King Kong 2 - Main Theme

by wolf_ on 13-05-2012, 21:31
Topic: Music
Languages:

It's spring, and remaking MSX game music is in the air, it seems. Meits is currently working on more Metal Gear 2 remakes and wolf_ still has a bit of a backlog that needs attention. Between managing MRC's technical backbone, Jorito might find a moment to work on a track, but first there's MrRudi who donated his latest cover to us. It's a modern version of the main theme from Konami's King Kong 2, with a focus on percussion and guitars. As with an increasing amount of music productions these days, this track was completely made "in the box", meaning that all the sounds originate from virtual instruments (software).

Perhaps we should try to make the most of this spring, could we convince the composers among you to get working on a musical remake of an MSX game too? MRC can give you a truly large stage to promote your efforts. MSX fans will gladly add your work to their iPod! If you need inspiration; Konami's jazzy QBert could do with a cover, or how about something more oriental - Goemon?

Relevant link: King Kong 2 - Main Theme

Comments (23)

By ro

Guardian (4122)

ro's picture

14-05-2012, 09:44

Cool. I love the KK2 tune.

btw, Wolf, when's yer 24min piece of MSX-game-muzak-mix gonna be released? (the one from MRC2k12 release party) Smile

By ro

Guardian (4122)

ro's picture

14-05-2012, 09:50

Do I detect some Beat-It rhythm in the intro? Smile nifty, now where's that Van Halen guiter-solo!

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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14-05-2012, 10:39

Yea.. quite a backlog, isn't it? Truth is that I'm just not sure yet whether I should extend bits of that long tune. And I don't mean adding more games, but perhaps adding more breathing space between tracks. But for a 23-minute piece, choices like these are not all that easy. Then there's the exporting issue, which will take up truckloads o' drive space (~350MB per track, and there's prolly some 30 tracks or something like that) - the E11 version was just a quick export of the whole thing, no mixing whatsoever.
Funnily enough I've done new remakes since that moment, but they also need some finishing-up. If I'd release all my recent unreleased projects this year, then it'll be prolly close to an hour of music.

By MrRudi

Hero (515)

MrRudi's picture

14-05-2012, 14:34

Funny how people underestimate that huh Wolf? I recently bought a 1TB external drive just for audio exports, just because I put so much more effort in finalizing a mix I needed more space LOL. And Ro, the reason there is not a Van Halen guitar solo in there is simple: I'm not Van Halen Wink There are a couple of small improvs in there and I liked it that way...

Oh, and I was just thinking about doing something with Goemon last week Wolf Big smile

By Meits

Scribe (5639)

Meits's picture

14-05-2012, 18:13

Totally not what I expected from either King Kong 2 or MrRudi... BUT! Very good listening material...

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1761)

Jorito's picture

14-05-2012, 19:52

It's a tune that had to grow on me, but it has some interesting ideas in it. My biggest 'complaint' would be that the song is a bit empty, as it's mostly melody + bass + drums. It really could do with a rhythm guitar and/or some pads.

If you're in search of a good (metal) guitar library, check out Shreddage, which is good and very affordable ($49).

By ro

Guardian (4122)

ro's picture

15-05-2012, 08:46

neh, just plug in that 'ol guitar and shred away. The JCM9000 plug-in works wonders if yer goin' for DI instead of micking up that cabinet. Smile

yeah, diskspace... I do mixdowns from band-recordings which eat up track-space like potatoes and chips. not even mentioning the CPU it consumes while having a bag-o' plugins working their ass off (aaah, them compressors) Nishi

By MrRudi

Hero (515)

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15-05-2012, 15:00

That's why I still love having stuff in hardware, I still have two hardware synths, a mixing panel, effects module and compressor module. Alas, they are all in storage, which is why I only used my VI libs for this track. Don't get me wrong, I think the clarity and quality of the instruments are fantastic, but it is a lot faster to set up some ideas in a sequencer with a hardware synth...

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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15-05-2012, 15:34

I couldn't work like that. Not anymore. For me:

  • VI are light years better and more versatile sounding. Light years they are. Hardware synths don't have (and probably never will) have the amount, size and quality in their ROM which VI offer. The VI industry hikes along with the computer industry, if ever CPU's go up in speed, if ever harddisks run faster, if ever memory gets bigger, the VI industry will be among the first to profit from that. Hardware usually follows half a decade later - if they do!
  • when I load back my project, all settings and instruments are there, the way I left them
  • exporting is streamlined and without D/A A/D noise
  • having multiple instances of one synth and/or effect is a blessing
  • my current work area encompasses 2x 27", hardware synths are often limited to a tiny display or an expensive yet relatively small TFT screen
  • I'm a tracker anyway, and as there are no hardware trackers (regardless of what they would look like) I'm 'in the box' anyway, so why not integrate everything in that process..

By MrRudi

Hero (515)

MrRudi's picture

15-05-2012, 15:49

It is completely up to personal preference, I left my tracking days behind me the last day I wrote something in Moonblaster...which is what, uhmm around 1997? I worked in MT once when rearranging the tracks for Puzzlequest DS but I hated it. I don't even use piano roll views like Reason...I sequence in pure score notation, I need to see the notes lol. Of course with SysX and saved 'performances' on the hardware synths my settings are also loaded and left 'as they were' when using hardware. It is a couple of more steps I will agree but it is second nature.

