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General The general chatting goes on in here. That means talk about the LBA games and its world.

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  #201  
Old 2021-01-13, 22:33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lupin View Post
I think gaming memories associated to the original music has A LOT to do with how we perceive it.
If I was a teenager I think I would instantly agree with you; I used to think that way too; but I think we've all grown up here enough to be able to see things objectively.

Objectively speaking, the songs do stand out on themselves, even if they weren't part of a game at all. I can remember other great games I've played that didn't have any remarkable soundtracks, and yet I'll probably feel that nostalgia if I hear its music again -- but not because the songs are great, rather they just remind me of the fun I had at the time, and any particular set of sounds repeated over and over would do to that effect.

It's like when you hear an old radio song you used to hear before which perhaps had blown you away, it was the coolest song ever, but now you don't feel the same way about it like before, it just doesn't mean anything anymore, and you can now just coldly see thru and think "ugh it was so pop and cheesy" or something.

LBA's soundtrack stood the test of time.

I'd say the originals feature tightly built structures, clear & crisp sound, majestic and multicoloured patterns interwoven sumptuously in ways that'd make any classical music fan blush. There's not a single note there which could be deemed unnecessary. Everything fits perfectly. On the other hand the new symphonic suite reminds me of a big blur... it sounds blurry, with long building-it-up intros... like its wandering across the mist and fog... space and time... such approach has its place, it's a hell lot atmospheric, but definitely not akin to the opulent orchestral work of the originals (save for The Quest and Opening for LBA perhaps).
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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
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" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual
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  #202  
Old 2021-01-13, 23:03
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True.

Take the quest for instance, it feels very watered down. The new music seems less intense and urgent
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  #203  
Old 2021-01-14, 02:44
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I bought it and listened to it and well... I got SO pissed. Two main problems.

1 - The technical aspect.

I don't know at which studio they went, but I hope they never go there again. Oh. My. God.
Everything blurs together, most instruments sound like they were recorded in the neighbouring room with the door open, and the piano... >.< I don't know which instruments were sampled, but the piano certainly wasn't BECAUSE YOU CAN HEAR EVERY CLICK THAT INSTRUMENT MAKES !! While they certainly bring a certain mood, they are recorded at the same level as the notes itself, I may even go as far to say they are clearly identifiable in part BECAUSE the piano's notes... blur together...
For comparing, here is a piece of jazz music by a French trumpet player. Listen to that piano intro, how the sounds are separated from each other, or how everything is clearly identifiable when the ensemble plays, then go back to the LBA tracks to see what I mean.

Also, the dynamic. Everything is flat and on the same level. It's the same with the original recordings, but for a videogame music, it's understandable, you can't make something with too important volume changes, as it would draw too much attention to itself, but here, I have no idea why Vachey has done that.
Oh wait, yes I have :

2 - The musical aspect

A recent tendency in movies and videogames is to make the music ambient/atmospheric.
The music doesn't have a clear theme anymore and an identifiable beginning middle and end, it's just something that floats around to create or reinforce a certain mood (check this video out, the guy explains it pretty well).
And I believe that is why, his songs felt to me like if they were all the same, a gigantic blur. They are without a melody line. Well except for what there was in the original score, but you can hear that it disturbs Vachey, he tries to drown it as much as he can
Relistening to the originals, I feel like that might've been his aim back then as well, but maybe he couldn't due to technical limitations ? I don't know.

Also what didn't help this, is that I'm not a big fan of The harmonic style of 18th century european musicians

So anyway, I was pretty disappointed up until... Opening for LBA
I'm probably not objective, since this one has always been my favourite but...
It's almost the only song he didn't ditch the structure of. Melody line is still here, coming strong and clear, no constant musical carpet in the background.
And even the dynamic problem is somewhat solved by the fact that there are quite a few short moments when there's only silence.

That song hurled me back to a nostalgia-fueled tornado, all the way to when LBA1 was to me the greatest game of all time and again, dreaming endlessly of seeing an LBA3.

That track alone was worth my 15€. I don't regret anything.

