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Author Topic: Happy Valentine's from SMC- Part Two  (Read 5548 times)

Offline Alistair

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Happy Valentine's from SMC- Part Two
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:00:39 PM »
(Continued from Part One)

4 - A gift from SMC
Well, it wouldn't be Valentine's without me giving you folks some chocolate or candy, so here we go. I was inspired by some long-time Sierra music fans, and administrators on the QuestStudios forums, Marten and Caliburn, to post some of the Sierra digital soundtracks I've so far hoarded over the years, since I haven't had the time or inclination to doctor them up for a suitable public release. Since who knows when that could be, I agree, it is time to share some goodies with the public.

First off, Sierra Soundtrack Collection Volume II. Yes, for those who didn't know, there was to be a SSCV2, following the reasonably successful first incarnation. Unlike the first CD, this one featured music from Sierra's digital age, and no MIDI. Mark Seibert sent me this when we were having regular discussions back around 2007, and it got me into tracking down a lot of Sierra's digital-era composers, which I did, and yielded both of the next results.
DISCLAIMER and REQUEST: There is a fault with Mark's digital copy and his physical CD, so some tracks have faults in them, gaps in the audio data. I have been repairing them over the years, but some are tough to do. If you have the knowhow or the inclination, contact me and I will send you the master copies of the WAV files.

Secondly, RAMA. After talking to Mark about this CD one day, I got inspired to track down Charles "Chuck" Barth, who had composed this soundtrack. There are a few of these pieces on the SSCV2 CD, and they sound amazing in stereo quality! I found him after days of searching and calling people (I don't know how I had the guts to do it), and we chatted on the phone and via email for a while, and it was a lot of fun. He was at the time doing a lot of work for Pixar, 5.1 stuff for DVD/Blu-Ray (and plenty more, I think he was working 10 projects at the time!!).
He sent me a digital copy of his master files, and this is the result of that.
Chuck Barth on the project: "..the project was a true pleasure to write.  It was almost all done very late at night in between other music projects.  Definitely late night headphone stuff on my end. It was a very fruitful time and I was working on multiple projects at the same time.  I was playing and recording as a guitarist in a very innovative acoustic based band as well as playing drums and percussion for an A&M artist named Wendy MaHarry.  I also worked for a number of other CD-ROM companies which became big in LA.  However most burned out quickly as they weren’t really comprised of gaming people.  Just Hollywood types along for the ride and money."

Some tracks are quiet, and some clip pretty badly. This will be remastered at some point.

There is also a couple of missing tracks: The cinematics with Arthur C. Clarke, and the Human Area with guitar overdub.
To quote Chuck on the guitar piece: "I believe that the guitar overdubs were done at Dynamix or in a studio in Eugene Oregon under the supervision of one of the producers, Mark Hood.  I remember it was nice but I don’t have a copy in my archives unfortunately. The guitar would have been in his archives as the game was produced. I may have access to him through a friend.  I’ll see if I can reach him.  It’s a long shot but I’ll try."
He didn't have it, but the guitarist was Neal Grandstaff, a man who i've been in contact with recently, and he may have it. I will let you know.
Also Chuck on the Intro piece: "I wrote that for a Lockheed YF-22 promotion.  The producer of that Lockheed project is a very good friend of mine was deeply involved on this project and may have provided Dynamix with that piece of music to use.  However I may have provided that as part of a music package and not remembered."
As far as I know nobody has the piece, although people's archives can be deep..

Thirdly, some assorted Gabriel Knght 3 themes.
Around that time in 2007, I got in touch with David Henry, Sierra composer in the mid-late 90's, who at the time I contacted him worked at Microsoft. One of the nicest ex-Sierra composers I've had the pleasure of speaking with, although the vast majority are like that mostly.

