And Another Chiptune

Another one:

This one came from a little guitar riff (haltingly played on an unplugged 335, which is why it sounds so thin):

I ran out of ideas and ended up making the lead follow the riff, and then made it loop. Excitingly, I found a use for the arpeggio effect.


Another Chiptune

This is a chiptune I’ve been tinkering with for a while:

I thought this one sounded a bit like GameBoy Castlevania until I listened to that soundtrack again and realized that its composer really knew his stuff. Oh well, I like it anyway.


Professor Sinister XM Music

On the subject of XM music modules, here’s the Professor Sinister mod:

This has all of the different tracks embedded in it in different blocks. The song index is:

  • 00: Empty block (songs that don’t loop jump here when they end)
  • 01: Climb Time (in-game music);
  • 0B: Pause jingle;
  • 0C: Oh Well (game over music);
  • 14: Something Sinister (title music);
  • 27: Ooops (lost a life music).

You’ll need something like MilkyTracker to play it.


More Professor Sinister Music

Here’s the last Professor Sinister track:

This is the title screen music.

I’d planned to put up a post with piano demo tracks of all three chiptunes, but unfortunately all but one have conversations over the top. Here’s that one, anyway:

This was the last 10 seconds of almost 3 minutes worth of piano doodling. I’d got an idea of what the tune should sound like, solidified the ideas on the piano, wrote it up in MilkyTracker, and found that I hated it. The final chiptune came almost entirely from this little snippet of music that was a throwaway accident at the end of the demo recording.

“Oh Well” and “Climb Time” both came from noodling on the piano, which I find is a much more efficient way of discovering melodic ideas than trying to come up with something directly in a tracker. “Something Sinister” on the other hand was entirely written in a tracker, except for the basic 4 chord progression that it uses. That came from another piano noodling session.


Professor Sinister Music

Two of the three music tracks necessary for Professor Sinister are ready to go. Here are the completed tracks:

“Climb Time” is the in-game tune. “Oh Well” is the game over/high score tune. Both tracks are chiptunes. They’re embedded in the same XM and share instruments. Both also sound significantly less crisp on the GBA’s anemic speaker and crummy sound hardware.

I have a name for the title music, which is the last outstanding track: “Something Sinister”. I don’t have a tune yet though.

I’m thinking of adding a “disable music” option to the game.


Another Tune

Here’s another recent composition. This is the first time I’ve played this one with a drum track, and it’s interesting that as I was playing it, the verse felt too fast but the chorus felt too slow. I didn’t realise I changed speed so much between the different sections of the song.

The recording’s OK. The timing’s a bit ropey in places, and it doesn’t have a lead part in the solo as I didn’t get around to writing one. I like the tune, though. This is another one that sounds better with a vocalist, but again, the lyrics weren’t mine.


More Tunes

Since I find myself suddenly band-less, I’m mucking about with Logic Express to recreate the experience on my lonesome. Here’s a few tunes (or bits of tunes) I’ve recorded recently.

With a vocalist, this is a laid back, jazzy song. Without a vocalist, it’s far too close to elevator muzak for my liking. Unfortunately, although I wrote the music, the lyrics weren’t mine so I’ve had to replace them with a guitar part. The solo stumbles a bit mainly because the track is about 50% too slow and I’m not entirely satisfied with bits of the drum line. Still, I quite like it.

Here’s the tab for the solo:

 - Capo 3

  Am              Dm        G         C       Am          Dm          E7

  Am      Dm            G         C

  Am        Dm        E

The first couple of minutes of the title theme from the C64 version of Robocop, played on acoustic guitar and electric bass (with a simple drumtrack provided by Logic).

This was a demo of a tune that I hadn’t written a vocal line for.