But it's true, for a kickstarter project that that got completed to 258%, they really could've picked a good studio for the recording, and, while I disagree with the artistic direction, give a different atmosphere to each song.
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  #204  
Old 2021-01-14, 05:59
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Originally Posted by Neko View Post
True.

Take the quest for instance, it feels very watered down. The new music seems less intense and urgent
'Watered down'.. that's a good way to put it.
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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
Quote:
" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual
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  #205  
Old 2021-01-14, 06:23
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Originally Posted by Polaris View Post
I bought it and listened to it and well... I got SO pissed. Two main problems.

1 - The technical aspect.

I don't know at which studio they went, but I hope they never go there again. Oh. My. God.
Everything blurs together, most instruments sound like they were recorded in the neighbouring room with the door open, and the piano... >.< I don't know which instruments were sampled, but the piano certainly wasn't BECAUSE YOU CAN HEAR EVERY CLICK THAT INSTRUMENT MAKES !! While they certainly bring a certain mood, they are recorded at the same level as the notes itself, I may even go as far to say they are clearly identifiable in part BECAUSE the piano's notes... blur together...
For comparing, here is a piece of jazz music by a French trumpet player. Listen to that piano intro, how the sounds are separated from each other, or how everything is clearly identifiable when the ensemble plays, then go back to the LBA tracks to see what I mean.

Also, the dynamic. Everything is flat and on the same level. It's the same with the original recordings, but for a videogame music, it's understandable, you can't make something with too important volume changes, as it would draw too much attention to itself, but here, I have no idea why Vachey has done that.
Oh wait, yes I have :

2 - The musical aspect

A recent tendency in movies and videogames is to make the music ambient/atmospheric.
The music doesn't have a clear theme anymore and an identifiable beginning middle and end, it's just something that floats around to create or reinforce a certain mood (check this video out, the guy explains it pretty well).
And I believe that is why, his songs felt to me like if they were all the same, a gigantic blur. They are without a melody line. Well except for what there was in the original score, but you can hear that it disturbs Vachey, he tries to drown it as much as he can
Relistening to the originals, I feel like that might've been his aim back then as well, but maybe he couldn't due to technical limitations ? I don't know.

Also what didn't help this, is that I'm not a big fan of The harmonic style of 18th century european musicians

So anyway, I was pretty disappointed up until... Opening for LBA
I'm probably not objective, since this one has always been my favourite but...
It's almost the only song he didn't ditch the structure of. Melody line is still here, coming strong and clear, no constant musical carpet in the background.
And even the dynamic problem is somewhat solved by the fact that there are quite a few short moments when there's only silence.

That song hurled me back to a nostalgia-fueled tornado, all the way to when LBA1 was to me the greatest game of all time and again, dreaming endlessly of seeing an LBA3.

That track alone was worth my 15€. I don't regret anything.

But it's true, for a kickstarter project that that got completed to 258%, they really could've picked a good studio for the recording, and, while I disagree with the artistic direction, give a different atmosphere to each song.
<3

Why ain't I surprised with your review and how is it that I can 1000% relate to all that you said? hehehe, and if you go read a few pages back here you'll find that me and some other guy also mentioned about the lazy quality of the piano recordings (shame, because the performances are quite spectacular). Thanks for your worthy input, polly. I am glad all of us musicians in the forum are not afraid to speak of the things we notice, both technically and musically and everything inbetween.
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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
Quote:
" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual
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  #206  
Old 2021-01-14, 06:36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Neko View Post
it feels very watered down.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris
he tries to drown it as much as he can
<Insert a Titanic meme of the captain with Vachey's face in it yelling "but it's unsinkable!!!">

