Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

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Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Onslaught Six » Fri Mar 28, 2014 9:38 pm

I think there's been a handful of projects like this before, but they didn't really suit my tastes. I figured, I'm a musician, I'm a pretty smart guy, I can figure out how to do stuff in MIDI, right?

Long story short: This is an "alternate universe" take of what Doom's soundtrack might have turned out like, if Bobby Prince were handed a different handful of tapes and CDs, or if he had chosen some different cuts from those, or picked different riffs to "borrow," etc. etc. The difference between this and a lot of similar projects is that everything in this one will essentially be from "scratch," meaning I'm going to hand-program everything from nothing rather than use any existing MIDIs I find on Google. This ensures consistency in project tone and quality.

Of course, not every song in Doom was "inspired" by an existing jam; many of them were wholly original (because Bobby Prince is an actual musician and composer, too) and as such, there will be several wholly original tracks in this as well, or tracks that are basically MIDI versions of existing tracks from one of my music projects.

So far I have three tracks done, E1M1, E1M3 and E1M8. E1M1 borrows its riff from Painkiller by Judas Priest, while the other two are based on original compositions from one of my other music projects.

I intend on doing a set for both Doom and Doom 2, including all incidental music like the opening, intermission screens, etc. For right now I'm just going to stick to the existing soundtrack layouts (so, for example, E1M8 will also be E3M4) but if I find myself particularly inspired or creative I might expand that out to be more. I'm also going to rearrange the Doom 2 soundtrack a little bit just to make things a little more "even," because I never liked how some tracks were repeated up to 3 times but others had a single use.

Here's a WAD:
https://www.dropbox.com/s/ewrfp9t4wee37qb/DoomMusic.wad
[url and filename subject to change]
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Gifty » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:03 am

I like this idea, it's something that had crossed my mind a couple of times so I'm really glad to see someone actually doing it (also glad to hear someone else is annoyed with the excessive repeats in Doom 2). The midis so far are well done and they sound properly vintage, but they seem very wink-wink homagey for a "the way X did" project. E1M1 is pretty much the same arrangement verbatim.
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Nash » Sat Mar 29, 2014 3:09 am

E1M1: Sounds like a direct copy of the original, with just the notes switched around in the main riff. Which isn't a bad thing. :D The harmonized riff part starting at 00:56 seems to be in an unpleasant key (not wrong per say but it sounds weird), where the main riff hits the high E notes, I would have harmonized at a lower B (and work on the others from the B as a base), sounds more "metal" that way... but that's just me approaching it from a guitarist's point of view. XD Overall pretty much Doom-like, just maybe the song sounds too much the same as the original is my complaint is all!

E1M3: Pretty cool! A very adventurous take on the original E1M3 tune (which was more moody and mysterious-sounding). Mix sounds good to me.

E1M8: I'm not sure about the patch being used for the lead melody. I kind of expected something with a slightly shorter sustain and more "ambient-y". The power chords in the back starting from 1:24 seems to be a little too loud. Other than that, song is pretty decent, although it doesn't have the same "evil" atmosphere as the original E1M8... to me, it gives off a more melancholic tone, like something sad has happened in the story. But it's still a good tune on its own.

Now I just realized after doing all this that you might not necessarily be going for the original feel of the Doom tunes. Keep in mind that this review was done with the impression that these are meant to be played with the original levels, so I take the overall feel and atmosphere of the original levels into account, which is why I keep comparing them to the original songs. If these are meant to stand on their own, then overall these tracks are pretty good (except for the technical nitpickings I mentioned; which is of course subjective and just an observation from another musician... which you may feel free to ignore :)).

Take what you will from this. :D I'm glad to see some original compositions, at any rate! Looking forward to hear the others.
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby leileilol » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:55 am

What if you take Doom's OPL2 driver and patches into account as well as the IMF-based OPL2 works Bobby Prince also did in 92/93?
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Nash » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:16 am

I listened to the songs in Windows. I didn't run it through an OPL synth... I imagine it would be a world of difference as far as the mood and feel of the songs go.
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Gez » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:37 am

It's a god idea, though personally I'd like Heretic the Way Kevin Schilder Did more. :)
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby TheMightyHeracross » Sat Mar 29, 2014 6:53 am

You know what would be interesting? Doom the Way Morey Goldstein Would. :lol:
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby HavoX » Sat Mar 29, 2014 8:18 am

Gez wrote:It's a god idea, though personally I'd like Heretic the Way Kevin Schilder Did more. :)

I second this motion. :D

Oh, and "good."
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Onslaught Six » Sat Mar 29, 2014 10:11 am

Gifty wrote:E1M1 is pretty much the same arrangement verbatim.


