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28 Jun 2015 - Latest news
Hey Sierra music fans,
I apologize for such a long time been updates. I have had a lot of bumps in the proverbial road, with studio integration issues (see below). Every time I think I have hit a winning combination of new synths to go with my old ones, there's some snag. But there's some good news, which I'm finally ready to share with you all. But first..
1. QuestStudios closure
I start this update off with a heavy heart. Sadly, after nearly 20 years of operation, QuestStudios was taken down by Tom Lewandowski in May.
This saddens me to the core, QuestStudios was the inspiration for me (and at the time, Brandon Blume aka MusicallyInspired) to begin this website.
Thanks for being a friend and a helper in the later years, after the earlier years where I was impetuous and rude.
Anyway, vale Tom L. You did an amazing job. I'm very sorry to hear there won't be anything new (although I will continue to live in hope), but I appreciate all you have done for us as a Sierra community. Not sure what your best work was, there was too many choices. Your King's Quest II+ score was a standout as for your original compositions, however. Really improved on what was already a good game.
SMC's current project (see below, update #3) will be in part, and involve a tribute to the great Tom.
I would also like to take this opportunity to welcome any QuestStudios forumgoers who used the forum to discuss Sierra music, Sierra and other retro computing, old soundcards, and so on.
Back to SMC:
2. More changes to SMC's studio
I have made a major change to my studio in 2015. I know no music has been released since 2009, so what is the point, but there is a point I promise you. I have had a lot of false starts with SMC and expanding my synthesizer collection. I have invested in the wrong synths, too many synths, synths which sound great but don't work with computer MIDI well, and so on. BUST, right? Well, yes, until recently.
I recently sold my Roland Fantom XR, which I loved dearly and was ready to start recording with, but had a critical problem integrating into my setup. So I took some inspiration from shad0wfax, the guy who had the Fantom XR recordings on QuestStudios, bringing new life into the old tracks. He sold his XR for a Roland Integra-7, the top of the line Roland synth module back in 2012 (and still is now). It has around 6,000 sounds. Pretty crazy stuff.
Like the idea of the XR before it, I dismissed it as a pipe dream that would never happen. But when you invest a small amount of money many times, you start to have some investment. The XR with 5 expansions I had for it was worth more than an Integra! One day I actually realised this and thought- I guess I could see if works better for me.
So, I sold on eBay for a month, hoping to unload everything. Sold all but one part of my surplus synths. Got an Integra on a deal. IT'S AMAZING!! You folks will love it, I promise..
The main purpose is the SuperNATURAL side, which closely mimics acoustic instruments, according to Roland, anyway. Bottom line is it sounds incredible, and the realism is light years ahead of anything I've heard from Roland, or anyone else. And I've had and listened to a lot of synths extensively.
(For those interested: It also has a Roland XV-5080 onboard, and all the SRX expansions. AWESOME..)
It also overcomes the issues the XR had with my setup. So SMC is back in business with a real purpose.
Currently other than editing music for SMC's current project(see below), I'm working on categorizing the Integra's sounds, so when I'm working on MIDI's, I'm not just trawling through thousands of sounds, which would make it useless. Incidentally, if anyone wants to buy me an iPad to use the app with it, I would be eternally grateful
3. Work on the new 'SMC Volumes' project continues
Well, the main news is that there's no news just yet.
But seriously, I'm going to do something different here: Build on a previous announcement. Yes, I've continued a project I started. Don't all keel over in shock, now- then you won't hear the music
It is a continuation of the "SMC Sierra Music Volumes" series (itself a tribute to QuestStudios' "Sierra Soundtracks" series), of which there have been several worked on but only the first released. There will be at least one more legacy one released prior to the new one, also. And yes, it (the legacy one) is finished.
Anyway. Work on the new SMC Volume is going along well. It began in November last year, and since then, I have an almost completed tracklist, totalling around 40 tracks, with only a
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SMC is owned by Alistair Gillett as of August 2002, and as of December 2006, Alistair Gillett and Stephane Mainil. Any reproduction of music files/other content is fine, subject to contacting Alistair first (please, we do this for free, don't leech or steal our content).
All Sierra-related material (games, characters and any other such items) is owned (sadly) by Activision. The music we record, well who knows- can't afford to try the court case however. Let's just say we own the website and possibly the music.
Once more, please do not reproduce any SMC content without asking permission from the site owner, Alistair. We work unpaid hours to bring you the music and the website, so don't betray that generosity by stealing our work!