me, my personal "golden era" of VGM falls right in that time period.

People that use crappy iPod buds might disagree...I hear well-mastered albums sound bad on them.

On that note, I agree with both you and Jorm about the sound on orchestral albums...the London DQ Suites sound amazing, most other VGM orchestral albums I'm familiar with...well, don't. I've lost track of how many times I've attempted to sit through the Shining Force 2 Symphonic Suite. I'm not as familiar with the mastering on classical/orchestral albums as I am with pop/rock albums, although switching to analytical IEM's have made them far easier to listen to. Most classical/orchestral albums need little to no volume adjustments though, they seem to naturally clock in around 89-90 db.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 10:27 AM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
On that note, I agree with both you and Jorm about the sound on orchestral albums...the London DQ Suites sound amazing, most other VGM orchestral albums I'm familiar with...well, don't. I've lost track of how many times I've attempted to sit through the Shining Force 2 Symphonic Suite.
This has much more to do with recording/performance quality than with mastering. Most orchestral VGM albums I know are mastered like classical albums (or at least like movie scores). There are plenty of problems with the Orchestral Game Concert albums, but they are in the realm of arrangement/performance rather than recording/mastering, which is fine, if not exceptional. Symphonic Fantasies is a high-profile exception, mastered far more like a rock/pop album with hard limiting.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX
I'm not as familiar with the mastering on classical/orchestral albums as I am with pop/rock albums, although switching to analytical IEM's have made them far easier to listen to. Most classical/orchestral albums need little to no volume adjustments though, they seem to naturally clock in around 89-90 db.
It's not naturally, though, as much of classical music has a dynamic range reaching above digital full scale. The adjustments are just less obvious. It's very rare to find an example like the following (my benchmark for what orchestral music should sound like):



Full scale is reached only twice in the entire 30 minute track (the finale of Mahler's 6th, performed to perfection by the Berlin Philharmonic under Claudio Abbado on Deutche Grammophon). In fact, the engineers scaled the entire album to fit those exact points, so it never gets close to that level at any other time, and it's not a quiet piece by any standard.

But here's the thing: that's not even desirable with most types of music. This is a very particular, extreme example that you really can't and shouldn't extrapolate any kind of rule from. Decisions on production and mastering are discretionary and should be bent to fit each particular case.

Although certain VGM albums are caught up in the trends of the loudness war, there are a good many that have passed them by entirely, for one reason or another, and if you find you enjoy 80s-early 90s VGM more than almost anything out there today, that implies that the musical style of those games is what attracts you more than anything relating to production/mastering.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 12:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xenofan 29A View Post
It's not naturally, though, as much of classical music has a dynamic range reaching above digital full scale. The adjustments are just less obvious. It's very rare to find an example like the following (my benchmark for what orchestral music should sound like):
When I say "naturally", I mean in the sense that I do not need to process Wavegain adjustments. Most of the time, a classical CD matches the 90db I have my entire library set to. In some cases, it is actually softer (and in those cases, I prefer to turn the volume up than to boost the DB values). I can rip the CD to FLAC and pretty much just throw it in my library.



Quote:
But here's the thing: that's not even desirable with most types of music. This is a very particular, extreme example that you really can't and shouldn't extrapolate any kind of rule from. Decisions on production and mastering are discretionary and should be bent to fit each particular case.
I think dynamics are a necessary part of all music. With no soft, there can be no loud. I agree, the graph you presented is very nice and those peaks mean a lot more when they are scarcely used. But I think having those type of dynamics (although not to THAT extreme) is just as important in rock music as well. Might not be as clean cut as your example, but having those dynamics in place make the music much more exciting.

Quote:
Although certain VGM albums are caught up in the trends of the loudness war, there are a good many that have passed them by entirely, for one reason or another, and if you find you enjoy 80s-early 90s VGM more than almost anything out there today, that implies that the musical style of those games is what attracts you more than anything relating to production/mastering.
Music from the late 80's/early 90's is far from perfect. There are questionable synth choices, boring tracks, bad programmed drums, thin guitars, cookie cutter melodies, etc but there is nothing wrong with how the music, good or bad, sounds. If I like something, there is nothing stupid like excessive clipping or lack of headroom or general listening fatigue that keeps me from wanting to revisit it.

Contrast that to nowadays, where anytime I come across a rock doujin, there is a damn good chance it's clipped and compressed to hell, making the majority of them essentially worthless. Street Fighter Tribute, Black Mages, the Sunsoft arrange, Arcana Heart 3, Mighty Switch Force, King of Fighters XIII, Dynasty Warriors, Guilty Gear XX, just about anything from new school Falcom...If any of these had been put to CD in the late 80's/early 90's, they would have been better off and probably in my listening rotation. Likewise, half the stuff I come across on Bandcamp is WAY too loud to even consider getting into.

