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By Jonathan Balofsky On 18 Aug, 2017 At 04:27 PM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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The Materia Collection sent out the following

 

Materia Collective is thrilled to present SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X, a massive 100-track tribute to the beloved PlayStation 2 RPG soundtrack by Nobuo Uematsu, Masashi Hamauzu, and Junya Nakano. Spread across two 50-track volumes titled Besaid Mix and Zanarkand Mix, SPIRA  will cover a variety of styles such as orchestral, electronic, and rock along with Bollywood, disco, gypsy punk, folk and irreverent chocobo choir. The large cast of musical talent includes Horizon Zero Dawn vocalist Julie Elven, composer Dale North, Pokémon Reorchestrated arranger Braxton Burks, the Triforce Quartet, and many others. SPIRA: Music from Final Fantasy X is fully licensed and available today:

“The Final Fantasy X soundtrack already contains a lot of variations on a few common themes,” note project organizers Joe Chen and Emily McMillan. “We wanted to create a listening experience where it didn’t feel like you’re listening to ‘Hymn of the Fayths’ 20 times in a row, so all of our artists aimed to do something new on their track. For example, some artists arranged in an unfamiliar style, while others incorporated unique instrumentation. As a result, both SPIRA albums re-frame the classic themes from Final Fantasy X with a fresh perspective.”
SPIRA follows other well-received arrangement projects from Materia Collective including MATERIA: Final Fantasy VII Remixed and SUCCESSOR: Final Fantasy VIII Remixed. Given the size of this collection, fans can count on all of their favorite tracks being included, such as the highly emotional “Zanarkand,” the beautiful vocal ballad, “Suteki da ne,” and everyone’s favorite metal track, “Otherworld.”
Learn more on the official Materia Collective website:
This is really cool news. The music of the game is absolutely awesome, and the Materia Collection puts out high quality work. This will no doubt be another great project.
Source: PR Email.
By Jonathan Balofsky On 6 May, 2017 At 08:43 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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We have some news about the upcoming game from Retro Studios. We don’t have a name or even what type of game this is, but we now know something about the music.

Composer Alexander Brandon, who has worked on games such as Deux Ex, Unreal, Unreal Tournament, Thief: Dark Shadows & Neverwinter Nights 2 among other projects, has revealed he is working on Retro’s new game.

This raises a lot of possibilities for what the game could be.

For reference, here is the soundtrack to Unreal

and Unreal Tournament

 

Hopefully Nintendo shares details about the game soon. Interesting that they are bringing an outside composer on this.

Source

By Jonathan Balofsky On 2 May, 2017 At 09:08 AM | Categorized As News, News, Otaku Music, PC Games, PlayStation, ROG News, Xbox 360/Xbox One | With 0 Comments

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Bethesda sent out the following

 

Ahead of Prey’s global release on May 5th, the full Original Game Soundtrack is now available! You can listen to the game’s original tracks on Spotify or Apple Music right now, or pick it up on iTunes, Amazon Music or Google Play. Even better, you can check out Mick Gordon’s music in the free demo, available right now on PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.

 

No stranger to space, Mick’s work has appeared in a plethora of games in partnership with Bethesda Softworks, including a recent trip to Mars with the award winning soundtrack for DOOM from id Software. However, Mick took Prey in completely different direction, building a diverse soundtrack that combines ambient arpeggiated guitars and heart thumping synth beats. The result lends itself perfectly to the tense, menacing journey to uncovering the mysteries surrounding Talos I and facing off against the alien threat that has taken over the station. Be sure to check out Bethesda.net for more details.

 

The Prey: Original Game Soundtrack full track list includes:

  • “The Experiment” byMick Gordon
  • “Everything Is Going to Be Okay” byMick Gordon
  • “Typhon Voices” byMick Gordon
  • “The Phantoms” byMick Gordon
  • “Into the Tunnels” byMatt Piersall
  • “Human Elements” byMick Gordon
  • “The Truth Will Set You Free” byMick Gordon
  • “No Gravity” byMick Gordon
  • “Alex Theme” by Mick Gordon
  • “December and January” by Mick Gordon
  • “Neuromods” by Mick Gordon
  • “Stranded” byBen Crossbones
  • “Semi Sacred Geometry” byRaphael Colantonio and Matt Piersall
  • “Mind Game” byRaphael Colantonio, Production and Electronics by Matt Piersall

 

Prey is the highly anticipated first-person sci-fi action game from Arkane Studios set to launch worldwide on Friday, May 5th on Xbox One, PlayStation 4 and PC. In addition, a free Prey demo is now for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, allowing fans to board Talos I and play the opening hour before the game launches. Prey has been rated M for mature by the ESRB. For more information about the game please visit: prey.bethesda.net.

