Old video game music

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Jagwah
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Post 24 Mar 2022

I'd really like to try making music with the same limitations that existed in certain time periods.

Are there any VSTs for instance, that let you create music with the same limited tools available specifically in the C64 era, or 8 bit NES era etc? Could there be another way to set something like this up in Reason? Even Subtractor is ahead of these times so I am not too sure how easy it would be.

Any ideas?
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 24 Mar 2022


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Jagwah
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Post 24 Mar 2022

Thanks that's really cool.

Bit pricey for my needs though, I just wanted to have a bit of a go as a one off or maybe for a forum challenge some time.
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 24 Mar 2022

Jagwah wrote:
24 Mar 2022
Bit pricey for my needs though, I just wanted to have a bit of a go as a one off or maybe for a forum challenge some time.
They have regular sales. May Madness is coming up, just keep an eye out.

For free there are several VST emulations of computer sound chips: https://plugins4free.com/instruments/Lo-fi/

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Jagwah
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Post 24 Mar 2022

crimsonwarlock wrote:
24 Mar 2022
Jagwah wrote:
24 Mar 2022
Bit pricey for my needs though, I just wanted to have a bit of a go as a one off or maybe for a forum challenge some time.
They have regular sales. May Madness is coming up, just keep an eye out.

For free there are several VST emulations of computer sound chips: https://plugins4free.com/instruments/Lo-fi/
Wow. These are more what I was looking for, I will keep an eye out on RYM2612 though.

There are so many in this list that appear to have a 32bit OS limitation. It must be possible to have them in a usable format just like RYM2612 but I guess there needs to be a good enough market and an interested enough developer. It's very nice to have this list though, many thanks!
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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crimsonwarlock
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Post 24 Mar 2022

Jagwah wrote:
24 Mar 2022
There are so many in this list that appear to have a 32bit OS limitation.
You can filter the list at the top of the page to show 64bit only. There's still a lot to play with.

TritoneAddiction
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Post 24 Mar 2022

There are a couple of good game synths out there in the Shop.

Chip64 Synth
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... p64-synth/

Super Audio Cart
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... udio-cart/

RYM2612 Iconic FM Synthesizer
https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... nthesizer/

I've done music with all of them.

But I've also made chip music using with Reason stock synths as well.
In this track I've used Thor for all melodies and bass, basically every note instrument.
Used Subtractor for drums.


I would say the 3 synths I mentioned above sound a little more authentic. But if you're just looking to get somewhere in the ballpark then the basic stock stuff should be just fine.

madmacman
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Post 24 Mar 2022

Usually, it doesn't require dedicated plugins.

1. Use a square wave without sophisticated envelopes. Set sustain to max and all other parameters to 0.
2. As a starter: add Subtractor, reset device and set Polyphony to "1" (yes, it's sawtooth now - but you can change it later)
3. The Magic starts with super fast arpeggios: Add a Dual Arpeggio and select "Chip It" preset. Enable Pattern - there you go!

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jam-s
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Post 24 Mar 2022

If you're in Aachen, come and visit us at the Voidspace. ... Pool's closed due to corona.

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Jagwah
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Post 26 Mar 2022

Thanks everyone for the great suggestions!

madmacman wrote:
24 Mar 2022
Usually, it doesn't require dedicated plugins.

1. Use a square wave without sophisticated envelopes. Set sustain to max and all other parameters to 0.
2. As a starter: add Subtractor, reset device and set Polyphony to "1" (yes, it's sawtooth now - but you can change it later)
3. The Magic starts with super fast arpeggios: Add a Dual Arpeggio and select "Chip It" preset. Enable Pattern - there you go!
This is great and something we can base a forum challenge off of. Please keep an eye out in the Comp and Challenge forum, I will start a thread there soon asking for suggestions and ideas for tempo restricted challenges, the method you mention here can really be built on!
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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Rene Disco
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Post 28 Mar 2022

Hey fellas, I created a 2 part written tutorial on how to create the NES Excitebike theme using Subtractor. If you follow along you should be able to get the same sound. The notes are also included (using GIFs). Though not exactly like the original but it's pretty decent. I didn't realize it was never published so I fixed that. Hope you like it. The result is at the end of the tutorial. I find sometimes written tutorials a little easier than videos. Well, here it is.

https://www.patreon.com/posts/how-to-create-in-26688356

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challism
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Post 29 Mar 2022

Jagwah wrote:
24 Mar 2022
Thanks that's really cool.

Bit pricey for my needs though, I just wanted to have a bit of a go as a one off or maybe for a forum challenge some time.
IIRC, RYM2612 went on sale for $9 at one point. That was a great price the offered for an anniversary sale. Maybe they'll offer that price again in the future.
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joeyluck
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Post 29 Mar 2022

RYM2612 is one of my absolute favorite REs! :thumbup: I have so much fun just dragging patches from RYMCast into RYM2612.

Here's an interview we did a while back with Mathieu and William of what is now Inphonik: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/01/rymcast-and-rym2612/

And check out this awesome album by God of Rainbows: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/10/albu ... -rainbows/

And be sure to pickup the free effect RE, PCM2612: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... ator-unit/

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Re8et
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Post 30 Mar 2022

Jagwah wrote:
24 Mar 2022
I'd really like to try making music with the same limitations that existed in certain time periods.

Are there any VSTs for instance, that let you create music with the same limited tools available specifically in the C64 era, or 8 bit NES era etc? Could there be another way to set something like this up in Reason? Even Subtractor is ahead of these times so I am not too sure how easy it would be.

Any ideas?
Stella?

