Pixelmusement Gemini's Music Last Updated:
August 17th, 2013

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Gemini's Music

(Scroll down to the bottom if you just want to download stuff ;)

When I was about three or four years old I obtained a toy, electronic piano: a bright-yellow V-Tech "Music Major" to be precise. I probably spent hours using the thing as it had all kinds of functions for learning to play the most basic of tunes, though the keys were really tiny, only covered a couple octaves, and you could only push one key at a time. Pushing multiple keys down at once tended to make things glitch out. :P

However, I never stopped using the thing until much later in life when I got a real digital keyboard. Before that time, around when I started getting into developing games using Megazeux during my teenage years, I learned about MOD files and music trackers. MOD is an old file format used in the creation of music, typically limited to four channels of digital samples played back at varying frequencies, with varying volume levels and commands to indicate what to do to the sounds during playback. I eventually started tracking with Scream Tracker 3 and moved on to Impulse Tracker when I discovered just how much more powerful it was, not to mention easier to use.

Impulse Tracker's file format, IT, has kinda been butchered over the years, with unofficial "features" and changes being made to it which result in playback differences in some IT files depending on which software you play it back in, which is why after all these years, I still use the original DOS Impulse Tracker program, and partly why I've stuck with using Allegro for making games, since the D.U.M.B. music libraries used with it to play back IT files is also based on the original Impulse Tracker format. The big advantage to making music in this way is that IT files are MUCH smaller than MP3/OGG files, and for the sake of video games, they're easier to run in a loop since you can set specific looping points. The downside is they require more CPU power to process, but with today's high-end multi-core processors, the power needed is negligible.

As for my music itself, I'm always learning new tricks as I go along and every so often I figure out something that profoundly affects the quality of my music. I refer to these as my Experience Levels, and thus each tune I've made fits in with a certain experience level based on when I made it. Basically, it pans out something like this:

1998 - Exp. Level 1
This is when I was just starting out tracking music. Most of my music during this time sounds like garbage and the rest is tolerable at BEST. :P
1999 - Exp. Level 2
I was finally starting to get the hang of basic melodies by this point, but a lot of my tunes were still hard to listen to because of conflicting notes and everything. I only have a couple Lv2 tunes uploaded for the simple fact that most of them really aren't all that good and the ones I have uploaded are both comparisons for tunes that have evolved along with my skills.
2000 - Exp. Level 3
This is the point when most of my music was tolerable at worst instead of at best, thus everything I was finishing was now something that could be listened to, even if it still wasn't all that great. This experience level coincides with when I got my real digital keyboard, which I hooked into the computer with MIDI cables and had begun making MIDI-based music, so a lot of the music I made during this level was made as MIDI first, then converted to IT format later. Eventually, I realized IT was just better overall and stopped doing MIDI almost entirely.
2002 - Exp. Level 4
I discovered at one point that "more isn't always better" and the start of this experience level was marked by the creation of Relay Coordinates, which I've since remixed. The original can be found on the Remix Comparisons page. From this point on, I was careful not to overload my music too heavily on stuff unless it really helped the tune, though I still kinda went overboard every now and then. This is the earliest level of music I'm willing to share by default but be warned that some of my Level 4 stuff isn't all that great, while some is pretty good.
2005 - Exp. Level 5
I figured out how to do chords... Yeah, as you can imagine, that helped things along substantially. This level is marked by the creation of remixes of some of my older music to make them worth listening to, as well as the creation of Harmony of Courage. Most of my Level 5 tunes are passable at worst but the best tunes, like Harmony of Courage, are really good. Also, all of the music I made for PixelShips Retro is Level 5 music.
2008 - Exp. Level 6
Sometime during 2008 I suddenly realized I had a style to my music and I since learned to emphasise that style and improve upon it, thus ALL of my finished music from this point on wasn't just tolerable, but half-decent at worst and awesome at best. :)
2009 - Exp. Level 7
I had started to learn how to disseminate existing music, improving the translation between what I wanted to make and what I ended up with. The first tune I made that marked the start of this experience level was Megapulse, and none of my completed music during this level is anything less than excellent. Alas, I didn't actually complete much during this level for a few reasons. The first reason is that I had a lot going on with getting a job, starting my ADG webshow, and trying to find some way to work game development into this mess. The second reason is that I mostly spent this level experimenting and not actually trying to make completed tunes. The third reason is that many of the tunes I started working on during this period I'm STILL working on, or finished much later, and thus have since jumped up to Level 8 quality.
2012 - Exp. Level 8
This is my current experience level, where I'm finally starting to make music that's not just awesome, but catchy too, marked by the fact that I'm starting to get my own new tunes stuck in my head on a regular basis, something that happened very infrequently with all of my earlier experience levels. Many of the tunes that fit this experience level are presently being saved for the release of Vectorzone, so they're not available to listen to just yet. ;)

