(Originally posted on Blogspot on Thursday, June 2, 2011)
Alright, this is a little bit late (sorry, sorry, sorry!) but not without reason. My music computer, while being ‘fixed’ is still having issues. It starts up, and is able to run – but after a short period of time, it starts to beep and then restarts. I’ve taken the files I need off of my music comp and installed most of the programs I need onto my laptop, so now I can do some work (like release this mix!) This also means I’ll be able to finish my album… thank God.
Anyhoo – the mix! Here is the story behind it:
“Earlier  Imogen Heap took time off from writing her album to write a song for the credits of a TV show. She wrote and recorded the vocals, leaving the music to be written by the composer who was writing the score. For some reason the song was not used in the end leaving the vocals music-less. Imogen Heap decided to donate the vocal tracks to the world to do with whatever they wanted.
I, of course, being a huge fan and a musician who loves doing different mixes of things, could not resist. I ended up doing a few different versions, while DJ Pere Fouettard handled a dance mix. I whipped up a nice little booklet and put together this little free EP for you to enjoy. Sooooo… Enjoy!”
You can download said EP at http://www.mikepouch.com/imogenheap.html and listen to the ‘Main Mix’ right here:
(Oh – and I’ll try to post some more 8-Bit mixes soon! I have a few nice ones I haven’t released yet…)
(Originally posted on Blogspot on Sunday, May 1, 2011)
Alright, so it turns out I have a few 8-bit tracks on stockpile. Phew! So I was able to release this April’s second 8-bit remix (a day late… I know…) This one is a short, easy one – but it has a unique element to it, especially for a Nintendo track!
Yup! It’s Mario 64’s Endless Staircase music, a personal favourite ever since I was a kid! It’s interesting because it uses the Shepard’s scale.
“…named after Roger Shepard, is a sound consisting of a superposition of sine waves separated by octaves. When played with the base pitch of the tone moving upwards or downwards, it is referred to as the Shepard scale. This creates the auditory illusion of a tone that continually ascends or descends in pitch, yet which ultimately seems to get no higher or lower.”
In lament’s terms, the same notes are played an octave apart, with the higher set of notes fading out, and the lower set of notes fading in (repeating forever). This gives the illusion that the music is forever ascending (much like trying to walk up an endless looping staircase!)
In order to achieve this effect in 8-bit, a feat I was curious if even possible, I needed two of the exact same sound. Lucky for me, the NES has two square channels! I programed the sequence in Square 1 and slowly adjusted the volume to fade in from the bottom and fade out at the top. I pasted a duplicate of this pattern in Square 2 at the half way point. IT WORKED! With this done, all I needed to program was the string part – I simply used the triangle channel for this. Nice.
Enjoy! Comments always welcome!
(Oh, and I do have a remix for April. It’s not the track I intended to release, but instead, it’s a remix I did for Imogen Heap’s ‘Song That Never Was’ a while back. Expect that tonight or tomorrow!)
(Originally posted on Blogspot on Sunday, April 17, 2011)
Portal 2 comes out Tuesday (or Monday due to the Potato ARG)! In honour of this, I programmed Still Alive in 8-bit!
There is an incredible amount of crappy fake 8-bit covers of this on YouTube… kind of disappointing. Anyhoo, this one took a bit of time to program because of all the sections, layered/changing instruments, and the overall length of the song. I’m pretty satisfied with the results, though!
A few things of note: I love the bass roll at 45 seconds. I programmed a separate instrument for those few notes. Also, near the end, there was a tricky bit where all the instruments are going, including the electric guitar. I almost left the guitar out… but then I figured a way to include it without totally removing the backing instruments. To accomplish this, I have the electric guitar take over the Square Channel 2 for a moment (which is what I was using the the ukulele sound). Then I used Square Channel 1 (used for GLaDOS voice) to pick up the Uke melody. By doing this method, the Uke is only gone for a few notes, and since the emphasis is on the Electric Guitar, you don’t even realize it’s gone. (This is a technique I actually use on a lot of my 8-bit songs.) It makes it sound like I have 3 Square channels in a way. Here’s a picture of what I did:
As well as an audio file:
(Square 1 by itself first, then Square 2 by itself, then both Square channels together, and finally all five tracks.)
(Originally posted on Blogspot on Thursday, April 14, 2011)
Here it is – March’s second 8-bit cover…. in April! I got a late start last month, so I’m posting this now. I still have two more 8-bit tracks to post this month, as well… so be on the lookout!
Also, for the future, I’ve decided that I’ll have one shorter, bite-sized 8-bit track (songs without a lot of instrument changes, etc…) and one larger 8-bit (full songs, lots of instrument changes, etc…) each month. Sonic 2 – Mystic Cave was a larger more complicated song to program, so this Wing Cap Theme will be March’s short song.
This one was created as a challenge to me on an 8-bit forum. I tried to program it as close to the original Mario style as possible. It was important to use both square channels for the string parts, which left the triangle to play the backing melody (the ‘classic’ Mario invincibility music.) I believe I used a wav ripped from Mario 3 for doubling the percussion (to give it some more Mario-feel/authenticity.)
(OH! And I’ll be posting my next 8-bit track (a full-length one) on Sunday or Monday for a special occasion… heh heh. Any guesses on what it’ll be!?)
(Originally posted on Blogspot on Monday, March 28, 2011)
Posted a new song to my Youtube! This is the first of two monthly 8-bit tracks for March. (I know it is late in the month, so I’ll post the next one in a day or two.) I did this one a while ago, it’s certainly one of my best. I layered a lot of the channels to give it a really thick sound – (doubling the melody anywhere where there wasn’t a counter melody.) Not much else to say. Enjoy!