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The Best of Nerd Noise Radio - Noiser's Picks
Your home for the best Nerd Noises from the YM2612/SN76489, SPC700, 2A03, HuC6280A, AY-3-8910, YM2413, LR35902, and beyond!
Your home for the best Nerd Noises from the YM2612/SN76489, SPC700, 2A03, HuC6280A, AY-3-8910, YM2413, LR35902, and beyond!




That's right! We are coming out of stasis! We have plans to completely redo the program, but we need more people to join us on the Nerd Noise "staff" to pull it off. Not looking for any money, just volunteers to make posts and be on podcasts.

I'm terrible with brevity, having written up a 3-page word doc on what the new NNR would look like. Aaron, on the other hand, being much better with brevity, has summarized it.

See Aaron's tidy summary in the comments section.

If you want more detailed information...or just need some reading to put you to sleep, I do still have my original. Since pages won't let you attach a word .doc, PM us if you're interested in seeing it, and we'll get it to you.

So come on, guys, help us get the new NNR off the ground! Sign up, join the team, and keep the Nerd Noise dream alive!


John, Aaron, and Erik - Nerd Noise Radio!
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Will have a big announcement in the next few days.

Stay tuned!
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Non-VGM Intersections!

Here's a short little track that has this rich, slow, ambient, slightly dissonant upward progression. Several of the voices, as well as the general progression of the track sound very "video gamey" to me.

What do you think?

Chinese Whispers - Alan Parsons Project - Stereotomy - 1985:

The Alan Parsons Project- Chinese Whispers
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[Aaron] It's a Final Fantasy Friday. Seriously though, this tune just sounds BETTER with the mighty powers of the FM Synthesis. FM Organ for the win.
Note: Youtube video lies - there was no X68000 port of Final Fantasy IV. There is however, a note for note recreation of every Final Fantasy IV song using the YM2151 FM synthesizer and OKI MSM6258V for PCM. I'll post that in the comments....
Final Fantasy IV - Golbeza the Black Armored - Sharp X68000 version
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(John) VERY IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT: READ (even though it's long-winded)!

Good Evening, Noisers!

Over on Nerd Noise Radio 1 - VGM and VGM Soundtracks, we've spent the past month or so having an extended focus on comparing and contrasting the US Sega CD/Windows 95 version of the Sonic CD soundtrack to the JP/EU Sega CD version. We've only got this week left on that before we're done. If you haven't already liked and followed NNR1, go do so, and get caught up on all the Sonic CD action! :-)

My major announcement, though, is that after the Sonic CD focus is over, I'm going to be taking a brief-ish hiatus from Nerd Noise Radio and The Retro Junkies. This stuff is just taking up so much of my time, that my family, and other important things are kinda getting marginalized. And on top of that, this time of year is REALLY busy with work, and I don't have nearly as much free time after work as I'm used to or comfortable with, so in order to a) rebalance, reorganize, and reprioritize, as well as b) ride out the rough parts of the work year, I'll be stepping away for a bit.

But keep in mind that I'm "stepping away", and not "stepping down." I fully expect to return to this. I'll be around for this week to finish out Sonic CD on NNR1, and I'll be around next week so we can talk about the soundtrack over there once it's done, sharing our thoughts of the soundtrack as a whole, and what we liked best, and all of that (and again, probably making some regular posts), and then I'm planning on taking the rest of June and all of July off.

For these next two weeks that I'm remaining active on NNR1, I'll also remain active on NNR2, and when I go inactive over there, I'll also go inactive over here.

But PLEASE, whatever you do, DON'T UNLIKE, OR UNFOLLOW the pages! They're not going away! In the unlikely event that I should decide to straight up shut them down, I'll make sure there's a post to that effect. Otherwise, hearing nothing of the sort, assume I'll be back. And also, Aaron and Erik are still on the job here, and while they wont be posting as often as I was, you'll still be seeing Nerd Noise come up in your news feed while I'm gone. Be sure to give those guys a lot of love, and a lot of feedback. 

On top of that, I'll still be working to add a few more people to the Nerd Noise crew, so that there will be more hands on deck to post a wider assortment of tracks, to "scratch more listener itches", and improve our program as a whole. So, be on the lookout for that.

Thanks for understanding, Noisers, and thanks for sticking with us for the past year and a half! It's been a blast! And it'll still be one! You guys are awesome! 

Meanwhile, we've got some business to attend to:

Covers from YouTube!

What can I say, I LOVE The OneUps! I love both their pre-Intergalactic Redux stuff, and their stuff post that (very different sound!)

We've heard a couple tracks from the "old style OneUps"...let's hear something from the "new style."

"Castlevania III - Curse of the Funk!"


The OneUps - Castlevania III - Curse Of The Funk
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Covers from the Noisers!

Several months ago over on NNR1, FB Noiser Matthew Robinson shared a link to a guitar "cover" of a track from the NEC PC88 (YM2203 OPN) game "Sorcerian" (Composed by Yuzo Koshiro).

I put cover in quotes because it's less a cover than it is a live electric guitarist jamming over top of the in-game FM trzck in the background. It's not technically a cover, but for the purposes of NNR2, I'm gonna say it counts.

