I will review every Marathon 1 music remake

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I will review every Marathon 1 music remake

Post Jul 19th '18, 03:12

I will download every Marathon 1 music remake I can find, listen to them on the open-back studio headphones I got for music class at university, provide an overview of each song, notes on every song by every artist, and rank them.

So far, I've collected and taken notes on 3/4 of the remakes from:

•the original, of course!
•Dr. Craig Hardgrove - all songs plus 4 alternates
•Aaron Freed - all songs
•Chibi USA - all songs
•Homicidal Ham - all songs except What About Bob?
•Cannibal Whore Feast - half the songs
•Tobacco - half the songs
•Mark Sumner - 7 of the songs
•Nicholas Singer - 3 songs
•Hamst3r Alliance - Splash

I've also downloaded packs from Cubic Circle, and that one on Simplici7y. I see there are a couple more here on the Pfhorums. Let me know if you have a favourite remake you'd like me to include!

Things I will be listening for:
Faithfulness - Does it include every line, does it skip notes or melodies, or is otherwise missing something? Note this criteria may go totally out then window for Nicholas Singer's and some of Craig Hardgrove's complete rewrites.
Embellishment - How has the artist richened the texture with new lines, ornamentations, and instruments?
Balance - Is the rhythm too loud or melody too soft, is some important line hard to hear or some annoying instrument overpowering?
Mood - Although extremely subjective, how does the music move me to feel?
Quality - Are there whines, hisses, clicks, stereo issues, poor dynamic range, or sound like it's been through an excessive low- or high- pass filter? These are things I will likely pick up on more with my studio headphones and keen ear that you might not notice when playing on a laptop while slaughtering Pfhor.

Of course the best remixes of each song may be considered for inclusion in M1R, provided I can obtain permission from the artists. Especially, if the song is good and provides a different mood, I may use it for an alternate branch or maybe even dynamic music if we can get Lua to do that. So far this includes just Craig Hardgrove and Hamst3r but I hope to include more. Tobacco and Homicidal Ham have stood out so far as good candidates.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 19th '18, 05:01

Don't forget to include the M1 CD Audio tracks!

Also might be worth comparing and contrasting the originals with their original QTMI and with the newer QTMI.
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Pfhorrest
California

Post Jul 19th '18, 07:38

The M1 CD... audio... *yandexes* *finds youtube of Splash* *jaw drops* How did I never know about this!? The Splash is amazing... but some of the others not so much. Still, you are right, I shall have to find some high fidelity versions of this.

My memory of hearing the soundtrack in the newer QT was not so great, I kinda left that out on purpose. But if folks really want me to and can point me to a download I'll give it a go. I think they sound better on FluidSynth than newer QuickTime for that matter.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 19th '18, 08:07

QT2.5 or bust when it comes to the original music. I actually remember downgrading my QT install when I heard the Marathon music using the QT3 instruments, because it sounded so awful. (Either that, or I just didn’t upgrade one of my Macs that had QT2.5 installed and only playing Marathon on that one.) I don’t know from FluidSynth, but I used the QT2.5 instruments as the basis for my remixes because, as far as I’m concerned, they sound like Marathon. (I’m pretty sure I said that in the M1R thread, but in case someone hasn’t read that, I might as well reiterate it.)

If someone has the M1 CD audio in FLAC, or even high-quality MP3/OGG, I would love to hear it.

My remixes (if they even qualify as such) will almost certainly score 100% on faithfulness, but not very high on embellishment. That wasn’t really the point, though! :-P Hopefully none of the other issues end up as problems.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 19th '18, 08:32

Yes, yours are generally faithful- lost a point on Swirls, Guardians, and What About Bob, but so did almost everyone. Yours had the worst quality issues, but I was listening to the OGG, I'll try downloading the FLAC and see if that clears up some of it.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 19th '18, 08:41

I don’t remember what bitrate I encoded those with; it might’ve just been the default, which isn’t all that high. They won’t be super-high-quality even in FLAC, though, since they were originally made entirely with QT2.5 instruments (and for that matter, I burned them to CD some twenty years ago with minor clipping issues that I’ve since mitigated as much as possible, plus minor flaws with a few track endings*, which again have been repaired to the best of my ability; I’ve long since lost the source files). I mostly just wanted a stereo version of the Marathon music that didn’t sound radically different from the originals, and that’s mostly what it is. So, y’know, it’ll have all the limitations that anything made with QT2.5 will have, but hopefully it at least sounds better in FLAC. And hopefully it at least doesn’t have any dynamic range issues! I can’t remember if I uploaded the DR12 or DR13 version, but either way, should be a lot higher than most music these days.

I don’t even remember what changes I made to “Guardians” (it’s been awhile since I heard the originals, honestly), but I do remember taking some artistic license with “Swirls” by adding a piano and perhaps a couple of other instruments. I think I wanted mine to be even more depressing than the original! For that matter I don’t remember making radical changes to “What About Bob?”; the biggest change I remember having made was to the drums, which was still a fairly subtle difference. Now that I think about my arrangement I must’ve doubled up one of the stringed instruments, too, but I think it was probably a fairly subtle difference compared to, say, “Swirls”.

