I’m quite excited about this post.
Finally – after YEARS of avoidance – I have started taking the time to properly arrange and master the music available on this site. This is a rather involved process; it involves hours of soundfont hunting, instrument tweaking, checking and re-checking levels, normalizing and compressing, and any number of smaller steps in-between depending on the particular song. Because this process is so involved, I’ve failed to set aside the proper time for it, instead choosing to make my music available in various states of “almost finished.”
But no longer.
Here – for your listening pleasure – are two tracks familiar to anyone who has frequented the site in recent years… only they’ve been given proper treatment (meaning they sound a bajillion times better than previous versions):
mp3s are available as high-quality VBR encodings (220-260kbps), with the ogg versions roughly equivalent. Unlike previous versions of these tracks, proper compression and normalizing means each song will fit nicely into any playlist, with each track playing at a proper, standard volume.
I’m particularly happy with the way Aerith’s Theme turned out. The new version uses a carefully tuned Steinway-based soundfont, and I’ve finally put my excellent Audigy2 ZS to use in getting the envelope hold, decay, and release working as it should. The track sounds quite good considering it was recorded over MIDI from a 20-year-old keyboard.
Retribution sounds fairly similar to its original version in terms of actual instrumentation. Some of the more grating tracks have been toned down, and I’ve swapped the piano for a celesta (it meshes better with the other instruments IMO). Repetition on the percussion track has been cut down, and I’ve finally solved the problem of static on the loud sections.
Many additional, minor changes have gone into the remastering of these tracks, and I’m very pleased with how they’ve turned out.
Every song on the site will be getting similar treatment in the coming weeks, and every track will eventually be released in both mp3 and ogg versions (as well as the original MIDI when applicable). I debated supplying FLAC versions as well, but the filesize simply isn’t practical. Additionally, since these are not “live” productions, the extra “quality” FLAC affords really isn’t worth the extra time it requires.
If you have any feedback, do let me know. Otherwise, enjoy music that is finally getting the treatment it deserves!
(And as always, all original music on this site has been released under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 United States License – so send copies to all your friends! :)