 

Prey is looking awesome and now we know how it will sounds awesome as well. The game launches very soon, so players can experience it for themselves. Check our review of the demo here

 

Source: PR Email

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I recently had the chance to speak with composer Samuel Laflamme. The composer for such games as Outlast, offered insight into game music composition and game design. Have a read and enjoy.

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JB:  What are your biggest influences in music?

 

 

SL:  I’ve grow up listening so many soundtrack scores tha choosing one is a real challenge. But Danny Elfman’s Batman was the first score I really touched me. I’ve always been in love with all the John Williams Star Wars series and also the Steven Spielberg/John Williams collaborations. As a teenager, I discovered Hans Zimmer’s action scores from the 90s, and it was my king of “rock” period, while my friends at the time were listening to Nirvana and Guns & Roses…Nine Inch Nails, Bjork and Radiohead were, for me, my electro-rock-pop-industrial influences. I really liked other bands like Board of Canada. Or electronic musician like Amon Tobin.

More recently I love what Johann Johannsson brings to Hollywood movies. I’m also a profound lover of old Bernard Hermann scores. To me Vertigo is one of the best masterpieces in Hollywood history.

 

 

JB:  Who inspired you to go into music?

 

 

SL:  Again, Danny Elfman’s Batman score was really important. I listened in loop so many times Descent into mystery. While I’m writing those words, I’m listening to it on a youtube video, and it gives me the chills.

Also John Williams with all his 80s scores, from E.T. to Star Wars, by Indiana Jones… Some tracks at the end of Empire Strikes Back were in my top revealing music experience of all time! (including Darth Vader’s march and Escape from Cloud city).

 

 

JB:  What have been some of the challenges for composing music for video games?

 

 

SL: I’m not a hardcore gamer, nor an intense horror fan… So Outlast was my first video game score, and the reason why I was on this project is that Philippe Morin (co-founder of Red Barreld Games) and I shared the same vision on the role of a score in a movie or a video game. It adds something to the story, or the gaming experience, that you don’t see at the screen. I love to create a score that tells something else beyond the information given to us by images. For example, if you’re only walking in a quiet corridor, I would love to add a strange, uncomfortable score that make you imagine that anything could happen at any moments… Phil named it “free gameplay development” because they didn’t have to invent events to create fear. Another good example, is creating a quiet, soft score in middle of a gory scene. It makes you feel so weird that this amplifies the strangeness of the moment. The Cliché of it is childish music box score used to create something really scary from a music that is supposed to be a lullaby.

 

 

JB:  What styles do you like to experiment with in your work?

 

 

SL: I don’t have any preference on the style, but what’s important for me is to be creative. If I’m forced to compose music from temp tracks, or strongly loved references, I really don’t like it because I will struggle to be inventive with something so restrictive. The most important key is working with creative collaborators who aren’t afraid to let me try new things. I can always step back, but I prefer to try new things and push the limits than just stay within the references.

 

 

JB:  Related to the above, what styles would you like to bring in to your work?

 

 

SL:  Again, it’s all about how creative a score can be to tell the story of a movie, video game, etc. I’ve done so many styles in TV shows during the 10 years before doing Outlast. I had chance to explore all those styles but the greatest music I’ve done was when I was allowed to create something surprising and new. In music for image, you can use whatever kind of music for almost whatever image you’re scoring for. And that’s the beauty of it. The only important thing to consider is what story we want to tell. Do you remember “A Knight’s Tale” using rock music in a medieval movie? It worked well! Or whatever Tarantino movies using surf guitars… Or Hans Zimmer Joker’s theme… Or Bernard Hermann using only strings for Psycho (because of the monochrome aspect of the image) and at the time, strings made reference to love scenes… Now using high pitch staccati strings in cluster is a cliché. All of it is about being creative. How can I use music to tell the story.

