Last week, I found an interesting little
instrument listed for pretty cheap on ASDR.com, AudioThing's 'MiniBit', which has a whole bunch of great old school videogame/8Bit presets, and a really simple UI to allow to tweak these, and make your own. All of these sounds are relatively simple synth sounds, which hypothetically I could make, but I figured I'm willing to pay to have them all in one instrument that's easy to use, so I sprung for it. I thought it would be fun to try and write some old school video game tunes, specifically themed around Splinterlands (I'm re-imagining it as an old RPG), which I haven't done it forever, and this was just a random idea from last night. Initially, I was going to set some rules, and only allow myself four 'tracks', like a lot of old games had (technically drums would be multiple tracks in Ableton, but function like a single 'noise' track on an NES or something), though I wound up breaking that rule here, haha. I really like layering these sounds; since they often fit into a similar part of the sound spectrum, when you layer them, you can get some really cool, unexpected blending, where things float in and out of each other. I didn't mix any of this really, so certain things are a little loud or soft, which I'll go through and fix if I decide to keep rolling with this.
Track 3, Strings
There are 2 basic sections, though these change keys
halfway through the song, so sort of works like 4 sections, plus a break. Initially, we have the Brown (A) and Blue (B) section in Track 4 (just using Track 4 as a reference so you can see where these begin and end). The A section is just a Dmin, Fmaj, Gmaj, and Dmin, repeated. The B section starts on Bb, to Bmin, to an Adim, and Ab, before returning to the A part. When everything modulates, everything just shifts down a halfstep, in both parts. Tracks 8, 9, 10 and 11 are the drum parts, each for a different part of the 'kit', and everything is one of the many synth presets. I think my favorite part is Tracks 6 and 7, which add those twinkly, background syncopated elements that definitely have that videogame-y vibe. I also like the 'strings' in Track 3, which was actually where I started, and then built up some chords, and added all the extra stuff. For the next one of these videogame songs, I'm going to stick to the 4 (maybe 5) track rule, and then hopefully have a series of tunes to share.