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  #1  
Old Oct 8, 2013, 10:18 AM
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HarukameiKasumo HarukameiKasumo is offline
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Default Mega Man X3's music...

Is it just me, or is the music production quality in this game absolutely horrific? Like, the compositions themselves are very well done(aside from a couple). When done differently these are truly epic tunes, many arrangements have proven that(it's Kinuyo Yamashita after all), but the way it's done in this game sounds like a complete mess. Samples are detuned all over the place, the instrumentation volume is all mismatched, the sample usage is random, the snare drum is used at an extremely low note causing it to lose that punch it's supposed to have(it's more of a thud), and there is no vibrato or note slide either, making the whole soundtrack seem very bland. It quite literally sounds like some noob got a hold of some Mega Man X2 samples and put them in to FL Studio and made some downloadable album of new original and "authentic" sounding Mega Man X2 style compositions while thinking just using the samples alone makes it sound authentic. Does anyone else agree?
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  #2  
Old Oct 11, 2013, 07:10 AM
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I agree. I think it's because Yamashita handled all the sound production on her own (not just composition) and she didn't have Iku Mizutani or Hiroyuki Iwatsuki to assist her. at least, that's just my theory.
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Old Oct 11, 2013, 09:53 AM
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Mega Man X3 in general was a huge turn off for me. Some of the bosses were too difficult resulting in having to replay super bland/empty stages and relisten to boring, repetitive (Neon Tiger, Tunnel Rhino, Doppler Final Stage) and grating tunes (Blast Hornet, Volt Catfish, Boss Battle, Vile's Stage). Gravity Beetle & Blizzard Buffalo are great. Toxic Seahorse is perfect. Crush Crawfish is whatever. Doppler Stage is pretty catchy, but maybe it would sound better with different samples other than guitars. The miscellaneous tracks aren't anything exciting. Capsule is awful. Doppler Battle is pretty great and reminiscent of the previous two games Sigma Battle. The other two final battle themes are anticlimactic. Ending & Credits themes are alright; has that nostalgic SNES vibe going for me.

The arrangements are pretty bland as you pointed out (lack of vibrato, bends, slides, delay, echo, etc.). Detuned samples, volume issues, snare, bass: definitely agree with all of that. I think a big problem is the "harmonizing" of two separate power chord guitar samples. Often times they are creating suspended 2nds AND suspended 4ths resulting in clashing notes. Other times they are harmonized worse than that, such as the verse in Blast Hornet (E5 + C5 resulting in that B to C minor 2nd interval). If you want to hear an example of harmonizing two power chord samples perfectly then take a listen to Stage Select from X2. Another huge flag for me is when the power chord sample is used at too high of an octave. It just sounds awful.

Overall, there are a few standout compositions, but on the whole this soundtrack leaves a lot to be desired, especially in comparison to the previous two entries.

It would be an interesting exercise to see what I can come up with in making an X3 track sound better with SNES samples. Of course in this day and age I have ease of access and tools that Yamashita did not have the luxury of, but.. it would still be fun.
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Last edited by strugglepoo; Oct 11, 2013 at 09:55 AM.
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  #4  
Old Oct 11, 2013, 10:49 AM
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HarukameiKasumo HarukameiKasumo is offline
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Oh yeah, i'd love to hear something like that. I might try some of that too and how i think they might be done. And i agree, far too many times when there is the power chord guitar being used at a high octave. It makes it sound like some sort of buzzsaw or insect. That whole soundtrack...well listening to x2 and x1 afterwards feels like a complete refreshment after that one, some songs are great in x3, but its production quality is awful. It sounds as though Yamashita was used to using NES hardware and they just handed her some quick samples and told her to make something with them that sort of sounded like mega man x music. I do agree it would have sounded much better had they had some kind of music director there to assist her and coach her how to use them properly. It just comes off as music posted on YouTube announced as original X style compositions, like the kind of stuff Renegade puts up.

EDIT: Holy crap...I just listened in to the music of blast hornet with the harmonizing stuff. My god!!! This is awful!

