Posted in : Forum : Sampling And Loop Making Chat
Discuss anything regarding sampling and loop making. How to make a loop, where did a sample come from, copyright issues, whats legal and whats not
Hi guys, i recently discovered that the soundtracks of vintage video games can contain real pearls and that, if remixed properly, they can become great successes.
I was literally shocked when, looking at an interview with music producer Zombie Nation, I discovered that the legendary "Kernkraft 400" was nothing else than a sub soundtrack of a Commodore 64 videogame called "Lazy Jones" and precisely "Star Dust ", whose author and developer was David Whittaker.
So, as if by magic, I remembered a video game of the Commodore 64 that I loved so much (also) because of the music and to which, when I was 10, I played practically 24/7: Super Trucker.
I believe that my love for electronic music was born with the music of this game: rediscovering it now, after a quarter of a century, I swear, it moved me!
The author of these magical music is a Dutch gentleman named Reyn Ouwehand. For Super Trucker he composed 5 fantastic tracks:
1 - Title screen
2 - Level BGM
(and the related packages called "Ready" and "Game over!" which have the same main theme)
3 - Tank attack
4 - Level completed
5 - Ending
Title screen certainly deserved a vocal, the complexity of Level BGM is incredibly current and surprising, the tension created by Tank attack could certainly have been a hip-hop song, the lightness of Level completed is pure happiness, but the best ever all is certainly Ending, which seems to be played by Carlos Santana at the chiptune synthesizer!
Fortunately they are all present on youtube, go and listen to them because you will be surprised. Reyn Ouwehand for me was like Koji Koto for the generation that loved Super Mario music.
Do you know any other vintage video game songs that would deserve a remix?
Classic video game sounds were awesome! Their popularity has not died out, but in fact been enhanced.
There are many hardware synthesizers which are based around original or reproduced sound integrated circuits (chips). The C64 SID chip is one of them. The Yamaha YM2612 chip is having a resurgence as well, and it was the key to the sound of the Sega Genesis... it was also contained in certain 80s-90s keyboards, which I have been circuit bending.
There are other famous chips finding common use without computers. Personally, I have seen many modules for modular synths designed around them. I have the complete set of parts for one designed around the YM2612, but have a huge backlog of projects, so haven't built it yet.
It would be great to have a VST that can reproduce the typical sounds of vintage video games ... but what I meant by "remix" was to give shape to a real song ... as "Kernkraft 400". Or, taking as an example Title screen mentioned by me, re-arrange it completely, to give it a song dress, with a vocal track, played by vst or live instruments, without emulating the original sounds ... you know some of them, one from a videogame maybe not so known, but that you liked so much?
Here's my two cents:
Sounds like a wonderful project, as long as a few things are kept in mind in case the resulting creation becomes popular.
To use music from those games as any sort of foundation risks copyright infringement (the writers were probably working under a work for hire contract, and the rights to the music are with the gaming company). However, I get that you state the idea would be to re-arrange it completely.
I'm also thinking that there's got to be some fine print/rights regarding the use of "sounds" that are unique to these games.
Here's a Rollingstone post that will give you an idea of the problems one can encounter if the original music isn't "blurred" (pun intended) enough:
In short, if its a passion then it could be a worthwhile project. If not, then coming up with something original or using cleared loops may be the path of least resistance.
Honestly, hardware synthesis using the same or re-released chips and/or sampling of the sound of the original equipment is the key. There is no copyright violation with these methods.
There are some excellent sample sets out there, some made by members of looperman. Various multisampled one shots of things like MIDI NES, Game Boy, PSS-460 (YM-2612), C64, Atari, and the like. One can essentially make a song entirely from a single sound source this way.
Hardware wise, many advancements have been made. MIDI can be used to control everything from the DAW, or other MIDI controller. MIDI and CV/GATE/TRIGGER can be used seamlessly with the digital audio environment. The lines between analog and digital hardware has begun to blur... not so with software.
As wikkid mentioned, there would likely be copyright issues when more than simple instrument (one shot or waveform) sounds were used. Melodies, chord progressions and rhythms, especially if present together in original state, could present liability.
Guys, i'm agree with both of you. Maybe I had to specify a couple of points of view regarding the remix issue: anyone can do a remix of an existing song, regardless of which source (video game, movie soundtrack and so on). It is absolutely right that the work done by others is not stolen, without paying the due credits. That said, if the remixer is an amateur musician like me (or anyone on this community), if he does not have the necessary funds to pay royalties, he can always specify that "the product is developed for NON-COMMERCIAL purposes only, and that no copyright infringment is intended. (On the other hand, I have included the piano loop of "Blue (da ba dee)" by Eiffel 65 in my collab with Patricia Edwards, writing in the description that it was, in fact, developed for non-commercial purposes only.) If, on the other hand, the remixer is an artist who is already part of the producers' crew, at the commercially I mean, if his project is considered at least "promising" by an economic point of view, clearly he or his record company, MUST pay the royalties to the owners.
In the latter case, for example, I would like the Eiffel 65 to be remixed Title Screen.
It's just an idea.
Here's where you and I differ as per the terms of service on Looperman:
"You acknowledge and agree that any and all media you upload to the tracks section is 100% your own work and that you own the copyright to such works."
Now, if you or any other user decides to upload a track with an already copyrighted work and incorporate it into your song, just stating that its "For Non-commercial purposes" may not be enough. I say "may not" because I'm not the site owner.
If the site owner decides to pull your track, that may be the reason (unless you've changed the Eiffel 65 sample so much that its unrecognizable, I wouldn't keep announcing the uncleared use of it).
In any event, the legal owner of the work could still send a cease and desist/DMCA to the site if they so choose. See, even if you've listed it as a remix, its still a derivative creation that has an original copyrighted work in the composition.