Bernard Hermann used Brass in his Vertigo Ouverture to imitate the fog horns of San Francisco. How could I be creative in Outlast 2 compared to Outlast 1, by inspiring myself by the new locations, caracters, etc and then being conscient of all the elements that stay from Outlast 1 to Outlast 2 in the game.

 

 

JB:  What are some of your favourite video games soundtracks?

 

 

SL:  I’m a guy from the 80s. I still REALLY love the Zelda theme. It’s one of the classics I know, but still so, so, so good!! I really liked the Mortal Kombat music during the 90s. It’s might be funny but I do remember some good themes from Echo The dolphin on Sega Genesis.I really liked Joel McNeely’s Shadows of the Empire. To me, he’s the one who should be hired for the next Star Wars when John Williams won’t be able to continue. I do remember the excellent music of the first Warcraft and Starcraft.

 

 

JB:  What would you like to see done with video game music going forward?

 

 

SL:  I think we are in the golden age of video games right now. Movies aren’t as interesting as in the past, We have all those super hero movies, or all those really indie movies that employ more radio tunes then scores. Arrival was a revelation for me, but it is in a rare zone for film industry right now. I think tv shows are more originals than movies, and also some really good games. Because I’m a movie fan, I love great storytelling. I love so much the Paolo Sorrentino’s movies (La Grande Bellezza, Youth). But I know it’s marginal in this whole Hollywood world. I think more cinematic video games are fresh air in the freedom of writing and Outlast is right there. You wouldn’t see this kind of edginess in movies now… I don’t think so. I’m not talking about the goriness, but more about the freedom of the form. The freedom of creating something that good, without asking to the rest of the world their opinion like all those screen test and focus groups. I feel like games and TV shows take risks right now that are really interesting in new avenue of story telling and experiences.

 

 

JB:  Do you feel video game music is held back still by anything?

 

 

SL:  It always depends on the creative people who work on a project. I’ve been really lucky with Red Barrels, they let me try things, and I really appreciate this!

It’s fundamental for me to push out limits and find new way to express myself musically.

The only thing that could stop my ideas would be the small amount of music scoring knowledge a creative director, a game developper or a movie director could have. Then I have to educate what I try to do and it’s really daunting.

 

 

JB:  What are some of the challenges in composing for a horror game?

 

 

SL:  The first main challenge is to be new and original. There are so many clichés it’s so difficult to create something new especially in that genre. I have chance to work with collaborators who invite me to explore and push boundaries. This is the only way I can find something new. It so rare you wake up in the morning with the eureka idea! You have to struggle, explore pitch ideas, and see what’s still strong and stand out at the end.

The second is to be “musical”. It’s easy to just make chaotic music to create fear. The real challenge is to create something scary but hooky and memorable. I think you have to have a tune at the end. What makes the Joker’s theme in The Dark Knight so memorable? It’s a clear, bold and original idea. And it’s repeated a lot in the movie so you can associate it easily to the awesome character. I try to make a brilliant use of the most strong and memorable sounds I could find during the creative process, then I try to make you associate it to whatever I need to. For example, my cymbal sound from Outlast 1 was the icon for me, and I tried to push it at some important moment in Outlast 2.

 

 

 

JB:  What is the mindset that goes into composing for a horror game? How do you get the right ideas to put into your work?

 

 

SL:  I don’t know how the other composers work, but for me it’s a very personal and intimate journey into my deeper feelings. I have to refer and connect to my own fears and emotions. Like an actor probably. If I cannot connect to this, you won’t believe or be touched by what I try to tell. I don’t know why actually, but every time I composed too much using only my intellectual knowledge (analyzing my music), I didn’t keep those ideas at the end. Another good tester for me to see what works, or not, is the time. Because the creation of a game like Outlast 2 can take 2 years, it gives me the chance to see what’s still good after having listening it all this time.

 

 

JB:  Do you feel that horror game music is more intrinsically a part of the games?

 

 

SL:  Yes of course, but not because it’s horror, but because it’s a huge part of the gameplay. It’s part of the core, the DNA of the game. Any romantic movie without excellent score would look like cheesy. When the emotion is a key element of the story or gameplay, the presence of an excellent score or music is fundamental to complete the experience!

 

 

 

JB:  What are some of the ways you innovated with the soundtracks for your games?

