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Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games
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Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games

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Conference presentation-- 8-Bit video game cover songs-- for IASPM Canada 2008

Conference presentation-- 8-Bit video game cover songs-- for IASPM Canada 2008

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  • Transcript

    • 1. Cover Songs in 8-Bit Video Games CONFERENCE PRESENTATION FOR THE INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR THE STUDY OF POPULAR MUSIC (IASPM.CA). Karen Collins, University of Waterloo
    • 2. Why so many cover songs,and why did they disappear?
    • 3. 8-Bit ? Isn't that like, so... 1984??
    • 4. 8-Bit Games = Revolutionary + Influential The Apple II was designed around games
    • 5. Commodore brought PCs to the home market through GAMES 8-Bit Games = Revolutionary + Influential
    • 6. Techniques developed by composers led to the creation of modern sequencing software . 8-Bit Games = Revolutionary + Influential
    • 7. Not covering... “ artist”-based games
    • 8. Not covering Chiptunes
    • 9. FOCUS Uses of other people's music (cover versions) in 8-Bit Games for seemingly “random” reasons....
    • 10. What is 8-BIT?
      • Bit = Binary Digit (a 1 or 0)
      • “ X-bit” = number of simultaneous 1s or 0s the CPU can handle
      • an 8-bit computer can process 8 bits of data at the same time.
      • Approx 1970-1990
    • 11. I Am 8-Bit
    • 12. I Am 8-Bit
    • 13. I Am so NOT 8-Bit
    • 14. A Few Examples of Cover Songs in 8-Bit Games
      • licensed tracks
      • unlicensed pop covers
      • unlicensed film covers
      • traditional songs
      • classical music
    • 15. California Games (1987) (licensed Kingsmen)
    • 16. Frantic Freddie (1983) (unlicensed pop)
    • 17. Int'l Karate (1986) (unlicensed film)
    • 18. Buffalo Bill (1989) (traditional)
    • 19. Acid Drop (1992) (classical)
    • 20. So, why covers?
    • 21. 8-bit sound chips
      • 2 or 3 tone channels (usually + 1 noise)
      • subtractive synthesis
      • some had envelope generators
      • some had set waveforms
      • coded in assembly or BASIC
      • Limited frequency ranges
    • 22.
      • Up ‘N Down (Sega 1983)
      Arcade Version
    • 23. Atari VCS (2600)
      • Up ‘N Down (Sega 1984)
    • 24. Editing the track to the technology...
      • Remove or substitute vocals
      • Loop track
      • Remove instrument parts
      • Simplify parts (e.g. Harmony)
      • Substitute notes
    • 25. And that's just the hardware!
    • 26. Making a “beep” in assembly
      • Beep   PROC USES AX BX CX     IN AL, 61h  ; Save state     PUSH AX           MOV BX, 6818 ; 1193180/175     MOV AL, 6Bh  ; Select Channel 2, write LSB/BSB mode 3     OUT 43h, AL         MOV AX, BX         OUT 24h, AL  ; Send the LSB     MOV AL, AH         OUT 42h, AL  ; Send the MSB     IN AL, 61h     ; Get the 8255 Port Contence     OR AL, 3h             OUT 61h, AL  ; End able speaker and use clock channel 2 for input     MOV CX, 03h ; High order wait value     MOV DX 0D04h ; Low order wait value     MOV AX, 86h ; Wait service     INT 15h                 POP AX ; restore Speaker state     OUT 61h, AL     RET BEEP ENDP
      From Using Assembly Language by Allen L Wyatt From Using Assembly Language by Allen L Wyatt
    • 27. What this meant ...
      • Writing music was VERY time consuming.
      • Game developers didn't have time: product lifecycle short, competitive
      • Music was done by programmers *
    • 28. Geeks...
    • 29. ... are not Rock Stars.. .
    • 30. The time to development... and the lifecycle
    • 31. In the game world, The programmer was God . (Larson)
    • 32. Note there was no tying of music to content of the game...
    • 33. or a rather spurious connection at best... ...uh, Water Music?
    • 34. Captain Comic (Color Dreams 1988)
    • 35.
      • Captain Comic ’s songs:
      • Borrowing from classical music.
      • SHEET music.
      Thanks to Will Gibbons at UNC for this note
    • 36. Grey Areas are Great
    • 37. Copyright's “grey areas” in the age of 8-Bit
    • 38. A Summary: Why Cover Songs?
      • programmers were not musicians
      • the programmers made the decisions
      • there was very little time
      • the technology made it difficult
      • copyright's grey areas made it easy
    • 39. So... Where have all the covers gone?
    • 40. A Changing Industry ...
    • 41. Nintendo...a Conscious Effort to be Different
    • 42. A New Game Music Aesthetic
    • 43. An attempt to adapt ...(or emulate)
    • 44. New Technology... Redbook Audio in Games
    • 45.  
    • 46.  
    • 47.  
    • 48. 2007 Tarriff 22A
    • 49. A Summary: Why did covers (mostly) end with 16-Bit?
      • game industry had changed
      • game music had matured and developed its own aesthetic (s)
      • technology had changed
      • Copyright laws more rigid
    • 50. Still want more?? Ashgate, UK 2008 MIT Press, US 2008

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