Synth Video Game Covers Part 2
Post date:Tue, 10/16/2018 - 17:48
There are thousands of great synth songs across various genres, but when it comes to cover versions, it seems that vintage synth enthusiasts just can't get enough of classic videogame soundtracks. In the first part of our article we have already showcased some great classic tunes from the likes of Ducktales, Chrono Trigger, Tetris, Super Mario Bros and many others. However, those were just the tip of the iceberg as there are many other memorable tunes that still sound great when played on a synthesizer. Soft synths has made it easier than ever before to create great cover versions of songs, but for this list we have stuck to hardware synths as they just add the extra wow factor.
Just in case anyone thinks that it is just amateur synth enthusiasts who enjoy messing around with classic video game tunes, here's a video of Deadmau5 in action. This track is called "Vampire Killer" and it has been featured in many of the Castlevania titles over the years, which has made it somewhat of a theme song. It not only sounds very impressive, but thanks to the amount of hardware used, it also looks very impressive. According to Deadmau5, he made use of lots of midi to CV, the M5N, SK1, Oberkorn and a bunch of other things.
Final Fantasy VI (SNES)
Final Fantasy VI is not just considered by many to be one of the best titles in the long running series, but it also features one of the best soundtracks. This is mostly thanks to the stellar work of Nobuo Uematsu, who is one of the greatest composers in the video game industry. In this video Justin Thornburgh chose the Decisive Battle song from the game for a cover. Although Justin uses Fruity Loops for the drum programming, the Hammond organ, synth leads and synth pads are courtesy of a Roland VR-09, while a Roland RD-2000 does the rest.
Mega Man 2 (N.E.S)
The Mega Man series from Capcom features tons of memorable bosses along with a range of great tunes. One of the most recognizable tunes in the series comes from Mega Man 2, where it is played during the Dr. Wily stage. In this video Wintergatan not only performs a stellar cover of this classic song, but he does so using the Modulin. For those unfamiliar with the Modulin, it is basically an instrument that combines modular synthesizer units into something that resembles a violin. It is quite an impressive instrument and the cover version of the song is spot-on.
The Legend Of Zelda (Various)
Although not quite as famous as Mario, The Legend of Zelda is another classic Nintendo series that is still going strong to this day. It all started with The Legend of Zelda in 1986 for the Nintendo Entertainment System and since then the star of the series, Link, has graced numerous consoles. In this video GLASYS makes use of a variety of hardware, such as a DSI Prophet 6, Yamaha Reface CS, Spectrasonic Omnisphere, Korg Microkey, and even a custom Arcadia keyboard to play classic tracks from the series. The tunes include Zelda's Lullaby, Lost Woods, The Dark World and even the classic Chest Opening melody.
Ghost n Goblins (Commodore 64)
Ghost 'n Goblins first appeared in the arcades in 1985 courtesy of Capcom and proved to be popular enough that it made the leap to many home platforms shortly afterwards. The game, which features a brave knight on a quest to rescue his princess, is notorious for its difficulty level, but that hasn't prevented it from becoming a fan favorite. In this video "SynthesizerPlayer" took their inspiration from the Commodore 64 version of the game and plays the theme song to the game on an AX Synth.
Star Fox (SNES)
Star Fox caused jaws to drop back in 1993 when it was released on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System. This was due to the fact that it was the first 3D gaming experience that many home console owners ever had. The 3D wizardry came courtesy of the Super FX Chip that was incorporated into the cartridge to assist with the visuals. Players didn't have a lot of freedom to move around as the game was still essentially on rails, but everyone was too blown away by the visuals to really care. This analog synth remake of the track "Corneria" was created by Luminist and apart from the drum samples all the synth sounds are from a Korg Volca Keys.
Although this is the end of our look back at some of the classic video game tunes that have been recreated on synths, it is by no means a definitive list. There are enough great tunes and stellar synth covers out there to fill a massive playlist, so let us know what some of your favorites are and why.