Last edited by SpaceGuitarist; 2021-01-14 at 14:08.
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  #207  
Old 2021-01-14, 10:15
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Mmm... it's like a movie classic that's remade 20 years later... there's hype, there's hope, but in the end it pales in comparison. That's how I feel about it. I mean, I downloaded it, listened to a few tracks (not even fully, skipped through) and never played it since, so if that doesn't say something, what does? I found some REALLY good parts here and there, but then just when you thought the song will stay on track, it went into a not so good direction. Most of the original tracks seem like they're fan remakes. Professional fan remakes for sure, but coming from people with a different vision of how things should sound. So is it a musical disappointment? Yes (for me). Is it a nice collector's item though? Of course! Was it worth the $$$? I think so if you just bought the music, but for the highest pledgers I don't think so, I have a terrible taste left in my mouth especially with paying $800 for that Paris gathering that never happened. And I will raise this up at one point in the near future, I just hope enough will join so that we can make a clear statement.
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  #208  
Old 2021-01-14, 11:45
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Oh yeah, damn that virus really f*cked things up for you :/
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  #209  
Old 2021-01-14, 13:51
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Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
Today everyone received a message from Kickstarter, prompting you'd give them the details. Like address, name, phone, etc.. Also, for backers of the 800 eur pledge, you get to choose the way you'll have your name written inside the booklet, ain't that cool?!?!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
I don't understand why they had to do it now and why they said "we can't postpone it any longer", I mean it's not like you have to launch your newest iPhone in Q3... it's music, it's art, it's a fan-funded project, we were supposed to be there, the musicians should have enjoyed this... so having to go through all that... pointless in my opinion, but who knows what reasons they might have had.. but as a musician myself, I need 100 takes to pick up the perfect one in normal conditions, I don't even wanna think how it'd be to put some emotion in my playing with all those stupid constraints around me (and a mask on my face)...

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Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
disappointed with how they're handling the whole communication thing but.. let's just hope we'll get the promised packages and the trip..

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Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
We will have the meeting later in the summer, they estimate most probably August, to get together with Phil and chat, listen to the record, etc.. But they said it might be Paris, it might be Lyon, which I don't really like since I still didn't get my money back from the hotel AND flight and they kept it for a future visit, so I'm stuck to Paris. Also, they offered to give us video recordings for those who backed the 800 EUR option and some early shipping of the Sendell's Medallion.

To be honest it's not that bad, but only if the meeting will still be held (and in Paris for me at least, as I spent shitloads of money already and I won't get them back). Otherwise, if this gets dropped and they'll hope to just replace it with some crap bonus goods or video recording, etc., I'll kind of be really pissed, since for the money I could've taken 2 x the 400 EUR pledge and have everything twice with also not losing the other $$ on the hotel and flight, but I hope it won't go there.

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Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
Mmm... it's like a movie classic that's remade 20 years later... there's hype, there's hope, but in the end it pales in comparison. That's how I feel about it. I mean, I downloaded it, listened to a few tracks (not even fully, skipped through) and never played it since, so if that doesn't say something, what does? I found some REALLY good parts here and there, but then just when you thought the song will stay on track, it went into a not so good direction. Most of the original tracks seem like they're fan remakes. Professional fan remakes for sure, but coming from people with a different vision of how things should sound. So is it a musical disappointment? Yes (for me). Is it a nice collector's item though? Of course! Was it worth the $$$? I think so if you just bought the music, but for the highest pledgers I don't think so, I have a terrible taste left in my mouth especially with paying $800 for that Paris gathering that never happened. And I will raise this up at one point in the near future, I just hope enough will join so that we can make a clear statement.
Oh wow... that sucks!! I can't believe they didnt contact you about this yet with some proposition, specially after all the let downs they made you go thru for months and the money spent. When this whole kickstarter launched, I thought the highest tier backers would be treated as VIPs!
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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
Quote:
" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual
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  #210  
Old 2021-01-14, 14:44
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nope, nothing yet... dead silence... they went ahead and recorded and also "gave us pictures" so I'm not even sure if they plan on doing anything later. That's why wannie created this thread so that we can see what to do about it. Don't get me wrong, it's one thing paying $400 for the full package and it's another paying $800 for the same thing in the end, since there was no live meeting with Phil, Didier, etc.
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  #211  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:16
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what was the top bonus, a meetup right? or was there more?