 

 

SL: By choosing different instruments for Outlast 2, I based my choice on the locations in this new game. I wanted to try something else. I’m a strong believer that I could tell whatever emotion with whatever instrument. It’s always depend on a good interpretation of the instrument. A good musician can tell the whole range of emotion with his instrument, or at least can try to be creative enough to interpret it. In the case of Outlast 2, I tried to get out of my comfort zone by using guitars and basses, and banjo. I know it can sound ridiculous, but for my, as a non guitar player, it’s a challenge to experiment those instruments and trying to find new original tones and sounds that are iconic and scary. I did use some iconic sounds from Outlast 1 at some key moments where I felt it was important to brand something associated to Outlast sound palette. Also, at one point, I thought I told everything I could with those instruments, my assistants and I had to think about how creating new sounds still familiar to the guitars, basses sound palette but adding something new. After a year and half using the guitars and basses samples, I got rid of them and wanted something new for the next levels… So we invented a simple instrument that we called “the Redneck bass”. A simple piece of wood, with metal string attached on it. And it was captured by a contact microphone. It allowed us to explore a new large variety of scary sounds using a bow. “11 bring back our messiah!” in the album is a good example of the use of this instrument.

 

JB:  What would you like to be able to do with your composing that you cannot do yet?

 

 

SL:  Good question!! There are so many things to do. I don’t think it leads to one specific idea. I hope I will continue to have original ideas though out my career. I only wish to work with tremendous talented people who have confidence in me and let me explore and discover new way to approach my music in storytelling . Again I’ve been lucky with Red Barrels so far, they are real genius and the most important thing is they let me explore ideas. One thing I would love is to explore more Sci-Fi projects or more dramatic stories projects. I’m a fan of great script, original ones like the movie “Arrival” and would love to work with people like the ones on the story driven projects from Naughty Dog or Quantic Dream.

 

 

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Thank you again to Samuel Laflamme for doing this interview. You can follow him on twitter at @Samuel_Laflamme    

By Jonathan Balofsky On 25 Apr, 2017 At 10:03 PM | Categorized As Featured, Interviews, Otaku Music, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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I recently had the chance to interview video game composer Stephen Cox.  His most recent work is the upcoming VR game Farpoint .We discussed his influences, and how composing for a VR game changes things. Please enjoy.

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JB: What are your biggest influences in music?

SC: They are all over the place. In the early years it was definitely all things classical including film music – Bach, Beethoven, Mozart especially John Williams. But Stevie Wonder was also in the background growing up, so I love groove oriented anything. Then Steve Vai, Mr. Bungle and most 90’s rock/metal/grunge pushed me through the high school years.

 

Once I was in college, my influences became totally schizophrenic… Coltrane, Mike Patton, Sleepytime Gorilla Museum, Erik Korngold, Aphex Twin, Stravinski… One of my new film scoring favorites is Jóhann Jóhannsson. His score for Arrival was outstanding. Can’t wait to hear what he does in the new Blade Runner! I love anything John Powell does and there are so many modern pop, rock, hip hop and R&B artists I’ve left out. I honestly listen to everything (even Country music) and sometimes study the hell out of it, depending on the gig.

 

JB: Who inspired you to go into music?

SC: It’s hard to say when that seed was planted and who planted it. Music was always part of my life growing up. However, there is one instance that stands out back in the early 90s… I was in the middle school concert band (playing trumpet at the time) and heavily into rock music, especially Steve Vai and his genius guitar playing. So this guest speaker comes in to do a talk about his music career and maybe selling Berklee College of Music, where he studied. I’m not sure who this guy was and I wasn’t really paying attention to anything he was saying… until he mentioned Steve Vai. He started talking about life at Berklee and the famous alumni who were there in his day. I don’t remember this speaker’s name, but I think what he said stuck with me in a big way. Years later I ended up at Berklee totally focused on doing music from then on out.

 

JB: What have been some of the challenges for composing music for video games?

SC: The fact that you aren’t scoring to a locked picture, like a film or show, can be tough initially, yet so much more freeing! I found myself really loving the nonlinear process. Also writing chunks of music or overlays that can be triggered at any time while fitting into an underlying loop was a fun challenge. But again, I love that part of it as well.

