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Old 16 September 2005, 01:05   #1
Parsec
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C64 Music

I grew up in the C64 scene, and loved reading Zzap64! reviews of all the latest games. They were always harking on about how good certain musicians were, particularly Rob Hubbard. At the time I remember thinking how bloody right they were too.

Now call me behind the times, but thanks to Death in Vegas's last "Kraftwerk inspired" album, I've dug out some classic Kraftwerk. And by golly, it sounds JUST like C64 game music. In fact in one or two cases we are talking a direct rip off

Were certain C64 artists rather derivative?
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Old 16 September 2005, 02:38   #2
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There are loads of cover versions on the C64. Get hold of the album "Synergy" by Audion and you will hear the basis for Zoids and Master of Magic (both by Rob Hubbard). They are just two examples, but there are many, many more. You can find details about most tunes and their origins from the STIL, which is from the High Voltage SID Collection.
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Old 16 September 2005, 03:38   #3
Sune Salminen
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Not exactly Kraftwerk, but Rob Hubbard did a really funky version of 'Zoolook' by Jean Michel Jarre on the C64. It wasn't in a game, I think it was on a demo disk I had.

*edit* I've found the disk, I'll upload it to the zone. Run Muzak Demo 1 and press 'B' to hear the Zoolook tune. The disk has a few other nice old skool demos on it..

My personal favourite composer on the C64 is Tim Follin. All his work is really original, and the sounds he used were very original...just listen to the Bionic Commandos soundtrack for example.. The stage one music still rocks my world. Amazing use of the filters there and so many fresh and original sounds..

Last edited by Sune Salminen; 16 September 2005 at 04:37.
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Old 16 September 2005, 12:21   #4
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Matt Grey [System3] for his Last Ninja 2 Soundtrack. The only soundtrack I not only recorded in it's entire length on tape (and, later, burned on CD), but still listen to quite often. Although I listen to the Turrican CD from Hülsbeck a lot, too, but that's not "original" C64 SID music, but spiced up MIDI stuff.
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Old 16 September 2005, 18:34   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Figi
Matt Grey [System3] for his Last Ninja 2 Soundtrack. The only soundtrack I not only recorded in it's entire length on tape (and, later, burned on CD), but still listen to quite often. Although I listen to the Turrican CD from Hülsbeck a lot, too, but that's not "original" C64 SID music, but spiced up MIDI stuff.
There are a couple of Tangerine Dream copies in the Last Ninja 2 music. STIL has more info. Last Ninja 2 music is very good in parts, but I don't think it has the class of Ben Daglish's music in Last Ninja.

And on the subject of Last Ninja, listen to "Legend of Kage" by Fred Gray (based on the arcade original, but Fred Gray-ised). Now listen to The Palace (loader) from Last Ninja (song 4 in the SID), by Anthony Lees. Hmmm....I'm surprised nobody has ever picked up on it before (Legend of Kage came first, by the way).

Last edited by FromWithin; 16 September 2005 at 19:52.
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Old 16 September 2005, 20:51   #6
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Did the Amiga have a SID-like sound chip in it like the C64. I know it had the regular Paula chip for sample playback but I'm sure it played hardware style tunes in things like cracktro's and bizarrely I seem to remember Fire and Ice having chip music (I could be wrong...)
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Old 16 September 2005, 21:40   #7
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The Paula chip simply plays back the sample data at the memory location pointed to by each channel, at the frequency you specify. A sample can be 2 bytes, or as big as available chip RAM, it doesn't matter, but that is all the Amiga can do: play data. The C64 cannot playback samples (without programmer trickery), and can only playback pre-selected waveforms, but has a hardware filter, and other effects such hard sync and ring modulation allowing for very complex tones.

If you playback a short looped sample on the Amiga, there's nothing to stop you changing the data while it is playing, thus allowing complex synthesis, should you have programmed it to do so (see the Sonix music program for a very good example of early Amiga synthesis). The problem with doing this is that it uses CPU time, which in the case of demos/cracktros/etc, could be better spent elsewhere.

So anyway, the Amiga is perfectly capable of playing back music that sounds like a C64, but you need to use the processor to do it. Some people who wrote their own playroutines and didn't use Protracker (Jason Page who wrote Fire & Ice is such a person) used simple methods to synthesize sounds on the fly (the classic C64 PWM lead sound is particularly simple to emulate with very little CPU usage) to improve tone quality, but most people used Protracker which did not have these features.

