Earthworm Jim, a new community release is out!

Click on the image to go to the download page

 

Hello everyone, and welcome back to a new community release!

This time is Earthworm Jim, ripped by our community member Lilmattere who also did Streets of Rage 3 recently!

A big thank you to Lilmattere for his recent efforts and remember that anyone can contribute by sending in their recordings as far as they are closely following our guidelines.

Stay tuned on our Facebook page because as Christmas approach, I’ll finally have some free time to dedicate to the project and I need your input on deciding what to do next. There will be a poll where you’ll be able to vote what to do next.

Thanks again for sticking with us and please keep giving us feedback to improve our project!

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Streets of Rage 3, our first Community Release, is out!

Streets of Rage 3
Click on the image to go to the download page

Hello everyone and welcome to a new milestone in our project, our first Community Release which is none other than one of the most requested game we had lately: Streets of Rage 3!

For those who’ve missed our previous posts and are wondering what a “Community Release” is: those are releases made by our community following our very strict guidelines (which you can read here) which ensure that the resulting tracks follow our very high quality and accuracy standards.

This release is kind of a particular one because I’ve been in talks with its author, Lilmattere, for quite a long time as he dedicated lots of time in trying to squeeze the best sound possible out of his Mega Drive.

The last word on our first community release will, of course, be all of you, so make sure to let us hear your feedback and let us know how we can improve Community Releases in any way: we’re always looking for ways to improve not just on audio quality and accuracy, but also bringing the knowledge to do proper rips to our own community and help us out in our mission.

Hope you enjoy our first community release and, as already said, please make sure to report any issues either in our forums in the release’s own thread or through our Facebook or Twitter page so we can notify the author and get the release fixed ASAP if needed.

Happy listening!

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We’re now accepting community releases!

Hi everyone,

this is a turning point in the project and although there are many, MANY important topics to discuss, I feel like this is the most important of all.

As you may have noticed, we have already accepted community releases in the past (for example from Roareye – I had sent my him old recording equipment to record 32x and Amiga games) and now I’ve decided it’s time to open the project up to external contributions.

One important thing: although those releases will be shared through our website and with our “label” on it (which has always been the hallmark of utmost quality and accuracy), those will be clearly labeled as “Community Release” to distinguish them from our own releases.
Hopefully this won’t be received as a form of discrimination, but as we still don’t have a group of people dedicated to closely listen to the contributions and decide whether to accept or reject them, we don’t want to mess it up.

Speaking of which, I really need a group of people to listen to the contributions to make sure they adhere to our (very) high standards. This means that there will be something like “The Golden Ears Committee” who’ll be able to mainly discern bad rips and judge the recording quality.

I don’t have the time to follow all of this, I need help keeping this project rolling.

To sum it up: right now everyone can contribute and there won’t be any kind of quality check on the contributions *BUT* all of the contributions will have to adhere to some rules. After posting this, I’ll be making a new page in the website (and axing the “Articles” section which, unfortunately, never really took off) named “Contribute” where you’ll find the guidelines which you MUST follow if you want your contribution to make it into our releases.
As of now, only Mega Drive/Genesis contributions will be accepted. This might change in the future, but one rule will always apply: no matter what: NO NINTENDO GAMES. And by this I don’t mean strictly Nintendo consoles, but whatever games were made or published directly by Nintendo (think super mario, zelda, etc…). Nintendo has always been extremely hostile to those kind of projects and I don’t want to see this 7 year project fall to a Cease and Desist case.

This is all happening very quickly, so there might be changes over time, it’s all very unstable right now but since I have some spare time, I want to do this now and, eventually, revise it at a later time.

Before starting sending in your rips, please read the guidelines,

Thanks for sticking with us and stay tuned, hopefully I’ll manage to squeeze another release before getting back to work!

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Golden Axe released!

Click on the image to go to the download page

 

Hello everyone!

As promised, I managed to get some time off during summer to release at least one new soundtrack.

I have a lot of things to tell all of you and I really don’t know where to start, but expect during one of those days a HUGE post with lots of info and, hopefully, a complete update of our equipment page (lots of people asking me “what do you use to record?” and me patiently linking them our Equipment page which is in our website main menu).

And, yeah, our recording chain has finally reached its final form, now we’re able to record with professional studio equipment, so we can’t really improve anything on that part.
I’ll write more about that later, meanwhile, thanks for staying with us and enjoy our latest work!

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Dr. Robotnik’s Mean Bean Machine is out!

Click on the image to go to the download page

Welcome back everyone! After a (quite long) hiatus we’re back with another release!
Although not a strictly Sonic game, with Mean Bean Machine released we should have all the Sonic related games covered!