I agree with most being said here. What did you mean with 18 century composers polly? what is the link to this? to the new version or also the originals?
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  #212  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:16
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Originally Posted by Quetch View Post
nope, nothing yet... dead silence... they went ahead and recorded and also "gave us pictures" so I'm not even sure if they plan on doing anything later. That's why wannie created this thread so that we can see what to do about it. Don't get me wrong, it's one thing paying $400 for the full package and it's another paying $800 for the same thing in the end, since there was no live meeting with Phil, Didier, etc.
Absolutely. I am so sorry for you, bro. Also, lots of pictures have already been released to the general public, so it's not even an exclusive thing for you backers.

Speaking of disappointments and feeling delusional about promised things...

The release was meant for "December 2019 to March 2020: delivery of all the products", according to the Kickstarter, but it was delayed in one year and this is probably the major reason for all this frustration, because the project would've gone completely unaffected by the virus and global restrictions and everybody would've been happier.

. . .

In the end, the project took from May 2019 - December 2020, meaning +1 year in the making than originally intended, plus the already mentioned 258% of the budget (€64,533 pledged of the €25,000 original goal). The words symphonic are repeated all over the campaign, with even the promise of all songs in it, I quote:

Quote:
This symphonic suite will consist of all themes from the two games, redesigned, arranged and orchestrated by Philippe Vachey and the team of the Scoring Orchestra. A long-term work, which will keep the original spirit of the games while changing the music, the themes and their colors, to new horizons, even new emotions.
And here's what was advertised:

Spoiler:


What fans probably imagined the symphonic to be when giving all their money:

Spoiler:


And what it actually was...

Spoiler:


+ lots of synthesizers:




With only 10 out of 15 lba songs included, and those which are included are indulgently different from the original melodies.

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A few years ago, under the guise of protecting the population, Dr. FunFrock herded the planet's habitants into the southern hemisphere. The repression is harsh. Every day brings more and more arrests, and the people slowly begin to lose hope. In an effort to keep their spirits up, the people sometimes evoke an ancient legend along with the name of a goddess, Sendell. The mentioning of the legend or Sendell has since been forbidden by Dr. FunFrock. Meanwhile... a young quetch named Twinsen has been having strange dreams...
Quote:
" If you have no success with one type of behaviour, try another. " - LBA 2 Manual

Last edited by SpaceGuitarist; 2021-01-14 at 16:34.
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  #213  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:23
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Absolutely. I am so sorry for you, bro. Also, lots of pictures have already been released to the general public, so it's not even an exclusive thing for you backers.

Speaking of disappointments and feeling delusional about promised things...

The release was meant for "December 2019 to March 2020: delivery of all the products", according to the Kickstarter, but it was delayed in one year and this is probably the major reason for all this frustration, because the project would've gone completely unaffected by the virus and global restrictions and everybody would've been happier.

In the end, the project took from May 2019 - December 2020, meaning +1 year in the making than originally intended, plus the already mentioned 258% of the budget (€64,533 pledged of the €25,000 original goal). The words symphonic are repeated all over the campaign, with even the promise of all songs in it, I quote:



And here's what was advertised:

Spoiler:


What fans probably imagined the symphonic to be when giving all their money:

Spoiler:


And what it actually was...

Spoiler:


+ lots of synthesizers:




With only 10 out of 19 lba songs included, and those which are included are indulgently different, often straying away from the original melodies.

wait what we miss 9 tracks?
let me count
1. the village
2. honey bee
3. the rebels
4. celebration island theme
5. song for gabriel
6. lba's theme? (not sure since it's kinda included)
7. lba theme 2? (I dont think these are really 2 tracks)
8. ?
9?