I will agree that there are some sites that don't police remixes to the point of throwing out the baby with the bathwater. But if they did, they would be well within their rights.
Now, some may want to claim a remix as Fair Use. But keeping it short and sweet, Looperman can and does take down loops and tracks if they violate the terms of service. Some do slip between the cracks, but all in all Shan does a great job. I guess what I'm saying is I don't want to make more work for him or any other site that promote original compositions.
Maybe the fact that I use google translate to write here is just creating a lot of confusion.
I repeat that I absolutely agree with you.
The main topic of this post is that some video game music is very beautiful, and deserved to be developed as a real song. Perhaps using the word "remix", everything I meant was not understood at all.
I don't think I ever said I wanted to remix a video game music, much less want to use it for commercial purposes and upload it here on Looperman. It is right that Looperman privileges collaborations between users, otherwise it would be a free music site, I would say almost anarchist!
I simply said that, in modern times in which we live, everyone can take an existing song and do what they want, paying the due consequences for the legal aspects. To validate my thesis, I mentioned for example any user of Looperman, as a musician, although amateur, has DAWs or musical instruments and all the appropriate equipment to be able to do so.
As for my collaboration with Patricia, the piano loop was not at all sampled, but completely re-played, and not even exactly, I deliberately left a mistake in it.
As for the use of things already under copyright, evidently these days (without any criticism for you or for the site owner) you have not listened to the latest uploads, since a user has deliberately used a whole vocal track of a famous artist, for his remix, including his name in the title. I don't think any controversy or complaints have been made about it, and it's not the only case, since i found another user has used a few words of a Coldplay vocal track in one of his tracks.
Said that, I'd like, hoping not to create further confusion with this damn google translate, to the main topic:
DO YOU KNOW SOME SONGS OF A VINTAGE VIDEOGAME THAT, IN YOUR OPINION, WOULD DESERVE TO BE DEVELOPED AS A TRUE AND OWN SONG?
On your first point:
Whether sampled or re-created, if the music can be identified (even with a few changed notes) to an original copyrighted piece of music, well, that's why I listed the link from Rollingstone. Some labels and artists are clamping down, others not so much.
If you've spotted something uploaded that's against the terms of service, then if you feel comfortable doing it, why not let Looperman know? It's my understanding that this is a one man operation, and we're on the honor system here.
On your second point regarding the main topic of the thread, unfortunately, I don't have the same passion for video game music as you. So the answer is no.
I wish you all the best with this endeavor, and hope you get the responses that you seek.
In this community I am a guest like anyone else, I am certainly not an admin, much less the owner.
It is not my responsibility to report any infringmen of the terms of service, because, after all, I am here for fun, for hobby.
Of course, some users take things much more seriously, and I can't blame them for that, but if they want to go beyond the pure hobby or fun, then they have to figure out what the limits are beyond which they don't have to go. I can give technical advice, I can appreciate work or not, certainly not educating them to respect the rules, when they joined they will surely have read all the information, and they know what can go well and what is wrong with Looperman.
We have an owner and (probably) site administrators, who are authorized to do the job of reporting and (if necessary) removal of anything that does not comply with the site rules.
I certainly won't be the Looperman City cop.
I finally close the subject with my personal consideration, hoping not to create further controversy: in 2019 I believe it is impossible to create a totally new music that has never been heard before, it will certainly resemble (totally or in part) something already existed before, and more easily that is not even known worldwide. For example, "Princess of China" by Coldplay feat. Rihanna, sampled a vocal track of an Indian artist (I think). Who the hell knew about original???
If Looperman were to eliminate all the songs that look like something already heard and therefore recognizable (worldwide or not), what would actually remain?
Have a nice day, dear Wikkid.
This is so indicative of the present day music mindset of sampling, lets stop messing around and just call it the unauthorised appropriation of other people's work, the real trouble is the legions of people professing to be musicians who don't play an instrument and never will, they think the practice of copyright infringement is so common place it's ok to do it.
"If Looperman were to eliminate all the songs that look like something already heard and therefore recognizable (worldwide or not), what would actually remain?"
I apologize if I didn't make my point clearer. I'm speaking of copyrighted, identifiable music, where the origin can be pinpointed even if some notes are changed.
So, if I were to create an "original" composition, but have taken elements from another composition that others may be able to identify from a previously recorded piece, then I'll either get called out on it, perhaps on a thread, or the piece may be taken down as it would be against the terms of service, and that can be on any site. Or maybe not.
I'm not speaking of a homage, parody, or any other composition that may be subjectively interpreted. If I take a bassline from a known or even a lesser known artist's composition, post it on a site as a original piece, it isn't imho. It's derivative.
I agree that inspiration is where you find it. But sometimes the "rights" belong to the original creator, whether they enforce them or not.
And yes, it's true that derivative creations can still slip through. However, in respect to the original intent of your thread, since you wanted it to deal with vintage video game songs that "DESERVE TO BE DEVELOPED AS A TRUE AND OWN SONG" this will be my last comment on this. Again, I hope you get the responses you are seeking regarding video game songs.
Henry, you should try this really cool tool below in order to create some awesome vintage video game sounds. It is a freeware VST addon for N.I. Kontakt:
Preview this addon with the following loop I made using it at:
If it's remixing old video game soundtracks you are after may I recommend https://ocremix.org/ that is dedicated to that.
Cool that you like Reyn Ouwehand. I saw him live many years back.
If it's the chiptune sound you are after there is a wealth of opportunities. Some do it on actual hardware, for instance using Little Sound DJ on a GameBoy. There are lots of VSTs around (and some included in a DAW like LMMMS that come with both GameBoy and Commodore 64 sound instruments).
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Looper Time : 2019-08-17 15:46:55 | Version l-3110