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Two Years of Original Sound Version: Reflections and Crappy Logo Designs

June 8, 2010 | | 5 Comments Share thison Facebook Two Years of Original Sound Version: Reflections and Crappy Logo Designson Twitter

Wow, time flies. Quite honestly, I don’t know the exact launch date of Original Sound Version because Dale and I backdated some of our early content, but I know it was somewhere near the beginning of June 2008. The site has admittedly deviated quite a bit from its original vision, which was to be a more technical nerdy music blog for fans and composers to discuss gear, techniques, and the weird stuff all of us here listen to. We now focus mainly on videogames, anime, and chip music, but if you dig back far enough, you’ll find quite a few posts from Dale about everything from speakers to synthesizers to a crazy guitar with a sword in it.

I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few stories about how the site came about as well as some embarrassing logo concepts I created on a plane ride home. Some of this may shock and amaze you! Well, not really. But at least you can laugh at my terrible drawings. I’ll also share a few of my favorite posts from the site, although I’ll try to keep it brief as Patrick did something similar for our 1000th post last month.

Hit the jump, and strap yourselves in for a trip back into time.

Long, long ago, I actually got my start writing about videogames at a small site that’s still around today called The Entertainment Depot.  While my videogame music coverage didn’t really fit in with what everyone else was doing, I kept at it, and eventually made my way over to Music4Games, which unfortunately closed its doors last year. It was when I was at The Entertainment Depot, however, that I met Dale North. Before then, I only knew him as a talented arranger from OverClocked ReMix. It was E3 2006, and I had scheduled an interview with Tommy Tallarico to discuss his new VGL concert series, his past work on Color a Dinosaur and Earthworm Jim, and his upcoming Earthworm Jim Anthology album, who we had Dale and Mustin also present to discuss. While Dale didn’t say a word throughout the entire interview, we did end up going out to dinner afterward at Hamburger Hamlet at Mazedude’s request, and that’s really where I got to know him. From there, he went on to write for Destructoid, and we kept in touch for the next couple of years until around 2008 when I finally made it out to the annual OneUp Studios BBQ in Arkansas where I crashed at Dale’s house and spent countless hours on his couch playing Shadow of the Colossus from start to finish.

Dale and I had been discussing throughout 2008 an idea for a nerdy music blog. We had discussed the kinds of things we would cover on such a blog, and my departure from Music4Games ended spurred us into action right before my trip to Arkansas for the barbecue. There was a funny event in particular that got us going. I used to use Last.fm quite a bit to track my listening habits and connect with friends, and I also used it to manage my now defunct netlabel, Mephtik. We had a roster of artists who released their music for free on the site, and one of them was named Lonestar, who was based in Germany. Well, I don’t know if you know how Last.fm works, but it basically reads your ID3 tags and dumps your play data into a database, so our Lonestar was being dumped into the same stats as the big-time country band Lonestar because they had the same name. I got a Last.fm private message from some guy claiming to be the founder of the Lonestar country band telling me I needed to hand over the login information for Lonestar as I was in danger of copyright infringement or some other such nonsense. I replied and told the guy that that wasn’t how Last.fm worked, and that I didn’t have the login for Lonestar, and that he was simply an artist on our label which didn’t require us to register an account in his name. I offered to call him and explain, but he never took me up on the offer. I would have loved to have posted that… but I guess Dale and I are the only two who thinks that was funny?

Anyway, during the week I was in Arkansas, Dale and I discussed the site at length. I don’t remember exactly how I came up with the name Original Sound Version, but I was probably digging around my collection, looking at my Square Enix CDs and trying to pull some retro reference. While lengthy, I thought Original Sound Version had a nice ring to it, and a nice abbreviation. However, we didn’t really think it through, as the site that holds the osv.com domain is actually a huge Catholic publication called Our Sunday Visitor that likely isn’t going anywhere. Also, try searching for OSV in your search engine and see how much game music stuff comes up that’s not our site! Oh well, it’s still a fun name.

On the plane ride home, I started working on logo concepts.  All of which are terrible. Some more terrible than others. You can see these here:

The thing that looks like a Pringles guy was meant to be an Uematsu-esque mustache.  And the calculator thing is just awful. I do like the airship though. As you can surmise, Dale went with the knob concept, and the rest is, as they say, history! Think any of these could have actually worked out?

So, those are all the stories and things to share that I can think of at the moment. I did want to take a moment to hit a few of my favorite items from the site that I think Patrick missed out on last month. These items are what I think the site is all about, and what I think we aspire to be. More than just interviews, reviews, or news, our goal is to become a place to have fun as a game music community rather than attempt to cram our opinions down your throats. Here are some of my favorite moments:

First of all there was the Yasunori Mitsuda rick roll. I may have been criticized for spelling it out for Mitsuda before he even saw the video, but hey, I didn’t want to totally alienate him, right?  There was also that time Hiroki Kikuta sent us actual hentai games instead of the soundtracks when we asked to hear his music from some of his projects, and the instance where Hitoshi Sakimoto had a 15 minute conversation with somebody who he thought was me.  From there we spotted our friend, Jake “virt” Kaufman, as a Google Ad on the site, and had Scott Fry, a friend and PR master over at OnePR, risk his life to take a photo of a license plate on the Oakland bridge that looks like it says “OSV.”

Next, while Street Fighter IV director Yoshinoro Ono wouldn’t tell us who would be writing the music for the game, he did comply when we asked him to take this ridiculous photo of the two of us exchanging blows. There were also those KORG DS-10 videos that GEM Impact and The OneUps created to promote the release of the game in North America as well as Hitoshi Sakimoto and Jared Emerson-Johnson’s exclusive liner notes for their Valkyria Chronicles and Sam & Max Season 2 soundtracks, respectively. It was also amazing to see the team at NanaOn-Sha borrowing our “M4” abbreviation for Major Minor’s Majestic March in future interviews after our time talking with them at E3 2008.

And don’t forget all the concert coverage from Japan, including the LittleJack Orchestra’s Final Fantasy VI concert, a Final Fantasy Tactics concert that covered nearly every song from the game, and Justin’s massive writeups for EXTRA – Hyper Game Music Event 2008 and the Falcom JDK Band Live Summer Festival 2009, both of which made me feel like I was there personally. Chris Ling also provided us with an epic transcript from the Noisycroak Game Composer Panel that was roughly 20,000 words long, which I still can’t quite figure out why or how he was able to do it.

Well, even though it seems like I’ve linked every article that was ever posted on the site, I literally had about ten times this amount, and had to cut them to ensure it was possible to read this post in the course of a day. I guess the bottom line is that I’m incredibly pleased with what we’ve been able to accomplish, and really, all of us here are fans just as much as you. We don’t claim to have superior musical knowledge that enables us to write about this stuff.  We just love it, want to talk about it, and want the composers to tell us more about it, and it’s becoming increasingly possible as gamers become more interested in the music from their favorite videogames, composers become more open to talking about what they do on a fan level instead of a technical one, and more concerts bring this music to the masses.

It’s a good time for game music.

Well, that’s two years of OSV. Here’s to two more, and many more beyond that! I speak for everyone here when I say that we are extremely appreciative of each and every person who visits the site. Whether you’ve stopped in to check out a particular post or are a regular reader, we thank you and invite you to talk with us, listen with us, and love all kinds of music with us!

Feel free to let us know about your personal favorite OSV moments, and tell us what you want to see us do in the next two years. Thanks again!

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