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Topic: C64 - The good old days --->

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  1. #1

    C64 - The good old days --->

    Dear friends,

    Simon recently posted a few names almost forgotten today. Rob Hubbard to name one. Hardrocking themes and tracks made with a pathetic SID chip on the C-64. That was amazing. I especially remember his track for two games called: \"Crazy comets\" and \"Knuckle Busters\".

    Granted! The titles dont tell much - neither did the games. But the soundtracks ruled.

    I recently fell across a danish band playing old C-64 tunes LIVE. They even released a CD with their stuff - and its actually rather amazing to hear their \"remakes\" of these old masters.

    LOL! Press play on tape! Sigh!

    ---> http://www.pressplayontape.com

    Yours truly - Chris

  2. #2

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    check out this little nice sound-card:

    http://www.hardsid.com/

    Their card Quattro has 4 SID chips from the old c64 :PPP

    /Tobias

  3. #3

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    And of course the SidStation......

    http://www.sidstation.com/

    Alex

  4. #4

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    Jeroen Tel (of Maniacs of Noise) is the \'John Williams\' of electronic game music! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img] Oh and - Pathetic SID CHIP?? Its recognised as one of the most important chips of last...erm Millienium...

  5. #5

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    Originally posted by Hasen:
    Jeroen Tel (of Maniacs of Noise) is the \'John Williams\' of electronic game music!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">What about Chris Huelsbeck? Turrican 2 !! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Perhaps a little later on the electronic game music time table, but he sure was my favourite back then! With every new game I waited till the \"Music by\" credit showed up in the intro. Of course most of them time you already recognized his style before then.

    When I hear the Turrican 2 claps from the main titles again, I\'m right back in the old gaming days. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Maarten

  6. #6

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    Its actually funny when you think of it. In these days people really freaked about the music. Now-a-days you can have competent heads like Jeremy Soule (Never Winter Nights, Baldurs Gate, etc) and Jesper Kyd (Hitman 2 orchestral etc.).

    They make good and solid tracks, but they somehow lack the innovation of the old days. Nobody freaks about a track any longer. I wonder. Was it the quality of the SID chip or the composers ability to challenge the game and be edgy?

    I am not concluding anything. But I have a nasty sense that imitation is far more popular today then innovation. My interest for the C64 tunes is actually mostly founded in innovation.

    Its amazing that you can listen to a 17 minute track by Rob Hubbard made on a C64.

    ----> Shoot me.

    Yours - CHris

  7. #7

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    I used to do a lot of sessions as a keyboard player. I used a sampler when they became available, but to a large extent most of what I was asked to do was with synthesizer sounds.

    As samplers and samples have gotten closer to the real thing I noticed people wanted imitative sounds more and synthetic sounds less (I\'m not talking about sessions for dance anthems, more middle of the road pop and rock)

    I have a feeling that there\'s a hard to quantify emotional connection that most people hope their music will make with the listener, and it\'s easier to do that with conventional instrumentation than new sonics.

    When the instrument being overdubbed on the track is a familiar, organic tone, this connection seems to be made easily and naturally. But when the instrument is unfamiliar and artificial, the connection is not only harder to make, but sometimes the new instrument\'s addition to the mix can break a bridge that\'s already been made by the rest of the arrangement.

    When samplers first came out the sounds were so bad it was prefferable to find, say, a synthesizer horn sound which sat well in a mix, than force a tinny sampled trumpet sound on a track simply because it once was a real trumpet.

    These days, thanks to extremely deep sampling options offered by instruments like Gigastudio, we have more and more evocative, imitative sounds. It\'s possible to use a sampler to put a touch of acoustic guitar on a track and almost see the player strumming, or imagine a cellist rocking his middle finger back and forward in order to squeeze more pathos out of a moody line in the bridge of a song. There\'s less and less need for (non sampler) synthesizers as imitative instruments.

    It\'s not rocket science, and you can quickly make an easy connection with the listener.

    Back in the days of the SID chip, (hey back a few years ago!) this kind of approach was simply not an option for games music. Whatever music you made was going to be done with a synth chip.

