I Fight Dragons

Arch Rivals Remix (It's a Basket BRAWL!)

Having seen Bill take an embarrassing look back on his early works, I thought I would share a look back with you too, though not nearly as far back, and hopefully not nearly as embarrassing. 

Back in high school I was doing some recording on my friend's super-exciting but now hilariously obsolete Boss BR-8 Digital 8-Track Recorder and I got the idea to made some sample loops for a friend of mine to make hip-hop tracks. Basically I just took a few instrumental bars from choice classic rock tracks (including the deceptively crunk coda to Lovely Rita, among many others), cut them out and looped them for 4 or 5 minutes in the BR-8, with a bit of equalizing and compressing to make them sound a bit more "bangin'". The collection was lovingly named Poop Loops, and while I don't think the tracks ever got used it was quite fun to make.

There was one stand-out track, however, which involved a bit more work to produce. I always found the music for the NES basketball classic Arch Rivals to be quite funky, and though that with the proper enhancements could make a killer rave-up hip hop track. So I set about capturing the game's audio, cleaning it up and EQ-ing it (again, to a more bangin' effect), and layering on top of it some drum loops culled from a break beat sample record. I also enhanced the track with some crowd noise (taken from the beginning of a Pearl Jam live release) and an old George Carlin joke about sports team colors. Sometimes the beats don't line up perfectly, but I was never really planning on anybody hearing this. Guess I was wrong about that.

So, without further ado:
Arch Rivals Remix

Oh Arch Rivals, with your delightfully subtle undercurrents of racial tension

Note especially the game's sound effects laden throughout the track. The only way I could capture the game's audio was by hooking it up to the BR-8 and playing the game in 2-player mode without scoring any points (the music stops and restarts when a basket is made). The problem with that is if nobody shoots and the shot clock winds down the music also stops and I'm left with a messy editing job. So I had to keep taking full-court-guaranteed-to-miss shots and giving up the ball via the defense team punching the guy with the ball (the true selling point of the game). So you'll hear various punches, bricked shots, and guys slipping on garbage on the court and pulling down each others' shorts (selling points #2 and 3) scattered throughout.

I've always wanted to do more bangin' 8-bit remix tracks like this, and maybe I will again, some day...




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