Digital Audio Loops and Video Games
History • PIONEERS • Electroacoustic Musicians: Pierre Schaeffer, Halim El-Dabh, Pierre Henry, Edgard Varese, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Frippertronics • PRE RECORDED LOOPS • Yellow Magic Orchestra, Grandmaster Flash • VIDEO GAME MUSIC • 8 Bit • 16 Bit • Later + Wavetable
Listening Examples • K. Stockhausen – “Tierkreis”performed by Nota Bene
Video Game Music • 8 Bit • 16 Bit • Wavegame / Orchestra
8 Bit • One of the earliest home computers to make use of digital signal processing in the form of sampling was the Commodore Amiga in 1985. The computer's sound chip featured four independent 8-bit digital-to-analog converters. Developers could use this platform to take samples of a music performance, sometimes just a single note long, and play it back through the computer's sound chip from memory.
16 Bit • As home consoles moved into the fourth generation, or 16-bit era, the hybrid approach (sampled and tone) to music composing continued to be used. In 1988 the Sega Mega Drive (Sega Genesis in the US) offered advanced graphics over the NES and improved sound synthesis features (also using a Yamaha chip, the YM2612), but largely held the same approach to sound design.
Later + Wavetable • As processing power increased dramatically in the 6th generation of home consoles, it became possible to apply special effects in realtime to streamed audio. • Live Orchestras / Synthesizers / Real-Time Loops (audio fades or changes based on user