AP_10 (Unknown Title)
  • AP_10 (Unknown Title)
  • MUSE

Ballade For Maria (PC-98), 1995

Oh, oh, oh! ♥ What a great lead patch! It is not actually all that complicated, but often great synthesis is just fine tuning something until it is perfect. That wonderful formant-y sound is the result of getting the attack and decay just so, and also the fake delay imparting an almost chorus-like effect. It is further enhanced by the melody itself: the patch just sounds good with glissando because it is so dynamic!

I love, too, how bold the composer was to use up one of the precious three FM channels in the YM2203 for fake delay, an even bigger deal than on the Famicom because of how much more limited the SSG is compared to FM. The song still sounds really BIG because of that expertly programmed bass. Most people are familiar with the ubiquitous fake delay technique where an instrument is doubled at a lower volume and shifted forward, usually on a second channel. What the programmer has done here, however, is create single-channel fake reverb on the staccato sections by repeating and sustaining the last note in a phrase, but at a much lower volume. It’s subtle, but it really fills out the mix. You can simulate almost any basic outboard effect with FM if you know how. Delay, reverb, chorus, phasers, compressors, even high-pass filters. And yet, contemporary musicians seem to limit themselves to fake delay only. Chip artists: keep an open mind and study, study, study!

This compositional style reminds me a lot of Naoki Kodaka’s work on Journey To Silius, where it almost seems like he is showing off. “Huh? Three channels? Nah. Bass and lead are all I need. That other thing can just be fake delay. *blows ur mind*”

I would really like to know if this song has a name, but Japanese computer games from this era are often poorly documented and never had their soundtracks released. If there isn’t a sound test with song names, you’re kinda SOL.

  • Caution
  • Masaaki Uno, Motoi Sakuraba, Yasunori Shiono

FZ Senki Axis (Mega Drive), 1990
Masaaki Uno, Motoi Sakuraba, Yasunori Shiono

Wolf Team released two Mega Drive games in 1990, but this almost certainly has to be the first one their sound team worked on. Even compared to Granada, FZ Senki Axis is remarkably primitive, owing to its relatively early release on the console.

The first thing I noticed about it is how low the drums are in the mix, and how wimpy they sound. That is not a mixing mistake, they actually used the PSG for the entire drum track. That’s pretty audacious. I have never heard a Mega Drive game attempt to get away with that. The arrangement is also quite sparse. These are both perhaps due to the sound team’s greater familiarity with the monaural, three-channel (+ SSG) YM2203. That, the sloppy programming, overuse of instruments and ill-advised hard panning of lead instruments lend this soundtrack a clumsy sort of charm. Mr. Sakuraba certainly improved quickly as a sound designer after this. Those chunky tom rolls in Granada almost read like an apology!

It’s easy to dump on Wolf Team for their questionable game design, but their sound team were early pioneers of cool FM music for the home market, especially for Western audiences in the early 1990′s. Wolf Team’s parent company, Telenet Japan, owned the North American publishing company Renovation Products, who brought over great music from composers and sound designers like Toshiharu Yamanishi and Hitoshi Sakimoto, in addition to the majority of Wolf Team’s Mega Drive catalog.


Happy Birthday to that friend who never left my side brandedpacifist! Aba at blooming ka ata ngayon, pa-bangs bangs na Valderama ah. Bagay sa'yo hehehe😊 Hi milk tea buddy, kapwa fan girl kay Mamura, ka-duet ko palagi, at dakilang crammer ever! Thank you sa 2 years(?) na magkakilala tayo. Di ko sure bro basta more than 2 years na yun. Ikaw yung isa sa mga unang pumansin saakin nung transferee palang ako. Napaka-friendly mong tao, lahat nalang ka-close mo hahaha! Sayang at hindi ka tumakbong Governor last year. Bakit nga ba di ka tumakbo? Naglakad ka siguro. Ay joke hahahaha!

Salamat talaga sa pakikinig sa mga drama ko sa buhay. Alam kong madalas ang nonsense ko magkwento pero kapag kayo ang kausap ko parang iyong topic na yun ang pinakamahalagang topic. Example? Kung kaano-ano ko ba si Lucio Tan, shapes ng utot, CCTV cameras, mga banat ng lola ko, drama sa tumblr, at marami pang iba. Alam niyo na yun. Pati nga kung bakit “bad” ang bad words ay naitanong ko na sainyo. Thank you😊 Nung time na hindi ko talaga alam kung kanino magkkwento tungkol sa papa ko nandyan ka. Umiyak ako, nakiiyak ka rin. Ang swerte ko lang talaga kase nakilala ko kayo.

Parang kayo talaga yung mga kaibigan na FOR LIFETIME. Alam kong katulad namin ay may times na naiinis ka rin. May misunderstandings, may pagkukulang. Minsan nagkakatampuhan tayo. Pati maliliit na bagay ay pinoproblema pa natin tulad nalang ng table arrangement nung JS hahahahaha! Nakakamiss rin yung mga ganung away eh. Sorry kung di ako nakakatulong masyado kapag may problema ka. Di talaga ako magaling sa mga advice eh. Basta kahit ilang taon man ang lumipas, kayo parin yung SSG na mahal ko.

Ikaw parin yung Valderama na mas nandiri kesa saakin nung kumakain tayo ng fishball with matching ipis. Ikaw yung Anne na grabeng mag cramming tapos ang tali-talino. Ikaw yung Anne na hindi mapakali kapag may nag-aaway sa tropa. Ikaw yung Anne na clingy at love na love ko. Ikaw yung Anne na ang galing kumanta at sumayaw. Talented! Ikaw yun. Thank God for a friend like you :) Teka ang cheesy hahahahaha basta ayun, Happy Birthday! Tanda mo na ah, mas Tanders ka kesa saakin. Ingat ka dyan sa Manila, nandito lang si Tricia na super mabait. Ehem.

Okay, so my girlfriend and I figured something out.

So, Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan Goku has blue hair, right? Like this?

Like, okay, but a Super Saiyan with blue hair… Blue hair. Where have we seen something like that before? I mean, doesn’t that sound awfully familiar?

Oh. Wait. That’s right.

Broly. Freaking Broly Super Saiyan stage one had blue hair.

That awkward moment when you realize that Broly was a Super Saiyan God Super Saiyan all along… Ohh, if Goku’s next form is complete with green hair…