Last edited by HarukameiKasumo; Oct 11, 2013 at 05:59 PM.
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  #5  
Old Oct 15, 2013, 09:43 AM
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Hey Strugglepoo, where are you getting SNES samples from? I'd certainly like them.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 10:39 AM
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I rip them myself using BRRtools by Bregalad. It's a fairly simple process, just a bit time consuming. If you have any questions let me know.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 10:44 AM
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An alternative would be to use Open Ended alongside OpenSPC where you can dump them as IT files and then open up ModPlug tracker and grab the samples there. Though it may be less time consuming(i am just assuming based on description) it dumps them awkwardly. Making them a tad bit detuned, but thankfully modplug allows you to tune them properly. You also have to set it up a certain way. But i wonder about this other program, does it dump them properly without detuning them? If so i might consider switching.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 10:52 AM
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That's how I used to do it, but then I switched to BRRtools when I got my new computer. I honestly can't remember why I did, but it's what I'm used to now. :-P And yeah, I need to do pitch correction for 95% of the samples.
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  #9  
Old Oct 15, 2013, 11:12 AM
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HarukameiKasumo HarukameiKasumo is offline
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Ah ok. Yeah. Same happens with open ended. Only the drums don't seem to need it but the instruments do.
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Old Oct 15, 2013, 11:38 AM
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Yeah, that is by far my least favourite part of ripping SNES samples. I use my MIDI keyboard and guitar tuner to help, but even then the frequencies can throw it completely off.

Something I just remembered was a post made by Yamashita herself on Facebook expressing her concerns about X3:
Quote:
When I listen to the music from Mega Man X3. I wonder if it's good music. I think that I would be able to composer better music now.
However, I can say that I did my best at the time.
Thank you for loving music that I composed.
She also expresses her displeasure for the PS port:
Quote:
This is all the music from Rockman X3(SFC) sold it in Japan (Mega Man X3).
I was never part of the Minakuchi Engineering Staff. Also, I'm not an employee of Natsume.
That was actually the name of the company that requested the work from me and I suppose they were credited in the game.
Because this was SFC, I made data by sampling all tones and using them.
I knew this PS version had been put on the market back by Capcom recently.
However, I was a little disappointed when I listened to the arrangement.
The sound is lighter.
The rhythm of the drums is strange.
Because it was PS, I was sure the sound would be better. The hardware has more power. But I didn't think the arrangement was suitable for the landscape in "Mega Man X3". However, I guess that is a subjective statement. People are fans of the music on the PS version.
However, as the original composer, I didn't think that the arrangement on the PS version was good.
We (video game music composers) need to compose music that is appropriate for the game.
Whoever made the PS version didn't understand that. I was shocked.
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Last edited by strugglepoo; Oct 15, 2013 at 11:40 AM.
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  #11  
Old Oct 15, 2013, 05:54 PM
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In response to Yamashita's comment on whether or not it's good music. I think a lot of it has good compositions. Like about a good portion the compositions are really nice and have great potential, i just feel that they are executed poorly with very poor sound design and production quality. But i really don't put the blame on Yamashita for this. It just seems like they gave her the job and told her to just make something without any proper guidance on how to pull it off and she pretty much just took a leap of faith because that's all she could do. Being she wasn't employed by capcom nor was the music made at their studios. But a lot of the music would be great with better production quality, a lot of the music has this cool 90's sound about it, but no note slides or vibrato were ever used, and some instruments just seemed odd and random, like the random usage of the brass every now and then, and also this unsatisfying limit in samples being used, like that lead guitar sample is nice and all, but it's used so much it gets boring and dull after a while. I also find it's far too much the dominate sample, if that makes any sense, like it's louder than it needs to be. Also the fact it lacks vibrato and note slide makes it lose its charm as well. Not to mention it's used in a way that would work better as brass. And that high octave power chord as you said, sounds awful, it gives off the feeling of a buzz saw or some angry violent insect. Then there's that snare drum used at too low a note. It kind of loses its smack needed to keep the beat going that way. Again I am totally not putting all the blame on yamashita here, it just feels like she was misguided and also incredibly used to the NES hardware and not transitioning very well to the SNES one. I blame whoever had her do this and whoever thought it was okay to include the music as is without any proper direction.
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  #12  
Old Oct 16, 2013, 04:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarukameiKasumo View Post
and also incredibly used to the NES hardware and not transitioning very well to the SNES one.
she had experience with the SNES by 1995 though (Ghost Sweeper Mikami, the Zen-Nippon Pro Wrestling series, Pocky and Rocky 2, Power Rangers, Mark Davis Fishing Master, etc)

the problem here is that all of those games had their sound programmed/arranged by either Iku Mizutani or Hiroyuki Iwatsuki. She apparently did that role all by herself for Mega Man X3, something she never had to do on the SNES up until that point.
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  #13  
Old Oct 16, 2013, 10:19 AM
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HarukameiKasumo HarukameiKasumo is offline
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Oh ok. Well, i feel like i remember looking at her past library and that was the first SNES one she did.
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