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Author Topic: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"  (Read 3915 times)

Spooniest

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Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« on: August 26, 2016, 05:57:46 am »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but there were few other NES games that bothered with a full arrangement of kick, hats, and snare for drums. I mean, Castlevania 2 and 3 I guess...

Can you think of more examples? FF3 is one too I think.

What games on the NES had percussion that was interesting? Conversely if you'd like to bellyache about NES games with crap percussion instruments then here ya go, here's a thread.
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CrocMagnum

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2016, 07:27:10 am »
Well! I remember Journey to Silius.

The music is so good you could think Sunsoft used a special soundchip. Apparently not:

Quote
The soundtrack was composed by Naoki Kodaka. Most NES composers would use the digital channel for sampled drums and the other channels for melodic content, but for Journey to Silius, Kodaka, with the programming assistance of Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya, and Naohisa Morota used the digital channel for a sampled bassline, and the triangle channel for a kick drum. (Source Wikipedia)

Also here's a tutorial showing how to reproduce that "Sunsoft DPCM Bass". Since you're a musician maybe can make good use of this, because me quite frankly I'm a real donkey when it come to those things :P:

The Sunsoft DPCM Bass Trick in Famitracker Tutorial
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Disch

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2016, 11:16:34 am »
Yeah the DMC (aka DPCM) is the oft-ignored 5th channel.  Most games don't use it at all because it uses a big chunk of fixed-bank ROM space to hold samples.

Sunsoft used it primarily for that heavy bassline, with the occasional percussion sample slipped in.
Konami used it pretty much exclusively for percussion.
Nintendo used it for a lot of sound effects (SMB2 and Zelda 1, for example, doesn't use it for music, but most of the sound effects are via DMC)
Interestingly, Capcom seems to never use the channel, despite them being known for making some of the very best NES music!

Notable examples of games which put the DMC to good or interesting use, in no particular order:

- SMB3  (subtle, but it's there)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
- The Immortal (not the best soundtrack, but interesting use of DMC -- one of the few games to use the 'loop' functionality to play a sawtooth wave in this track)
- Kirby's Adventure  (this soundtrack is underrated and rocks surprisingly hard... listen to Ice Cream Island theme again)
- Gimmick!   (famous for it's use of Sunsoft expansion audio, the bassline and badass kickdrums it uses on the DMC is also great)
- Journey to Silius (mentioned already)
- Hebereke  (more sunsoft awesomeness)
- Gremlins 2 (ditto -- but a surprisingly fantastic soundtrack)
- Castlevania 2 / 3
- Doki! Doki! Yuuenchi  (never heard of this game?  I'm not surprised)
- Kick Master
- Skate or Die 2 ("Skate or Die.  Skate skate skate skate or die. Die die die die die")
- Bucky!  Captain Bucky O'Hare
- Super C (that orchestra hit)



Obviously not a complete list.  =P

Idkbutlike2

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2016, 01:41:20 pm »
Did the Follins ever make use of it?

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2016, 02:18:13 pm »
Shatterhand had an epic soundtrack as well. Take a listen to the first level's music - it's got an insane flow to it.
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Disch

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2016, 03:04:00 pm »
Did the Follins ever make use of it?

I don't know any VG soundtracks by composer name.  What are some example games they did?

Shatterhand had an epic soundtrack as well. Take a listen to the first level's music - it's got an insane flow to it.

Yeah Shatterhand does have a pretty good sountrack.  That level 1 song is easily my fav.

It doesn't use the DMC, but it puts the noise to work on percussion, and does some neat trickery with the pulse channels.  Most games use the Tri for the bassline, so I'm always like hearing games which use one of the pulses for a bass (see also:  above linked Ice Cream Island on Kirby's Adventure)

Spooniest

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #6 on: August 26, 2016, 03:37:29 pm »
Nobody else remembers Gyruss?
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Idkbutlike2

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #7 on: August 26, 2016, 03:58:27 pm »
I don't know any VG soundtracks by composer name.  What are some example games they did?
Solstice, Silver Surfer, Pictionary, and a few others.

Bregalad

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #8 on: August 26, 2016, 04:22:11 pm »
Quote
Nintendo used it for a lot of sound effects (SMB2 and Zelda 1, for example, doesn't use it for music, but most of the sound effects are via DMC)
Such effects were typically done with the FDS channel in the original games, and a cheap, badly sounding, DMC equivalent was introduced in the NES versions.

Quote
The soundtrack was composed by Naoki Kodaka. Most NES composers would use the digital channel for sampled drums and the other channels for melodic content, but for Journey to Silius, Kodaka, with the programming assistance of Nobuyuki Hara, Shinichi Seya, and Naohisa Morota used the digital channel for a sampled bassline, and the triangle channel for a kick drum. (Source Wikipedia)
I cannot belive you found something true about Wikipedia when it comes to NES games. So yeah, what it says is exactly the truth, but most of the time, WP is a terrible "reference" when it comes to NES or retro stuff.

