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Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 14/10/2016 - 4:32
by Mark Wright
Hi everyone,

I always thought my first proper contribution to this community would be a weeks-in-the-making, well-received remix of a C64 favourite, but no. I should point out that my first (and last) flurry of remix activity pre-dates this forum (and C64Audio) when I put together an album of Amiga remixes (never released, later lost but recently found) in 1997. I've been meaning to get around to doing something ever since (so for nearly twenty years) and now I have.

But anyway, a few nights ago my brain interrupted whatever I was doing by reminding me of the six-note ditty that the tabletop videogame "Astro Wars" used to play when you switched it on. If that means nothing to you, I bid you farewell and thanks for reading. Quite why this sequence of notes suddenly occured to me out of the blue, after all these years, I have no idea. But for some bizarre reason it was enough to finally energise me into doing something creative.

That's the result. I made it over two nights. It's supposed to be in the style of those synth funk/rap cross-over hybrid tracks that were all the rage circa 1983, complete with well-meaning (but of their time) lyrics. The idea was beamed into my mind, fully formed, quite unexpectedly. I haven't touched music sequencer software for years (this was made on Garageband) but everything came together instantly, quickly, smoothly. I've really enjoyed myself.

Here's the question though: is it a load of old crap? It's meant to sound dated (I've mastered it deliberately badly) and it amuses me, but I have no arbiter of quality to give me an honest opinion. Yes, it's made for fun, and I'm secretly really impressed with myself, but I'd love to hear loads of constructive criticism to put me right. It's probably over-processed, the stereo mix is probably shoddy, maybe there's nothing to commend it at all. I'd love to know.

Anyway, sorry to waste your time - just wanted to share my excitement/curiosity!


Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 14/10/2016 - 9:47
by merman
Love it, very 80s funk!

Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 20/10/2016 - 12:28
by Jan Lund Thomsen
I still have my Galaxy II (as it was known over here) console tucked away in a box somewhere. Brilliant game.

Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 20/10/2016 - 14:18
by Chris Abbott
Haha, when rap was listenable :) Nice work.

Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 22/10/2016 - 1:35
by Mark Wright
Wooh, thanks for positive remarks. Most unexpected - I can take my tin hat off now!

I wish I wasn't so late to this party. My production skills are so archaic, all I can think to do is mimic retro stuff. I've been playing around for a few hours but am clearly only capable of coming up with the kind of remixes that were around in the early 2000s. For anyone remotely interested (and I'm not fishing for compliments) here's a v0.01 attempt at tackling an old C64 stalwart in the style of classic French space disco:

I'm starting to get the bug for this, but I'd value comments from those with experience on whether you think it's possible for someone like me to ever turn out remixes that will impress the community (or what's left of it.) I'm in my 40s now with a demanding job, haven't touched a sequencer in years, totally out of the loop with what's available in terms of soft synths/plug-ins and general mixing/mastering techniques. I'm a fast learner, but I'm put off by the thought of how long it would take to get up to speed, with the aim being that I'm armed with everything I need to do stuff properly.. then the rest is up to me. I'd love to be able to contribute something of substance that becomes popular. Stuff like the above won't cut the mustard anymore!

Oh well, I'm having fun. Thanks for reading :-)

Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 23/10/2016 - 10:32
by Commie_User
That does sound very French disco, yes.

I can't say what's art but I know what I like. And I've very much liked the traditional rock band approach to playing SID tunes.

And look at this guy, firing his SID machine with guitar:

Any takers? Lads?

Re: Astro Wars by Grandstand - a remix?

Posted: 01/11/2016 - 14:58
by Doddsy
I thought it was really cool and very authentic. In fact I had to google it to make sure that there wasn't a record done in the 80's.
Good one!