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Author Topic: Happy Valentine's from SMC- Part One  (Read 5943 times)

Offline Alistair

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Happy Valentine's from SMC- Part One
« on: February 16, 2014, 05:02:51 PM »
(NOTE: Part Two continues directly on from Part One.)

Hey folks,

Happy Valentine's Day weekend! Hope you all enjoyed it out there.

The last 18 months have been a challenge for me in terms of keeping up with SMC, but despite the lack of frontpage action, and deadlines (as usual) being missed, the wheels are still turning here.

Since I have a tendency to post in a.. verbose style, I am including topic headers for those who want to skip to the part they're most interested in:
1 - Upgrade to SMC Studios
2 - Where's Alistair been?!?
3 - What's been cooking in SMC's musical pot?
4 - A gift from SMC (SEE PART TWO)
5 - A last gift from SMC (SEE PART TWO)

1 - Upgrade to SMC Studios
First off, I have had a major change to SMC's studio- I got a Roland Fantom XR module for Christmas, with the Studio and Orchestra expansions, which in plain English is 2000 patches/instruments, and about 500 of those are immediately obviously high quality and useful for Sierra soundtrack recording, especially the guitars, basses, saxes and orchestral instruments. The pianos are so good, I don't even want to spoil that yet..
One significant thing about the Fantom XR is that you can have up to 3 patches "auto enhanced", by allowing them to have the effects (MFX) that Roland recommends bussed straight through. This is a heaven sent thing for guitar patches especially, which usually are the hardest thing to get to sound "non-MIDI", and effects are for example, very realistic distortion. There are other instruments that benefit from their respective MFX as well, though..

Since I had about 10 MIDI sources, I scaled back by selling the Proteus FX and the Orchestral 2 expansion from my Proteus 2000, which is a great module with the default sounds- if you have the money, grab one!

At some point I will probably trade the Yamaha MU2000 for a Motif XS, if you have a Motif rack (XS or ES) you want to get rid of, you're always welcome to contact me.

Most of the time since I came back from Australia (Jan 2013) has been organising my new look studio, and learning about it to the point of being able to record music again. I've had 3 new incarnations of SMC since that time, so expect a different sound on any new recordings!

2 - Where's Alistair been?!?
Without wanting to post my life story here, the short version is that I have had a lot of health issues over the last few months, and a lack of finality and closure to it, until a couple nights ago, where I was diagnosed with mono (glandular fever). Yes, it's unfortunate, but I'm not going to have any long-term effects from it, so I'm just relieved to get a diagnosis. You can read the longer version at my Facebook page.

3 - What's been cooking in SMC's musical pot?
Well, my primary goal, once I'm able to hear properly again, and everything else being equal, is to finish Space Quest 4, which was mostly completed as of September 2012, and should have been released at that time. One positive is that with the new sounds, although I was confident it was an improvement overall on the QuestStudios' SQ4CD already, it will give it a 'different' sound, rather than hearing a lot of the same basses, drums, orchestral and synth sounds that the soundtrack uses (although you'll still hear the MT-32!).
For those who have not heard it, the beta CD recorded at that time can be heard here.

Other projects
The short answer to the header's question, is a lot of things. Many ideas have been floating around over the past year and a half, and there's a lot of potential there. One project that I can say is a non-Sierra CD featuring music from Accolade's Les Manley games. Yes, I know the games are a pale comparison of the LSL series, but they are still fun (well, sometimes) and more importantly, the second game features a soundtrack predominantly handled by none other than Ken Allen, legendary Sierra composer. And who knows, other than that, there may be another Ken project we're featuring soon, too..

Continued in Part Two..
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