Tag Archives: music

A Fish Like No Other – OUT NOW

Here it is, folks. 3 years in the making. A synthpop album for the ages.  Enjoy!

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Oko Furia – Ludum Dare 33 entry collaboration

I made some audio and assisted with the design of this fun little game for Ludum Dare 33!

It’s going down quite well, and we’re currently looking into making an iOS release of this with the help of Jeff from Psychic Parrot.

You can read the game jam page where the game was launched here.  Some lovely comments from people enjoying the game and the audio there too!

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Motet – GBJam4

Hello!

I teamed up with a lad called Tselmek to enter GBJam #4.

GBJam is a competition where people make as authentic a Game Boy game experience as possible but modern machines are allowed.  There’s specific restrictions which one must adhere to, like limited colour palette authentic to the original DMG Game Boy, and must sound like a Game Boy too.

That’s where I come in!  So I used LSDJ to create the title theme and the in-game ambience, as well as using it to create some sound effects by pissing about with the noise and pulse wave channels.  I should do that again, it turned out quite nice.

I think the element I’m most proud of in this music is creating a hummable theme in the style of the sort of tune you’d have on a title screen in 1989.  Catchy, a bit cheap, a bit crummy but rather likeable.  Although you be the judge!

motet

The game is a fantastic, original little puzzler.  The gameplay is reminiscent of a combination of Soko-Ban and Deflektor.  You control an adventurer who must use the beams of light from a limited number of jewels to illuminate ancient artifacts thus completing a level.

There’s thirty levels and each one is genuinely fun and original.  They get blissfully tricky too, so why not download it (it’s free!), vote for it, and have some 8-bit monochrome fun!

You can visit Motet on its GameJolt page here.  You can also hear my tunes on that page too.

I was very proud to be a part of this and I hope in future to collaborate with Tselmek again on more Game Jams.

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Making music with LSDJ

So the other day I ordered myself a modified Game Boy so I could make some music on it.  I got it from the excellent Game Boy Mods UK.  The one I ordered has a Pro-Sound Mod (which makes the output a bit louder and less crackly) – a new headphone jack for that, two RCA jacks out the top for super lovely sound output, a backlight (for playing in the dark) and a bivert mod (which makes the contrast a bit better.) Here it is… My Modified Game BoySo why bother making music on a shitty old 1989 original DMG Game Boy?  Well, basically because it sounds cool as fuck. Yeah you can emulate these sounds with plugins for your favourite DAW or you can use Mac/PC trackers with these sort of sounds, but you ain’t getting them to sound as nice as the real sounds coming out of the real hardware.

Also, and this is the real masochistic draw for me, you’re subject to serious limitations making tunes on a Game Boy. Without getting too techy, you’ve basically got two channels where you can have notes, one where you can have drums and one where you can have noise.

To make the music, I’m using a programme called LSDJ.  It’s basically a tracker for a Game Boy!  It also works on GBC and GBA’s.  To use the programme you’ll need to buy a license, download the rom and stick it on a flash card.  hqdefaultHere’s what LSDJ looks like.  On first look, it seems like a complete cluster-mare.  It kinda is, but as far as cluster-mares go, it makes a lot of sense.  The UI has been minimised and streamlines so it’s literally *just* what you need with no faff or guff.

If you’ve ever used a Tracker before it should make sense in about 5 minutes once you’ve got your head around the way it breaks down patterns into chains. It’s really good fun to make tunes on LSDJ and if you have a Game Boy and a musical osscicle I’d really recommend this approach to making tunes.  The massive limitations pushes you to be really cunning on how you fill out the sound scape, and having those authentic sounds you grew up with dancing to your own tune feels extremely satisfying.

Here’s a tune I made after owning the device for a week.  I have called it ‘Pickled Egg’ because when I finished it I fancied a pickled egg.

I’m looking forward to learning how to use it better: next mission is to work out how to get a phat kick drum so I can make the music for the Hyper Space Arcade bonus game in my next game ‘Wing Kings’.

That’s it for now, until next time chums!

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In-game music for Death Ray Manta ‘Death Ray Manta Anthem’

Just did some in-game musics for my mate Rob and his game ‘Death Ray Manta’

The game is white hot. Imagine you could encapsulate that feeling of sneakily swigging the milk out of the bottle, stood in front of the fridge, knowing any minute someone could walk in and shout at you – into a videogame. That’s how it feels to play. Keep sipping from that sweet milk bottle all you like, but eventually you’ll get busted. It’s probably the most glorious, euphoric, anthemic fun you can have in a game in under 3 minutes.

Rob compares the experience to a videogame being played as a music chart single. I can totally get on board with that. It’s the thrill of driving on the motorway at night with your lights turned off just to see how many seconds you can do it before you bottle it and put them back on. It’s bouncing round your room while your favourite childhood single is playing, the moment made all the sweeter knowing that it will soon stop. But with prettier particle effects.

It’s available to download in ‘Bundle in a Box’ which seems like an unbelievably good deal: $0.99 for D.R.M., Space Giraffe (one of my all time faves) and some other stuff I haven’t seen before but look fresh.

Edge Online gave Death Ray Manta a well deserved 8, and called my composition ‘relentlessly euphoric’ which was lovely of them! You can hear my tune here…

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