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Old 19 November 2011, 06:34   #1
Mark Wright
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Paul van der Valk - Amiga Music Genius

To paraphrase the words of Bomb the Bass:

There have been many Amiga music geniuses (genii?) hailed and worshipped in the past...

But none can outrun or equal...

the power of...

bloody Paul van der Valk, fer chrisssake! A true innovator who should rightly wear the "Hubbard of the Amiga" crown.

This guy really lacks recognition and respect for all of his amazing chip/synth work, at a time when we were all applauding re-hashed bog standard ST-01 Soundtracker drivel. For whatever reason he seemed to go under the radar, despite churning out virtually classical works compared to his contemporaries.

In the history of original Amiga audio, Obarski and Huelsbeck deserve their place on the podium - but what about the unsung guy who scored a CRUNCHER for goodness sake along with top shooter Hybris, a PD pong game and... er.. (help me out here)... probably lots of other stuff as well.

Listen to the twiddly bits here (1989 vintage):

[ Show youtube player ]

This astounding magnus opus (again, 1989):

[ Show youtube player ]

and the piece de la resistance...

[ Show youtube player ]

all in about 8K ;-)

Y'know.. just saying and all
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Old 19 November 2011, 14:25   #2
Sektor 83
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I've always loved his music to the Imploder! All of his stuff was custom format wasn't it?
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Old 19 November 2011, 15:49   #3
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Loved that Imploder tune, I very rarely used the program but loaded it many times just for the music and that equilizer.
Is that really all he did? Only 3 tunes? What a shame...
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Old 19 November 2011, 16:48   #4
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Let's not forget [ Show youtube player ]. The only shoot-em-up where I wouldn't shoot so I could hear the music!

[edit] ah, missed that. Hybris is mentioned by OP!
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Old 20 November 2011, 11:22   #5
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Impoder 3 has been my ringtone for a long time.
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Old 20 November 2011, 12:19   #6
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indeed he's a very talented musician
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Old 20 November 2011, 13:55   #7
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Paul was very good too bad he wasn't that productive http://amp.dascene.net/detail.php?vi...tail=interview
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Old 20 November 2011, 14:30   #8
Photon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wright View Post
wear the "Hubbard of the Amiga" crown.
But Hubbard made music on the Amiga! (For the game Indianapolis 500...)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Wright View Post
This guy really lacks recognition and respect for all of his amazing chip/synth work
Actually that guy is among the most respected musicians on Amiga, I dunno where you get this
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we were all applauding re-hashed bog standard ST-01 Soundtracker drivel.
A lot of it was not, especially the early Protracker stuff. Musicians did reuse sounds at the start of Soundtracker mainly because most of them didn't have a sampler or a synth to sample from, at the time and it took years to get all the ST-xx disk we got.

I must hold up late Soundtracker/early Protracker as far above the rest of the music heard on computers, including the Amiga. I think there were lots of tracker musicians that took full advantage of all the samples and made exciting music that were compositions that had distinction and tried to be awesome.

vd Valk is awesome in another way, sort of. Some of his music is immersive but they're samey and always work as background music.

That's part of his genius, and his songs were always well made, so.

Quote:
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churning out virtually classical works compared to his contemporaries.
In the game scene, I would agree, even though - see above. With a few rare exceptions, every game had crappy music, except the ones who used music made by a demoscene musician.

I don't agree that he's unsung (least of all by me!), and I don't agree he 'scored a PD game' but the odds rest heavily in favor of the PD game author using the music without paying for it.

But I do agree he's great.

Is there a complete list of his works?

Here are the ones who are known to Modland: plink
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Old 20 November 2011, 16:56   #9
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Still remember when i used to execute Imploder only to lisitining the cool Paul Van Der Valk's music.

Paul Van Der Valk, thanks for your great music!!!
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Old 20 November 2011, 21:10   #10
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You need to be a genius to use his tracker - http://old.exotica.org.uk/editors/ar...und_Editor.lha - be interested if anyone can make something on it.
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Old 20 November 2011, 21:12   #11
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also check out his game "poing". afair the music was partly algorithmically generated or something. great game that.
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Old 21 November 2011, 03:15   #12
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He coded the PD game in question? Oh, I've put my foot in it now haven't I It's just ... you know... it's not usual. Oh well, haha.
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Old 21 November 2011, 03:22   #13
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poing is the best game ever! but yeh code and music by him.
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Old 21 November 2011, 12:25   #14
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poing is the best game ever! but yeh code and music by him.
I can second that. Game/sound is awesome. BTW. about a year ago I tried to collect all poing (V7) levels (I found seven + one that doesn`t work with V7) and made a level-select start script. So, if someone knows more levels or self made levels, please let me know.
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Old 21 November 2011, 17:17   #15
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Loved that Imploder tune, I very rarely used the program but loaded it many times just for the music and that equilizer.
Is that really all he did? Only 3 tunes? What a shame...
He made a few more songs, check for Future Player soundformat/player.
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Old 23 November 2011, 00:45   #16
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He coded the PD game in question? Oh, I've put my foot in it now haven't I It's just ... you know... it's not usual. Oh well, haha.
I think I may have been a bit "excited" when I made my original post, having spent a couple hours at the SOAMC website with a glass or two of wine. I suppose what I meant by my enthusaism for PvdV, myself being a former demoscene musician of the late 80s HEAVILY inspired by your mate Jimmy Fredriksson, was that samples were starting to impress more than musicianship for a while... which is understandable as during 1988 and 1989 so many were upgrading from 8 bits at the time and loved the novelty.

