Sunday, December 23, 2012

International Karate (C64 music remake)

A Commodore 64 game music remake

I decided to do a quick remake of a C64 game song, just for fun.
Though I own plenty of VST synthesizers, the goal was to only use analog synthesizers and no overdub, i.e. only one instrument per sound. So you only hear the Juno-60 playing a single sound for instance.
I didn't know which song to pick, but after a short while chose the main song for the game International Karate, composed by Rob Hubbard.

Actually, I'm not too pleased with the result.
Some sounds (like the first one, heh) have an annoying ringing that I didn't bother removing. I guess I'm using too much resonance...
This was just a quick experiment so I don't care if it doesn't sound all that good.

Anyway, I thought I'd share it, so here it is:
(Update: I replaced that first sound with something better, so it's not piercing your eardrums any longer :) )


If you want to know which synthesizers I used, here's a list:
  • Roland Juno-60  -  First 2-note chord
  • Roland JX-8P  -  PWM style lead
  • Roland SH-7  -  Bass
  • Roland JX-3P  -  Second 2-note chord (fluttering sound at 0:44)
  • Korg Polysix  -  Kick drum
  • Korg Poly-61  -  Short simple square blips
  • Eurorack Modular  -  Ring modulator SID style percussion
  • Yamaha CS-30  -  Snare
  • Yamaha CS-40M - Third 2-note chord (sharp and clear sound at 1:20)
True nerds will react when reading the PWM sound is done on the JX-8P, because, as everybody knows ;) , the JX-8P does not have PWM. It's simulated using the trick of oscillator sync on a square wave.
Not saying I invented it, just saying I used it :)
Of course I could have used almost any of the other synthesizers for it, as they all (except the JX-3P) have "native" PWM, but I chose the JX-8P just to test that particular trick :)
I actually thought I'd use the Juno-60 for it first but then realized it has no portamento and I didn't feel like messing with the pitch-bender throughout the entire lead parts...

The EQing and FX were done in Cubase Studio 4 using some Steinberg plugins (delay, compressor, limiter), Variety of Sound epicVerb, Fabfilter Saturn and Sonalksis Compressor. I think that's correct but.. I may have removed some from the mix or forgotten to write some down. Not sure :)

All in all, this was done as an "only one synth per sound"-experiment and to still be able to play it back all at the same time using MIDI.

Not because it's the best choice, but just because I can :)

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