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Sumez

The synthesized music is bothering me more than I thought it would

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So yeah. Sorry for bringing up this topic again, but I just can't let it go.

The music in DQXI is a lot better than I thought it would be from listening through the recordings of the "family classic concert". It completely evokes the nostalgic feeling of a true Dragon Quest game. Anyone who just dropped their favourite VG composer as their suggestion for Sugiyama's eventual replacement need to reconsider just how much his signature sound affects what you think of as a true Dragon Quest game. I can't think of any other composers that sound like this (despite it beingmostly "standard" orchestral scores), and it's immediately identifiable.

However, the synthetic sounds in DQXI sound almost like they are deliberately made to sound as far from a true orchestral score as possible, despite the tunes obviously being composed with a full orchestra in mind. A plethora of instruments take over different parts of the songs as they go up and down in volume, and all add to the overall listening experience. But the fact that it sounds like a cheap adlib MIDI soundcard from the early 90s just ruins everything. One problem is of course that the music doesn't sound as beautfiul as it could, but a more pressing issue to me is that certain parts of it sounds downright painful and makes me want to mute the game!
Listen to the tune from early in the game as you climb the Tor. The worst offender is definitely the horns, and any track that features them is completely ruined by the synthetic instruments, this song being a perfect example.

Can anyone actually stand listening to this?!

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Oh I'm with you on this one.  It's even more grating with the newer tracks with the odd tempo shifts, and drastic tonal shifts from high highs to low lows with little graduation in degree in between.  It's just not smooth.  Better sounding in Orchestral though.  However I've gotten used to the new tracks to the point where I hum them now, and it doesn't bother me any longer unless I pay attention to it.

The choice in midi format as well is a tad odd given there are midi programs that sound virtually identical to authentic orchestration.  This is the same program used for the mobile games, and DQ's 7 and 8 3DS, but with the shifts in tempo and tone being a bit drastic it really makes the synthetic nature of the sounds stand out, unlike the arrangements for the mobile and 7/8 3DS, which sound great, though I would have preferred orchestration given how sublime those OSTs are.

I would say just start humming it and see where it gets you.  See if that alleviates the pain.

At least there are a large number of older tracks, so that helps as they sound quite good even in this midi format.  Would be better with a better format (or orchestration altogether), but at least the synthetic nature of the individual instruments represented doesn't stand out so much.

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2 minutes ago, ignasia said:

I would say just start humming it and see where it gets you.  See if that alleviates the pain.

 

I do that already. :P I love the overworld theme, at least that one doesn't have too much brass going on.

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If it's something that's genuinely bad, and actively annoying me, why should I not be allowed to voice my opinion about it? Is it "spoiled" to be able to play other games without muting them?

If the music was just bland and uninteresting, fine. But the music is actually good -and- it hurts my ears to listen to the terrible synthetic orchestration.

Edited by Sumez
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Nah man. I didn't like what they did with DQ8 with the orchestral soundtrack. The real-life recordings don't mesh well with the game. I think the synths and 8-bit SFX are better for DQ.

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I actually have to agree. I didn’t expect it would, but it’s obnoxious. It takes away from the sense of scale to wander around with all the goofy obviously synthesized music. It totally ruins the aesthetic of a grand adventure in a medieval fantasy setting.

Everyone kept saying that this was his worst work, but it honestly sounds like it should be fantastic. It’s weird how his music is considered so integral to the franchise yet they actively have to remove the best possible version from the game.

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It's really a hit or miss but overall I agree I'd prefer orchestral most of the time.

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It's been pretty hit or miss for me.  Some of the new music is alright (town theme, normal battle theme, overworld theme) but I'm really happy they decided to pepper in a lot of classic songs because a lot of the original compositions for the game are straight up AWFUL.  It hasn't been bad enough to tarnish the absolutely wonderful experience I've had with my 45ish hours so far though, so that's good.

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Yeah I agree. Previous games that have had a midi soundtrack have not sounded anywhere near this bad. And I'm not talking about the quality of composition here, because the music is beautifully composed. Listening to the symphonic suite is depressing compared to what we get in game.

The problem isn't just that it's MIDI. The problem is that it's particularly bad MIDI.

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After growing up on the NES in the late 80s, anything Super NES or later sounds fine in my ears.

That said I'd prefer orchestrated.

 

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I prefer the synthesized music to the orchestral music. I really don't see what the big stink about it is. Most people that I find say they hate it, DQ8 was their first Dragon Quest game and then it makes total sense, but correlation is not causation. I don't know. I left the title screen of DQXI on my PS4 on for about an hour last night and I let the title screen just continually play as I did some other stuff. I just like it.

