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While working on the Blaster Master soundtrack, I discovered that the channel order in my Ogg Vorbis files was not standard. I had previously used Winamp to test the Ogg Vorbis version. That Vorbis plug-in uses a non-standard channel ordering. So, that means that the Ogg Vorbis files for all soundtracks prior to Blaster Master only played correctly in Winamp using the default channel order. Other applications like Foobar2000 only support the correct channel order. I haven’t been able to get the files to play correctly in Winamp so I would just recommend using Foobar2000 instead. I have updated the Ogg Vorbis files for Battletoads, Dragon Warrior, Life Force, Mega Man 3, and Swords and Serpents. These all play correctly now in Foobar2000.
After not releasing any new soundtracks for about 6 years, it is with great pride, joy, and excitement that I announce the completion of my latest soundtrack remix, Blaster Master! This soundtrack utilized an interesting technique where the Triangle channel was used to augment the percussion in addition to performing its normal bass duties. This gives the soundtrack a very nice percussion effect, but caused me countless hours of extra work. The important thing is that it is now finished and as far as I’m concerned, this is my best remix so far. I made a conscious effort to try to do more things to add interesting effects to the mixes. So, for example, the Rectangle 1 channel occasionally moves side to side as I saw fit for the songs.
In terms of sound quality, I’ve managed to improve things slightly over my previous efforts. This time around, I’ve tweaked the filter coefficients for the FIR filter in Festalon to move the filter roll-off to a slightly higher frequency. This improves the upper end of the sound spectrum a little bit. I’m always looking for ways to improve sound quality, but now I think it might have reached the pinnacle. I just can’t think of anything else to try in regards to the 4 PSG channels, which is fine because it sounds fantastic as it is. Now, for the PCM channel (not commonly used), there might be some things I can look at in the future.
Anyway, I hope you enjoy my remix of the Blaster Master soundtrack!
It took a lot longer than expected, but I finally got my server back up. Sorry to keep you waiting all that time. Unfortunately, I still don’t have any new content, but I’m hoping to start working on this project again before too long. I just need to get a few other things knocked out first.
Apparently there was a power outage while I was out of town. D’oh! The UPS can only hold up for a few minutes. So if you had problems trying to download something during the past few weeks, that’s why. Everything should be back to normal now. Sorry for the inconvenience.
I have completed a new soundtrack, Life Force! I have done a few new things this time around. First of all, I used a new technique (new to me, that is) to improve the 5.1 surround mix. Basically the sounds coming from the rear speakers (specifically, the secondary Rectangle channel) have been stereo-ized slightly, making the sound a bit less center-heavy. So where before, you might have only heard one of the rear speakers depending on the acoustics of your room, now they can both be heard when sitting in the middle. I have also created a stereo mix for the times when surround sound speakers aren’t available.
Next up, I have a list of requests to start working on. Progress is still a little slow (these things still take a lot of work), so there’s no telling when the next soundtrack might be finished. I need to focus more on actual gaming for a while though. 🙂
While working on my next soundtrack, I noticed that my Ogg Vorbis encoder settings produced a strange problem with certain files. Basically, the surround right speaker would cut in and out. I upgraded my vorbis-tools to the latest version (1.4.0), and re-encoded all the Ogg Vorbis files with different settings which resolved the problem. Admittedly, the Ogg Vorbis version didn’t get a lot of QA time the first time around since I don’t use these myself. It has proven to be a popular download option though, which is why I took the time to go back and re-encode everything.
I also took this opportunity to dial back the quality settings a bit, since there has been some concern over the file sizes. I figure that anyone considering the Ogg Vorbis version is probably more concerned about file size than perfect sound quality. Don’t worry though, they still sound good and don’t exhibit any obvious compression artifacts. On average, the files are about 25% smaller than before. If you want perfect sound quality, there are the DVD-Audio and FLAC options.
– Metal Man
This marks the official launch of NES 5.1, a web site dedicated to 5.1 surround NES music. So far I have 4 soundtracks completed, but hope to get more done. It takes quite a bit of work to get one of these done, so I won’t be able to release new soundtracks on a very frequent basis. I still have to leave time for actually playing games, you know! 😉 Be sure to subscribe to the main RSS feed to get updated when a new soundtrack comes out.