Like a lot of my fellow gamers, I've been marked forever by the soundtracks of the games I played. I'm a musician at heart and I can play the guitar, so I rearrange video game music to make it sound as if a rock band was performing it. It's my own way of thanking all the talented composers that originally created it.
You can read more about CarboHydroM's story here.
Not such an interesting story, if you ask me. Back when I started playing games, I chose for myself a 3-lettered ranking name. I could have gone with the straight-forward "AAA", but I chose "CHM". "CH" are the initials of my first name. Then I sort of stupidly decided for myself that M was way cooler than B (it would have been the first letter of my last name) ! Since then, I've been nicknamed like that by some of my childhood friends, and it grew on me to the point where using CHB would totally sound out of place !
Later, when I started using the Internet, I had to find a pseudonym. "CHM" was already taken everywhere, so I rewrote it using chemical elements : Carbon, Hydrogen, and again, nothing for this stupid M. Append them together and you've got CarboHydroM. The final result is that people still call me "CHM", or sometimes "Carbo" online, because it's more convenient.
The easiest way is, once you've picked a song you want to download, to browse the song page, and right-click on the download link, and select the "save link-target" (or whatever it's called) option. If you just left-click, you will more likely open a media player page in your browser, that will (or not !) play the song, but not download it.
Sure you can ! As stated on every single download page here, my arrangements here are still the property of the original composers of these great video game soundtracks, and I claim no copyright at all. You can use them in your own creations, whether you want a soundtrack for a video clip, or you want to play the leads yourself and add your own touch to these songs. Now it's not like I could do anything if you did not ask, after all ! I appreciate that you drop me a line about it though, just to share your stuff.
A few tabs are already available, just look for them in each song page. Until now, people asked tabs for the most popular songs only (3 or 4 of the whole bunch), so it's feasible for me, and I've got the proper tools. But please be patient, as I have to rewrite the MIDI tracks from scratch and I'd rather use my spare time to write new songs instead of going back out of my way to write tabs !
While before it was more a matter of quality difference, today I promote the use of Ogg Vorbis because it's an open and patent-free format, and I like it. MP3, on the other hand, is an excellent and widely used format, but it has been patented. I still offer most of my songs in MP3 as well, because people asked it.
Hahaha, here we are. The funny thing here is that most modern browsers now directly attempt to read audio files, even if they're not able to play them. For example, Google Chrome behaves that way if I'm not wrong, and it just opens a media player page which you cannot use at all. Be careful with things like iTunes as well, they may act like they can play Ogg Vorbis files, while they need a special component to be able to. What you need to have is exactly this : a decoding plugin or filter - or of course, a media player that supports Ogg Vorbis out of the box. You should easily find that on this page.
There are all sorts of audio format conversion programs out there, just use keywords like "ogg mp3 converter", and your favorite search engine should get them popping out. Don't ask me to do it for you.
It's not the same tone in each of my songs, as I changed my recording methods several times over the years.
Mostly before "Double Dragon 2 - Call Out The Dragon", I used to plug my electric guitar into my old GM-200 module (purchased in 2003), set a british overdrive amp model, with not too much gain. I recorded the rhythm guitars this way, and then turned to a more metal-ish sound for leads. In 2010, I was sort of fed up with how poor this tone was, so I invested in some better hardware and started recording guitars by mic'ing my real amp with two Shure SM-57 (for stereo takes) which were in turn plugged in a preamp before reaching the sound card.But in the end I could only produce 3 songs before I seriously got into trouble with some people from the close neighborhood. Fair enough, even if once finished the music is cool, during repeated recording sessions it's hard to cope with it...
So finally, I turned to a good upgrade for my old Zoom GM-200, and purchased a Vox Tonelab EX, and that's what I still use to date.
While I'm still in the process of getting used to Toontrack's Superior 2.0, regarding 99% of the tracks I released I mainly used Drumkit From Hell 2, which is a pretty limited drumkit, but not bad at all when it comes to raw sounds that are suitable for rock and metal. And yes, once you get used to it, you can almost fool some actual drummers into believing that the drums are live ! I can say that I've squished as much as I could from that drumkit.
For mixing, I often use EQ, compression and just a little bit of reverb, nothing more, but that already makes a great deal of difference. Then what you really must be very careful with is drums programming itself. It's really there that you can add a human touch that makes the whole thing alive.
First you mustn't use loops. Drums should be differently played all along a piece, at least if it's meant to sound live, of course.
As much as possible, program them as if a real person had to play them. That's to say, don't forget that a human drummer should normally not be able to hit 3 crash cymbals at the same time. You can also take into account the time needed to move arms from the extreme left to the extreme right of the drumkit, even though a lot of drummers can play very fast.
Use dynamics to add more feeling to your drums, and they will be at the same time way more enjoyable on listen, and way more supportive for the rest of the instruments. Choose your dynamics accurately, taking into account the mood of your musical parts, and where hits need to be either hard or soft.
Other than these specific pieces of advice, you should really go along with your own habits. There are people who key-type the drum hits and then quantize the resulting tracks before adjusting bits, adding fills. My own way is to program everything by mouse but there's no real difference there.
Even though I used to do it a long time ago, I do NOT cover songs on requests now. I appreciate suggestions though, as I don't know a lot of game soundtracks, and some of them often make good surprises. My tastes in music are almost unexplainable, but I'm usually more attracted by highly melodic and epic themes, those meant for battle or racing, with emotions inside. I also usually love the soundtrack of shooters.
My greatest wish is to compose game soundtracks instead of just arranging them. So yes, it could be for your game. Please contact me over email, and let's talk about your project.
If I have room for them, yes. These projects are fun and can make you learn a lot of things you would never learn by sticking to your solitary fight. Then again a "collab'" takes a lot of time and effort to reach completion, that's why I'm more often working on my own.
I actually play guitars in a local metal band called "Shadow Broker", and yeah, we've started interpreting some my arrangements live ! And that's AWESOME !
Yes I do. But I released very few songs publicly, mostly because I'm too much of a perfectionnist and I always wanted to fix something before posting one of my very own works. But since 2011, I've been involved in projects with deadlines and it forced me to finish things up and turn pages quicker. So if you're interested in getting my original songs, you can go to my Bandcamp page.
Madd Murdock is the French band of Patrick Giordano, the guitarist and former Player One magazine journalist. They were mostly active during the nineties and were the first people covering video games themes that I heard of. They were playing the opening theme from "Televisator 2", a TV show about video games and stuff, back in the nineties. All I can say is it rocked so hard that I never forgot it and told myself that I would do the same some day. Then I heard new covers from them later, played in clips on the Game One video game channel. This time it was the Corneria theme from StarFox, and Zelda. Consistently awesome. I didn't even have any mean to get their music or anything, though. So I kept looking for one, until I finally found some mp3 files and a video, years later. Hearing again those covers I had been needing from the bottom of my heart really thrilled me out.
Well, it's true that until now I've been able to maintain this site and make all these arrangements using my own resources only, and who knows how long I can keep it up. But by sending me emails from time to time and spreading the word about my work around you, you already do a lot to support me !
Now if you insist on helping me out even further, you can either purchase some of my few published original songs here, or use the donation option here - for the sake of non-profit organizations around the world.
Either way, thanks a lot for your concern !