Do you like computer games music ? I do, especially the “classic” one – from the 1980s. Why ? Well, most probably because of nostalgia but also because such music is hmmm specific, intriguing and original 🙂
Odo (the guy who for example developed nice Unknown 64 Pro lofi soft synth) made this very nice freebie which may help you to recreate that 80s chiptune music flavour – more than 1500 samples (about 270mb) coming from Commodore C64.
There is one downside – you need to be patient because the link is quite overloaded (but there should be a mirror soon).
If you do not know how does Commodore C64 sound then this video is a perfect example:
Ok, since C64 is on the table, it’s also worth mentioning that some important person died just few days ago – Jack Tramiel. Do you know who he was ?
Jack Tramiel, who died this week, had as deep an impact on computer music for the everyday musician as just about any computing industry pioneer. While Jobs, Woz, Moore, Grove, and Gates get a lot of the attention, Tramiels legacy was in making computing affordable and accessible. As such, he was indispensable to the computing revolution, and his computers were early forebears of the digital music-making Renaissance. In an extraordinary microcosm of the 20th Century, Polish-born Tramiel escaped Auschwitz, served in the US army, and built the roots of the most successful desktop computer of all time in a typewriter repair business in the Bronx. And today, when you make music with a computer, youre connected to that extraordinary story.
Take the Commodore 64. Its ground-breaking SID chip remains sought-after today. It’s easy to forget, but rival computers including, notably, Apple were fairly tone-deaf when it came to sound capabilities. Commodore, via a design by Bob Yannes, was the first major computing hit to include high-quality sound. The C64 single-handedly transformed the sound of game music, spawning new genres of game scores, and later becoming a major part of the demoscene and chip music movement.
Or, consider Tramiels second leadership role, at Atari. The Atari STs standard inclusion of MIDI set a benchmark that still influences machines like todays iPad. In fact, if youve got an iPad handy, remember that Apples pro music focus is led by one Gerhard Lengeling, founder of Emagic and C-Lab, whose first products were all for Tramiels computers: the Commodore 64, and then the Atari ST. Maybe it should come as no surprise, then, that suitably infused with Emagic DNA, Apple would make software MIDI support standard on the iPad. The Atari ST set the stage for a host of music software, including being the primary platform on which the tracker evolved (see todays Renoise), many of todays sequencer features (see Logic, Cubase), and, albeit to a lesser extent, graphical music notation. [via Create Digital Music]
So ? Well, if we can say that Steve Jobs changed the computer world by implementing TrueType fonts then we can also say that Jack Tramiel revolutionized the computer world by implementing … quality sound. And such invention was accessible to casual people – during the C64’s lifetime, sales totalled between 12.5 and 17 million units, making it the best-selling single personal computer model of all time. Even I had Commodore C64. It was both weird and funny because there was communism regime in my country so quite often there was a problem with buying anything or there were 10 hours-long queues for some ridiculous things (ie. hoover) which at the end never arrived to the store ;p Luckily family connections matter (thank you my older cousin living in Sweden :d ) and one day my father brought shiny C64 to me and then the whole fun started 🙂 I still remember production date – 1983 😉
Anyway, Create Digital Music published a very nice article about Jack Tramiel, Commodore C64, Atari ST – feel free to read it. It’s like I said – everyone knows Steve Jobs, Bill Gates but not everyone knows Jack Tramiel.
Download: Free +1500 Commodore C64 Samples (270 mb) by Odo (KvR Audio Forum)