isn't it 5? still too much though
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  #214  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:33
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Whoops sorry you are right! Gonna edit that. But yeah, 5 is still a lot. I would gladly swap the 2 new songs and ftlaps for some of those. And the LBA Theme(s?)... I am sorry but the music box thing doesn't make up for them.
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  #215  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:41
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Originally Posted by SpaceGuitarist View Post
Whoops sorry you are right! Gonna edit that. But yeah, 5 is still a lot. I would gladly swap the 2 new songs and ftlaps for some of those. And the LBA Theme(s?)... I am sorry but the music box thing doesn't make up for them.
Speaking of that I wanna hear the musicbox, cause on the small video preview we had from them, it had some really weird bass to it, like the tonal register was set too low, there were some weird modulations captured in that video, I would have preferred to see the overall register taken 2-3 semitones above. But who knows, maybe that was only on the video, so I'll have to check the real thing (if it ever arrives of course)...
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  #216  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:43
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I got a bit carried away in anger that Vachey blew his one and only shot to do this this thing right 100% and fulfill everyone's childhood dreams, and now this chance is gone.
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  #217  
Old 2021-01-14, 16:47
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Carried away nothing, I think we're all absolutely 200% right imho... again, I wanna hear that music box in real life, cause I have a slight suspicion my hunch is correct and some of those bass tones really spoil the mood, but enough negativism from my side, I hope I'm wrong at least about that one
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"Because we don't know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well, yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that's so deeply a part of your being that you can't even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless." --- Paul Bowles
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  #218  
Old 2021-01-14, 17:57
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Carried away nothing, I think we're all absolutely 200% right imho...
I know. And hey, judging from this 'meh' symphonic cd by Vachey and the 'meh' game 2Dark by Fred, my expectations for LBA3 have been lowered like never before.

Last edited by SpaceGuitarist; 2021-01-14 at 18:10.
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  #219  
Old 2021-01-14, 18:04
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I know. And hey, judging from this 'meh' symphonic cd by Vachey and the 'meh' game 2Dark by Fred, my expectations for LBA3 have been lowered like never before.

It was lowered already when I saw the lba 1 remastered version for pc.
The controls were really annoying.
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  #220  
Old 2021-01-14, 21:42
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It was lowered already when I saw the lba 1 remastered version for pc.
The controls were really annoying.
Hmm wait, what remastered version are you talking about? The GOG one or some fan made game from our guys in here? Cause I hope I didn't miss a true remaster of LBA1
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  #221  
Old 2021-01-14, 22:12
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Hmm wait, what remastered version are you talking about? The GOG one or some fan made game from our guys in here? Cause I hope I didn't miss a true remaster of LBA1

the steam version
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  #222  
Old 2021-01-14, 23:11
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hmm I just googled it and I always thought those screenshots were from the mobile version lol mmm I think I'll pass just cause it's probably modified too much from how I remember it as gameplay and all..
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  #223  
Old 2021-01-15, 03:53
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Hello everyone. It's interesting to read these responses! I was one of those people being silent. I didn't want to be negative, as I know how painful it can feel to invest a lot of work in a music project and have it be criticised. At the same time, this community still means quite a bit to me (it was the first forum I ever joined!) and it would be fun to join the conversation. And the floodgates have been opened now! I also trust the probability of anyone involved in the project reading this is fairly low...or so I hope.

Before I share, I want to say I don't think my issues with the release are nostalgia talking. I know we are all affected to some degree by how music is attached to past moments, but for whatever reason when I listen to music for the first time in 10, 15, 20 years (as I have been doing recently with certain symphonies and songs my parents would play me), I don't get the flood of emotions and associated with nostalgia. People don't believe me when I say that, but it's true. In all honesty, it's usually a fairly analytical response, where the emotion that does arise comes from the nature of the sounds being heard apart from their past associations or aspects outside the music. In some cases I wonder what I ever saw in the piece, whilst admitting it was connected with some nice memories or powerful media, and in other cases the music sounds even better than I remember - and I realise as a kid I didn't even fully appreciate what was going on musically. Maybe this way of hearing music comes from spending so much time working in music. Anyway, the original LBA, and especially LBA2 pieces fall into the latter category. They're even better than I remember, and it's not because of some tsunami of childhood associations, but because I've learned a bit more about music since I was 9 years old and hear and feel afresh that somehow Vachey hit some genius peaks there. As Jesse pointed out, even things that *should* be flaws somehow work in the music's favour (i.e the use of sampled instruments.) They have a weird physicality and impact that comes from being fairly close (and well sampled for the time) to real but not real. They're also not samples I've often heard before or since. And of course, the compositions are SO enchanting, with every element in its right place, with a real clarity of brilliant themes, and plenty of propulsion, great polyphonic interplay, darkness, humour, wit, depth, subtlety and epic-ness, etc. Absolutely wonderful music!

