Get Namco to release Pac-Man World's soundtrack in Studio Quality for the 20th anniversary

Get Namco to release Pac-Man World's soundtrack in Studio Quality for the 20th anniversary

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In recent months, Tommy Tallarico, the composer for Pac-Man World, hosted an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. In addition to other things I asked if we could see a studio quality release of Pac-Man World's soundtrack, since he's gone on record as saying his main rule for working on a game is he holds all the rights to his music. He told me that, for this album anyway, it was out of his hands, and that it was up to Namco themselves.

The original PlayStation game's soundtrack featured several tracks-- too many to fit onto the game's CD without being compressed. A few tracks were able to go on in their original studio quality, but aside from those exceptions, all of them were worse off. Only about 1/5 of the soundtrack can be listened to in its crisp, high quality form.

Why does the audio being compressed matter? For one thing, it's seriously almost impossible to distinguish any kind of cymbal in one of PMW's compressed tracks, hi-hat or otherwise.

Just compare the in-game Corsair's Cove with the brief, HQ snippet used for the final screen of the game: (Tracks 8 and 9 on this album)

One song, Ghostly Garden, has a ride cymbal or a Hi-Hat in it (again, I can't tell) whose existence I only discovered in the first place because there was a little bit of high-frequency data that kept going after the harpsichord paused its playing.

That's how bad it can be. Not bad if you just want to listen to the soundtrack, but if you're an archivist for example, or a copyist/transcriber like myself, it's absolutely repugnant.

For twenty years the best we've gotten is the "Original Sound Version" ripped straight from the game's files, and for the sake of preserving the music in its original form, it's in our best interest to have the original studio quality files out in the public eye. As it stands they're just collecting dust in some Namco employees' hard drives, anyway.