I’ve been working on remastering Descent music lately, much the same way I did with Doom’s, and have been making some good progress. But doing Descent’s music is quite a different experience. When I did Doom’s music, I spent a lot of time getting things to sound more realistic and full. This was especially true of the guitar parts, which sounds very synthetic on most GM synths, as well as the choirs and brass.
But Descent’s music is more electronic based, and so the remastering is less about having better sounding instruments and more about improving clarity and mixing. For example, changing from the GM SynStrings patch on my JV-1010 to a hand-programmed patch on my ImpOSCar VST doesn’t really buy me much. Careful EQing and adding effects such as a chorus seem to do a lot more at improving the sound quality.
More technically, the MIDI files for Descent are a lot more complex. There’s more controller messages that I have to consider, some of which I don’t encounter often, and a few files are all odd because they’ll have tracks duplicated for no reason. Doom’s files were at least pretty simple.
Still, I’m having fun doing these remasters.