Neal Grandstaff

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Neal Grandstaff
Neal Grandstaff - 1.jpg
Born October 18, 1952
Birth Place Seattle, Washington, USA
Nationality American   USA.svg
Website nealgrandstaff.com

Neal Grandstaff is an American musician. He is known for his several audio contributions to Sierra On-Line's video games. Neal started learning music at age 10 when he was taught guitar by instructor Zane Casey. When he was a teenager, he began teaching guitar to students in Oregon. Neal continues to create music to this day and is a professional guitar instructor. In 1992, he started working for Sierra On-Line, and composed the music to some of their best-selling video games including King's Quest VII and Police Quest 4.

Music Development

When asked about Police Quest 4's soundtrack:

We produced most of the content for Sierra between 92’ and 98’ using Sound Designer (Stereo two tracks, beta version, some of the tech companies were very friendly with Sierra) for the few audio files that we we’re allowed the room for on the old floppy discs (later ported over to CD ROM) and…. Voyetra Gold MIDI Sequencing software (also a beta version)which was a great program for me to use with a GR-1 and GR-2 Guitar Synth Conversion by Roland.(the President of Roland was on our board of directors and we had a shit ton of Roland gear; MT-32, and SC-55 Sound Canvas for sound sources and all of the various keyboards weighted and unweighted action at our disposal, as writers and content providers).


The MIDI software was (and is) the best software (and out of print) for guitar synth because, you must be able to edit bender information at a glance. With a keyboard input, rather than guitar synth, the bender editing is minimal but…. to get the real string sound and the horns (that don’t sound like “a band of kazoos”) you need to be able to set the benders to 1-12 rather that the standard default setting of 1-2 so you get the full advantage of strings and horns being “slightly out of tune” or at least “a tempered tuning”.


I still use the old school version of Voyetra, on a dedicated machine, to plot new song frames (or sketches) because I can use the visual MIDI info at the bottom of the page under each grid to edit all the MIDI events in real time rather than having to use an “events list” to locate a note or, a bender, or other MIDI commands, which BTW, becomes a math test nightmare when you want to do fast edits.


I had this stuff mounted on an Ibanez Strat Clone and still have it here at home. Roland was kind enough a few years back to upgrade the SC-55 module in the GR-2 foot pedal to a more current standard for MIDI.


I wrote a lot of stuff for Sierra from a Keyboard and a shit ton from the guitar synth. Both instruments have their advantages.


I wrote 4 different kinds of “Rap” and “Disco” two varieties of “punk rock” and about four different styles of TV thematics. I even lifted the old “Dragnet” audio logo riff for returning to page of the main building of the LA Police Dept. in down town LA. Just a little fun with the genre that Tammy Dragan, the producer of the game and, daughter of a “TV professional” family, thought would be cool.


Other than the research and the lifting of the Stone Temple Pilots (esque) intro, with the helicopter noises and the screaming guitar soloing in the background (non MIDI full 22K Orange book audio snipit) I really enjoyed all of the various types of music that were need for this project.

Gameography

Released Title Sample
1993-05-19 Slater & Charlie Go Camping (DOS)
1993-12-17 Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers (DOS)
1993-??-?? Daryl F. Gates Police Quest: Open Season (DOS)
1993-??-?? Leisure Suit Larry 6: Shape Up or Slip Out! (DOS) MIDIfied Musicians: Guitar Solos
1993-??-?? Pepper's Adventures in Time (DOS)
1993-??-?? Quest for Glory: Shadows of Darkness (DOS) Sound
1994-??-?? Outpost (W16) Sound Effects
1994-??-?? Roberta Williams' King's Quest VII: The Princeless Bride (DOS)
1994-??-?? Space Quest (Collector's Edition) (DOS)
1995-??-?? Roberta Williams' Phantasmagoria (DOS)
1995-??-?? Space Quest 6: Roger Wilco in the Spinal Frontier (DOS)
1996-??-?? Rama (DOS)

Links