Posted 2003-06-08 03:07:18 by
Whenever I hear a cell phone playing a barely recognizable, off-rhythm cover of the “Inspector Gadget” theme song, I can't help but think that a demoscener could've done the job so much better.
Sceners always do a better job than regular people within imposed limits. Sceners did a better job with early PC music, they did a better job with previous-generation console game music, and they're doing a better job with GBA music as we speak.
The reason is that they (maybe I should say we, because in this sense I'm still a scener) actually write the music with the playback device in mind, specifying whatever details and using whatever production tricks are available, rather than expecting a performer to bring the notes to life later on.
If that level of apathy had cast its pall over the Commodore 64 game development arena, I would probably not be making music today.
Conflating composition and production is arguably not a good thing from an artistic standpoint, but when you're working within strict polyphony and timbrality limitations, it's the best way I know to make the end result sound good.
What pisses me off most about all this, though, is that pretty soon I expect cell phones will universally be able to play MP3 files or what have you, and the next-gen portable console will probably have something similar. And then I'll have a hell of a time finding a pretext to complain about this sort of thing.