FCandChill

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« Reply #9 on: August 26, 2016, 04:41:54 pm »
Comment removed because reasons...
« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 09:24:52 pm by FCandChill »

Bahamut ZERO

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #10 on: August 26, 2016, 04:44:10 pm »
Nobody else remembers Gyruss?

Actually I was going to suggest that along with Shatterhand in my earlier post, but got sidetracked by something else and completely forgot about.

But yeah, Gyruss is the shit, both in music and gameplay. Easily one of the best NES space shooters! I've got a cart of it that I still play the hell out of from time to time just to hear the music.  :thumbsup:
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Disch

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #11 on: August 26, 2016, 05:53:45 pm »
Such effects were typically done with the FDS channel in the original games, and a cheap, badly sounding, DMC equivalent was introduced in the NES versions.


Ehhh... for those sound effects (specificially SMB2 and LoZ) I greatly prefer the muffled and dulled version of the DMC as opposed to the harsh and grating sound of the FDS.  :beer:



Regarding Follin:

IIRC none of those games used the DMC, however several of them seem to simulate a kick drum with clever use of the triangle.

FCandChill

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« Reply #12 on: August 26, 2016, 07:06:01 pm »
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« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 09:25:11 pm by FCandChill »

Idkbutlike2

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #13 on: August 26, 2016, 07:52:34 pm »
Kind of wish this guy continued his video series on NES music tricks and techniques. That shit was really interesting.

Disch

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #14 on: August 26, 2016, 09:05:28 pm »
Kind of wish this guy continued his video series on NES music tricks and techniques. That shit was really interesting.

Wow yeah I never saw those before.  Those are pretty great.

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #15 on: August 26, 2016, 10:20:08 pm »
- Skate or Die 2 ("Skate or Die.  Skate skate skate skate or die. Die die die die die")
The Skate or Die vocals are PCM streaming instead of DPCM samples.

By the way, few games ever make use of the FDS well. If they had been more creative, then Vocaloid for FDS would have been released 30 years ago. (requires newest NSFPlay)

FCandChill

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« Reply #16 on: August 27, 2016, 12:08:54 am »
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« Last Edit: September 25, 2016, 09:25:25 pm by FCandChill »

Bregalad

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #17 on: August 27, 2016, 04:27:32 pm »
Kind of wish this guy continued his video series on NES music tricks and techniques. That shit was really interesting.
Your link is broken.

PresidentLeever

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #18 on: August 27, 2016, 08:04:58 pm »
Most of these games used pcm or had good noise percussion:
Overlord/Supremacy,
TMNT 1-3,
Bucky O'Hare,
Magician,
Treasure Master,
Skate or Die 2,
Metal Gear 2,
Bayou Billy,
Wolverine,
Target Renegade,
Shatterhand,
Ninja Gaiden 1-3,
Contra series,
MM2-6,
Castlevania II,
Darkman,
Blaster Master,
Metal Gear,
Shadow of the Ninja,
SMB3,
Jackal,
Life Force,
Crisis Force,
Kick Master,
Crystalis,
Choujin Sentai: Jetman,
DuckTales 1-2,
Mission Impossible,
Doki! Doki! Yuenchi: CLD,
Legacy of the Wizard,
Fester's Quest,
Robo Warrior/Bomber King,
Gradius II,
Sky Shark,
Castlevania,
Jackie Chan's Action Kung Fu,
Rollergames,
Double Dragon 2-3,
Power Blade,
Maniac Mansion,
Ys III,
Little Nemo,
Tecmo World Wrestling, 
Batman Returns,
Top Gun: The Second Mission,
Ultima III: Exodus,
Heavy Barrel,
Willow,
Battletoads,
Esper Dream,
Mother,
Kirby's Adventure,
Laser Invasion

Noise: Journey to Silius, Robocop 3, Silver Surfer, Solstice, The Smurfs, Pictionary, Asterix, Erik the Viking, Hero Quest, Batman: RotJ, Gremlins 2, Super Spy Hunter, Street Fighter 2010, Ufouria, Batman, Guardian Legend, FF 1-3,



« Last Edit: September 01, 2016, 03:39:06 pm by PresidentLeever »
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Bregalad

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Re: Ninja Gaiden 1+2's Music, or "Where are the drums?"
« Reply #19 on: August 28, 2016, 02:14:36 pm »
Many of the games you listed do not use PCM. You even list for example FF1 which do not use DPCM and use noise only for sound effects. Your just listed random NES games. This doesn't make any sense.