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New Horizons by Samar Productions

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New Horizons
First 3SID Music Collection
Released date: 10.08.2014
Code: DKT
Music: Gaetano Chiummo
Gfx: Isildur
Loader: Mr.Wegi
Idea: Ramos

Gaetano Chiummo

The Commodore 64 was my first computer. I got it in 1986 and I used it mainly for playing games. My only reference for programming was the User's Guide, which taught me some BASIC instructions and some notions about graphics and sounds. I tried to make some music on the Commodore 64 in those early days, but I was discouraged by the fact that I had to insert a lot of numeric values to obtain even a single note; so I gave up very soon, especially because the results were very far from what I could hear in my favourite C64 games.
My brother and I used to spend a lot of time listening to (and recording) music from C64 games. We used to load games like "Yie Ar Kung-Fu", "Parallax", "Cybernoid 2" (and many more) only to listen to the music, sometimes! My favourite composers are too many to mention, but I especially like almost everything from Martin Galway, Rob Hubbard, Ben Daglish, Jeroen Tel, Tim Follin and Chris Huelsbeck.
I studied music at school; it was one of my favourite subjects. I used to compose my first music on an electronic keyboard. When I got my first PC (early 90s) I learnt about "trackers", and eventually got a copy of the famous "FastTracker", on which I composed many tunes; in 1994 I started studying classic guitar, and it helped me focus on some aspect of music, especially rhythm and harmony; I still compose music on guitar first.
After buying a new computer, in 1999, FastTracker was replaced by FastTracker II. In 2002 I got a bass guitar; I founded a band with my brother and some friends; in 2006 we recorded a demo and called ourselves "Mongra". The drum tracks were made by using Psycle (the software I still use for making music) and Kristal Audio Engine.
When I composed music on trackers, I found that working with samples was a limiting factor: I desperately wanted to modulate the sounds just like people used to do with the SID! In the 90s I had the chance to compose something on HSC Tracker (a "pirate" tracker based on Hannes Seifert's AdLib player); later (as soon as I got a connection to the world wide web) I discovered EdLib by JCH/Vibrants. I didn't like AdLib FM synthesis anyway, so I searched for other software which allowed me to "create" my own sounds. Finally, as I said before, I discovered Psycle: I was "forced" to study some theory about synthesizers, which helped me a lot when I started composing some SID music on GoatTracker! I learnt about GoatTracker when visiting Lasse Hoorni's website; it was a dream come true: I could compose SID music without having to learn the C64 machine language! The first SID I made with GoatTracker was "Rocket Man": I submitted my "Rocket Man" SEUCK game to the SEUCK compo held in 2010 by TND; Richard Bayliss was adding music to all games participating at the compo, so I said to myself: why can't I make some music for my own game? The result wasn't very brilliant; the sounds are a bit poor, and the tune is short and repetitive, but it allowed me to learn how to use the software to produce some music.
I didn't know about 2SID or even 3SID before, though I knew about people (Marcello Giombini especially) experimenting with more SIDs playing together at the same time. One day Ramos told me that WinVice could play 3 SIDs together, and explained me how to make songs that way, and I decided to try! The main idea was to use three voices for the drum sounds, three voices for the chords and the remaining SID for the lead voice - with some effects on another channel - and the bass guitar. This allows the composer to set a different volume level for each part, and even use a different kind of filter for each SID. The most difficult thing is to compose the three parts separately: to have an idea of how the final result will sound, I compose the whole song on Psycle first; then I divide the trakcs into three groups and convert them to SIDs.

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