Thoughts On Recording Amiga Music

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Long before I ever started making videos on YouTube, and in fact before YouTube even existed; I made music on my PC. It was my prime hobby before I started making videos. A couple years into making the videos I attempted my first written review, which was meant to compliment but be unique in comparison to my video reviews. I enjoyed writing that so much that I decided I'd continue to write separate articles as well as doing the videos. Couldn't tell you if any of those hobbies have been a success or not, but all amounted to immense enjoyment from my myself... and I hear on occasion, others as well. When I have a hobby, I do seem to go "all out" with it.

With the music, I've made several albums, including one written fully on my beloved Amiga 500. I couldn't just do one song, I had to make it an experience. The video reviews tend to be quite in depth; diving into memories, old reviews from magazines, pictures from the manual, and I almost always finish the game. I decided to make my articles much more detailed than any other review you're ever going to read on a game. This man can write... A lot... Besides the writing I took actual pictures of my CRT monitors for the classic game reviews, and I put many of those pictures together to form a single, bigger picture. Those are not just screen grabs from my video, they are separate pictures. I shoot the CRT screen because I feel it looks better. So even if you're just reading, you're still getting a good visual experience. I often have to play and beat the game several times in order to accommodate this.

In other words, I seem to have a habit of investing quite a lot of my free time in "doing it right". I do nothing half assed, unlike a great many counterparts who do similar things. Latest hobby has turned into recording music directly from my computers. At the moment it's just the Amiga, but in the past I have recorded from my NES. I'm starting to feel like this might become a standard thing for me to do, much like my articles have become. As previously mentioned, I wrote and recorded an entire album of my own music from my Amiga. Besides that, I've recorded others in-game music for the following games: (Note I own no rights to this music, just recording them for my own enjoyment)

Discovery (Amiga)
Welltris (Amiga)
Marble Madness (Amiga)
Wing Commander (Amiga)
Turrican 3 (Amiga)
Basic Music (Workbench Extras Demo)
Shanghai (Amiga) *I do own this one

The last 4 are new to this article. Basic Music was meant to go along with my video and article on installing an Amiga 500 hard drive. In it I fooled around in Workbench 1.3 for a little while and talked about the Microsoft Basic Music demo. As a kid I would listen to it for hours straight sometimes. I've always tended to put certain songs on repeat when in a depressed mood. That's my newest video, but it has been unlisted for months. I guess I forgot about doing the music for that one. 

When I did my video and article on Wing Commander I fully planned on recording the soundtrack for that as well. This time I was just overwhelmed with the size of the game and its music. The music for this game touched me like none other as a kid, and to this day it is amongst my favorite game soundtracks. It's simply amazing, and now you can hear it in its full Amiga glory

The music for Turrican 3 was done for an upcoming review of that game on the Amiga. I was inspired by Ms MadLemon's video on making her own "Amiga" music of the Commodore 64 version of Turrican 3. She really loves the music in that version, and her passion is infectious! Personally I think the Amiga music to Turrican 3 is utterly fantastic, and seeing her mess around with the game just made me feel like reviewing it. It's my favorite of the 3 games, an unpopular opinion actually. Most seem to believe that's the worst one. While others tend to praise the first two, I actually tend to think they're not even that good in the first place... And I owned the first one as a kid. Opinions... Often strange, often different, always enjoyable when told in the right way. That video and article is on its way, but in the meantime I do hope you enjoy all this music I've recorded.

A couple years ago I did a video where I was fooling around with the Roland MT-32. While going through the available instruments I noted an awesome sounding kyoto. I felt it would make for an excellent choice if ever doing a soundtrack for a mahjong type of game, which often featured a particular style of music. Several months later Stygian Phoenix requested I review the Amiga game Shanghai. I thought it was a very good mahjong game for the Amiga, but that it needed music. I remembered what I had said about that particular MT-32 instrument and decided I would record it for use as background music for my video. I was really trying to get it done as fast as I could and had no plans to ever release the full song. I had my keyboard hooked up to the MT-32, and the MT-32 going to an FM transmitter, which I tuned into on a nearby stereo and recorded directly to analog cassette tape. What a strange sequence there, huh? I always did love that extra analog warmth, it tends to help digital stuff shine a little more. As I had recorded it live with no practicing, I never really was quite happy with it. I just wanted it for the background music while I was talking in the video. Stygian insisted on having the full track, however... And you can't say no to a phoenix. :p Enjoy the music.

In the future, as in the past, links to any recorded music will be featured in the review for that game, and now I will also be including them in my full article and video database listings for quick reference. The Amiga's music has always been something quite special to this nerd. That full on "hard stereo" sound gives me that often quite misunderstood feeling of ASMR. I say hard stereo as most of the time sounds and music are separated fully in either the left or right stereo channels. You don't often hear sound coming from the "center" or in-between, although it was possible to do those things on the Amiga. It just ended up giving it this truly unique sound reminiscent of the early days of stereo recordings, when bands would often re-release records recorded in mono, separating each mono track into the left or right channels. It's quite a unique sound and feeling listening to music like this. It really makes you utterly aware that you are in fact dealing with multi channel music, something that is often not that obvious these days. All this music was recorded from a direct hookup to my actual Amiga 500 computer, because emulation just don't cut it for this nerd! Enjoy! And in case anyone is interested in that PC music I recorded long before YouTube was even a thing... here is one my songs, music and lyrics by me, with my ex girlfriend singing. 

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