It is a good video, and good guitar work on the part of our performer (going by the YouTube channel id "MarioSpeedwagonMusic". All I know is that the guy's name is Jon. He does just the right amount of following the original melody, and branching off in embellishment.

Anyway, here it is, Noisers. I hope you enjoy it!

Sorcerian - Pentawa II (Live Guitar Cover)

p.s. DONT FORGET: You can send me any track that you want me to play that's either an original non-VGM chip tune, a cover, be that a "real instrument" cover of VGM, a "Chip" cover of a non-VGM track, or even a "Chip" cover of VGM music (such as a YM2612 cover of an SNES track). Also, if there's a piece of non-VGM music that you can make the case for having some kind of influence connection (coming or going) with VGM, you can share that too. If it fits one of the descriptions above, and if we haven't already featured it in the past six months, and if there aren't some other overriding mitigating circumstances (such as I'm getting too many requests in too short a time), then you can count on it getting played...and you getting the credit for it. I'm not as well versed in the ChipTunes or VGM covers scene as I am in the VGM proper scene, so not only do you get to see your own track featured, and not only do you get bragging rights for it, but you'll also turn me onto new resources so you're not just getting a glut of BotB or OneUps please, please, please...share stuff! :-D
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ChipTunes from BotB!

Good Evening, Noisers!

You know, I don't think we've featured a single Mastersystem chiptune on NNR2 since its relaunch.

Well, tonight we fix that!

This is a WinterChipIX track from UK Bot'Ber "Interrobang Pie" called "Adrenaline Lift". It starts out nice and easy (my favorite part), then suddenly gets sorta heavy-metal before going back to the nice and easy.

The narrative the composer gave us with this track is about an elevator, so it must've gotten really fast for the heavy-metal part...hence the adrenaline. :-)

Anyway, here you go! :-)
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Non-VGM Intersections!

So, this segment is becoming much more regular than I had envisioned...but that's okay, because it seems to be getting much more attention and appreciation than I had expected too...and let's face it, it gives me a chance to step outside the general realm of video game music...more or less, and share other stuff with you that I think is great! :-)

This is a track called "Black Moon", from the 1978 album "Masques", by something of a prog-rock super-group called "Brand X".

While all the members of the band have meaningful pedigrees coming into it, and all of them are quite talented (I'm particularly impressed with Percy Jones, the bass player), by far, the name that is most immediately well-known in the line-up is the drummer (and occasional vocalist) of the group - a man who would later go on to be hugely successful as a solo artist, as well as being a player in bringing the band he was in out of prog rock cult stardom into world-wide super fame, and at this point in time had only recently inherited the lead vocals role (in addition to keeping his original role as drummer and backup-vocalist) after the departure of the original lead vocalist, who would also go on to become a hugely successful solo artist.

Of course, I'm talking about Phil Collins, and I'm talking about Genesis (not the Sega kind) - who's original lead vocalist/frontman was none other than Peter Gabriel (in fact, before Genesis was called Genesis, one of the suggested names for the band was "Gabriel's Angels"...he was a bigger fan of the idea than the rest of them. :-)

Anyway, here's "Black Moon":

Brand X - Black Moon

The VGM connection here is perhaps tenuous, but the structure of the song is not too foreign to video game compositions. I don't know how much (if at all), this was a direct influence on VGM composers, but you still hear echoes (or at least, I still hear echoes) of this in many pieces of VGM.

What do you think, Noisers?
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ChipTunes from BotB!

Good Morning, Noisers!

POKEY (used in the Atari 5200, the 8-bit Atari computers, a few Atari arcade games, and as an in-cart enchancement on an Atari 7800 game or two) is an interesting chip. It's biggest weakness is that it has serious intonation issues - not as bad as TIA (Atari 2600/7800), by any means, but it's still a significant aspect of the chip.

However, what it has going for it is its has arguably the best square wave tone of any chip, it also has a ton of periodic noise options to enhance tonal diversity...and it has twice as many channels as TIA (it has four channels, the same number as an AY-3-8910, or an SN76489).

So, what kind of results can you get if you pair two POKEYs together for a total of eight channels?....

...well, the sun just might explode!

Here's a track that does just that (pair two POKEYs), and it's a most cheerful little number about just such a cataclysmic event (the sun exploding - although, he does not cite the pairing of two POKEYs as its cause) - gotta love musical irony!

It's a SummerChipIII track by one of my favorite BotB'ers: UK's own "Fearofdark" - and our track is called "The Day the Sun Exploded".

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ChipTunes from BotB!

So, the track that got gold in WinterChipVIII was an FDS track - NES + one TG16-like channel. We recently featured it here - Fun with Laser Guns is what it was called.

So, what came in 2nd? An NES track....this one:

"Plum Pop" - composed by BotB'er "TQ-Jam" from Japan. This track uses all five channels very effectively, including the sampler channel - even featuring at least one vocoded vocalization. Also, all pulse duty cycle settings are used very effectively, and we even have some non-bass use of the triangle wave at the breakdown (it's doing bass for the rest of the track).

Now, hear it for yourself! :-)
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