I think the one I’m fondest of is “Splash (Marathon)”, which, despite ironically being one of the ones I changed the most radically, still has a pretty similar atmosphere to the original, I think.


*If you’re curious, “Fat Man” and one of the others (I don’t even remember which now; I’d originally written “Guardians” here, but I think that’s wrong) kept playing their last note far beyond when they should’ve ended, while “New Pacific (reprise)” just cut off suddenly. Hopefully this is the only way you’ll be able to tell which tracks had been affected; I certainly don’t notice even when listening on my Sennheisers these days.
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 19th '18, 10:18

The original "Swirls" and "Guardians" had melodies that rose and fell in pitch quite smoothly. I don't know whether this was a thing QT could do or it was that the instrument used had a long, fading sustain, but it came out sounding... not quite melismatic, but very smooth. Most remakes, on the other hand, had the notes playing discreetly with a noticeable break. Also, most remakes of Swirls seemingly tried to amp up the sadness factor, while I find the original to be more of a pleasant, positive piece.

What About Bob has this rapid oscillating motif in the melody which Chibi erased, CWF toned down, and which you seemed to have replaced by giving the notes a more complex harmony. Again, it may have been a quirk of the instruments used rather than a conscious artistic choice, but one that really changes the sound.

I haven't gotten to your Splash yet, as it is last.
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ravenshining
Hawai'i

Post Jul 19th '18, 11:57

The Man wrote:QT2.5 or bust when it comes to the original music.

No way. QT2.0 was all there was when Marathon came out.

That's what the tracks that come with Aleph One were recorded with.

http://marathon.bungie.org/story/music.html
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 19th '18, 12:54

They're not Marathon 1 music remakes, but just for you I re-uploaded Hunter Holiday and Infinity Piano
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treellama
Pittsburgh

Post Jul 19th '18, 16:36

…oh. Huh. Have I been thinking of QT2.0 this whole time? It’s entirely possible.

I don’t think I changed any of the melodies at all, but I did double many of them up, and I doubled up a few on a delay, so that might account for some of the changes. In fact, I think I might’ve done that with the main melody in “What About Bob?” because I thought it sounded cool.

I can’t honestly remember much of how the original “Guardians” specifically sounded different from mine, but I definitely did deliberately emphasise each note of “Swirls” a lot more than the original does. But it definitely sounds sad to me. I know a lot of people don’t find it sad, but it’s a slow-tempo minor key melody. This sort of thing is inherently subjective, of course, but that’s a textbook sad melody to me! But yeah, I was trying to make it even more depressing, and I might’ve gone slightly overboard.


ETA: Nope, I’d been completely unaware that there was any difference between the QT2.0 and QT2.5 instruments before today! But the only major difference I’ve noticed in any of the tracks I’ve listened to (“What About Bob?” and “Aliens Again” through “Flowers in Heaven”) is the drums. I actually like a lot of the QT2.0 drum samples more, but the splash cymbal (I think) sounds the same as (or at least very similar to) the hi-hats, which I don’t like. I still wish I had the source versions of my files so I could put together drum samples from multiple versions of QT2 now, though!

In any case, my recollection was right: same melody in “What About Bob?”, but I put it on a delay, which probably creates additional harmonies that weren’t in the original version. I doubled or tripled up several instrument tracks, sometimes on a delay if I thought that sounded cool, but every melody I used was in the original song – I’m almost certain I didn’t write any new melodies in any of them. The only place where I might’ve added notes was the drum tracks. (Specifically, in “What About Bob?” I doubled up every second snare hit, and I changed one set – either the doubled-up ones or the other set – either from electric snare to acoustic or vice versa. I think that might’ve even been the only drum track I added notes to, though I definitely doubled up some drum tracks, too – “Splash (Marathon)” and “Flippant” in particular.)


Edit 2: Finished listening to all 16 tracks during a work break. There might’ve been subtle differences for a few of the non-drum instruments between QT2.0 and QT2.5, but the drums were by far the biggest difference I noticed. I’ll have to A/B the QT2.0 and QT2.5 encodes of each track and see if I notice anything else. (Might also A/B my own versions with the QT2.5 tracks and see if I notice any other changes I don’t remember making.)
People should not be afraid of their governments. Governments should be afraid of their people.

“The trouble is that we have a bad habit, encouraged by pedants and sophisticates, of considering happiness as something rather stupid. Only pain is intellectual, only evil interesting. This is the treason of the artist: a refusal to admit the banality of evil and the terrible boredom of pain. If you can’t lick ’em, join ’em. If it hurts, repeat it. But to praise despair is to condemn delight, to embrace violence is to lose hold of everything else. We have almost lost hold; we can no longer describe happy man, nor make any celebration of joy.” —Ursula K. Le Guin, “The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas”

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The Man
Sarasota, FL

Post Jul 21st '18, 16:00

treellama wrote:They're not Marathon 1 music remakes, but just for you I re-uploaded Hunter Holiday and Infinity Piano



Haha, all right. I'm already familiar with Hunter Holiday, but I've now downloaded Infinity Piano and will give them a serious listen ^_^
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ravenshining
Hawai'i


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