We also have a host of new stuff to talk about as we’ve been thinking hard and long about some things in the project which will be eventually unveiled in the following weeks.

Keep tuned because there are other *two* releases (which, for those of you who follow close enough our project, has already been released, although not announced) by one of our members here which I’ll talk about soon in another post.

Enjoy the soundtrack and stay tuned!

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Our masterpiece, Sonic 3 & Knuckles Remaster, is out!

Our masterpiece, Sonic 3 & Knuckles Remaster, is out! thumbnail
Sonic 3 & Knuckles Soundtrack
Click on the picture to get to the download page

 

After months and months of hard work, it’s finally here.

Now sit down, grab something to drink and bear with us as we’ll guide you through this adventure which has lead us to the release of one of our most impressive work. Ever.

You’ve probably noticed that the website is getting very few updates as of late, that’s because I’ve been interacting with you through our Facebook page as it’s more convenient for me, so if you haven’t done already, make sure to follow us there to get all the latest news.

For all of you who’ve been living under a rock for the last months, we announced that the Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles Remasters were due and, thanks to your invaluable input, we have decided to make just a single, huge release for the entire Sonic 3 & Knuckles odyssey.

The recording phase has been long and painful, as I decided to make this the most complete soundtrack of S3K ever and it shows: the complete soundtrack spans over 4 discs for a mind blowing total of 61 tracks.
As far as I know, there are no releases whatsoever who come close to this.

Despite the massive number of tracks, I didn’t forget about our main goal: highest quality standards, 100% authentic sound.

Thanks again to the help of the community, we’ve managed to make a tracklist which would pay respect to how the original game played while retaining an exceptional flow. Listening to this entire soundtrack is a true experience, a journey through incredible worlds were our lovely blue hedgehog speeds happily.

The final surprise came last week: as I’ve upgraded the recording interface to a professional grade one, I’ve decided to re-record EVERYTHING from scratch, split all the tracks, check every single one of them to see if they all looped correctly and if there were clicks or extraneous sounds and finally, the most tedious part of all, tagging each one with proper authors, track number, titles, etc…

About the author thing, let me get this out loud and clear: this release is MJ drama-free. As there’s no 100% certain evidence of his involvement, I’ve left him out. If you want, feel free to add him in the tracks you feel he’s had a hand on. I’m giving you a small tip which I’ve found out myself and haven’t read anywhere else on the internet so far:

While recording the soundtrack, I’ve been amazed to find out that there were some of the tracks which were mastered way more loudly than the others. An accurate listen has lead me to think that there were choices made during the making of those tracks which have really put them apart from the others. The dynamic range on those was much higher. As a result, I had to lower the recording volume otherwise those would end up clipping (even badly at some point) and distorting. Those tracks were both the Ice Cap Zones, and Mini Boss from Sonic 3.

Now you can go on and speculate about those, I’ve just thrown this out because it really jumped at me during the recording process. It might be completely unaffiliated to the MJ involvement, so YMMV.

Even without taking this into account, finding all the authors has proven to be quite a feat, but thanks to the support of some fans from our Facebook page and more extensive research on my part, I’ve managed to assign one or more authors to each track. Hopefully I didn’t screw up!

Finally, and here’s one big news, I’ve decided to leave the Mediafire file sharing service and move onto Mega. After trying it out I must say that it’s truly a wonderful service and, most importantly, it has the “Download folder as ZIP” feature which really makes my life easier.
From now on, you’ll just have to open the download link, right click the folder with the quality desired (9624 hi-res, FLAC or MP3) and choose “Download as ZIP” and you’re done. The days of downloading each track separately or fiddling with 7zip chunks are now behind us.
I really hope you’ll enjoy this change.

And that’s pretty much it.

One last note: I really feel burned out. To re-record and re-do everything I even had to take a day off work to make sure everything was ready for Christmas.
As a consequence, I’m taking a small break from the project and I’ll be back in hopefully not more than a month.
I’ll still stick around, I check our Forums daily and reply to every thread I see. Same for our Facebook page and Twitter (links in the upper-right corner).
If there’s anything wrong with this release (and please, this one only), let me know and I’ll try to sort it out ASAP.

Now go and enjoy the Sonic 3 & Knuckles Remaster. You all deserve it.
Click on the picture at the beginning of the post to be taken to the download page.

…and merry Christmas to all of you and your families and I wish you a fantastic, happy new year!

