Tales of Magisterius University, chapter 1: Welcome to MU ►

◄ The state of Acorn Archimedes emulation

2007-11-29A short stroll through the 'chiptune' music genre...

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...specifically, through http://www.8bitpeoples.com/discography_gfx.php

Since there are over four hundred MP3s there, my thoughts on what to start with: releases 8BP065 (Anamanaguchi - Power Supply), 8BP079 (Random - Bad Joke EP) and 8BP059 (Bit Shifter - Information Chase) strung together into an hour of music. They're all fully instrumental with an emphasis on melody, and in that order they run from less to more minimalist with the Bit Shifter stuff seeming to be most specifically chiptune.

I wasn't paying much attention to the retro element at first, until I realised what I was most reminded of. Back in the days of the Acorn Archimedes public domain libraries usually offered a range of discs full of tracker files (also known as module files or MODs) — most converted from Amiga compositions. The format's an integration of MIDI (just the notes) and samples (waveform data representing instruments) that resulted in many adaptations of popular songs and themes — Axel F seemed insanely popular — and, predictably, most were dire. That's a downside of software making the technical side of content creation simple.

Better tunes tended to get worked into demos, coding projects that mixed graphics and sound routines to show off what a machine's architecture was capable of and simultaneously demonstrate the abilties of the coder responsible (the trend these days is more to see who can pack the best demo into the smallest space.) Some of these tracks remind me a heck of lot of old demos, particularly track one of the Bad Joke EP.

Reminds me, I should jot something down about Acorn emulation...


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