 

Deliverables are more complex in a game compared to TV or Film. Handing off organized sessions and countless files to give the engineers as much flexibility as possible (while still retaining your sonic vision) requires a certain degree of technical skill and planning. You always have to think about the guy down the production pipeline, making sure you are not making more work for the implementers and engineers. If they’re happy, we’re all happy.

 

JB: What styles do you like to experiment with for your work?

 

SC: I love having the chance to pick up a guitar and rock out. My ongoing work with CBS Sports usually fills that need, but there is not a lot of room for experimentation. If I ever get the opportunity to experiment, like we did in Farpoint, it would be the process of crafting new sounds from organic sources, textures… stuff no one has heard before. Being a part of that ‘world building’ process sonically was such a thrill.

 

JB: Related to the above, what styles would you like to bring into your work?
SC: Being able to mix up styles in new and interesting ways is something I always try to do when given the chance. It seems like our work with trailer music usually gives us opportunities for mashing up orchestral writing with sound design, synthesis and even rock. Music for trailers is usually bombastic, shock and awe, but they are a lot of fun. I look forward to any opportunity to do some modern composition, experimentation with rhythms and microtonality. Film and games are usually the best fit for this style. I can’t wait for the next one!

 

JB: What are some of your favourite video games soundtracks?

SC: My all time favorite is Grim Fandango composed by Pete McConnell. I know it’s old, but the music was the primary reason I was hooked on that game for years. I still play it with my kid on PS4. The score to The Last of Us composed by Gustavo Santaolalla was a big inspiration for Farpoint. Aside from his amazing theme music, some of the in-game music was so lush and rich with organic sound design… he is a true craftsman. The most recent game I can think of is Sarah Schachner’s work on Call of Duty: Infinite Warfare, which was killer! Her work with modular synthesis is super impressive… and it makes me want to go out and buy a bunch of toys. I know I’m leaving someone out…

 

JB: What would you like to see done with video game music going forward?

SC: I would love to see a “choose you own ensemble” scenario. Complete user control over the music engine itself. With VR, you might have the flexibility to place your chosen instruments in the world, add effects, who knows! The act of listening to music can be so much more with this technology. I know for a fact record labels are working on similar ideas for albums and artists currently. These next few years will be very exciting in the world of music and game music within VR.

 

JB: Do you feel video game music is held back still by anything?

SC: Only our imaginations. At this point I see no difference between the production quality of the biggest games compared to the biggest films. My kid and I just finished Uncharted 4 last night and Henry Jackman’s score totally knocked me out, Niagara Falls. I forgot to mention Uncharted 4 in the previous question. The emotional content and gameplay was supported perfectly by the music, just like his best film scores. If anything, film music is held back because of the static medium. Game music can be ever changing, evolving with the action taking place and there’s no longer a limit on how ‘big’ the music can be for a game. Kudos to Sony and Naughty Dog for the most amazing implementation of game music I’ve ever seen or heard.

 

JB: What are the challenges of composing for a game that is in VR?

SC: The biggest challenge is immersion, or keeping the player immersed in the VR world. There seems to be two schools of thought in terms of sound and music within VR: The first is Full Immersion, where the space and reality is represented as accurately as possible using sound effects only. And if there is music, it is source music, meaning it is coming from within the world itself. The other approach treats audio and music closer to a cinematic experience or even hyper-cinematic, almost like a theme park ride. We were always walking that fine line. When my writing partner, Danny McIntyre, and I realized that VR experiences (including Farpoint) are closer to a theme park attraction than a standard game, we found our stride and the music cues started clicking into place.

 

JB: Does the game being in VR change the way you go about composing?

 

SC: In terms of writing themes and cues, not so much. In terms of the sound palette and instrumentation, very much so. The way the instruments interacted with the space is very important. We tried to keep the score very wide and reverberant as if it was a part of the background ambience, which it almost is at times. We found that less could be more in terms of ensemble size even though some of the cues are very thick.

 

JB: Do you feel that VR offers new ways to experience the music?

 

SC: Absolutely. Mainly because of the space. The use of reverb and panning is so much more important in VR than it is in any other medium. Things can be focused or spread in a way that wouldn’t make sense if it were played back on speakers. Because the VR experience is inextricably tied to headphones, we ended up doing a lot of testing using them. I worked closely with Sony Interactive’s music team under Senior Music Manager Jonathan Mayer (along with music engineer/implementer Anthony Caruso and Rob Goodson) to figure out the right balance of instrumentation, reverb and placement. Those guys did amazing work.