To be fair, the entire arrangement is just basic 12-bar blues on a metal riff...which about 2/3 of the Doom soundtrack is anyway.

Nash wrote:E1M1: Sounds like a direct copy of the original, with just the notes switched around in the main riff. Which isn't a bad thing. :D The harmonized riff part starting at 00:56 seems to be in an unpleasant key (not wrong per say but it sounds weird), where the main riff hits the high E notes, I would have harmonized at a lower B (and work on the others from the B as a base), sounds more "metal" that way... but that's just me approaching it from a guitarist's point of view. XD Overall pretty much Doom-like, just maybe the song sounds too much the same as the original is my complaint is all!


Thanks for the tips, the solo widdly bits were giving me a hell of a time to begin with, so I'm probably going to go over them all again.

E1M3: Pretty cool! A very adventurous take on the original E1M3 tune (which was more moody and mysterious-sounding). Mix sounds good to me.


This is probably the one I worked the most on, so I guess it shows. Like I said, E1M3 and E1M8 are based on some previously-existing songs so they were more like taking an existing FL Studio file and then converting everything to work with MIDI (a relative challenge since there were some live keyboard & guitar parts).

E1M8: I'm not sure about the patch being used for the lead melody. I kind of expected something with a slightly shorter sustain and more "ambient-y". The power chords in the back starting from 1:24 seems to be a little too loud. Other than that, song is pretty decent, although it doesn't have the same "evil" atmosphere as the original E1M8... to me, it gives off a more melancholic tone, like something sad has happened in the story. But it's still a good tune on its own.


I'll agree with you on the lead patch--I thought I'd just used the same one the original E1M8 did, but there must be some trickery going on to make it sound "better" compared to my rendition.

You're right on the melodies being more melancholic than evil--I'm not quite sure on how I'm going to rectify that yet because it turns out this song is in the same general key that E1M8 originally was, so pretty much any attempt is going to sound like I'm ripping off E1M8. (I guess that's the point?)

Now I just realized after doing all this that you might not necessarily be going for the original feel of the Doom tunes. Keep in mind that this review was done with the impression that these are meant to be played with the original levels, so I take the overall feel and atmosphere of the original levels into account, which is why I keep comparing them to the original songs. If these are meant to stand on their own, then overall these tracks are pretty good (except for the technical nitpickings I mentioned; which is of course subjective and just an observation from another musician... which you may feel free to ignore :)).

Take what you will from this. :D I'm glad to see some original compositions, at any rate! Looking forward to hear the others.


No, they're definitely supposed to fit the original game, or any vanilla level set for that matter (like DTWID for example). The E1M3 and E1M8 tunes just happened to be in the same key as the originals, which is why I picked those existing songs of mine to gank. A lot of the other material is probably going to be more "original," although the intent is definitely to make the player go "Hey, I sort of recognize this but am not immediately familiar with it still!"

leileilol wrote:What if you take Doom's OPL2 driver and patches into account as well as the IMF-based OPL2 works Bobby Prince also did in 92/93?


How easy is that to do, is there a tool to convert MIDI over to that?

Nash wrote:I listened to the songs in Windows. I didn't run it through an OPL synth... I imagine it would be a world of difference as far as the mood and feel of the songs go.


I ran through the levels once or twice while using ZDoom's OPL emulation and they sounded pretty good.
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby PRIMEVAL » Sat Mar 29, 2014 12:33 pm

As a fellow musician, I fully support this idea. I'll have to check this out soon :D
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby Enjay » Sat Mar 29, 2014 2:33 pm

I like what I'm hearing so far. I couldn't have made the comments that Nash did but I am able to follow what he said and I agree with his points.
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Re: Doom The Way Bobby Prince Did It

Postby leileilol » Sat Mar 29, 2014 5:49 pm

Onslaught Six wrote:How easy is that to do, is there a tool to convert MIDI over to that?

I don't mean converting to IMF. Just use Zdoom's OPL synth or run your wad in Chocolate Doom.
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