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Star Fox 64 Composer Heading Skyward Sword's Soundtrack

by Neal Ronaghan - June 22, 2011, 10:57 pm EDT
Total comments: 8 Source: http://www.originalsoundversion.com/koji-kondo-tal...

Orchestral music reconfirmed for the next Zelda game.

Hajime Wakai will be the main composer of The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword, according to renowned Nintendo composer Koji Kondo. Additionally, Kondo aided with some of the music.

Wakai is best known for his work on Star Fox 64 and Pikmin, and has previously worked on the Zelda series in The Legend of Zelda: Wind Waker.

Kondo also mentioned that orchestras will be used for a few songs in Skyward Sword, though this was previously hinted at by Shigeru Miyamoto.

See below for the full quote:

"Our next title, Skyward Sword, also has a wide variety of impressive songs, and it has new musical gameplay elements. Hajime Wakai is in charge of the music, but I also participated in making songs. My composition tools are an electronic piano and a Mac. We use orchestras for a few different songs where we feel that doing so is appropriate."


EnnerJune 23, 2011

This should be good. Super Mario Galaxy and Super Mario Galaxy 2 got great mileage from their orchestrated music though there isn't all that much in those two games. I would expect to see something similar from Skyward Sword.

PodingsJune 23, 2011

At times I felt the orchestra in Mario Galaxy was wasted a bit because they cut away all the highest frequencies to make way for coin noises.
I understand that the soundscape could've been quite messy otherwise, though.

Hopefully the orchestrations in Skyward Sword won't be compromised much, and still facilitate all the dynamic uses of music the series is known for, like on-the-fly blending of battle music and exploration music, notes and instruments added during fights, and so on.
I'd personally rather have MIDI than lose any of these.

TurdFurgyJune 23, 2011

If ever there was a series that deserved to be fully orchestrated, it's definitely Zelda. And I can't wait for the day they drop the MIDI.

EnnerJune 23, 2011

A little synthesized music is great every now and then. It's only annoying with Nintendo when it feels like nearly all of their music is synthesized. I bet it keeps the costs down.
As for dynamic music during fights and events, I would like to hear a combination of orchestral and MIDI if they can make it work.

LittleIrvesJune 23, 2011

@Podings, you make a good point. Everyone always clamors for full orchestration, but isn't it the MIDI that allows for such dynamic, on-the-fly changes? I'm no audiophile. Can anybody give specifics about whether or not orchestrated music can be manipulated in the same way MIDI can? Galaxy's music was superb, so if that's what a mix of both sound like, I'm quite happy to hear Skyward Sword will be dealt with similarly.

Killer_Man_JaroTom Malina, Associate Editor (Europe)June 23, 2011

Quote from: LittleIrves

Can anybody give specifics about whether or not orchestrated music can be manipulated in the same way MIDI can?

The Galaxy games managed this in a select few songs. The Buoy Base BGM comes to mind - that was orchestrated and changed on the fly as you moved into and out of the water. It's absolutely possible, just more difficult than it is with MIDI.

Speaking of which, I think the hate towards MIDI is unjust. There are plenty of great-sounding games that were composed in MIDI.

Galaxy did dynamic orchestral music. They had to record the different tracks and then mix them in the right way (so the trickiest part was making sure that the timing of the performances was precise). It would be difficult if they wanted to do anything more complicated than that, but usually Nintendo just overlays different tracks even for MIDI.

TansunnJune 23, 2011

There are different ways of doing dynamic music changes.  In the case of Super Mario Galaxy, most of it involved multiple tracks playing at once and then crossfading between them or increasing the volume of certain parts as necessary.

In the case of Ocarina of Time's Hyrule Field, there were actually a number of 8-bar patterns that would be played based on context, but it wouldn't play a new one until after the currently playing pattern was finished.  I've seen this technique used in Sonic Heroes' Mystic Mansion where it would change which pattern was playing based on what part of the stage you're in, so doing it with streaming audio wouldn't be a problem either.

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