Obviously a lot of music I can't comment on -most electronica albums, most orchestral albums, most ambient albums- but I'm not imagining the flaws on the above albums either. Likewise, I'm careful not to confuse my own tastes with the music's production quality. It's just a funny coincidence that a lot of the music from that era that suits my taste happened before the stupidity of the loudness wars creeped in.

From the sound of things, you just sound like you listen to a wider variety of music than me. Probably about 85% of my listening is either chiptunes, synthpop, 80's style pop/j-pop or classic hard rock/heavy metal or some combination of them, with the 15% being classical or whatever I get thrown within the context of a VGM album.

Last edited by GoldfishX; Aug 15, 2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old Aug 15, 2012, 02:26 PM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX
When I say "naturally", I mean in the sense that I do not need to process Wavegain adjustments.
The meaning of "natural" is becoming more bizarre every day. It used to be that people would complain doubletracking was unnatural. Then it was drum reverb, and now it's autotune.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX
I think dynamics are a necessary part of all music. With no soft, there can be no loud. I agree, the graph you presented is very nice and those peaks mean a lot more when they are scarcely used. But I think having those type of dynamics (although not to THAT extreme) is just as important in rock music as well. Might not be as clean cut as your example, but having those dynamics in place make the music much more exciting.
Definitely. But, dynamic range compression affects a different kind of dynamics than the obvious ones shown there. The differences in dynamics between parts of a song or track are not necessarily changed, and some quite compressed songs retain those kinds of macro dynamics. It's the differences between more or less simultaneous sounds (to the perceiver) that are ironed out.

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Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
From the sound of things, you just sound like you listen to a wider variety of music than me. Probably about 85% of my listening is either chiptunes, synthpop, 80's style pop/j-pop or classic hard rock/heavy metal or some combination of them, with the 15% being classical or whatever I get thrown within the context of a VGM album.
I listen to lots of kinds of VGM, although electronica/techno and their related genres are not really my thing either. Aside from that, Classical music (of all genres and time periods, but particularly late Romantic/early Modernist music from 1880-1920), classic rock, progressive rock, folk, film scores (Williams, Herrmann, and Goldsmith), and jazz (especially bebop and fusion). I will listen to the occasional contemporary rock album if it is recommended by a friend whose taste I trust. Genres I generally avoid are contemporary pop, rap, smooth "elevator music" jazz, country, and dance music of most kinds, although there may be exceptions to any of these.
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Old Apr 26, 2013, 08:42 AM
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*BUMP*

Two I noticed recently:

Persona 4 Arena - This should be THE reference CD for how VGM rock should be recorded. HUGE soundstage, beautifully layered and immaculately detailed. Even the bass stands out beautifully in the mix. Also recorded at a nice, low volume, so I can crank as needed. A lot of material on here is (to me) a tad generic, but is just plain fun to listen to mostly because of the sound quality. I notice a lot of Meguro's rock is generally well-recorded (SMT3, P3 and P4 OST).

Rockman Boxset 1-6 - I've been listening to a lot of chiptunes recently and I have to turn some of them down to the highs being a little too piercing. Not sure how to describe it, but this box doesn't have any kind of issue like that. In fact, it is like the highs are rolled off slightly. Not to sound like an audiokarma nerd, but the tracks have a warm, detailed, almost-analogue type sound (not the coldness a number of chiptunes tend to have). I just went over the whole Megaman 2 OST with my analytical ear monitors (which tend to be a little too bright sometimes) and it was a rocking good time with these. In contrast, the Kunio Kun set is detailed, but very fatiguing to listen to.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 05:49 AM
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I'd like to put forward Ace Combat 5: The Unsung War, one soundtrack I find myself going back to time after time, long after the game has faded into distant memory. The strings, brass, and percussion are immaculate throughout - top quality samples, beautifully blended. It's also sympathetically mastered, very much crankable and I experience no listening fatigue even after the four discs in one sitting (despite the fairly tedious arcade section, and the obnoxious Puddle Of Mudd song).

Just a few of the tracks that always bowl me over: Wardog, Lit Fuse, White Noise, Grabacr, Winter Storm. And the main event The Unsung War is pretty spine-tingling.
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Old Apr 29, 2013, 08:47 AM
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Sekaiju no MeiQ 4 blew me away upon first listen. Can't say I particularly had that strong feeling with any other OST. Perhaps Opoona. And Ibara definitely caught my attention on first listen now that Vert1 mentioned it. Napple Tale is also good. Definitely agree about Super Nintendo era OSTs, especially Axelay. And yeah, there are quite a few SNES OSTs that are a quarter step up/down. Not all, but a few. Oh, and also forgot about my recent discovery in Hako no Niwa.
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Old Apr 30, 2013, 04:22 PM
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I'll second the Grandia mention. Too many people overlook that game and score in general. Amazing music.

I guess the first Suikoden is an obvious pick for me. Also Tenchu (PS1) and Soul Blade. They all sound great.

