Free Music Friday: Joe from video game music netlabel Pterodactyl Squad let us know about a new release, lpower’s Abinox:
The Canadian composer wanted to examine and explore how 16-bit video game soundtracks were put together in the old days, and he assembled a ‘super setup’ of nostalgic chips and synths (TurboGrafx-16, Sega Mega Drive/Genesis, NES, OSCar synth, Yamaha DX7) with which to do so.
The music on Abinox does not always loop, allowing lpower more freedom than usual to study the emotions of in-game progression, the ups and downs, victories and failures. So rather than focus on a specific storyline or genre, Abinox is actually a game soundtrack about game soundtracks.
If you took all the stuff we like – synthesizers, video games, open source software, etc – and combined them, you might get something like the Pianocade chiptunes style synthesizer & MIDI controller.
The Pianocade Synthesizer
The Pianocade is a synthesizer designed to sound, look, and feel like vintage arcade games.
The Pianocade’s built-in synthesizer is based on the sound hardware of the Nintendo NES and Game Boy (specifically, one of the square wave channels: it’s a monophonic square-wave synthesis engine with a 4-bit digital-to-analogue converter). Because it’s monophonic, it does what many early games did in lieu of chords: it cycles through the notes of the chord rapidly (arpeggiation).