Most kids wanted to be something like a fireman or an astronaut when they were growing up.
Me? I wanted to write music for videogames. Some of my favorite pieces of music came from my Commodore64 and Nintendo, classics that I still whistle whenever I find myself in an empty, echoey space.
Think about some of your early videogame experiences. How many themes can you remember? The classics are all accompanied by tunes that we remember to this day. Pacman. Zelda. Mario. Brilliant works defined as much by the restrictions of the “instrument” as by the imagination of their composer.
Well, life often takes you in different directions from your childhood dreams, but I’m lucky enough to get to play at mine as an adult. There’s a whole scene dedicated to writing music for these platforms, and I’ve been dying to dive in, but didn’t really know where to begin.
Luckily, GameBoy Genius over at 8bit collective has put together a great how-to for getting started with gameboy music, complete with a gameboy emulator and awesome tracking software for the gameboy itself. Here’s a sample of what you can create with it(mp3). The gameboy’s limitations gave it a sound very similar to the C64, which also holds a special place in my heart. There’s apparently a “getting started” guide for C64 music as well, guess what I’ll be checking out next?