Famicom Jam/Apreggiations

Ahhh… it feels so good to finally have some actual equipment! As to the song, I’ve always liked video game music, especially the “chiptunes” available from old systems, such as the NES and Genesis. They have a pure sound, and pioneered a variety of interesting sounds, including some fascinating arpeggiations. It is a sound that is not replicated much these days except by enthusiasts (perhaps for a good reason), but for their time, the consoles (and especially RPG games on the consoles) were able to reproduce a huge variety of interesting, polyphonic sounds that went far beyond the blips and bleeps of every early computer games. I almost get the sense that this same transition is now being made on cellphones and other handheld devices… At any rate, the Japanese name for the NES was the Famicom, hence the name.

Fast-forward to today, when I finally registered the incredible Vanguard synth instrument. For me, the Vanguard indicates a very large evolution in sound for me, as I can finally recreate some of the trance-inspired sounds that I’ve been trying to locate for quite some time. If you’re really into trance, check it out – it almost sounds better than some software synths that cost twice as much, and you can find a large number of preset banks for it if you’re determined enough. Anyway, one of those preset banks, by ProSounds, has a very interesting arpeggiated preset that, for some reason, reminded me of those interesting, early synth presets that were present on some of the early consoles.

So, I decided to just jam with a variety of different chord structures and sequences – and these tracks are the result. Unlike many of my other tracks, which are preprogrammed before being recorded, both of these pieces were performed live (the second piece was slightly quantized to fix a small glitch). The first piece is basically me just jamming away – in the second one, I try to pay a little more attention to specific patterns. Believe me, this is a great preset to just jam to, and let yourself be inspired… I could probably play around with this sound for a good half-hour if I was determined, but that’s a bit much for this website to handle :)

These tracks are of slightly higher quality than some of the previous ones (160kbps). I’m going to try this slightly upgraded sound quality for now, assuming that it doesn’t end up taking too much space on the site… I think the sound quality is just slightly better. As I’m writing this, I’m occasionally moving my hand over and trying some additional arpeggiations between sentences… Programming music in advance is nice for the exactness of the composition that you can create, but it’s definitely fun to just play around with a sound in realtime and see what you can come up with.
Production Notes: Sequenced in Logic Express. Instruments: Vanguard Synth (Prosounds Preset). Method: Recorded live using external keyboard controller. (I plan on adding this info to all of my tracks eventually, so that you have an idea how the track was built)