Tag Archives: 16bit music

The Flight Away – SEGA Swing

flightAwayIf you haven’t heard of The Flight Away, you need to get their amazing EP “If I Could Reach the Sky”, an awesome emotronic album that blends sunny emo vocals and guitars with classic 16-bit and 8-bit tones and basslines. Not content to just create the same sound over and over, The Flight Away’s newest release, SEGA Swing is a bit of a departure from the sounds of If I Could Reach The Sky.

Music in the late 80’s and early 90’s (pre-grunge) had a very distinct sound. Those big gated drums and synthetic baselines and synth pianos just scream ending credits of an 80’s teen movie. The SEGA Swing album aims to capture some of this sound. The entire album is made up of instruments ripped straight from Sega Genesis soundtracks as well as drums that mimic the style of the era. It’s a double dose of nostalgia with the song style and the sounds from the 16-bit console of the era.

It’s not the most commonly imitated time period, but I think we’ve reached the point where it can be enjoyed in a nostalgic way. The romantic and pop-infused tracks of SEGA Swing will remind you of everything from New Order to Michael Jackson to EMF. It sounds weird but it also reminds me of Toad the Wet Sprocket. Total 90’s new jack swing styled thing going on throughout it. Also Dance Fight is a somewhat hilarious bonus track that reminds me of Haddaway and Night at the Roxbury.

The stand out tracks in my opinion are The Endless Loop and I Can’t Take (This Feeling), which emulate everything that was amazing about New Order in the 1980s. There’s not a bad song on here and it still feels like something by The Flight Away, not some huge digression from their core style. Grab it today!


Screen Shot 2013-05-03 at 2.36.44 PMBeatscribe is a full time indie composer, musician and writer. By day he creates soundtracks and sfx for various mobile gaming companies, by night creates megaman-inspired chiptunes, in the afternoons he drinks tea. Check out his latest releases, tutorials and retro ruminations at www.beatscribe.com.

Tutorial: Emulating the SNES Sound In Your Favorite DAWS

The SNES definitely has its share of memorable tunes.
The SNES definitely has its share of memorable tunes.

The SNES definitely has a lot of memorable tunes. Amazing compositions in games like Legend of Zelda,  Secret of Mana, Donkey Kong Country, Final Fantasy 6, Chrono Trigger and many others have left 16-bit tunes running through our heads for years. This is where video game music started to take a turn toward the epic orchestral sounds we’re so used to today. However, you might have noticed that a lot more people are making NES, Genesis and Gameboy chiptunes and not SNES tunes. Why?

Well, the overall quality of SNES music isn’t really that great. It’s all samples. Many people will say it’s hardly any better than your standard MIDI. It is true that it doesn’t have as much character as 8-bit synths. However, there is some charm to be found in these degraded 16-bit samples of strings, flutes and guitars. I mean, the amazing, lush songs on some of the SNES’ RPGs just couldnt happen on the NES or Gameboy. I really love the snappy compressed drums in Secret of Mana too. Today, we’ll look at how to get these samples loaded up in your DAWs and also emulate the SNES’ classic reverb with a basic tape delay controller.

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