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ScuzzyEye
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Post 30 Mar 2022

My MS-34 is based on the SN76489, which was used in the Sega Master System (MS = Master System & 7+6+4+8+9=34), and many older arcade games. While it can be played like a multi-oscillator instrument from one sequencer lane.

When a game developer was programming this sound chip, they'd be sending different pitches to each of the oscillators directly. If they wanted to play a chord, they'd send each note as a different command. The easiest way to sequence each channel individually is by using 3 (or 4 if you want to control the noise channel too) RPG-8 arpeggiators. Even when the arp function is turned off it'll pass through note on/off events over CV. And if you are using the arp, try 25 or 30 Hz (depending on your region's TV signals) as it was common to use the vertical blanking interval as a timer to change pitches.

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Jagwah
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Post 31 Mar 2022

Re8et wrote:
30 Mar 2022
Stella?
Image

I did some goolging not exactly sure what Stella is, a VST?
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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Jagwah
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Post 31 Mar 2022

challism wrote:
29 Mar 2022
IIRC, RYM2612 went on sale for $9 at one point.
joeyluck wrote:
29 Mar 2022
RYM2612 is one of my absolute favorite REs! :thumbup: I have so much fun just dragging patches from RYMCast into RYM2612.

Here's an interview we did a while back with Mathieu and William of what is now Inphonik: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/01/rymcast-and-rym2612/

And check out this awesome album by God of Rainbows: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/01/rymcast-and-rym2612/

And be sure to pickup the free effect RE, PCM2612: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... ator-unit/
Thanks guys this does look like a serious bit of kit, if it went on sale I would definitely try and grab it, cheers for the links!
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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Jagwah
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Post 31 Mar 2022

ScuzzyEye wrote:
30 Mar 2022
My MS-34 is based on the SN76489, which was used in the Sega Master System (MS = Master System & 7+6+4+8+9=34), and many older arcade games. While it can be played like a multi-oscillator instrument from one sequencer lane.

When a game developer was programming this sound chip, they'd be sending different pitches to each of the oscillators directly. If they wanted to play a chord, they'd send each note as a different command. The easiest way to sequence each channel individually is by using 3 (or 4 if you want to control the noise channel too) RPG-8 arpeggiators. Even when the arp function is turned off it'll pass through note on/off events over CV. And if you are using the arp, try 25 or 30 Hz (depending on your region's TV signals) as it was common to use the vertical blanking interval as a timer to change pitches.
Sorry we missed this, this is great and affordable enough for a potential forum challenge.

I am familiar with using the One Note Stand RE (same as a switched off RPG-8) to send notes so I get how this will work with MS-34, and also as it is a little convoluted it makes it more definable for a challenge. It can be fun to manipulate those CV signals with the tools we have at our disposal, like warp them a little at certain times etc.

That is insane about the tv signal timer. So much of our world is based on frequencies / vibrations, it's not surprising they put two together to achieve something like that.

Thanks for sharing :thumbup:
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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challism
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Post 31 Mar 2022

Jagwah wrote:
31 Mar 2022
joeyluck wrote:
29 Mar 2022
RYM2612 is one of my absolute favorite REs! :thumbup: I have so much fun just dragging patches from RYMCast into RYM2612.

Here's an interview we did a while back with Mathieu and William of what is now Inphonik: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/01/rymcast-and-rym2612/

And check out this awesome album by God of Rainbows: https://www.reasontalk.com/2017/01/rymcast-and-rym2612/

And be sure to pickup the free effect RE, PCM2612: https://www.reasonstudios.com/shop/rack ... ator-unit/
Thanks guys this does look like a serious bit of kit, if it went on sale I would definitely try and grab it, cheers for the links!
I had no idea about RYMCAST. How cool is that?
https://www.inphonik.com/products/rymca ... gm-player/
Players are to MIDI what synthesizers are to waveforms.
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Mataya
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Post 01 Apr 2022

This where you go for the music.

https://project2612.org/

Marc64
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Post 01 Apr 2022


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huggermugger
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Post 01 Apr 2022

On sale currently for ten bucks. It's a beaut!

https://www.audiothing.net/instruments/minibit/
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Re8et
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Post 01 Apr 2022

Jagwah wrote:
31 Mar 2022
Re8et wrote:
30 Mar 2022
Stella?
Image

I did some goolging not exactly sure what Stella is, a VST?
Stella is an Atari 2600 emulator, synthcard is available on the internet as well


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Jagwah
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Post 04 Apr 2022

Re8et wrote:
01 Apr 2022
Stella is an Atari 2600 emulator, synthcard is available on the internet as well
huggermugger wrote:
01 Apr 2022
On sale currently for ten bucks. It's a beaut!
https://www.audiothing.net/instruments/minibit/
Mataya wrote:
01 Apr 2022
This where you go for the music.
https://project2612.org/
Thanks guys!!!!
challism wrote:
31 Mar 2022
I had no idea about RYMCAST. How cool is that?
https://www.inphonik.com/products/rymca ... gm-player/
Image
:reason: It's all about the plo, yo.

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Paralytik
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Joined: 26 Jul 2017
Location: Oslo

Post 07 May 2022

I've got one word for you...
Trackers.

This is the type of software that was used to make most of those VGM soundtracks back in the early 90s. Most of the music software in the 80s was made in-house at the different game making companies, since there was no standard in hardware or software.

Short introduction:




Longer introduction:




Check out my tracker beats thread for some examples of music I've made in Fasttracker 2.

viewtopic.php?f=12&t=7517772&p=605780&h ... er#p605780

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