So chip music in the classic Amiga sense is merely tracker music that uses short looped samples; single cycles of static waveforms that never change in tone. No CPU is utilised to adjust the wave data during playback, so the music is tonally much more simplistic than the C64 (although Protracker does have a simple command to invert sample data while playing - see my Bill's Tomato Game music prehistoric levels for a good example).
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Old 16 September 2005, 23:16   #8
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You want to get into the old style music? Try to find a cd by "Welle Erdball" (they have lots of cd's actually). Now THAT is some odd retro music, heighly C64 influenced, but commercial :s
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Old 16 September 2005, 23:55   #9
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Doesn't the Amiga have some sort of single white noise generating channel - for simple beeps etc? Not sure if that's what crackto's etc used, it's probably not.
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Old 17 September 2005, 00:09   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parsec
Doesn't the Amiga have some sort of single white noise generating channel - for simple beeps etc? Not sure if that's what crackto's etc used, it's probably not.
No. Only samples.
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Old 17 September 2005, 02:00   #11
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Sorry to butt in here but I am looking for a C64 game I played many moons ago. The game had a build in demo/special music track after you reached a certain level or score.As far as I recall the game was like 'Gyros'. You finished at a certai level and a special music track was shown. I remembere there was a man drumming, earth in the background. The harder he drummed(don't know if this a word) the quicker the earth spunned. Sounded like J.M. Jarre Music at the time.
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Old 17 September 2005, 02:15   #12
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Quote:
You want to get into the old style music? Try to find a cd by "Welle Erdball" (they have lots of cd's actually). Now THAT is some odd retro music, heighly C64 influenced, but commercial
I love Welle:Erdball
They actually use an SX64 as instrument: http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/galerie/alf.jpg
No synthie, no samples...the REAL thing, live on stage (together with synths, obviously) ^^
Listen to this:
http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/mp3/Welle_...ter_F-104G.mp3
http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/mp3/Welle_...lektrosmog.mp3
http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/mp3/Welle_...ndo-Schock.mp3
http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/mp3/Welle_...und_fallen.mp3

Now the best part:
http://www.i-p-v.de/welle/download/we-play.zip
C64-Versions of W:E songs.
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Old 17 September 2005, 02:32   #13
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What a great sound. Reminds me of Trans-X. Superb band of the 80's. Remember 'Living On Video'. A must for 80's fans. There was also a German musician called Peter Schilling. He was good.
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Old 17 September 2005, 02:37   #14
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I prefer my good friend Datassette. He's such a C64 sound geek. He uses a SIDstation for his stuff. I strongly advise you to have a go. I love his Kate Bush remix. Fantastic stuff, although not particularly C64-ish. Cogs Are Good is though. Very C64 in the rhythm.

I personally use a HardSID Quattro with four SIDs in it. Oh it's an absolute stormer. I get some incredible sounds out of it, but so far I've only used it subtley in a couple of tracks. It's much better than having a software emulated SID because you can overblow the filter resonance and make it (them) distort. I couldn't do without it now.
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Old 17 September 2005, 02:42   #15
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I am just downloading Kate Bush'es remix. Always loved her music. BTW are you a composer?
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Old 17 September 2005, 08:53   #16
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Turrican's title music on the c64 was almost identical to Transformers:The Movie - check out http://www.nemmelheim.de/turrican/
for a comparison
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Old 17 September 2005, 12:46   #17
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If you like C64 SID-style music, try Mikron64's debut-EP "Sys49152".

He changed his name recently to "Miki Mikron", so go to
www.stora.de
Audio -> Miki Mikron

to find some sound samples.

[Edit] Apparently he didn't just change his name, but also his musical style. Be sure to check out the tracks from SYS49152, not the newer ones. They are not SID at all. Shame. [/Edit]
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Old 17 September 2005, 13:25   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lopos2000
Sorry to butt in here but I am looking for a C64 game I played many moons ago. The game had a build in demo/special music track after you reached a certain level or score.As far as I recall the game was like 'Gyros'. You finished at a certai level and a special music track was shown. I remembere there was a man drumming, earth in the background. The harder he drummed(don't know if this a word) the quicker the earth spunned. Sounded like J.M. Jarre Music at the time.
The Game was called TRAP see link here

http://www.lemon64.com/index.php?mai...a%2520Software
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Old 17 September 2005, 14:35   #19
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@Sarek2K
Thanks for the link.
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Old 17 September 2005, 16:49   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lopos2000
I am just downloading Kate Bush'es remix. Always loved her music. BTW are you a composer?
Yes.
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