(Topic ID: 207399)

Chris Granner rocks!

By Vino

6 years ago


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#33 6 years ago

You cats are SO awesome! Thank you so much for the kind words, can't even begin to say how much it means to hear stuff like this about music that has been forgotten by many.

No actual promises, but you may have inspired me to clean up & modernize that archive -- gotta get in & edit the links so they just link to the mp3s like normal modern music archives.

One guy above referenced the DCS version of TZ. As Pinwizkid mentioned, it was cool to dig that DAT out of mothballs and get some music out there that was otherwise completely lost, so there's that. But I have to say my feelings about TZ in general, and especially that soundtrack, have really evolved. As you all astutely point out, DCS was hardly a one-way-street to "mo' better" sound -- not having that ability to manipulate the pitch and tempo of a melody was a huge setback, one I still struggle with to this day in games now that ALL sound is basically pre-recorded and played back through a multi-channel digital mixer: Yes, you CAN'T do what we did with Whitewater without a huge footprint of audio which we obviously didn't have in 1993, or even in 2003. But more importantly, you can't do those manipulations INTERACTIVELY, IN REAL TIME. IMO the best example of that stuff is in Taxi: listen to the "musical car horns" as you make loop and return lane shots. Always transposed to the chord the tune is currently in...EVEN IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HORN LICK. I just think that's so sexy. (Yes I am the geekiest guy you ever met, I admit it...)

Anyway, TZ: we had kind of drifted away from doing that crazy interactive stuff by then, there's some but not much. What the WPC version of TZ has, is MORE MUSIC AND SOUND than any other previous game. And, it's all done by a team (Rich Karstens and myself, directed by Pat, Larry & Ted) at the very pinnacle of our skills...from the last .01dB of clarity we managed to squeeze out of the CVSD speech system, to the giant wad of EPROM they gave us when they bailed on DCS, allowing us to digitize lots of little foley sound effects with the drum machine in glorious EIGHT-BIT PCM (woo hoo!), to pretty much the peak of all the hundreds of little tricks we had all evolved over 7 years of making Yamaha sounds: I've basically come to the conclusion that TZ is the best pre-DCS soundtrack in pinball. (My FAVORITE overall soundtrack is still Fish Tales, and my favorite single tune is still the Taxi main tune.) Side note: I don't care for the Pinsound version of TZ much. Not 'cause of the music...but the last version I heard, they still hadn't implemented proper interactive mixing, and things aren't nearly as well-balanced as the WPC version. Would be happy to hear this has improved in the last year or so...

To me, the game that made all that stuff possible, and the game that brought us squarely into the modern, story-telling, theme-immersing era of pinball...was PinBot. Yes, it was an awesome theme, yes it had the best of both Yamaha and previously Sys11 sounds...the revolutionary thing about PinBot was, "I ... SEE ... YOU." THAT was THE IDEA for the game: you (the player) bring a MACHINE to LIFE. And you know what? THAT'S WHAT PINBALL IS, HAS BECOME. And we pretty much owe that to Python. (It's also a REALLY cool soundtrack -- a first in several areas, and the theme fit the technology better than pretty much any other theme, ever.)

OK gotta go to work. Thanks again, everyone, SO VERY MUCH! Keep playing, and keep writing! (thanks to Greg and Brendan for tipping me off to the thread!)

Best,
-cg

#44 6 years ago
Quoted from soren:

Can you, at the top of your head, think of say three (if any) examples of non-percussive digital sounds you used the 8-bit DAC for.

Well I can think of two (categories): 1) the whitewater "rapids" ramp sounds -- the CVSD versions of these were basically just a wall of noise. 2) basically, every small playfield sfx in TZ -- the clocks ticking, a lot of things that used a loose ping-pong delay effect with a fair amount of feedback, and just starting with little clicks, gave it a very spacious sound IMO. Of course those all came directly from the DCS version; they gave us the extra EPROM space so that we could speed up porting the game to WPC/YamahaVille.

Once we were past TZ, it was all moot obviously...and before that very unusual circumstance, EPROM footprint was a pretty severe limitation, so VERY little of that sort of thing went on. Good question.

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