I also meant to refer specifically to Amiga game music at that time, which was typically either a looped sample, or ported from the ST. I know there were other clunky proto-Soundtracker efforts too, but I just find Mr Van Der Valk's work particularly inspiring compared to a poor cover version of a pop song made using funbass3, popsnare2 and pingbells ;-) and wanted to celebrate it.

BuZz - didn't you have an archive of Future Player (was that the name?) unreleaed material. I know you had an amazing folder of Felix Schmidt/Suntronic stuff at some point...
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Old 23 November 2011, 01:10   #17
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aw you've now mentioned funbass3 and popsnare2. Did many a tune (privately) with those. I've gone dewy eyed!
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Old 27 November 2011, 07:08   #18
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But Hubbard made music on the Amiga! (For the game Indianapolis 500...)
Yeah, but he along with another great SID composer Ben Daglish, didn't seem to try very hard on the Amiga. I wish they had. They may have spared us from David Whittakers mediocre soundtracks for the crappy ST ports.
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Old 27 November 2011, 17:41   #19
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I think I may have been a bit "excited" when I made my original post, having spent a couple hours at the SOAMC website with a glass or two of wine. I suppose what I meant by my enthusaism for PvdV, myself being a former demoscene musician of the late 80s HEAVILY inspired by your mate Jimmy Fredriksson, was that samples were starting to impress more than musicianship for a while... which is understandable as during 1988 and 1989 so many were upgrading from 8 bits at the time and loved the novelty.

I also meant to refer specifically to Amiga game music at that time, which was typically either a looped sample, or ported from the ST. I know there were other clunky proto-Soundtracker efforts too, but I just find Mr Van Der Valk's work particularly inspiring compared to a poor cover version of a pop song made using funbass3, popsnare2 and pingbells ;-) and wanted to celebrate it.
Samples a novelty... heh. Well, Amiga was the first computer that could play them effortlessly. It was a huge step. If I were a miser I could reply that some was stuck in their old ways and wanted old SID music on an Amiga that could do much better, but I like Galway/Hubber/PvdV way too much to be able to stand up for that

I think sample music on computers were a revelation, and a good musician could create a much richer soundscape with it that with synth music (and definitely richer than some synth-a-like looped tiny waveforms in protracker). To me, a great protracker song is always more satisfying than a great synth song. So many more ways of expressing ideas.

Up until 1990, most PT musicians were heavily limited to the ST-xx samples available, which made the songs sound samey. Here's an exception. Also, they were all 16yo when Hubbard was what, 30+? So they were still _becoming_ musicians, give'em a break

Then came the real explosion with awesomeness like this and this. I really, really loved it. These guys had [access to] a studio with synths and could compose on those and then sample instruments (or even 12" records ) to Amiga. Most of us still didn't have a synth or maybe not even a sampler.

1990-1991 shows how satisfying songs can be when samples are tracked right.

After this the music became (with a few exceptions) anal-tracking and tame-ordinary-song-boring with way to much time spent on perfecting some half-decent lead melody or such. Less left-field sample use and more constructing the song like a real song and sampling the exact instruments that were to be used. So it sounded like a normal radio song, but with only 4 channels. I'm generalizing heavily here, so take no offense.

I think the great game musicians were heavily turned on by the fact that they could make money fast by making game music for C64 etc. The games sold in huge numbers, but on the Amiga numbers were dwindling and perhaps Life(tm) knocked on the door and wanted some attention again.
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Old 10 December 2011, 00:18   #20
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BuZz - didn't you have an archive of Future Player (was that the name?) unreleaed material. I know you had an amazing folder of Felix Schmidt/Suntronic stuff at some point...
Nothing that I didn't already put online. Paul van der Valk sent me a bunch of medly editor stuff which is on the site (and on modland). his future composer routine was an earlier one, and he didn't remember if he had an editor for that or not. I seem to remember he was a bit vague about some of that stuff. heh
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