But I’ve been listening to more of the LBA Symphonic Suite, and far from growing on me, it is becoming increasingly disappointing to these ears (apart from three or four good moments, and a more than competent rendering of the LBA Opening - a real highlight.) Overall, though, if this didn’t have the official LBA association, I would think it very amateurish (and not in a charming way - which can sometimes be the case) and wouldn't have tried to allow it to grow on me as long as I have. I was hoping for some of the unexpected, but not in this sense! I find a majority of the musical choices very odd on it, both within tracks and in terms of track selection. For a start, I don't know why Honey Bee and Zeelich are not included. Of course, I knew there was a chance not everything would be part of the suite, but those two are in my mind the *last* pieces that should have missed orchestral treatment! It was said originally that all the tracks would be re-recorded. Fair enough if that ended up proving impossible because of certain factors, but these are perhaps two of the strongest of all the pieces in the original game soundtracks. It wouldn't have been impossibly complicated to transcribe them; they could have been re-created almost "as is" for orchestral parts. Very strange.

A main problem for me, though, is the electronic sounds and production (as well as mixing and mastering choices.) Now, I love electronic music. I love early electronic experiments, love the 70s era of Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Jarre, Tangerine Dream etc., I love new (including new popular and "weird") electronica, I love IDM and ambient everything in between and love totally crazy electronic music that my friends regard as a horrifying racket. I also love classical music (from baroque to 21st century) and enjoy a number of attempts the meld electronic and orchestral worlds. So there is no problem here with an electronic direction where appropriate. (It is also irritating to see people say close-minded things about electronic treatments and the skills involved in sound-design.)

But the synth sounds here are unfortunately pretty garish, cheap and usually unsubtle in the extreme, and often don't seem to fit the context. For one example, I don't understand the electronic approach in the new Emerald Moon. What is going on there with that lead sound, in such a beautiful and emotive composition? I like shocking ideas sometimes, but the shocks here don't challenge in a good way; they feel clumsy, like something went wrong in the process and was hurried or unfinished. (I don't know the recoding situation and am not accusing - this is just how it feels.) It doesn't help that the levels of certain instruments or sounds also seem all over the place. Some of the new arrangements don't suffer like this: Empire is a very enjoyable re-approach, for example. But others are uneven in ways that really surprised me.

In most instances, actually, the original tracks seem better from a sound choice perspective as well as in terms of thematic structuring. Now, an "entitled" approach to listening, where we demand what a composer does as if at a restaurant ordering food - that doesn't seem a good way to approach music. A composer can absolutely express what they want in a fearless manner. And I don't believe I feel this way because I can’t bear change or am so attached to the way things are. It's just that the original pieces supply such a wealth of such amazing material and approaches which seem to have been crudely overlooked, and things put in their place that seem to lack much of a sense of what made the original music brilliant! In comparison to these re-creations, the original pieces flow far more convincingly, are fuller sounding, and state their themes in much more pointed, interesting ways - and where synth sounds are rarely utilised, they are pretty beautiful (as in the original "Emerald Moon's" opening swelling pad-like sound.) I was actually prepared for some changes; again, who am I to say what a composer should or shouldn't do? As stated, I hate that consumer attitude, and it's my job to accept changes Vachey wanted to bring. But I can't deny feeling that these changes seem so unexciting, however, or that they lessen the impact of the compositions. Far from adding intrigue, they seem to totally water down the musical situation. “FT LAPs” is also provably the weakest sounding thing I have heard in 2020 on an official release. It could have been fun (although I don't particularly understand its conclusion over other things) but the mix and sounds...!

There are some lovely moments here. The originals are as wonderful as ever, and the booklet is cool. It probably isn't as bad as my description makes out, with more great musical moments not mentioned (since I'm just airing grievances - because for some reason they are what I remember most now.) The new works are also quite pretty. I don't want to be entitled, and I especially don't want to take away from those of you who are enjoying it. Keep enjoying it! I am happy for you. Your enjoyment means something, and your views totally valid. But for me, this is quite far from what I was expecting given the description of the fundraiser a long time ago. I am happy it even happened at all, and would much rather have this than nothing. Philip Vachey's work surely deserves to be brought back. It is great the memory of LBA lives on, but I think it deserved better.