 

JB: What are some of the innovations VR brings to game music?

SC: Because the experience is so immersive, I think it may change the way we approach sound design and scoring music entirely. Using music in a way that increases that feeling of immersion is an innovation in and of itself. I think we did very well with that in Farpoint, but we are all trying to reinvent the wheel together.

 

JB: What would you like to be able to do differently with music that cannot be done yet?

 

SC: I hear music, intervals, rhythms and pitches everywhere when I walk outside, wash the dishes or just sitting in my studio writing this. It’s kind of a sickness for most composers and audio pros. I want to create an experience for the listener that takes that to a new level. Where the pitches and rhythms of normal, everyday ambience can be compiled and processed in a way to make true music… in real time. Maybe I’ll get cracking on that right now, unless someone has already beaten me to it 😉

 

Also being able to craft and compose music in a VR space as if you were using the interface from Minority Report. VR could be the bridge to creating and composing music in entirely new ways and Farpoint is a very important first step in the world of VR innovation. I can’t wait for you all to experience it!

 

Thank you again Stephen for taking the time to talk to ROG!

By Jonathan Balofsky On 19 Apr, 2017 At 10:07 AM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarThe following was sent out

 

 

Brave Wave Productions is thrilled to present Ninja Gaiden The Definitive Soundtrack in limited edition CD and vinyl formats. The release–spanning two volumes but also available in combined Volume 1 + 2 set–marks the third and fourth entry into their award-winning Generation Series, which began in 2015 with the smash hit Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack. The classic Ninja Gaiden soundtracks for arcade and the NES are newly recorded and restored exclusively for this release, with supervision and commentary from the team of composers who composed the original music, including Brave Wave founding member and Ninja Gaiden composer Keiji Yamagishi.

Ninja Gaiden The Definitive Soundtrack is currently available on Bandcamp (physical CD and digital) and Big Wax (vinyl). Vol. 1 contains the original arcade and NES Ninja Gaiden soundtracks, while Vol. 2 features Ninja Gaiden II: The Dark Sword of Chaos and Ninja Gaiden III: The Ancient Ship of Doom. The first allotment of the combined Volume 1 + 2 4xLP set sold out within a few seconds, so fans will want to stay tuned for inventory updates, although there are no current plans to offer additional signed box sets:
Street Fighter II The Definitive Soundtrack set a high standard for our Generation Series brand,” comments Brave Wave CEO Alex Aniel. “Ninja Gaiden The Definitive Soundtrack marks our first foray into restoring NES audio, and the inclusion of Ninja Gaiden on arcade extends our signature work in offering unmatched restorations of arcade music by our Billboard-charted team. With four complete soundtracks across two volumes, these releases offer a chance for fans to experience the roots of TECMO-era composers Keiji Yamagishi, Ryuichi Nitta, and Kaori Nakabai in unprecedented clarity.”
In addition to re-recording and restoring all of the franchise’s beloved compositions from the source for this release, Brave Wave was able to revisit Tecmo Koei’s archives in order to bring the wonderful artwork from the series back into the spotlight for fans to once again enjoy.
Learn more about Ninja Gaiden The Definitive Soundtrack and the Generation Series on the official website:
These retro game soundtracks are awesome and it is great that so many are taking the time to highlight how great retro music was.
Thank you to Jayson Napolitano for bringing this to our attention.
Source: PR Email
By Jonathan Balofsky On 7 Apr, 2017 At 01:44 PM | Categorized As News, Otaku Music, PlayStation, ROG News | With 0 Comments

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Atlus sent out the following

 

 

Atlus Co., Ltd. (Setagayaku Tokyo, Chief Executive Officer: Akira Nomoto) announced that following the launch of the critically acclaimed Persona 5 in North America and Europe, the game has shipped more than 1.5 million copies worldwide.

