View Full Version : What device was the music composed on?

02-11-2007, 08:54 AM
I've heard from some websites that the music for FF VII was composed on a Yamaha MU10, and just to check this, I downloaded the MIDIs on this website for it and played them back on my MU10.

I think it's true - the MIDIs appear to use XG patches when playing back, which causes them to sound different (better I should say) to an Audigy 2 ZS or any other General MIDI sound card.

Can anyone confirm this? I'm willing to do recordings for comparisons if anyone wants them.

02-11-2007, 11:28 PM
Well, there must be some reason the game provides an option to install an XG softsynth and offers enhanced support for soundcards based on Yamaha's sound chipset (and offer XG soundfonts for the SoundBlaster AWE soundcards).

02-13-2007, 10:38 PM
Not sure, but I wouldn't go with MIDIs. Some are actually very good, but others are of variable quality. I have actually purchased the soundtracks for several FF games, although curiously enough, not FFVII's, though it's one of my favorites.

02-13-2007, 11:00 PM
Agent, Nobuo uses a basic General MIDI keyboard when he compose his music. Some of his themes are orchestrated for cut-scenes and stuff but most of them are composed using his keyboard.

Taken from an interview during the FFVIII era:

"Nobuo Uematsu: I usually come to work on time, turn on my keyboard, and then decide to work. I don't have expensive equipment in my room. I have a hard time trying to learn new machines, so I stick to my old ones. It's a waste of time to go over the manual, search my harddrive, or go get a floppy disk just be trying to find a single trumpet synth. I could be coming up with a great melody in the very moment! The only instrument I used is the "Roland SC88", which is a beginners' synth wich costs about 50,000 yen. (about 400 dollars) Just one. The maxium simultaneous sound is like 64 or 128, and I don't need to worry about quality unless I want to have a special traditional instrument. I cant say that its symphonic recreation is the best, but it has most that I need. The best of all, everything only costs 50,000 yen. I hear that people say that "Nobuo is surrounded by computers these days", but the truth is that I'm really bad at computers."

And here's a part of a review for the game:

Using synthesized MIDI is very typical of the Final Fantasy games. Later games (FFVIII and FFIX) still employ the same synthesized sounds, even though other RPGs used recorded music. There were actually ideas to use a famous vocalist to sing a song for the ending of FFVII, but the team couldn’t come up with a good reason to do it, so the mandatory pop song didn’t appear in the series until Final Fantasy VIII.

Cover art of the FFVII "Reunion" soundtrack. Note the Digicube logo on the top-left cornerThere was one exception to the synthesized formula in FFVII however. The final boss battle with Sephiroth uses Latin chants layered over the MIDI theme.

taken from here: [Only registered and activated users can see links]

02-13-2007, 11:04 PM
Fair enough. Still, some MIDI versions are better than others. Actually, for FFVII and FFVIII, it's not so bad because those games were both made for PC and so it's possible to rip MIDIs directly from the game. Any other FFs than that, it's variable because people actually have to sequence them themselves.

02-14-2007, 04:01 AM
I can clearly tell FF VIII uses a SC88 as the MIDI files attempt to use patches from the SC88 (but they're still General MIDI so it plays on any GM standard sound card). The FF VII MIDI files however, sound quite a bit different on the correct hardware since the XG patches are based more for electronic music (and it does a fine job of that).

02-14-2007, 08:54 AM
IIirc, the PSOne version of Final Fantasy VII came out first.

Still, maybe Uematsu composed the music on a SC88, but what is to prevent the sound engineer from going in and change around the instruments and banks to suit them? Anyone can open up the composed piece in, say, Cakewalk Pro Audio, and "edit" the instruments settings so it would use a different bank/patch. So Uematsu could compose the music on an old SC88 (which is a GS device), but the bank settings could later be edited so that it suited an XG output source instead.

02-14-2007, 10:00 AM
I don't understand why they would switch the banks from GS to XG when I highly doubt anyone actually had a Yamaha DB50XG daughterboard/SW60XG sound card/MU10 tone generator to play the game on.

I still think FF VII was originally composed on a Yamaha MU10, otherwise they would have left them as SC88 banks just like they were in FF VIII.