When to merge RGs - Soundtracks/scores of different nature for the same film/game

I hope that is not being suggested here. That is a must to keep re-recordings separate. Can’t have cover bands in with officials. I don’t think anyone is asking to mix Beatles Covers with original Beatles. :grin:

Isn’t this just format shifting? The original audio is as on the original media. Be that a game or a DVD of a movie. Someone then just lift this audio and converts it to a different format. They don’t add to it.


I can’t listen to it as I don’t own it. But this is two official releases from the official label. One is a single CD edition, the other a new edition with new tracks, new track list, total renaming of most of the tracks. Just looking at those two I can’t see the visual links. Almost every track has a star to say it is a new version. This is why my confusion lies on that one and would have probably left them separate.

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I’d personally feel a bit differently, as there might be people who are looking for a particular version of the recording. as an example, for the MLP:FIM soundtrack, there are (at least) two recordings in my mind, the officially released version and the show rip, which includes sound effects from the episode and whatnot. there’s possibly even 5.1 channel mixes of the show rip out there, which of course would be seperate recordings anyways.

I wouldn’t have much of an issue with having these be the same recording (save for the possible 5.1 mix, as mentioned), but I think we should maybe consider keeping them seperate?

note, I haven’t dared sort through this soundtrack and it’s releases yet, as it’s simply a massive task. even my examples seem to be a mess, lol

I believe he’s referring to re-recordings by the original artist, like Taylor Swift has done with nearly all her albums (for example, Red and Red (Taylor’s version))

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But those are separate RGs. Which is kinda the point. A fresh set of Recordings by anyone is clearly separate RG. I think some of this discussion is more about format shifting and re-editing the same audio? (Maybe I am getting confused. Not sure why we are talking about re-recording)

If a recording is being edited in such a way to remove parts of it, then that is a fresh recording. If you take a vocal track off, or remove sound effects then this is usually termed a different recording. If you are are just slicing it up in a different way, then the whole collection of recordings would still equal the same release, but made of unique recordings?

It is this latter example that I can see how the Dunkirk and Dodgeball examples could be in the same RGs, but made of totally independent recordings. If you played them back at the same time you could mostly make them sync up.


In my mind that’s what it is. If nobody has re-recorded any new instruments/vocals I don’t think it’s a new RG. Only talking in the context of video game rips here.

Files on a disc + those same files being played through the game and then someone recording that = same release group imo

Sorry got the misunderstanding, I’m only talking in terms of how we define release groups.

The recordings themselves should of course be different if they sound really different or include different stuff… that’s where the terminology of ‘recording’ starts to get tricky in terms of soundtrack rips. Generally speaking new recordings = new release group, but I think that serves no practical purpose for these releases :thinking:

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That was my argument and, while it’s not a bad one, I don’t exactly know how these bootlegs get assembled. My guess would be there’s two big categories (at least), but, like you, I’d love to know exactly.

I’d guess there’s those that get leaked from the studio/recording sessions and then those that get assembled by someone ripping audio tracks from dvd’s/blu-rays. Does that sound right?


I think it would help to have something like franchise (ugly word), then game/film, then release groups (not merged):

With this, I feel that it would be more accepted to keep OST versions (release groups) separated.

People are already using MusicBrainz Series as franchises, even though such release (groups) aren’t actually serial in nature.

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Seeing that the discussion has fizzled out, I am keeping @aerozol to his word about following up to it with an amendment to the guidelines. :wink:

How about simply adding a bullet point to this list?

  • Different soundtracks/scores for the same movie, TV series, stage show, video game, or other medium (except when they consist of different volumes)

I tried to reuse existing terminology to avoid any contradiction, but feel free to improve this further.

I still think samplers / “mini soundtracks” should be kept separate from full soundtracks. I would be unhappy with a guideline that doesn’t explicitly cover this case, and would vote against any attempts to merge the release groups in the linked example.


Today I’ll work on drafting VGM guidelines for feedback - film I know less about, but hopefully most of it can fall out of the VGM one (which I think is more complicated?)

What about something like:
‘Representative of the same video/game audio, not including curated selections’

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That sounds a little too vague as we don’t want cover versions in the same RG.

‘same video/game recordings’?

Compressing this down to a bullet point is a challenge I’m not sure I accepted but let’s do it :sweat_smile:

Months later, but I’ve drafted an amendment:

I’ve noticed that @CyberSkull has been absent from this discussion? I believe they’ve not been so keen on grouping this stuff in the past.

Whatever way the guideline goes it represents a lot of edits.

(tl;dr some people group gamerips, some don’t, this proposal more or less says ‘group them if the core recordings and the intent [to represent the same product] is the same, even if ‘format-shifted’/ripped from different media’)

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There’s a lot going on here.

