Hey guys! Been really busy with a lot of things lately, including this. Yep, it’s my very first commissioned game soundtrack! Check it out here!
The soundtrack contains 10 different tracks created in Famitracker that utilize the Ricoh 2a03 and the Konami VRC6. I really tried to keep the music absolutely authentic to the console. It is unfortunate that many great game composers did NOT have the opportunity to use the VRC6, due the its cost and late release in the life of the Famicom. I spent a lot of time trying to think how some of the great shooters would have sounded IF they had the extra pulses and sawtooth. Hopefully, I was able to create something that is not only nostalgic but also brand new!
The album here is mixed so you’ll hear some unauthentic reverb that is not characteristic of the console. I do I think it adds more depth to the music, though. I figured it would be nice to use some patches when mixing to give it a bit more polish.
Don’t like that mixed sound? If you download the soundtrack, you will get copies of the NSF files. If you go get an NSF player, you can listen to the unmixed, raw Famicom sound. It’s kind of perfect. Of course, since I wanted to maintain authenticity for the game, the game itself features the tracks from the NSF files.
I’m going to do further write up for the music later. For now though, go check it out and download it. It’s free and I promise it’s awesome.
This track premiered at 8static 36’s Open Mic on June 8th at PhilaMOCA in Philadelphia, PA. It was written in Famitracker v. 0.4.2 using 2a03+VRC6 and numerous drum samples programmed through the DPCM channel. Please enjoy!
Some background on the piece while you listen:
- The title for this track was decided long after it was finished. The track was written specifically for June’s 8static with the intent of showing off all the new techniques I learned while working on my Chiptunes = WIN submission (which was accepted, by the way) without playing my ChipWIN submission live. At first, I wanted to call it something like “My Promise” or “Promises” or “It Will Continue”- something that showed that the work done here was not the end of my own personal growth. I figured that “My Promise” was too pretentious. There’s not really a pretentious vibe to the song. I eventually settled on “A Promise”. “A Promise” can be from me to you, from you to me, from anyone and anything, as long as it’s kept. I figured I’ll leave that interpretation up to you, the listener.
- My original goal was find a way to create “heavy metal” using NES audio. I spent a lot of time developing sounds and tweaking instruments to get a nasty, almost grungy sound. I was pretty happy with it.
- From there, I constructed the beat. 8static IS a dance party, I know people play chip music and stuff there, but it’s fundamentally a dance party. I spend time messing with various ideas until I settled on the beat your hear above.
- I overlayed the original bass line (which was far less busy) and then wrote a simple melody. I usually start with a very “quarter note-y” version of everything just to hear the harmonies and the direction. I adjusted the shapes of the melodies to be more interesting, cut some “holes” for silence, and then spliced the original part to the grunge part. I then cloned the beginning, changed the bassline and feel, and tweaked everything so that it flowed.
- Things I’d do differently:
- After almost getting rejected from the ChipWIN comp for bad volume levels on my instruments, I think I’ve finally learned that I cannot crank every instrument up to the highest volume setting. I LOVE the sound it creates. It’s like… garbage noise. It distorts and spreads. It’s a useful tool but I don’t think I can use it all the time. I definitely could go back and change the volume levels on this guy too. It would probably sound even better.
- I need to follow my instincts a bit more when composing. My ChipWIN submission took about 15-16 hours to write and this took 25+. At the last minute, I found myself reverting parts of the piece back to the originals ideas. Lesson here is:
Hope you enjoyed the track! More to come as usual. Thanks again!
Hi guys! Not really an informative post, but I’d say a necessary one. I set up a Soundcloud presence for my chiptune originals which you can find right here: https://soundcloud.com/ap0c/ I’m trying to move in the direction of Soundcloud for a lot of the work I’ll be doing in the next couple months. I’ll set up a Bandcamp once I finish my EP. Yep, I’m working on an EP. Like, an actual collection of music and stuff. And not some kind of pretend EP. Serious stuff, folks. ZOUNDS!
Also, I created a Facebook group for my Ap0c stuff just in case you roll the Facebook way. You can find that here: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Ap0c/149780225198685 Hopefully I get some more “likes” so I can actually customize my name and not be known as a string of random numbers. That isn’t going to look good on my cards…
Thanks again for reading this blog. I just reached 100 likes today (total). Here’s hoping for 200 soon! I’m glad you guys are still out there, reading and caring about game music!