I'm a hobbiest composer, and will be doing just about all of the music and ambient sound of Prodigal 2 myself, unlike last time where I only did sound. But not everything I compose will be going in the game...and here are a few other pieces I've worked on. All are composed in Reason 6, and all use VBR .mp3s at a high bitrate so they are nearly the quality of the masters. If you want to save any songs, RIGHT CLICK on the link and select DOWNLOAD.
This first song is called "Traveling" and is just a short techno piece that I used in my E2M4 Redux GZDoom level on the config screen. The drums are passed through a flanger that is dialed to max saturation with a delay of only about 1 millisecond. This is what causes the drums to have a "spitting" sound to them. (3.15MB)
I also did a different version of "Traveling" that appeared on my GZDoom levels called "The Island." Check out "Traveling Remix" right here! (4.22MB)
This next one is titled "Clearing the Infection." This is the absolute first song I did in Reason. I think it sounds pretty good considering I was using a program I'd never used before! Lots of arpeggios used in this one, as I was fascinated by the sound altering abilities of Reason's Arpeggiator. Heck, I still am fascinated with it, but I don't use it so overtly anymore. I like this song as it has a driving beat. (7.22MB)
Ugh. Forgive me for foisting this on the world, but I did a cover of that criminally catchy song, "Hamster Dance." I wanted to see how close I could get to the original, but ended up making it my own reinterpretation of the song. I did not do the (c)rap verses of the track because I hate (c)rap. Unfortunately, the song suffers a little from the lack of verses as it gets a bit monotonous by the end. If you've never heard this song, listen at your own risk. It sticks in your head for weeks. (4.67MB)
I've done enough of these to be worth their own section. I take my absolute favorite songs from any games and remake them with modern music equipment. It's fun, and helps me remember and honor those great games of years gone by!
Duke Nukem 3D Level 1: Stalker
Ahhh... Lee Jackson. Creator of some of the greatest soundtracks games have ever seen. If you haven't heard Duke Nukem 3D on a Roland Sound Canvas, you haven't heard the music. Same goes for Rise of the Triad, which has one of the most pumped up soundtracks ever in a game Lee Jackson always wrote awesome songs, although he wrote them strictly as synthesizer pieces, as I discovered when I analyzed the guitar tracks on many of his songs. Reguardless of inaccurate guitar writing he is still a master of music. Duke Nukem 3D was controversial, but one thing that nobody argues about is how awesome the music for the first level of the game is. Entitled "Stalker," it is easily the greatest song on the Duke Nukem 3D sountrack in my opinion. This is a "one-to-one" remake of the song, with every instrument in the original represented in my arrangement. Guitars were HEAVILY beefed up from the anemic Lee Jackson composition, but otherwise everything else is exact, I believe. Of particular notice are the excellent booming drums which I used to replace the ordinary toms on this track. They are punched out in the stereo space to make them swirl around you. Check it out! "Stalker." (4.07MB)
Shadow Warrior Level 2: 254MM
Ahhh... Too few people remember this game. Even though it was created on the then-aging Build engine, which powered Duke Nukem, it was an amazing enhancement of the tech. Voxel items, much more intricate detail in the levels, and tons more animation, humor and violence, this game had it all. Unfortunately, in the post Quake world, nobody cared if the game was great fun, they just cared that it wasn't a true 3D engine. Stupid people. ANYWAY... this is a great game, tons of fun, with some awesome, rocking music. Level 2 has my favorite song of the whole game, "254MM." Hard-rocking and guitar driven, it is the perfect song to blast down the minions of Zilla with streams of blood flying everywhere! Guitars are run through the Line 6 POD "Treadplate" amplifier seting, which is of course a Mesa Boogie Dual Rectifier, giving it a heavy, lush sound. Again, the guitar tracks are fleshed out from the lame synthesizer lines that Lee wrote, turning them into true heavy-metal rhythm guitar. Take a listen, and go buy Shadow Warrior from Good Old Games! "254MM." (6.28MB)
Rise of the Triad: Suck This!