He looked through his archives a lot, he also worked on Betrayal in Antara and Torin's Passage, which had good scores also. However at that time, David considers them lost. However, he had some GK3 files to share.
From David in 2007: "I’d be happy to contribute, but can’t make any promises about the state of my archives right now – it will take some digging around in the basement and see what’s on all those old disks. I know I have a couple things from Antara and GK3 that aren’t posted publically yet (incidentally, the released titles I wrote music for were Antara, GK3, and Torrin’s Passage – I wasn’t involved in GK2 in any way). The problem with creating a CD-type delivery for a game like GK3 is that the bulk of the music was non-linear. It was generally made up of layers and short chunks that were re-constructed by the game engine while playing the game. That makes for a great non-repetitive experience in-game, but not a very compelling CD. However, I’ve put together a couple longer sets that were designed to co-exist so it can be done.

As I recall, when I was doing Antara I needed to be really low-tech because of equipment limitations, and just about everything was mastered as 22k mono. That was a while back – and frankly I’ve done everything I can to wipe all memories of that project from my brain J - but I’ll see what I’ve got. I actually really liked a lot of the music I did for Antara, but as a whole the project was just extremely unpleasant. There was never an Antara soundtrack CD planned per-se, but the “Title Theme” I did was going to be included on the “Sierra Soundtracks Vol. 2” CD that never actually saw the light of day. Unfortunately, that particular piece was really not strong, and I wish that I’d had the maturity as a composer at the time to just throw it away and write something better than to keep trying and trying to fix something that fundamentally wasn’t very good. Oh well… J"

In case this is of interest to anybody (I haven't played GK3, still, so I don't know): "..There are two – GK3_GraceTheme and GK3_GraceIntro  - that are essentially different versions of the same music, the newer one just has a bit more of the raw material included."

Fourthly and finally, some of the Shivers 1 and 2 masters.
DISCLAIMER: "Some", you ask? Well, Guy Whitmore I believe has all the master files, but was selective with what he sent me. I'm extremely grateful for what he did send me, but I have no rhyme or reason for what I have and don't have. It's most of Shivers 1's music with a smattering of Shivers 2 music in the form of a medley, like the Shivers 1 medley on the Shivers 2 CD.

Guy was also working at Microsoft in 2008, audio boss there at Microsoft Game Studios.
From Guy in 2008: "ShiversCollage.wav  a 17 minute collage of all the Shivers 1 music
the 5 full rock songs from Shviers 2 (I don't think the complete versions were ever part of the game or released)
and a folder of the Shivers 1 ambient music in AIFF format (if you add.aif to the end, most windows apps should be able to read)"

For completeness of my story's sake, I also spoke to Brian Min, the Lighthouse composer, and his music was lost, and someone else spoke to Gary Spinrad, Phantas 2 composer, and his archives were supposedly burned in a fire.
I spoke to Ben Houge and Kevin Manthei about KQ8, and I think Ben (who lives in China) had the masters. However, negotiations between us broke down at the time and it was never resolved.
REQUEST: If anyone would like to contact him, I would be greatly appreciative.
REQUEST 2: If anyone EVER has news about Sierra's digital-era music, please let me know!!

5 - A last gift from SMC
Yeah, but wait there's more. A fan of SMC's, Alex, recently requested a few lossless scores of SMC's past recordings. Since I've been uploading as it is, here's some more for you good folks:

1. GK1- http://www.sierramusiccentral.com/assorted/FLAC/GK1.zip
2. LOK1- http://www.sierramusiccentral.com/assorted/FLAC/LOK1.zip
3. QFG4- http://www.sierramusiccentral.com/assorted/FLAC/QFG4.zip

Not too much to tell on this one, you guys know the music already. With GK1, there are a couple of "rough remasters" of the digital GK1 files as well as the 47 tracks.

Well, that's enough typing for me. Happy Valentine's, again, and I hope to make this a musical year for you, me, and all the Sierra and game music fans out there. :)
- Alistair
« Last Edit: February 17, 2014, 09:11:25 AM by Alistair »
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