An Interview with Alistair
What are your hobbies?
As well as listening to music as well as composing it, I like to chill out by reading all sorts of books, surfing the net, and playing on my PS2 (yes, I'm one of the Chosen Few in the UK that has one!). I also run a joke e-zine (www.boznet.com/jokes) which is released twice a week, which keeps me busy. Oh, and I like to watch lots of movies and TV programs, including The Simpsons, Futurama and David Letterman.
bouncyand fun to listen to, but he composed Trap as well, one of my all-time faves.
80'smix of it in my mind since I heard the tune in 1988, so I was glad I finally got a chance to do it!
emotionin the tune. So hearing Chris' MIDI files fired me up again. I started with FastTracker, which again was sample-based, but I had a lot more memory / disk-space to play with bigger samples. Then I went a bit quiet for a time, because of my
day job. It was when Back in Time 2 came out, I think, that fired me up again, and I eventually bit the bullet and bought myself a proper MIDI synth and eventually moved away from my old Tracker days, into MIDI sequencing.
Monty on the Run.I was gob-smacked! I remember thinking that I must have one of those machines (I had a Spectrum at the time). I also asked to see Hyper Sports, and that's when I heard Galways Ocean Loader followed by his rendition of Chariots of Fire. Pure bliss! Those two moments were what made me get a '64 in the first place, and would be my fondest memories.
Tracky!. To create the music, I use Michael Schwendt's SID2MIDI program, which is an absolute life-saver and would be one item on my Desert Island! I sometimes use Sound Forge as well for post-production stuff.
As far as the actual music-making goes, I have an E-MU E-Synth, which is a keyboard / sampler / synthesizer all in one. It's a great little (well, BIG actually!) machine and was my first piece of equipment when I decided to move away from FastTracker. I have also recently bought an E-MU Virtuoso 2000, which is an orchestral module. This will come in handy for the more orchestral stuff I'm interested in doing. I also have a HardSID card (basically a SID chip in a PC slot), which I use in conjunction with the HardSID MIDI interface and Cakewalk to get some good analog sounds out of.
Have you spoken to any famous C64 composers, if so what impression did you get from these?
Actually, no I've never spoken to any, unless you count Chris. He's OK I guess 😉
Hmm, I can do something with that.
Lastly Remix 64 has vastly improved on it's design by adding new features, is there anything that you would like to see included in the magazine?
Nothing I can think of right now. I'd like to see all my music reviews get 100%... but that ain't gonna happen!
Boz has rightly a high regard for Chris Abbott, you can see this from his interview above. He also respects the authors of the music, and insists that a tune must be well timed and without dropped notes. You can indeed tell this by the quality of his covers.