To celebrate the launch of the game, there will be a Persona live concert event on Aug. 2 at the Yokohama Arena in Yokohama, Japan. Please stay tuned for upcoming news on Persona 5 and the Persona series in the future!
Persona 5 is a game about the internal and external conflicts of a group of troubled youth who live dual lives. They have the typically ordinary day-to-day of a Tokyo high-schooler – attending class, after school activities and part-time jobs. But they also undertake fantastical adventures by using otherworldly powers to enter the hearts of people. Their power comes from the Persona, the Jungian concept of the “self;” the game’s heroes realize that society forces people to wear masks to protect their inner vulnerabilities, and by literally ripping off their protective mask and confronting their inner selves do the heroes awaken their inner power, and use it to strive to help those in need. Ultimately, the group of Phantom Thieves seeks to change their day-to-day world to match their perception and see through the masks modern-day society wears.
Persona 5 is now available in the Americas and Europe, for PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 3. The game is rated M by the ESRB.
It is great to hear that Persona 5 has done so well. The game is amazing and deserves a large audience. Hopefully it will continue to sell well. Let us hope that the upcoming mainline Shin Megami Tensei game also sell well.
Source: PR Email.
By Jonathan Balofsky On 24 Mar, 2017 At 12:59 PM | Categorized As Otaku Music, ROG News | With 0 Comments

No GravatarGame music cover band Moiré Effect has put out a new song that is a Power Ballad version of the Moon Theme from Ducktales on the NES. This song has lyrics as well, and is rather catchy.

 

 

 

Moiré Effect started as a garage rock band in the late ’90s when the guys were in high school. In the last couple years they’ve been revisiting their original songs as well as putting out VGM covers for games including Deus Ex, Chrono Trigger, and Cave Story. You can follow Moiré Effect on Twitter or Facebook.

Thank you to Jayson Napolitano for bringing this to our attention.

By Jonathan Balofsky On 23 Feb, 2017 At 05:19 PM | Categorized As News, NINTENDO, Nintendo Switch, Otaku Music, ROG News, ROG Tech | With 0 Comments

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French outlet Melty reported a few days ago that Switch would support Bluetooth headsets based on an interview conducted with Yoshiaki Koizumi from Nintendo. However, it seems there was a communication error.

Nintendo themselves reached out to Melty and let them know that Bluetooth headsets are NOT compatible with the Switch. However, this doesn’t mean that Switch doesn’t support headsets at all, as wired headsets should be compatible.

Source

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Recently I had the chance to have a discussion with Brian Diamond and Stephen Froeber of the Materia Collective, regarding their upcoming project ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed. We talked about how the project came about and what was involved. Have a read below.

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JB: This is a very interesting project, how did it come about?

Brian Diamond (BD): Stephen can probably answer this question more fully than me as a life long fan of the Tactics franchise. I came onto the project as an assistant producer a few weeks after it started, to help with organisational grunt work, though I quickly took on more responsibility as the project took shape. Tactics is a very popular game among members of The Materia Collective, with many chomping at the bit to put their musical mark on the world of Ivalice.

Stephen Froeber (SF): Final Fantasy Tactics was actually the second game that I played in the franchise. I was one of the “late bloomers” that caught the FF series starting with VII and the PlayStation era. I later went back and played all the originals.

Tactics was special to me because of how much more mature it was. The storyline was much darker and more serious, and the gameplay itself was more cerebral.What ultimately grabbed me, of course, was the music. It was so atmospheric and really fit the world so well.

When Materia Collective started with the first album covering VII, I knew it was only a matter of time before Tactics had to be done. I was thrilled to be able to produce the album with Brian. 

JB:  How has the response been for the project so far?

SF: We’ve had a lot really positive feedback, to include a nice comment from Yasumi Matsuno himself, which was a huge, unexpected honor! 

BD: The response has been extremely positive, with many praising the size of the album, its eclectic mix of styles and high quality of arrangers remixes. Everyone has a different favorite and I think that’s a testament to the all the talented individuals who poured their hearts into this project. We even had Tactics Creator Yasumi Matsuno retweet and buy a copy of the album.

JB: Was there any special selection of the musicians for the project?

SF: Many of the arrangers are veterans of the Materia Collective’s previous albums, but we always have new people with each project that request to join. We are continually impressed with the quality of work that arrangers put into each piece.

Each arranger has discretion on using their own musicians for their song, and many times, that is how many people end up getting involved long term.  

