VOGONS


First post, by sofakng

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Does anybody know which music card is "best" for Duke Nukem 3D? (ie. what card/device did the composer originally use?)

For example, I think it's well known that Bobby Prince (Doom music composer) used a Roland SC-55, but what about Duke Nukem 3D?

Reply 2 of 12, by rmay635703

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Not best but most of us enjoyed the quirks of a Soundblaster,

In my case my first non-Tandy sound was out of a vibra 16.

So while Duke may have been composed on high end hardware it was usually enjoyed in classic scratchy 8 bit samples on your 486DX2

PS Dukes soundtrack is available in CD quality separately :0

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=46MALEk-7cE

Last edited by rmay635703 on 2021-07-20, 01:22. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 4 of 12, by Oetker

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sofakng wrote on 2021-07-19, 18:13:

Does anybody know which music card is "best" for Duke Nukem 3D? (ie. what card/device did the composer originally use?)

For example, I think it's well known that Bobby Prince (Doom music composer) used a Roland SC-55, but what about Duke Nukem 3D?

If I remember correctly it's one of those games where a few of the midi files actually need the quirks of the non-GM SC-55, but there's fixed midi files out there.
Anyway, def. SC-55 or a clone such as the Dreamblaster X2GS.

Reply 5 of 12, by Joseph_Joestar

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The soundtrack of Duke3D was composed by two people: Lee Jackson and Bobby Prince. Here's the track listing which shows who made what. According to this article Lee Jackson initially used a Roland RAP-10 and then, at some later point (possibly during his work on the expansion?) switched to a Roland SC-88. We don't know exactly what Bobby Prince composed his tracks on, but it was probably a Roland SC-55, since he used that for his previous work on Doom.

In short, the music of Duke3D will likely sound best on a Roland Sound Canvas.

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Reply 6 of 12, by HandOfFate

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MAZter wrote on 2021-07-19, 19:40:

Roland SC-55, no choice

With Duke I prefer the SC-88 (Pro). The guitars on there sound just a bit more metal.

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Reply 7 of 12, by DracoNihil

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I'm pretty sure in regards to the music in Duke3D, it was all done on SC-88. Pay close attention to the BONUS.VOC and GRABBAG.VOC files and you can notice the instrumentation being identical to what you can find on the SC-88.

I think perhaps the SC-88pro would be a good choice since that was out around 1996, same year as Duke3D.

And yes there are various tracks that use specific controller messages meant for Roland GS devices, which I've only seen BASSMIDI actually interpret at all. FluidSynth doesn't understand these. ALIENZ.MID uses a special message to up the pitch of the snare drum that a lot of MIDI devices don't listen to and results in playing the power snare at it's default pitch. Various other of the MID's have reverb settings being applied globally.

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Reply 8 of 12, by bloodem

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To me, the Duke Nukem 3D music will always sound 'properly' in OPL3. 😀 That's how I played it 25 years ago and that's how I will always remember it.
Yes, Roland SC-55 sounds objectively better and it's very enjoyable, but whenever I want to have the 'true' (for me) experience... I will go with OPL3. 😀

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Reply 9 of 12, by Salient

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I got a Sound Canvas in 1993 (first an SC-33, a year later an SC-55 "because of the MT-32 support".. Little did I know back then hahaha) so for me that has the most nostalgia with this game.

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Reply 10 of 12, by DracoNihil

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bloodem wrote on 2021-07-21, 17:14:

To me, the Duke Nukem 3D music will always sound 'properly' in OPL3. 😀 That's how I played it 25 years ago and that's how I will always remember it.
Yes, Roland SC-55 sounds objectively better and it's very enjoyable, but whenever I want to have the 'true' (for me) experience... I will go with OPL3. 😀

I'd kinda chalk that up to the TMB having rather sane timbres stored, I also think there's probably tailored tracks in the .MID that only play if you did setup the music device to be some form of OPL.

Grabbag does sound pretty great in OPL because of the TMB that Duke3D uses.

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Reply 11 of 12, by Oetker

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DracoNihil wrote on 2021-07-21, 16:10:

I'm pretty sure in regards to the music in Duke3D, it was all done on SC-88. Pay close attention to the BONUS.VOC and GRABBAG.VOC files and you can notice the instrumentation being identical to what you can find on the SC-88.

I think perhaps the SC-88pro would be a good choice since that was out around 1996, same year as Duke3D.

And yes there are various tracks that use specific controller messages meant for Roland GS devices, which I've only seen BASSMIDI actually interpret at all. FluidSynth doesn't understand these. ALIENZ.MID uses a special message to up the pitch of the snare drum that a lot of MIDI devices don't listen to and results in playing the power snare at it's default pitch. Various other of the MID's have reverb settings being applied globally.

According to this thread it's the SC-55 Apparently not all GS-only sc-55s are the same, some are GM . Or maybe the two composers used different devices.
And the optimal version seems to be the SC-55 v1 with 1.21 firmware, as that has the correct instrument ordering yet also supports capital tone fallback.

Reply 12 of 12, by chinny22

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I know it's not one of the choices (either was the SC88 though) but this is one of those games that a lot of people prefer the Yamaha XG based Midi devices over Roland.
Bonus here is if you have a Yamaha YMF based sound card you already have XG midi