I also agree with the superb quality and flexibilty of using software, which is why I am using them more and more, but my trusty hardware synths will be back in action as soon as I have them over here. It would be nice to be able to hear the full song in the sequencer again, cause even with the limited instruments (9) in this King Kong 2 arrangement my poor computer couldn't play everything at once without stuttering and crackling. And no I don't have the money to buy a $1000 power machine (nor the space for a dedicated studio setup, although that will change next year when I'm building a new house). So when working on a dual-core AMD laptop with on-board sound, hardware would work much smoother Wink

But what my bottom-line-point was: with hardware you can much faster set up a project, outline the arrangement, put in instruments, change instruments, write the music than with software. Which is what I would usually do, write with hardware and when I have the rough outline, start bringing in the heavy VI instruments for the actual sound you want.

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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15-05-2012, 16:21

In most cases, I see no reason why hardware would be slower than software. You may be talking about a specific composing method, but whether this method comes from an array of dedicated Z80's in a wooden box with knobs, or from the latest Intel in an email machine shouldn't make any difference. The only bit where setting up instruments is slower with a PC is when you have to load a large kit o' samples in a sampler, but that's merely a consequence of these instruments being big and being streamed from a harddisk, whereas in hardware these instruments are small and typically available in ROM.

Where hardware works faster: "sit at a keyboard, play, remember/record". But that's an entirely different (and minimal) way of composing/arranging/orchestrating. My average orchestral projects have some 30-40 different lines. Managing those is just not something you'd do with a keyboard and a few relatively tiny screens. When I start a new orchestral project, I load some template which features a rather complete orchestra (or, at least those articulations I actually use). That'll take up a minute or so, but after that I can go on and write the next Star Wars overture if I wish, in a way that resembles the end result.. Smile With the current upcoming version of the tracker (a VST plugin) I use I can even move the DAW's timeline around in my pattern editor, which is handy for syncing up with video.

Btw, the PC I use for music is just any regular PC, the average gamer's PC has probably more juice than mine. Well ok, I've RAID0 for speed and 16GB RAM for large orchestral mock-ups, but that's it. I don't even know whether gamers have such specifications too, these days.. So, I wouldn't qualify my system as an expensive music PC, it's rather ordinary really.

By MrRudi

Hero (515)

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15-05-2012, 16:55

16 GB ordinary >.> I have never had more than 4 GB, which is what I have now...which is one of the bottlenecks, along with the on-board soundcard. And the RAID0 is probably why your full-orchestra takes a minute to load, I have single instruments (like the Les Paul Deluxe lead used in KK2) that take almost a minute to load. And that is one instrument...when I load an existing project I go and get coffee Big smile So, when for my composing method I want to quickly lay-out the idea that is in my head with instruments that even though they are crummy and low-quality, hardware is 100 times faster then software.

I do see your point that once you load your template, you can work just as fast as you would with hardware, and for pre-set stuff like orchestras I would do the same thing (if my laptop could handle that, which it can't), but since I don't write in one specific style or genre...templates are not the way to go. Let's put it this way, I for a piece of music I wanted to use a synth bass and a saw lead with LFO, I would never use software for that since my synths are more than capable of handling that. And my sequencing method is no different for hardware then it is for software...the VST is just another box with knobs and presets, just a slower one to boot up Wink

ps. I vote for a music composition / arranging thread...we're hijacking a newspost here Wink

By wolf_

Ambassador_ (9774)

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15-05-2012, 17:14

Well, I dunno what a gamer's PC is supposed to be these days.. the most recent game I've played was Reversi on my Android. ^__^

Feel free to start a thread, although the number of people that would add some substance would be limited, I bet..

By Meits

Scribe (5639)

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15-05-2012, 19:10

I would read it Big smile My knowledge of muzak is +/- 1 Tongue

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1761)

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15-05-2012, 22:33

I would read it and maybe share a few tidbits as well. But I'm a bit rusty atm Smile

By MrRudi

Hero (515)

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16-05-2012, 15:19

Haven't you been rusty since 2004 Jor? Wink

Aight, I'll make a thread!

By Jorito

Mr. Ambassadors (1761)

Jorito's picture

16-05-2012, 18:43

Nah, I did make some stuff after that (Goonies remake, Knightmare remake and some unreleased stuff). So it's not _that_ bad, especially if you consider I started working on mrc in 2009 Tongue

By KdL

Paragon (1236)

KdL's picture

23-05-2012, 02:48

By Meits

Scribe (5639)

Meits's picture

23-05-2012, 06:29

I really need to rerecord that one... It's no good due to emulation (at that time)... See comment...

By Manuel

Ascended (15804)

Manuel's picture

23-05-2012, 09:42

As I wrote on the tube: let's see if we can isolate what went missing so we can debug the issue.

By Meits

Scribe (5639)

Meits's picture

23-05-2012, 17:20

Good thing... I'll do a real thing recording soon so we can compare... This youtube upload is sounding rather empty...

By Meits

Scribe (5639)

Meits's picture

26-05-2012, 22:05

Anyhoo... I reuploaded my King Kong 2 version. Recorded it from a real Moonsound...
Now all the string parts are audible...

By Manuel

Ascended (15804)

Manuel's picture

27-05-2012, 17:54

Update: Meits checked on the latest openMSX and he can't reproduce the issue anymore. So you can also enjoy it on openMSX Smile