BD: Not really, the process of the majority of our projects involves our would be arrangers pitching proposals for the tracks they want to remix. We often ask that they pitch multiple tracks in case they don’t get their first preference. As with all soundtracks there are really popular tracks and hidden gems, and sometimes we have 7 proposals for one track. In that situation we might allow 2-3 versions of a track but we give priority to the first to submit and make sure the multiple submissions are stylistically different enough e.g. (a) Dubstep Remix, (b) Solo Piano and (c) Full Orchestral. It’s important for us to try and cover as much of the original soundtrack as possible, so we try and keep the number of repeated tracks to a minimum.

JB: What kind of future projects do you anticipate?

SF: We anticipate many future projects. 😉 

If you take a look at our current discography, you can probably take some good guesses as to things that are in the pipeline. 

BD: I can’t go into details yet (mainly because I don’t know myself), but would love to do more Final Fantasy albums, maybe some remix albums of Indie Games, I’m really looking forward to Materia Collectives Kickstarted Hero of Time orchestral album – the art work and vinyl design for it looks gorgeous and the work that Producer Eric Buchholz has done with Legend of Zelda Symphony of the Goddesses is stellar.

JB: What kind of approval process was there for the songs recorded?

SF: We have a pretty wide variety of skillsets and experience levels within the Collective. It’s always a delicate balance between being inclusive, and keeping our quality level consistently high. 

We have periodic check-ins throughout the production process for us to give feedback on demos and mixes. By the time the final tracks were submitted, they were pretty polished. 

BD: Outside of the initial proposal process, we try and get our arrangers to check in periodically with updates on how their tracks are doing, whether they’re having any problems, making sure they submit stuff on time. The most important thing we strive for is making sure that everyone involved give the best that they can give and that they can look back on the project with pride.

JB: There are a lot of tribute albums to video game soundtracks, how will this one stand out?

SF: One thing that makes all of the Materia Collective albums unique is that you really don’t know what you’re going to get from one track to the next. We have such a diverse range of musical influences, and you can hear that front and center in the music…. and yet, in spite of that, the album stays surprisingly unified and consistent. There’s something musically for everyone. 

BD: One thing about Materia releases that I have always enjoyed has been the sheer size of them and eclectic mix of styles – ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed has 63 tracks and 4 hours long. And that isn’t even the largest one – our Undertale tribute album FALLEN that we released last September was 97 tracks 

JB: Have there been any difficulties in the making of Final Fantasy Tactics remixed?

SF: All large projects have challenges, and this was no exception. Life still happens even when you’re making awesome music. 

We had some artists that had to drop out of the project, as well as some growing pains with project management tools.

We try to take each problem as a point of learning to bring into the next album.

BD: I found it surprising how smoothly it went considering Stephen and I were dealing with 60 odd arrangers and by extension 100+ musicians throughout the process. Sometimes working with musicians can be like herding cats (speaking from past experience) however I’m delighted that we had very few issues on this album and all the musicians and vocalists were wonderful to work with.

JB: What is it about the music of Final Fantasy Tactics that stands out the most to you?

SF: Tactics, more so than the other FF series, was much more focused on atmosphere. There are several ambient, dissonant, haunting tracks all throughout, as well as some large orchestral pieces. 

I initially thought that would make this a challenging album to cover…. but when I started hearing the renditions of each track, I couldn’t wipe the smile off my face. It breathes new life into an already amazing soundtrack. Many times, it put a unique spin on a piece that gives it a whole new meaning.

BD: For me it’s the rich and luscious scores of Sakimoto and Iwata, the interweaving themes, the tapestry of storytelling conveyed through their music. My first experience of Sakimotos wonderful composition style was with the music of FFXII – I grew up on Uematsu sans gorgeous arrangements from the mainline Final Fantasy entries of the 90s and early 2000s. I came late to Final Fantasy Tactics playing it more recently on Android devices, but I had heard the soundtrack long before playing the game, and it’s unique style has stayed with my ‘til this day.

JB: Do you have anything you would like to say to the readers of Real Otaku Gamer?

SF: The one thing that I really enjoy about the VGM cover scene is the deep passion for the source material. 

These albums give us a chance to connect with fellow fans of these amazing games, and (hopefully) add something personal to the conversation of how we experienced the music that other people can connect with.

BD: Even though we’ve just released ZODIAC: Final Fantasy Tactics Remixed – Materia Collective has got a lot of cool projects coming out this year; so if you want to keep up with all our goings on – follow Materia Collective on Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Bandcamp for updates on all our releases and general VGM goodness.

 

JB: Thank you again for doing this.