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I prefer the synthesized music to the orchestral music. I really don't see what the big stink about it is. Most people that I find say they hate it, DQ8 was their first Dragon Quest game and then it makes total sense, but correlation is not causation. I don't know. I left the title screen of DQXI on my PS4 on for about an hour last night and I let the title screen just continually play as I did some other stuff. I just like it.
I started with 5 on DS and played every game except for 8, but I still expect more from a AAA open world RPG like XI and even VII for 3DS. XI is a far worse offender than VII though.

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At this point I’ve made peace we’re stuck with the MIDI. You want the symphonic renditions, you either bought the CE or imported the SS from Japan like I did.

No one was upset we lost the symphonic music in the 3DS versions of VII and VIII and just accepted it, but now most everyone wants symphonic music.

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At this point I’ve made peace we’re stuck with the MIDI. You want the symphonic renditions, you either bought the CE or imported the SS from Japan like I did.
No one was upset we lost the symphonic music in the 3DS versions of VII and VIII and just accepted it, but now most everyone wants symphonic music.
People actually were upset about the MIDI soundtrack in 7 and 8. It was discussed here and on the Dragon Quest subreddit quite a bit. However the MIDI track for VII was actually quite good.
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Just now, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

At this point I’ve made peace we’re stuck with the MIDI. You want the symphonic renditions, you either bought the CE or imported the SS from Japan like I did.

No one was upset we lost the symphonic music in the 3DS versions of VII and VIII and just accepted it, but now most everyone wants symphonic music.

I just get tired of the "It's not symphonic so the game is garbage" I've heard is several times this week (on and offline) and I'm just so over it. In one instance yesterday I was at a social get together and I mentioned DQXI when someone asked what I was playing, and someone dropped in with the "The music isn't the orchestrated version, It's so shitty I can't even play it." Well then junior, turn the music volume down and continue on. Sorry you didn't like an aspect of the game.

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I just get tired of the "It's not symphonic so the game is garbage" I've heard is several times this week (on and offline) and I'm just so over it. In one instance yesterday I was at a social get together and I mentioned DQXI when someone asked what I was playing, and someone dropped in with the "The music isn't the orchestrated version, It's so shitty I can't even play it." Well then junior, turn the music volume down and continue on. Sorry you didn't like an aspect of the game.

It isn't game breaking to me but to a lot of people, music can break a game. I see this more as a blunder on SE's part in bringing the game to the west.

 

Its just such a shame because the symphonic suite is just oh so good.

 

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Me personally, I’ve never ever raised a stink about the MIDI music in any of the recent 3DS games or the DS because they are, well, 3DS games and DS games, and ports of old games at that. Up until XI, the VIII remake was the only one that made me iffy.

The problem, basically, is that you’re running around in this big expansive world with lavish graphics, but the music sounds like a DS game.

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4 minutes ago, eal said:

Me personally, I’ve never ever raised a stink about the MIDI music in any of the recent 3DS games or the DS because they are, well, 3DS games and DS games, and ports of old games at that. Up until XI, the VIII remake was the only one that made me iffy.

The problem, basically, is that you’re running around in this big expansive world with lavish graphics, but the music sounds like a DS game.

Maybe. I played some 100 hours of Dragon Quest Heroes that basically uses the same music. It looks not quite as good as DQXI but it still looks great. That probably primed me, who knows. It has just never bothered me. The music has always been how it is. I don't expect anything more since Sugiyama doesn't like his works being used outside Japan, apparently.

 

Plus, a lot of the time I think orchestral music is improperly used in movies, which probably is why I lean the way I do here. I don't personally think my experience would be altered for the better for DQXI. After going back and playing DQVIII PS2 years after playing plenty of other games, I thought the Orchestral music was out of place. Not consistent with the rest of the games. When DQVIII 3DS came out, I felt a lot better about it. The music I liked was back.

Edited by Bururian

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3 minutes ago, Bururian said:

Maybe. I played some 100 hours of Dragon Quest Heroes that basically uses the same music. It looks not quite as good as DQXI but it still looks great. That probably primed me, who knows. It has just never bothered me. The music has always been how it is. I don't expect anything more since Sugiyama doesn't like his works being used outside Japan, apparently.

 

Plus, a lot of the time I think orchestral music is improperly used in movies, which probably is why I lean the way I do here. I don't personally think my experience would be altered for the better for DQXI. After going back and playing DQVIII PS2 years after playing plenty of other games, I thought the Orchestral music was out of place. Not consistent with the rest of the games. When DQVIII 3DS came out, I felt a lot better about it. The music I liked was back.

I’ve played maybe 4-5 hours of Heroes and I can barely hear the music since it’s drowned out by loud sound effects and characters spouting dialogue. It’s also a lot more frenetic and fast paced then other Dragon Quest games so listening to the music wasn’t something I was actively trying to do.