For the game/movie/TV rips, I think of them like a live concert bootleg. Those don’t get put in with the official release at all. They’re essentially a new recording from a potentially different source.

A bootleg that is a direct copy of the official release of a soundtrack is usually an almost exact copy of the original release and should be kept in the same group (for example, this is a traditional bootleg of this and they are in the same release group).

Samplers and mini albums are distinct releases and should be kept in separate release groups from the main soundtrack.

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A new recording, or ‘format-shifted’?

No new relationships or performer credits (except for maybe the ripper), and all initially recorded in the same studio/takes.

I don’t see the benefit in splitting them out (assuming the artist intent is to represent the same media). I would lose my mind trying to navigate Akira Yamaoka if some of these releases were split out into separate groups.

I know you’ve probably argued this to death over the years @CyberSkull, but it would be great to finally have something nailed down. Even if I end up writing a guideline I don’t like…

The game-rips should be moved out to a new release group, but the regular bootlegs should stay. I’m not saying to put each game-rip in its own group, rather just make a new release group for all game-rips for a particular game.

I don’t see rips as format shifting because that takes the same source recording and moves it to a new medium (studio master → vinyl, studio master → CD, studio master → MP3, etc) while rips start with a new recording often under different circumstances. The same staff like engineers may not apply to a rip since they worked on the album version, but likely not the game/film/TV version.

A game-rip isn’t a bootleg of the soundtrack album, the ripper is essentially holding their own performance of the piece and recording that.

Now that I think I have clarified that I need to muddy the waters again with an edge case. The “not-a-rip”, or, actual music files included with the game. These are things like pre-recorded MP3 files included in a game for playback during the game and may or may not exactly match the soundtrack files (I have seen it both ways, usually some variation). Since those are official files by the artist/developer I think including them with the official soundtrack is difficult because the rippers don’t always make clear the provenance of the recordings.

To conclude: In general, rips should be grouped together in a rips-only release group since they aren’t bootlegs of the soundtrack album itself.

I’m not sure it makes sense to separate recordings based on different engineers being involved. Majora’s Mask has at least 4 sets of distinct recordings in it, but even outside of soundtracks, who knows how many distinct sets of recordings are contained in The Dark Side of the Moon. Nobody would argue that different vinyl transfers (different engineers recording the vinyl into digital format) should be separated for Pink Floyd (if applicable; not familiar), so it also would not make sense for games, to me, if both the “original soundtrack” and the gamerip were made in the same way.

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If I record a concert from the radio to cassette or MP3, MB treats that as format shifted.

If I rip the audio of a concert from YouTube, it treated as format shifted

If I rip an audio only copy of a concert DVD, it is treated as audio shifted.

How is ripping music from a game different? Or is this based on the fact that each playthrough of a game is a unique experience? A unique performance of the music in a new order. So that each player only hears their own sound track. Is that what you mean by a new performance?

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For Pink Floyd, in MB language everything is mushed together. Every remaster, no matter who is doing it, is mushed into one. The only splits that are allowed is where someone changes how the Releases have been edited. A few tracks you get the end of a track moved to the start of the next, changing the length, and that causes a split of recordings (especially happens on The Wall). (There are not many separate sets of DSotM)

Generally only when actual new audio is added, or removed, from the original recording have they been separated.

Personally, I can hear the difference between the various Floyd versions, but Mastering is not a reason for MB to split recordings (see other debates on this one)

If these Game Releases have the same audio sound, but in a different track order then they would be in the same Release Group. If the audio changes due to the gamer recording following a different path and triggering a change of audio, then it would be a new recording.

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This might be the case with some games (with some kind of reactive sound mixing), but not in this example. All the various game-rips for this track sound exactly the same as the official soundtrack release, albeit with different start and end points and sometimes longer or shorter/more loops. How many times the ripper lets music loop is probably the most common difference when it comes to game-rip tracks.

I’ve voted no on the your edits to split these out - if we find a consensus or the style lead makes a call I’ll of course be happy to vote accordingly. But at this stage I don’t see the benefit.

The way it currently is:

  • The releases and artist are easy to browse and find
  • We are grouping identical (the only exception is the ‘ripper’, if known) recording information/relationships
  • Releaser intent is respected (these all intend to represent the same music, though some are ‘expanded’)

I’m not sure what the benefits are of splitting these, apart from technicalities/semantics. Perhaps it helps you with tagging or browsing the albums in a way I don’t understand.

I guess my broad question is, if I push for the style lead to make a call on this, and they decide that game-rips and official soundtracks are to be grouped (with exceptions, of course), would this be terrible for you and ruin your editing, browsing, tagging or workflow in some way? You must be one of the biggest editors of VGM on the site and I’m keen to get some insight.