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About the next release, and things we’re doing wrong in the project so far

Hi everyone,

as you may already know, one of the focuses of our project (other than pumping out releases at a somewhat steady rate – something we failed miserably during the last year) is listening to your feedback in order to make this project better and better.

Now that we have completed the cycle of Most requested – Oldest request (x2), it’s time for the next Remaster.
Next one is going to be, of course, Sonic 3 as we’ve already done Sonic 1 and 2.
Needless to say, this is going to be a *huge* release as we’ll now be adding some of the most iconic jingles as well which will bump up the number of tracks from a lot to a truckload.

But here comes my first concern: lots of you have criticized releasing Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles separately as most of you see the two games just a single, big one.
I’m not completely against this, but I’ve always thought that, since the two of them have their own cartridges, which have been sold separately, they should have separate soundtracks.

The issue here is that in an ideal world I want everyone to be happy and satisfied about how we’ll manage this release, which means releasing Sonic 3 and Sonic & Knuckles separately and releasing a huge Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack.

This is something I’d love to do, but not too fond of for a reason: redundancy.
What we’re doing here is basically wasting space and bandwidth to upload the same tracks, two times, with the differences between the two soundtracks being only track numbering and the cover art.

One of the solutions to the problem would be releasing the two soundtracks separately and then give you an official tracklist for the Sonic 3 & Knuckles and new cover art, so you can meld the two releases together.
I personally like this solution, but I’m sure some of you would be pissed off as you want a “complete” and “ready to go” release without having to change tags and cover arts yourselves.

The other solution is providing a small software which would “convert” in one click the separate releases into one.
The problem on this one is that doing it in Windows is quite a pain while doing it in a Unix environment (Linux/Mac OS) is manageable. In addition, I’m sure there would be issues as people would complain about it not working in some kind of configuration, wiping their hard drives, burning down their home, etc., which is, of course, something I’m definitely not looking forward to.

Of course, the other solution is just releasing the Sonic 3 & Knuckles soundtrack and then let you guys split it using a tracklist and cover arts.

So, what I’m going to do now, is opening a poll in our forums and let you guys vote for several options. The one with the most votes win. Poll ends on the 21st of May.

With this out of the way, let’s talk about other things we’ve been doing wrong: requests.

Right now everyone can just freely sign up in the forums, go to the release section and open a new thread for their request.
Theare are some things in this method which have been heavily criticized in the past:
1 – You have to scroll through several pages of threads to make sure your request hasn’t been already done.
2 – You don’t have an easy way to see which request have been seconded the most and which one is the oldest
3 (by me) – Checking which request I should do next is a pain in the butt.

So I want to overhaul in the next days the request system and go for something simple and quick: I’ll make a sticky thread with a poll with all the games requested. The poll never ends, it just stays there. You can vote for the game you want out next, the requests are ordered from newest to oldest.
This is the only change you’ll see, you still have to make requests the old way (open a thread). Then I’ll add the request to the sticky thread and to the poll so you can vote for it.
Request threads will be locked for the sake of ease of organization, all the discussions will be moved to the sticky thread.
I’ll make a new thread-guide to introduce you all to the new system.

Next up: the way we share our releases.
We’re running out of space on Mediafire and, while it wouldn’t be an issue just to create a new account, I want to take a moment and ponder on this as many of you have criticized Mediafire for its speed and reliablity.
On my part, I’ve never had any issue with Mediafire (most of the times it was due to my terrible internet connection), but I hear you and want you to discuss what file sharing service you’d like to see.
Two things: I want something reliable which will not nuke my files out of nowhere and a service which won’t go out of business due to legal issues (for reference: Rapidshare, Megaupload).
If you want, we can just use torrents and be good with it.
Again, let me know in our forums, your opinion matters and is very important to me.

Last thing: I’ve received criticism on our logo and the side art of our releases (the one with the mega drive grid background and our name on it).
We’re using the Sonic & Knuckles logo because I like it a lot and don’t have any idea about what logo we could use.
Also, we had lots of discussions about the side art in our old forums and made several to see which would fit better and the resulting one seemed to please all of you.
We’re 100% ok to change it if you want, I have a couple of ideas in mind on how to do it, just let me know if you would like to see a new side art and I (and Truepack) will work on it.
Same applies to our logo: if you want to see it replaced with a new one, I’m absolutely down to it.

Again, I want to stress that your opinion matters and is critical to this project, so make sure to sign up to our forums (if you haven’t done already – tip: you really should) and let us hear your voice!

Threads:
Poll for voting on Sonic 3 + Sonic & Knuckles or Sonic 3 & Knuckles
Choosing which file sharing service we should use in the future
Should we change our logo and side art on covers?

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