In part, this is the soundtrack to an upcoming game called Fix Fix Bang Bang that we have been slowly chipping away at for years and is so close now.
But I wanted to make it a little bit more than that.
Not every tune on F F B B E P was originally intended for Fix Fix Bang Bang, and a couple pre-date the game even as a concept. A couple of the tracks I couldn't find a use for in the end, were never really meant for the game but might have been, if we'd made something larger. One or two I included simply because I think they work in place.
So this is a mini-album of short pieces of music from Fix Fix Bang Bang, but also my favourite chiptunes I've worked on over the past few years. It spans from the moment I began to develop an identifiable style through years of refining and improving upon it.
The tunes in this collection were made almost entirely in FamiTracker, a wonderful free piece of Windows software designed specifically for writing Famicom/NES chiptunes. You're basically hearing the output of FamiTracker, with some minor adjustments.
I used the VRC6 expansion chip setting for everything, which was a clever little thing included on some cartridges which expanded the sound capabilities of the system by an additional 3 channels.
For F F B B E P, I exported the individual tracks and brought them into a DAW called Reaper by Cockos - another great piece of software with an inviting price tag and generous license.
In Reaper I performed some very minor stereo separation of some of the tracks, since NES sounds will only output in mono. I didn't want a wide separation as I still wanted the pieces to be faithful to what I had created in FamiTracker - but just enough to make the individual parts pop out a little better.
Finally, I used Audacity to clean up a very small number of noisy artefacts that were difficult to get rid of in any other way, and to perform some very minor limiting to enable me to increase the over all volume of the tracks.
Kieran, my Surprised Man collaborator and friend, without whom I may not have found the motivation to keep making music.
Christos, whose game concept helped inspire the track Late Night Respite.
Ash, who let me colonise a corner of the living room to make music in and is patient with me even when I'm shouting at the laptop.
Finally, all the people who influenced the way I've written these tunes, who are far, far too numerous to list.