    This approach forced composers to innovate. They couldn\'t write for a hundred piece orchestra or even a five piece rock band. Their pallet was synth chip with limited polyphony.

    The easy emotional connection must have seemed pretty evasive back then. Romantic? Epic? Horror? Tough moods to pull a listener into when you\'re using a gritty little oscillator.

    My guess is that most writers turned their back on that conventional approach and accepted that they were in completely different territory with different rules.

    In the original SID days if you wanted a computer game track to rock, you poked and poked at your synth sounds until it started to have a bit of attitude. Sure, it didn\'t sound like Metallica, but if the listener cooperated a little, he got the point - \'This is the heavy stuff\'.

    These days, if you want something to rock, you find a great band, record them, and stick the wav file on the CD. Sheesh, the drum fill at the front of one of these songs probably takes up more disk space than a whole C64 game! No effort needs to be exerted by the listener. What he hears is exactly what he\'s supposed to.

    Computer games used to have unique soundtracks because writers were working in a unique medium. It simply wasn\'t possible for these guys to tread the well worn path - old PCs gave you no shoes to walk with.

    Now, writers for computer games can draw from the same resources as any other composer, and I suppose it shows. That doesn\'t mean someone can\'t go off and make a game soundtrack using SID synths, it\'s just far less likely that they\'ll be commissioned to do it.

    As most soundtracks are, music for games is about grabbing the listener\'s hand and leading him to the emotional place that the action requires him to be at.

    Most of us have spent a lifetime subliminally being taught that certain sounds, progressions and rhythms indicate particular emotional states. All(!) the composer has to do is accurately tap into this list of emotional cues and a large part of his work is already done.

    Trying to do the same thing with new and previously unheard tonalities is a pretty tall order. I\'m not surprised that todays game soundtrack writers generally opt to leverage value out of the tried and true with which we are all comfortably familiar.

    I\'m not saying new directions aren\'t being explored, just that writers who do this kind of thing are making a conscious decision to do so, rather than being given no other option.

    ramble off....

  8. #8

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    the first composing i ever did was for .mod files which were limited to four voices. we needed the other four for SFX. i was like 13 years old, but it was an interesting way to start composing. i wrote music for games that my friend programmed. funny thing is that he actually started a game company and now i\'m writing music for them.

    i actually like working within hardware limitations. sometimes, if i have too many options, i get a little clouded and my compositional output is a little unfocused. i\'m still very young, so that is probably a reflection of that.

    anyway, on the topic of sidchips, one of my friends rewrote the music for Commando still using SID chip technology. he\'s not done with it yet, but you can get it here:

    www.handheldsound.com

    he\'s a good csound programmer as well as MAX/MSP

    also... he\'s a good guy. i played a piece written by his wife Monica, for timpani and two organs.

    anyway, i guess i had less to say than i thought.

    devin maxwell

  9. #9

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    Originally posted by Maarten Spruijt:
    </font><blockquote><font size=\"1\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">quote:</font><hr /><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Originally posted by Hasen:
    Jeroen Tel (of Maniacs of Noise) is the \'John Williams\' of electronic game music!
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">What about Chris Huelsbeck? Turrican 2 !! [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Perhaps a little later on the electronic game music time table, but he sure was my favourite back then! With every new game I waited till the \"Music by\" credit showed up in the intro. Of course most of them time you already recognized his style before then.

    When I hear the Turrican 2 claps from the main titles again, I\'m right back in the old gaming days. [img]images/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Maarten
    </font><hr /></blockquote><font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Hmm I dunno, I think Chris Huelsbeck is more like the \'James Horner\' of electronic game music. [img]images/icons/grin.gif[/img] That\'s not to say he copies his own stuff over and over again though. [img]images/icons/rolleyes.gif[/img]

  10. #10

    Re: C64 - The good old days --->

    Originally posted by Lewis:
    I recently fell across a danish band playing old C-64 tunes LIVE. They even released a CD with their stuff - and its actually rather amazing to hear their \"remakes\" of these old masters.
    <font size=\"2\" face=\"Verdana, Arial\">Check this out - you\'ll probably find it interesting!!

    http://www.soundsonline.com/sophtml/details.phtml?sku=UE-0601-1

    All the best,

    dr

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