I've always thought that my Star Ocean 2 soundtrack album (First Smile) sounded very crisp and clean. An extra note in "Walk Over" still throws me off because I never noticed it in all my playthroughs of the game.

On a side note, I used to think it a slight knock that Sakuraba's music sounded a little samey in terms of the samples, but when I think about how boring Valkyrie Profile 2's soundtrack turned out to be (I played through the game and only one track caught my interest...one track!!!), I have a greater appreciation for the crispness and potency of his Star Ocean 2 and VP1 (and energy for this one....has to be said) soundtracks in particular.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldfishX View Post
Most Yasunori Mitsuda stuff: Until recently, I had Mitsuda pegged as the most overrated VGM composer. But I dig his sense of melody and the production on his albums helps to add a lot of warmth.
He's still overrated, though. Just perhaps not "the most", I suppose. People are so enamored with his style that they think other notable composers don't measure up somehow. It's been a long time since I've debated these things on message boards, however. Maybe people aren't as exceedingly high on him as they used to be.

All that being said, I can't deny the man's talent for making music that just sounds good. Soft, lush, and pretty would all apply to Chrono Cross in particular. I just don't always find soft, lush, and pretty to be the most engaging or resonant sort of music. But it does sound good.
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Old May 1, 2013, 08:39 AM
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Maybe people aren't as exceedingly high on him as they used to be.
It appears there are plenty who thinks he's kind of inactive. While that's not the case, his heavy involvement in all things Inazuma Eleven apparently doesn't count even when it's brought up.
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Old May 1, 2013, 09:02 AM
Xenofan 29A Xenofan 29A is offline
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Originally Posted by Megavolt View Post
He's still overrated, though. Just perhaps not "the most", I suppose. People are so enamored with his style that they think other notable composers don't measure up somehow. It's been a long time since I've debated these things on message boards, however. Maybe people aren't as exceedingly high on him as they used to be.

All that being said, I can't deny the man's talent for making music that just sounds good. Soft, lush, and pretty would all apply to Chrono Cross in particular. I just don't always find soft, lush, and pretty to be the most engaging or resonant sort of music. But it does sound good.
It's far more than just soft, lush, or pretty. Mitsuda has a unique flair for polyrhythm, timbre, and harmony, along with a taste for surprising contrasts of texture/melody/key, that set him apart from pretty much everyone else in VGM. And while some other composers have continued to write more or less the same thing repeatedly (not always their fault, as sometimes producers request this), Mitsuda has proven his versatility and ability to develop.
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  #22  
Old May 6, 2013, 11:10 PM
Nepharus Nepharus is offline
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I haven't the slightest clue about the technicalities of mastering/mixing, but TalesWeaver Exceed's great on my sound system, like live band good. Chrono Trigger ~Playing the End of Time~ is also pretty good there and I'd listen to each individual track by itself happily but it has some serious volume normalisation problems between the main CD itself and the Append Disc.

... There are some soundtracks/tunes I love regardless of their production but boy do they get shredded when I fly them on my sound system... (One outstanding example off the top of my head, Tamiya Terashima's electric orchestrals: love them to death and back, but they sound squashed. Beyond that I'm a little scared to admit 'squashedness' is also why I don't listen to Chrono Cross very much, although I have to say I haven't tried that one on my sound system before.)

Last edited by Nepharus; May 7, 2013 at 12:08 AM.
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  #23  
Old May 7, 2013, 05:33 AM
GoldfishX GoldfishX is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nepharus View Post
... There are some soundtracks/tunes I love regardless of their production but boy do they get shredded when I fly them on my sound system... (One outstanding example off the top of my head, Tamiya Terashima's electric orchestrals: love them to death and back, but they sound squashed. Beyond that I'm a little scared to admit 'squashedness' is also why I don't listen to Chrono Cross very much, although I have to say I haven't tried that one on my sound system before.)
I think a lot of Playstation music is compressed. It really shows on good sound systems. For Chrono Cross, I tend to find the guitar-based tracks fare much better than the orchestral-style tracks (or anything that features a lot of strings). Is one reason I never listen to Legend of Mana or Cyber Org anymore. And as much as I love the first Suikoden soundtrack and the samples it uses, I find the music very thin sounding...most likely, it was shrunk to fit on the disc.
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Old May 7, 2013, 07:54 PM
alexbip15 alexbip15 is offline
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I find the Pokemon OSTs very good in terms of audio quality. Glad Game Freak remasters their tracks!
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  #25  
Old May 14, 2013, 09:22 PM
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CrossMitsuda CrossMitsuda is offline
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Yuzo Koshiro and Motohiro Kawashima I felt both did an unbelievable job with Streets of Rage.

http://vgmdb.net/album/33417

The bass throughout the entire game just keeps you pumped up and want to go out and do some actual ***-kicking.
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