I think the moment I turned on the MIDI music in XI was when I was in the church and that big swell that gave me goosebumps in VIII and made me feel like I was taking part in a grand, dramatic, fantasy adventure (weird song to do that, I know) fell totally flat because it didn’t have the same impact that the orchestral version did.

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I find the overworld theme to be grating so I muted the BGM -- the ambiance -- wind, flowing water, nature in general -- sound a whole lot better. 

But I really like the battle theme though now I set the BGM to 2 just so I could hum along with it.

Still for me, if the visuals are HD, the music tracks should also match it. It never bothered my when I tried the 3DS version because the synthesized tracks matches the old-school visuals perfectly.

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My two bits on the matter:

I don't mind the midi synth versions of the music, being from the OG DW generation.  It's the quality of the tunes themselves I find issue with.  Ever since DQ8, Sugiyama has had trouble rebottling his usual lightning, to the point where many of DQ11's songs are actually straight up airlifted from previous games in the series.  I'm not talking about the expected borrowing of the church theme, the save jingle, the level-up fanfare... no i'm talking about songs like the Siege of Moonbrooke from DQ2 for chase scenes, and the reprise of Zipang's theme from DQ3 in Hotto Village.  New music would have been nice for these circumstances, even if, in my opinion, the overall je ne sais quoi of DQ Music has been missing since DQ9. The new compositions just don't have the same... "oomph" as the old. Maybe that's why songs from old games have been lifted wholesale for this one, in those cases I mentioned? 

I will admit though, it's probably quite straining to be the go-to composer for the same game series for over 30 years.  Not even FF's Uematsu held the position that long (Hamauzu was brought in to take over since FF10, and Sakimoto did 12).  Maybe fresh blood is required?  I remember Manami Matsumae (of Megaman fame) did admirably for the Wii game, DQ Swords... maybe she could take the reins?

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12 hours ago, YangustheLegendaryBandit said:

At this point I’ve made peace we’re stuck with the MIDI. You want the symphonic renditions, you either bought the CE or imported the SS from Japan like I did.

No one was upset we lost the symphonic music in the 3DS versions of VII and VIII and just accepted it, but now most everyone wants symphonic music.

I bought the CE, but it still has "MIDI" music. The problem isn't that I want to listen to the symphonic renditions, or that the synthetic ones don't sound as good. The problem is that the soundtrack is effectively super annoying to listen to as I'm trying to enjoy the game.

Also, everyone complained about the lack of symphonic music in VII and VIII on 3DS.
 

12 hours ago, Bururian said:

I just get tired of the "It's not symphonic so the game is garbage" I've heard is several times this week 

If you think that's what I'm saying, you haven't been reading my post at all. It's possible to play synthetic versions of symphonic music without it sounding this horrible. It's almost like they intentionally tried to make it sound as terrible as possible.

I grew up with classic digital computer game music myself, but the DQ soundtracks have always been having a hard time sounding like they were supposed to in their "computer versions", due to the way Sugiyama composes, using methods of blending the instruments that only really works when you have a big orchestra with a ton of instruments. That said, aside from a few tracks in the DS version of DQ6, no other DQ game until this one has ever actively made me mute the music because it was impossible to listen to.
Dragon Quest Heroes sounds much much much much better than this. I'm almost shocked you can't hear the difference.

I don't mind music that doesn't sound as good as it could. I mind music that actively ruins the game.

Edited by Sumez
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I definitely set the Music volume down to 1 or 2 for most of the game.  The overworld "march" theme is just...mind-numbingly bad music composition (from a music comp. professional who studied it for over a decade).

To date, VIII's orchestral soundtrack really set the standard for how JRPG (and RPGs, in general) soundtracks should sound.  It's the 21st Century, Square-Enix - it's time to get with the program and ditch the shitty MIDI nonsense.

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14 hours ago, Bururian said:

I just get tired of the "It's not symphonic so the game is garbage" I've heard is several times this week (on and offline) and I'm just so over it. In one instance yesterday I was at a social get together and I mentioned DQXI when someone asked what I was playing, and someone dropped in with the "The music isn't the orchestrated version, It's so shitty I can't even play it." Well then junior, turn the music volume down and continue on. Sorry you didn't like an aspect of the game.

Speaking of "this game doesn't have X so it's garbage" this is why I actively avoid every other forum right now:

"This game has Denuvo so it's garbage"

"This game has a silent MC so it's garbage"

"I'm playing day and night for days and I finished postgame wtf short game garbage"

"So this is the famous Dragon Quest? Japanese people are biased thank heavens for my objective reasoning I can tell X is better"

etc.

The music complain is somewhat the one thing I can get behind, not because the MIDI is bad but because there are many moments where the orchestral would be a better fit and we're locked out because "Sugiyama happened".

Edited by Shogil

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