How about another quick piece of video game music?
I usually write NES music with a tracker, which is more like programming an audio chip with a series of sound instructions than it is composing in a traditional sense. This time, however, I wanted to try out Matt Montag’s NES VST, which is a plugin that allows one to recreate 8-bit Nintendo tunes with a standard notation sequencer. The streamlined workflow meant I could throw something like this this together in about an hour.
As such, enjoy (or hate (or be utterly indifferent to)) a jaunty little level loop.
What’s this? More music? The only creative thing I can complete lately!?
I encountered a thread on Twitter a couple weeks back of people posting their favorite (invariably science fiction) ’80s cartoon opening themes, which left me with the urge to write something along those lines.
As a side note, if you crave an exercise in madness, try coming up with a title consisting of “Star” followed by a cool/short/punchy word that isn’t already the name of some existing sci-fi show, movie, book, game, or what have you.
In lieu of sufficient progress on certain matters to make a worthwhile announcement quite yet, here is…yet more music.
This one’s just a short bangy harpsichord piece I did while feeling glum. What better than baroque tones to express feeling bad, but, like, in a classy way? As always, SoundCloud compression trashes harpsichord, but feel free to download if so inclined.
And here’s an experimental synth piece I did with a neat little waveform shaper called Glass Viper. I constructed all of the sounds in it just by manually drawing in and layering small audio waveforms (which it will frequency-modulate to pitch-map), and only really scratched the surface of what this synthesizer is capable of.
Good question! Short answer…doing big things. But more on that later.
For now – new music!
I had the urge to write something classical, which I realized I hadn’t done in some time, so I threw together my take on a baroque harpsichord toccata (well, maybe not “threw together”; I actually spent a lot more time on it than I meant to). As usual, SoundCloud’s streaming compression crumples harpsichord dynamics, but alas. Feel free to download if you’d like a giant FLAC file.
Programming audio for the NES is fun, so when I came across an emulator for the S-SMP (the SNES sound processor), I had to take a stab at Super Nintendo music as well.
I’m not very good at action/battle music. So, of course, I wrote an RPG battle theme.
Naturally, I went for something in the Final Fantasy vein. I probably could have done some further sample-rate/bit-depth reduction to make it sound more like it was coming from a real SNES DSP (the percussion’s a bit too crisp in particular), but this seemed to be an acceptable balance that hopefully still captures its distinct feel.
Got a neat little inverse-colored super-portable miniature MIDI keyboard to use with my laptop on a Labor Day sale, so I of course had to throw something together with it
Another go at an ’80s-noir synth vibe (but with a koto for some reason). Had a heck of a time getting it to sound O.K. streaming – pure sine waves amid a lot of ambiance is really hard to compress, apparently. Ended up uploading FLAC instead of MP3 this time, which helped a bit, but this piece seems a lot more dependent on physical speaker properties than most.
Playing around with MixCraft Pro 7 – wanted to do something synthy, so I thought I’d throw together a video game-y stage loop with a “final dungeon” sort of feel, as I tend to enjoy such pieces (any well-composed game from the ’80s and ’90s had to have a good last level theme, right?).
I feel like something’s not quite right, or missing, from it, but a plethora of tweaks and additions I tried only made it sound worse. I probably just need more practice with modern synth and techno. As much as I enjoy it, my mindset’s still too ingrained with orchestral tendencies (or simple waveform generation, on the other end of things).