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* (?) / Merry Christmas!" |
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"Chubby Christmas", by Michael Noyce
ST DEMO REVIEW: THE ULTIMATE MUZAK DEMO III PART 2 BY THE PHF
THE SAGA CONTINUES....
by Michael Noyce
It was a dreary, wet Saturday morning - not at all like Summer,
but hey, that's English weather for you - when a rather wet
postman, looking like he'd rather be at home snuggled up in bed
close to a loved one, arrived at the door. Numerous soggy letters
were pushed unceremoniously through the letter box. Various bills
and letters not addressed to me were quickly discarded leaving an
envelope containing a couple of disks.
Puzzlement was my first reaction. I hadn't ordered anything and
wasn't expecting anyone to send me something. Which is why I was
surprised to say the least that the sender of this package was
none other than Phil Graham (Grazy) of the PHF and that this was
the latest demo in the, dare I say it, distinguished "Ultimate
Muzak Demo" series, of which I am quite a fan, which was released
on September 1st 1994. Feeling suddenly warm inside I rushed
upstairs, bowl of cereal in one hand and disks in the other,
turned on the ST and inserted the demo into the disk drive
This is the second digi-music demo by the PHF and can be
considered a stop-gap until volume V, hence the volume III part 2
title. It's also the first "Ultimate Muzak Demo" to come on two
disks and to make use of the STE sound facilities!
Upon loading you are told to copy the disks 81 tracks, 10
sectors, 2 sides before a PHF logo blasts onto the screen
complete with explosive sound effects and flashes, the same intro
as in "UMD IV" in fact, then a fake(?) system check and finally
the main menu screen is entered.
Apart from the title and some credits this screen can be roughly
divided into half. The left side is titled 'Dreams' and the right
side 'Fantasies', disks A and B respectively. There are numerous
headings that when clicked on with the mouse pointer lead to
various sub-menus where the individual tunes and sound effects
are selected. One such heading leads to a greetings, other
credits and address screen. On all but three of the sub-menus
there is a title picture in the upper third of the screen, a
music and FX selector in the middle third, and four VU meters
across the lower third - if you have an STE that is!
A different tune or sound effect can be played by clicking on
the + and - buttons with the mouse pointer. This is where the
demo lets itself down a tad. Firstly, when a sub-menu is first
entered the tune number is incorrectly set to one when it is
actually tune zero playing. Secondly, selection is a little
tricky because unless you press the mouse button extremely
quickly, by that I mean you need lightning reflexes, you skip
about four songs. It would've been better if the mouse button was
released before continuing with the next selection.
In total there are 11 sub-menus with 48 tunes and 237 sound
effects. The sound quality depends largely on what machine you
own. If you use ST then the quality is pretty good, however, if
you use an STE then you are in for a treat. Not only is the
quality higher but you also get everything in wondrous stereo, so
extra bonus points awarded here! I'm so glad I was able connect
my STE to my stereo.
Concluding: Out of all the Ultimate Muzak Demos I have to say I
like this one the least. Not that it's crap or anything, I just
don't think it's quite as good as the others, certainly not as
good as volume III part 1. Having said that, the use of the STE
sound facilities is a very welcome feature that I hope the PHF
continue to use in the future. If you liked or collected the
other Ultimate Muzak Demos then these two disks are well worth
Here's looking forward to volume V....
The PHF can be contacted at:
32 Dundee Street
Mega-mungus thanks to Phil Graham for sending the demo. Please
feel free to send me "UMD V" when it's released, no pressure!
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.