Last edited by CS2x; 2021-01-15 at 05:07.
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  #224  
Old 2021-01-15, 14:03
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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Thanks so much for coming forth from silence and sharing your words with us, Rob. It is highly appreciated. <3

Quote:
Originally Posted by CS2x View Post
(...)
in other cases the music sounds even better than I remember - and I realise as a kid I didn't even fully appreciate what was going on musically. Maybe this way of hearing music comes from spending so much time working in music.
(...)
and it's not because of some tsunami of childhood associations, but because I've learned a bit more about music since I was 9 years old and hear and feel afresh that somehow Vachey hit some genius peaks there.
Truer words have never been spoken!
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  #225  
Old 2021-01-15, 15:06
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SpaceGuitarist SpaceGuitarist is offline
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Originally Posted by CS2x View Post
Spoiler:
Hello everyone. It's interesting to read these responses! I was one of those people being silent. I didn't want to be negative, as I know how painful it can feel to invest a lot of work in a music project and have it be criticised. At the same time, this community still means quite a bit to me (it was the first forum I ever joined!) and it would be fun to join the conversation. And the floodgates have been opened now! I also trust the probability of anyone involved in the project reading this is fairly low...or so I hope.

Before I share, I want to say I don't think my issues with the release are nostalgia talking. I know we are all affected to some degree by how music is attached to past moments, but for whatever reason when I listen to music for the first time in 10, 15, 20 years (as I have been doing recently with certain symphonies and songs my parents would play me), I don't get the flood of emotions and associated with nostalgia. People don't believe me when I say that, but it's true. In all honesty, it's usually a fairly analytical response, where the emotion that does arise comes from the nature of the sounds being heard apart from their past associations or aspects outside the music. In some cases I wonder what I ever saw in the piece, whilst admitting it was connected with some nice memories or powerful media, and in other cases the music sounds even better than I remember - and I realise as a kid I didn't even fully appreciate what was going on musically. Maybe this way of hearing music comes from spending so much time working in music. Anyway, the original LBA, and especially LBA2 pieces fall into the latter category. They're even better than I remember, and it's not because of some tsunami of childhood associations, but because I've learned a bit more about music since I was 9 years old and hear and feel afresh that somehow Vachey hit some genius peaks there. As Jesse pointed out, even things that *should* be flaws somehow work in the music's favour (i.e the use of sampled instruments.) They have a weird physicality and impact that comes from being fairly close (and well sampled for the time) to real but not real. They're also not samples I've often heard before or since. And of course, the compositions are SO enchanting, with every element in its right place, with a real clarity of brilliant themes, and plenty of propulsion, great polyphonic interplay, darkness, humour, wit, depth, subtlety and epic-ness, etc. Absolutely wonderful music!

But I’ve been listening to more of the LBA Symphonic Suite, and far from growing on me, it is becoming increasingly disappointing to these ears (apart from three or four good moments, and a more than competent rendering of the LBA Opening - a real highlight.) Overall, though, if this didn’t have the official LBA association, I would think it very amateurish (and not in a charming way - which can sometimes be the case) and wouldn't have tried to allow it to grow on me as long as I have. I was hoping for some of the unexpected, but not in this sense! I find a majority of the musical choices very odd on it, both within tracks and in terms of track selection. For a start, I don't know why Honey Bee and Zeelich are not included. Of course, I knew there was a chance not everything would be part of the suite, but those two are in my mind the *last* pieces that should have missed orchestral treatment! It was said originally that all the tracks would be re-recorded. Fair enough if that ended up proving impossible because of certain factors, but these are perhaps two of the strongest of all the pieces in the original game soundtracks. It wouldn't have been impossibly complicated to transcribe them; they could have been re-created almost "as is" for orchestral parts. Very strange.

