Sitting the other day (read: weeks ago) in Driver’s Ed, and thinking about how uNrEaSoNaBlY dUlL it is (I really need a graphing calculator to learn how to drive? Really?), I randomly wondered what an 8bit version of the Team Fortress 2 Medic’s theme would sound like. A few weeks later, I finally managed to sit down and plunk something out. Read on to hear to the outcome and see how YOU can make 8bit style music using your very own hands and ye old family computer!
For those of you inexperienced youngsters out there, Wikipedia defines the term “8-bit” as follows:
In computer architecture, 8-bit integers, memory addresses, or other data units are those that are at most 8 bits (1 octet) wide. Also, 8-bit CPU and ALU architectures are those that are based on registers, address buses, or data buses of that size. 8-bit is also a term given to a generation of computers in which 8-bit processors are the norm.
I hope you learned something from that easy-to-digest paragraph. Anyway, here’s how this wonderful slab of terminology comes in to play, through our imitation of 8-bit musical styles in this arrangement of “A Little Heart to Heart.”
The last chord at the end always makes me think it’s going to resolve into “World is Mine.” Hopefully you didn’t notice that when it loops, it basically goes into A♭ minor, which really doesn’t make a lot of sense, but that’s ok because you didn’t notice.
How To Make Your Own 8-Bit Songs
Got five seconds? Got a MIDI file? Good, because I’m about to show you how to make your own 8-bit tunes. Ready? Good! If you’ll just follow the magic rainbow of technology to a lovely piece of Japanese software called GXSCC, you’ll be making 8-bit songs in no time (assuming, yknow, you already have the song written).What we have here is GASHISOFT’s MIDI to 8-bit freeware, all in plain Engrish as understandable as that earlier Wikipedia quotation. That’s ok though, because turning your MIDI into a song fit for Famicoms everywhere is as simple as:
- Downloading and opening GXSCC (don’t worry, it’s small)
- Opening up the folder containing your MIDI
- Dragging your MIDI into the program window
- Using the “Config” option to adjust as necessary
- Pressing “Authoring” to save as an 8-bit .WAV.
Get the Medic wallpaper here.
The image used in the banner for this post was a screenshot of the software GXSCC, by GASHISOFT.