With a song title like that, how can the song not be cool? Rise of the Triad's music is a challenge to rewrite, because it is often guitar driven, but built on a synthesizer, driving the guitars unrealistically fast. "Suck This!" is a classic example, but figuring out how to properly play the guitars was a fun challenge. This was the first of Lee Jackson's music that I re-recorded, and I fretted over it probably more than all the rest. I'm still not totally happy with its mix, but it is pretty dang cool sounding as it is. It's hard to ballance metal guitars with synthesizers... at least I think it is. One or the other always seems to drown each other out, in this case, the guitars become hard to hear when the melody starts up in the song. Still, it's a rad song. I hate the ending. "Suck This!" (5.9MB)
Rise of the Triad: Where Izit?
Did I just get done telling you that "Suck This!" was fast? I lied. That song is a crawling bunch of slow compared to "Where Izit?," a song that defines frantic for a whole generation of games. This was played I believe on the second-to-the-last level of the game, while frantically chasing the final boss through a winding canyon at breakneck speeds. Oh, the guitars were hard on this song. I ended up giving up on trying to play them as written in the song. It's just too fast for me to accurately play. Maybe Zack Wilde or somebody could play that, but not me. Besides, it is boring as written, just tons of 1/16th notes over and over. I added a whole bunch of rhythmic flavor in here, which makes the Line 6 Mesa Boogie simulation totally sing. I love Reason, and I love this song. Tight cut-off and a generous scoop on the EQ makes this thrashing song totally bang! Listen and love it! "Where Izit?" (3.47MB)
After Burner II: Final Takeoff
Ooo! Old-school arcade game music! Yes please! It was not possible to get the guitars to sound less mechanical. Something about this track just WANTS you to make the guitars sound a bit synthetic, because that's how they sounded on the original arcade cabinet. Since I've recently built my own arcade cabinet, I've been playing this game lots. It's great fun even today, though completely impossible to beat on a single quarter. Take a listen and be returned to the days of the smelly arcade. "Final Takeoff" (6.92MB)
Ultima VI Introduction
If you are my age, you might have very fond memories of the old Ultima games by Lord British. Ultima VI has been called by some the best of the series. I don't know, I never played it, an oversite I still plan on rectifying someday. I have, however, heard the awesome sounding intro song when starting the game. It is, in my opinion, one of the most hauntingly beautiful songs of the DOS era. If you only heard it on Adlib, you missed out. It sounds phenomenal on a Roland MT-32, which far too few people ever got to hear. Well, I hope I've done some justice to the song with my remake. This is NOT a one-to-one conversion, I have added new melodies, new rhythms, and taken the two loops that the game used and tried to turn them into a complete and cohesive song. If you like the game and remember this song, I think you'll love it. Without further comment, here is the Ultima VI Introduction Haunted Mix. (5.33MB)
King's Quest VI: Arch Druid Theme
Like adventure games? If you are here, you probably do. Well, one of my absolute all-time favorites was King's Quest VI. It truly captured the wonder and beauty of the best fairy tales, due in no small part to Jane Jenson's influence. It was the best game of the series, and the final good King's Quest before Sierra began systematically flushing all their wonderful series down the toilet. Oh Ken Williams, you were my hero growing up...Why did you go public with Sierra? Anyway, My favorite song on a soundtrack filled with memorable music is the Arch Druid's theme, from the Isle of Mists. Remarkably simple in construction, it nevertheless gets in your head like only great music can. This is my own interpretation of the song, and while everything that Mark Siebert did is here, I added new parts, more drums, and fleshed out the song from a one minute loop that gets monotonous into something you can enjoy as a full song while keeping it true to its roots. Heck, I think I made it quite a bit better. Check it out and see if you don't agree! King's Quest VI: Arch-Druid Theme Trance Mix. (5.35MB)
Viewtiful Joe: Joe the Hero
In a completely different genre, on an unrelated system, Viewtiful Joe is one of my absolute favorite Playstation 2 games. While much of the game's music is functional but forgettable, the first level's song, "Joe the Hero," Is so awesome it kills people with rays of pure cool. Fast and frantic dance style music, the song just pumps you up to play the game and perform Viewtiful combos. Listen at your own risk, but I think you'll like the song even if you never played the game it comes from. Again, as is usual, I have made some large modifications to the original song, including making up my own guitar riffs at several points. This is actually blended in with melodies from the Nintendo DS sequel and lengthened out from a very short song loop to a full song in order to make it iPod worthy. Note that I used the DS version of this song in my "Prodigal Shooter" technology test game, so you can compare this version to that and see what you think.