A main problem for me, though, is the electronic sounds and production (as well as mixing and mastering choices.) Now, I love electronic music. I love early electronic experiments, love the 70s era of Kraftwerk, Vangelis, Jarre, Tangerine Dream etc., I love new (including new popular and "weird") electronica, I love IDM and ambient everything in between and love totally crazy electronic music that my friends regard as a horrifying racket. I also love classical music (from baroque to 21st century) and enjoy a number of attempts the meld electronic and orchestral worlds. So there is no problem here with an electronic direction where appropriate. (It is also irritating to see people say close-minded things about electronic treatments and the skills involved in sound-design.)

But the synth sounds here are unfortunately pretty garish, cheap and usually unsubtle in the extreme, and often don't seem to fit the context. For one example, I don't understand the electronic approach in the new Emerald Moon. What is going on there with that lead sound, in such a beautiful and emotive composition? I like shocking ideas sometimes, but the shocks here don't challenge in a good way; they feel clumsy, like something went wrong in the process and was hurried or unfinished. (I don't know the recoding situation and am not accusing - this is just how it feels.) It doesn't help that the levels of certain instruments or sounds also seem all over the place. Some of the new arrangements don't suffer like this: Empire is a very enjoyable re-approach, for example. But others are uneven in ways that really surprised me.

In most instances, actually, the original tracks seem better from a sound choice perspective as well as in terms of thematic structuring. Now, an "entitled" approach to listening, where we demand what a composer does as if at a restaurant ordering food - that doesn't seem a good way to approach music. A composer can absolutely express what they want in a fearless manner. And I don't believe I feel this way because I can’t bear change or am so attached to the way things are. It's just that the original pieces supply such a wealth of such amazing material and approaches which seem to have been crudely overlooked, and things put in their place that seem to lack much of a sense of what made the original music brilliant! In comparison to these re-creations, the original pieces flow far more convincingly, are fuller sounding, and state their themes in much more pointed, interesting ways - and where synth sounds are rarely utilised, they are pretty beautiful (as in the original "Emerald Moon's" opening swelling pad-like sound.) I was actually prepared for some changes; again, who am I to say what a composer should or shouldn't do? As stated, I hate that consumer attitude, and it's my job to accept changes Vachey wanted to bring. But I can't deny feeling that these changes seem so unexciting, however, or that they lessen the impact of the compositions. Far from adding intrigue, they seem to totally water down the musical situation. “FT LAPs” is also provably the weakest sounding thing I have heard in 2020 on an official release. It could have been fun (although I don't particularly understand its conclusion over other things) but the mix and sounds...!

There are some lovely moments here. The originals are as wonderful as ever, and the booklet is cool. It probably isn't as bad as my description makes out, with more great musical moments not mentioned (since I'm just airing grievances - because for some reason they are what I remember most now.)

(...)

The new works are also quite pretty. I don't want to be entitled, and I especially don't want to take away from those of you who are enjoying it. Keep enjoying it! I am happy for you. Your enjoyment means something, and your views totally valid. But for me, this is quite far from what I was expecting given the description of the fundraiser a long time ago. I am happy it even happened at all, and would much rather have this than nothing. Philip Vachey's work surely deserves to be brought back. It is great the memory of LBA lives on, but I think it deserved better.
This conclusion... It says it all... brings me to tears to read this. I think you have put beautifully all that I had wished to say but felt too frustrated to say it so eloquently and calmly.

I think the way you put things match what I and others feel in a very precise manner. Highlighting that we are not feeling entitled or anything like that was very important too. Perhaps a lot of people might misinterpret our criticism here. As a musician myself, as well as most of us here (Cs2x, Jesse, Polaris and Quetch), we surely know that any creator wishes for absolute freedom in his creation, without any constraints as to the public's expectations. It is a good thing that Vachey felt free to do as he wished to do, and had all the support and confidence from the fans during its creation.

All in all, you are right, it is better to have this than nothing, life goes on, we do have the originals which are absolute perfection any way --- and for those of you wishing that there was more, feeling unsatiated, don't forget to check my fans music suite and find that even with $ ZERO budget and little time, us the people, the indie world of amateur music, can do a LOT, purely out of love ♥.
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