Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Let's Listen: Sound Samples

at 1:42 PM
On olden game consoles, sometimes synths alone didn't do the trick. In that case, you'd load up a real live sound, compress it to fit on the cartridge, and slap it on in a song.

Snake's Revenge - Metal Gear


When I mention Konami NES samples, you might think of Double Dribble's opening voice clip. However, Konami had some great snare samples that they used in their shmups, brawlers, and, well, this game. Snake's Revenge is the sequel that never should've been to the Metal Gear port that also never should've been. While its soundtrack is rough around the edges (for Konami fare), it's still enjoyable.

This track in particular must understand that all you want to hear is the snare, because at 0:29, it just piles on as much as possible. Aside from that, the track is one of those quick and shallow tunes that keeps your blood pumping with a few really tight bars.

I know I said that it's rough around the edges, but that's not a knock against the soundtrack's production value; that aspect is just as top notch as your standard Konami NES OST, and you can really hear it in this song.

Sonic the Hedgehog 3 - Mid-Stage Boss


Who doesn't like getting to join in music? Maybe you whistle to the Mario Kart Wii tracks that have whistling in them. Or, maybe you listen to the Sonic 3 midboss music and join its voice samples, the Michael Jackson yelps and "come on"s. I've always preferred the funk edge of Sonic 3's soundtrack to Sonic & Knuckles' flavor, and it was a shame that Sonic 3 & Knuckles ditched this track in particular. Anyway, don't let anyone hear you enjoying this song.

Gimmick! - Happy Birthday


Sunsoft has some killer bass samples that create a sense of badassery in Blaster Master and gravity in Journey to Silius. (Also check out Sunsoft's Batman games on NES.) However, I recently realized that they used the same bass in Ufouria, a relatively cheerful game, so I wanted to see how happy Sunsoft got with their bass.

It's harder to get happier than a birthday--in fact, "happy" is in the track name. The bass here doesn't sound bad, since it's well composed and plays a decent role in the song. However, it still feels out of place to have such a deep, gritty bass in an otherwise upbeat, happy-go-lucky song. Maybe I've spent too much time playing Journey to Silius.

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