Proto Man: An Empty Home

September 1, 2015 8:06 AM

It is tradition among my people to collect 8-bit chiptune soundtracks that contain brilliant music, and learn and arrange them so that others may find joy in their melodic beauty!

If you don't know about Mega Man 3's music, you better get over to YouTube and get on a playlist. It's crazy good. 1 and 2 are good too. I will not argue with you about which is better. Because it's 2. But this is from 3. And it's good. They're all awesome.

As usual, all instruments in this piece including drums are performed live by me, but everything except for guitar and bass is virtual instruments!

If anyone has questions about the tech or process, I love talking shop and know all kinds of free/cheap music software. Make music of your own, even if it's a silly remix of a video game!

posted by jake (12 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

I listened to this on the bus this morning and really enjoyed it!
posted by griphus at 8:17 AM on September 1, 2015

Awesome, great arrangement and performance. Love the guitar solo, and the horn section. Organ section too. Yeah, I guess I'm lovin' all the parts. Makes me want to check out the originals.
posted by BlackPebble at 9:28 AM on September 1, 2015

Thank you! Warning, not sure how familiar you are with NES game music, but this is a special track, the rest of the soundtrack is extremely upbeat. But trust me, you won't regret the bait-and-switch because the background music is absolute genius, so quirky and catchy, it is an example of brilliant musicians pushing a very cheap, no-frills piece of audio circuitry to create works of art so unique that they inspire children to do the same when they grow up. I got my start making Mega Man 3 arrangements on a fancy portable keyboard with built-in speakers, that's how I learned how to layer things together, working on Magnet Man and so on.

Man I'm super high right now (trying to put myself to sleep, literally, not suicide) so if any of the above is gibberish, sorry~!
posted by jake at 9:42 AM on September 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

This is fantastic! It brings out that wistful post-war Japanese jazz feel that (I wildly conjecture) inspired the original theme.

I would love to know about your setup! I haven't really made music in a couple years. What are you using these days for DAW software? I last used Ableton Live 6 (which won't run on my Mac now, I think), then NanoStudio (which is neat, but is awkward when you try to step outside of all synths and incorporate recorded audio).
posted by ignignokt at 11:09 AM on September 1, 2015

Those horns are all MIDI?!? They sound amazing! What are you using for them? (BTW, I'm super glad to see this recent string of stuff of yours on MeMu, it is all crazy good.)
posted by en forme de poire at 12:41 PM on September 1, 2015

DAMN IT I failed to sleep! This happens sometimes, argh!

ignignokt: Setup =
2013 Macbook Pro running Cubase (for this kinda stuff) and Ableton (for dancey stuff)
2015 homebuilt PC with 4790k+64g ram, 4tb of SSDs running only Vienna Ensemble
Focusrite tube preamp, going into a Roland Quad Capture audio interface (don't need anything bigger, I only plug in one guitar or bass or mic at a time, if I want to go large there is a giant Pro Tools setup downstairs in the main studio, and the Roland is SUPER stable even on USB2)

The second computer is an orchestra slave; Vienna Ensemble is a server that hosts plugins remotely, taking all that work off your main machine's cpu, memory, and disk, so everything loads fast and runs stably even off a laptop. I can't sing enough praises for Ableton, it's really amazing, just so inspiring to play with, shame it doesn't work on your machine! I hope you can get back to it soon, it's super fun.

en forme de poire: Yep it's all fake, how cool is that! It's 100% Samplemodeling -- that's the company name, they have trumpets, saxes, orchestral woodwinds. I bought the whole bundle and use them exclusively for all my stuff. The only complication is that instead of having a "HORN SECTION" sample I can just go to town with, I have to play every single trumpet, trombone, and sax one by one, so if there's 6 trumpets, that means playing the same part 6 times as cleanly as you can. Can't just copy and paste the same performance, it'll sound robotic! I like to invent personalities for each player, like Trumpet 1 is Betty, USC... Trumpet 2 is Steve, he was with the Boston Pops. .... It gets lonely in the studio at night

Samplemodeling is one of those libraries that is sort of half-recorded-samples, half-programming, they do technical tricks to seamlessly stitch together notes and textures so that it responds like the real thing when you play it, including overblowing, trills, any technique you'd use on the real instrument, it all works. I use a wind controller (a MIDI saxophone!!) instead of a keyboard to play all my brass and winds. That's how you get those nice swells, it's powered by your IRL lungs instead of knobs and dials.

And thank you! I write WAY too much stuff to post it all here because of my day job, so I try to observe friendly following distance and post only things I think you folks will get a kick out of, make you laugh, that kind of thing. I love the cozy scene we have here, people from all walks, all of them awesome.
posted by jake at 1:35 PM on September 1, 2015 [4 favorites]

It brings out that wistful post-war Japanese jazz feel that (I wildly conjecture) inspired the original theme.

Oh man I was trying to pinpoint what it sounded like and yes, this. On a road trip through Denmark my friends and I stopped at a little CD shop and someone randomly picked out a CD of exactly that kind of music and we spent a solid portion of the car ride trying to come up with the Sega Saturn game to which we were listening to the intro/select a character/pause music from.
posted by griphus at 1:38 PM on September 1, 2015 [2 favorites]

I love Mega Man 3 music. I hum the intro theme to myself.. a lot. Like I don't even know why so much, but it's a lot.

The full Proto Man / ending theme is great, and this is super fun. Nice work!
posted by curious nu at 7:54 PM on September 1, 2015

This creation definitely positive feel to it. Thanks for the good vibes.
posted by Brodyaga at 3:52 PM on September 9, 2015

I used this in this month's podcast!
posted by cortex at 4:21 PM on September 9, 2015

posted by ageispolis at 8:41 AM on September 12, 2015

Hell. Yes.
posted by Eideteker at 11:15 AM on November 13, 2015

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