So yeah, it's been a long road of self-learning, extended by all the other stuff I've been working on from then to now. If anyone ever wondered why it can take me so long to do things, far longer than I anticipate, part of the reason is all the different skills I'm improving and working with all at once. To this end, while I have a TON of unfinished music tunes, I have completed quite a number of them as well, and now that I have a good way of transposing my IT music into MP3 format, I shall share them with all of you!

There are some tunes I won't be releasing though, at least not at first, such as most of my REALLY early music, since I don't want to kill your ears, as well as my more recent stuff, which will debut in my games first and be released here later. That said, I will have a handful of my really early tunes available specifically for comparison purposes on the pages which follow.

For easier listening, I've converted each tune to MP3 format, since the original IT files may or may not play back properly (if at all) depending on your software, whereas MP3s play back the same on all systems. I've created two lists: A strictly alphabetical list and a list that's first sorted by experience level, with the highest-level stuff at the top.

However, I have some additional tunes that aren't in either of these lists. The first is a selection of Remix Comparisons. Since I've created multiple versions of some of my tunes over the years, applying new tricks and skills as I learn them, I felt it would be interesting to showcase how my skills have evolved through these tunes. These older versions can only be found on the Remix Comparisons page, since there's no other reason why you would want to listen to them except to compare. I've also got a section set up specifically for music that's in released games, either my own music entirely for my own games, or my own remixes of music from other games which are not my own. Again, these tunes are not in the main alphabetical/levelled lists.

If you have any comments about my music or would like to request permission to use my music in your own projects, please send me an eMail at gemini@pixelships.com.

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Alphabetical List

(Lv6) Access
(Lv5) Beyond the Illusion (Lv5) Bring it On!
(Lv4) CompuSysop (Lv4) Cruise Altitude
(Lv5) Deflective
(Lv4) Electric Rain
(Lv6) Faster than Light (Lv5) Final Approach (Lv6) Final Confrontation (Lv4) Flow
(Lv5) Flux Sequence (Lv4) The Forever Fight
(Lv5) Harmony of Courage
(Lv7) Impulse Shift
(Lv6) The Journey Begins
(Lv4) Lightspeed (Lv4) Lost in Thought
(Lv7) Megapulse (Lv6) My World is Here
(Lv6) Naturally Nocturnal
(Lv6) Other Side of the Mirror
(Lv5) Path to Everywhere (Lv4) Payload (Lv4) Pixel Chatter
(Lv4) Rapid Execution (Lv7) Rebound Logic (Lv5) Reconfigurated (Lv5) Relay Coordinates
(Lv4) Repudiator (Lv6) Resolution
(Lv4) Solar Trance (Lv6) Starfield Dreams
(Lv5) Taste of Victory
(Lv4) Variant Souls
(Lv6) Winter's Journey
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Ordered by Experience Level

Level 7
(Lv7) Impulse Shift (Lv7) Megapulse (Lv7) Rebound Logic
Level 6
(Lv6) Access (Lv6) Faster than Light (Lv6) Final Confrontation (Lv6) The Journey Begins
(Lv6) My World is Here (Lv6) Naturally Nocturnal (Lv6) Other Side of the Mirror (Lv6) Resolution
(Lv6) Starfield Dreams (Lv6) Winter's Journey
Level 5
(Lv5) Beyond the Illusion (Lv5) Bring it On! (Lv5) Deflective (Lv5) Final Approach
(Lv5) Flux Sequence (Lv5) Harmony of Courage (Lv5) Path to Everywhere (Lv5) Reconfigurated
(Lv5) Relay Coordinates (Lv5) Taste of Victory
Level 4
(Lv4) CompuSysop (Lv4) Cruise Altitude (Lv4) Electric Rain (Lv4) Flow
(Lv4) The Forever Fight (Lv4) Lightspeed (Lv4) Lost in Thought (Lv4) Payload
(Lv4) Pixel Chatter (Lv4) Rapid Execution (Lv4) Repudiator (Lv4) Solar Trance
(Lv4) Variant Souls

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