Lavender Town – FamiTracker Cover

It departed to the afterlife!

Have wanted to teach myself chiptune music software for sometime. Recently managed to put in the time and learn FamiTracker, thanks in large part to videos by Ben Burnes. Highly recommended.

This last burst of inspiration that has, for whatever reason, driven me to actually get this done and have something to show for it, was, weirdly, thinking about the music to Columns. You ever play Columns? Here’s the song I mean.

For whatever reason, when this popped into my head, it wasn’t just nostalgia, it was bafflement that music with this sound, with this style, can just be made by anyone! That all the tools are out there and you just have to learn it like any other instrument.

So I set about learning FamiTracker, which was, from what I could gather, the easiest to learn, given its limitations. No room for getting too ambitious and trying to make Sonic music right out the gate. Instead, it replicates the sound of a Nintendo Entertainment System.

And so when it came time to actually make something, I thought maybe best not leap into original stuff right away, and just see if, by ear, I could listen to something and transcribe it into the program. And when I thought of the very best, most heartwarmingly nostalgic Nintendo music I could think of, I of course thought of Pok√©mon. And then, of course, I drifted to the eeriest, weirdest song on the whole playlist. Probably out of confidence that it’s slow pace would be easiest to figure out.

As it turns out though, the Game Boy hasn’t got the exact same sound chip as the NES. So in trying to replicate the instruments used for the original song, I just could not for the life of me get that warmth, that spacious echo that they’ve managed to do here. It ended up turning out a lot more like a blend between the version I know and the stripped back Japanese original.

Still, relatively proud. Sounds like the song. Most of the effects are there, if not perfect. Maybe that’s to do with the limitations or differences in FamiTracker, or maybe that’s just because I have yet to master the art. If you happen to be a pro at this and have pro tips you want to share, I’m all ears.

Hoping to make more original stuff going forward, now that I’ve got a general lay of the land. Hope you enjoy listening!

Lee

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