Viewtiful Joe: Joe the Hero. (8.66MB) (This is a reupload, with compression tweeked so there isn't so much dropout on bass drum runs. It's hard riding the fine line of distortion volume.)
Doom 2: Running from Evil
This one is called "Running from Evil" from Doom 2. Most people will probably know it as "The song on the first level of the game," but my title is the official name Robert Prince gave the song when he composed it. I changed only a few things around while keeping it mostly true to the original this time. I punched the drums out with some cool work, and used synthesizers to fatten up the song where the original general midi was insufficient. The largest changes come in half way through the song when the electric guitar solo starts. Prince had the guitar doing a very mechanical arpeggio the entire time, and I broke that up with some "Squeedly Guitar Riffs*" with that are lots of fun. (3.9MB)
Doom 2: DOOM
So much of Robert Prince's music is just plain awesome. I could make an entire section just dedicated to remakes of his songs. Worse, there are so many of his songs I really like that you just can't get in any kind of midi format, like Cosmo's Cosmic adventure. Anyway, this is another song from Doom 2, titled, oddly, DOOM. It's spooky and cool, and I hope I was able to up that factor a bit with some strange, otherworldly sounds. (5.13MB)
So you want to here some ambient stuff, eh? Huh? You didn't ask for any? Well, it's my website, so deal. These are taken from Prodigal 1. I have tons of newer, better stuff, but it is mostly potentials for Prodigal 2, so I don't want to release 'em to the public...yet. If you have a favorite from Prodigal that you'd like a high quality copy of, let me know and I'll release it here...Except for the Shadowplay song, that isn't mine so I can't post it. You can find it elsewhere on the net legally though...I'm just too lazy to look it up and give you a link.
Some of the best sounds come from the most unlikely sources. This first one, "Ela Wind is Blowing," has an interesting origin. I was eating breakfast on a spring day, and the window in the kitchen was cracked open. All of a sudden the wind hit it JUST RIGHT and started to make these spooky howling sounds. I grabbed my hand recorder and captured the sounds until they stopped, and this track is the result. The chiming effect was also a lucky find. I was doing noise reduction on the clip to clean up static hiss from my crappy hand recorder, (I bought a professional recording setup for Prodigal 2, but back then I was using a $60 Radio Shack voice recorder to get my sounds. Kinda sad, huh?) and I set the noise reduction too high, and that chiming effect was the result. It was perfect, so I saved it. Weird origin, ya think? (<1MB)
I frankly don't remember the origin of "Echoing Bass 2." It was used in Prodigal, and sounds really weird and creepy. I think it is heavily processed synthesizer, but I'm not sure. Whatever it was, it is so hidden in processing I can't tell. I had to produce so many art assets for Prodigal...I just plain can't remember where I made them all from. I do warn you though, this is a "speaker blower!" Don't crank this thing unless you want hearing damage! It is designed to make your speakers do weird vibrations and sound like they're about to explode, but it should be safe...I think...(1.18MB)
I love messing around and finding weird sounds. "Track 1 Special" is just such a sound. Everything you hear was recorded from an electric guitar. Heavy ring modulation and other processing was done, and this is the result. I would grab the two low strings, (E and A) and pull them out as far as I could, then snap release them. the resulting dissonant clanging twang sound was then reversed, which is why the sounds seem to build up to a fevered pitch and then stop suddenly. The clanging that comes in around the middle and passes from speaker to speaker is also a ring modulated guitar, this time without being reversed, and I seem to recall it is the "B" string being played. (<1MB)
All of these arrangements are copyright (c) 2012-2013 by Benjamin J Johnson. Original compositions of any songs are (c) their respective owners. This section comes from my love of old DOS games, including Duke Nukem 3D, Shadow Warrior, Doom 2, Rise of the Triad, King's Quest 6, The Ultima Series, After Burner II, and other old games that used Midi synthesizers such as the Roland MT-32 and the Roland SC-55. My personal recommendation for these song to be heard in the original games in all their glory, (but not as good as my versions,) is to find a Studio Canvas SD-90. The sound module makes these old games sound better than even the original composers intended, and it will give you a new lease on any of your old favorite DOS games that use General Midi. The SD-90 is no longer made, so you will have to find it on ebay, but there are Windows 7 and 8 drivers made for it.
Term "Squeedly Guitar Riffs" is wholely owned by S. Bad.