Category Archives: Commentary & Editorial

Frank Klepacki Blog Series: Music Technology Evolution in Video Games, Part 2

This is the second installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank continues his discussion of the evolution of game music technology. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.

Frank KlepackiRapid improvements over the years of new sound cards and more powerful computers shifted the focus to software mixing over hardware mixing – ASIO eventually becoming a new standard. Just as we were getting used to the idea of resampled WAV files for music playback in games, the MP3 format came along and changed everything.

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Frank Klepacki Blog Series: Music Technology Evolution in Video Games, Part 1

This is the first installment in guest blogger Frank Klepacki’s series on music production. Today Frank looks at how evolving technology affected the development of video game music.

Frank Klepacki For the longest time, video game music had a bit of a stigma associated with it – “It’s all a bunch of bleeps and blips.” While the early days of video games – the era of the Atari 2600 – certainly represented that, people fail to realize that games outgrew that more quickly than they think.

In the mid-’80s heyday of arcades, and the release of the Nintendo Entertainment System, the music was using basic FM synthesis such as square waves and saw waves to play back a minimal 4 monophonic channels of music. Even with those limitations, though, some of the games’ music was still very cleverly composed, and remains memorable even today. The “Super Mario Brothers” themes are a prime example of this.

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The Larry Estrin NAB 2014 Ask Me Anything Interview

An audio technology expert, Larry Estrin has gathered a number of credentials, including: contributing to the first live multi-satellite global broadcast (Elvis in Hawaii), conceiving and designing the wireless microphone system for NFL referees, founding Best Audio, engineering and implementing the first stereo broadcast of the Academy Awards and Grammys, designing the multi-dimensional sound environment concept for Disney’s Main Street Electrical Parade, and receiving the Civilian Service Medal for his work with the USO during Operation Desert Storm.

Larry sat with us during NAB 2014 to talk a bit about his experiences, from handling audio for the pope to developing the first wireless mic system for NFL referees.

Larry Estrin

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