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Transcribing virt's album FX4


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#1 ShinerCCC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:17 AM

Hey Shizzies. It's been like a decade since I was active on this forum, I miss you guys.

 

Some background about this album: virt's "FX" solo albums are his personal side projects that he tries to make as proggy as possible, to make the best chiptunes he can to amuse himself. After remaking the soundtrack for Bloodrayne Betrayal in an 8-bit style by learning Famitracker in 2 weeks, virt decided to make FX4 in Famitracker rather than ModPlug. Because Famitracker has NES hardware limitations in mind, virt was able to release FX4 in NSF format. You can play it on a physical NES.
 

When I first heard FX4 in 2012, I totally fell in love with the album and wanted to understand it better. I took a peek at the keyboard display provided by NSFplug, the NSF player for Winamp (which I still use btw). Mind boggling arpeggios whizzed by and I felt like I was watching something eldritch I would never understand.

 

In 2019 I decided to try cracking the mystery one more time and gave transcribing the whole album a serious shot. I decided to stream my efforts on Twitch so I could feel the accountability of eyeballs on me. After watching the short intro track play at 4x slower speeds in NSFplug, Jorf pointed out that a development fork of Famitracker existed that could import NSFs. So I started using that to make sheet music, simply taking what I saw in the tracker and translating it in Guitar Pro. These are not arrangements, this is a 1:1 conversion of what square 0, square 1, and the triangle wave are doing. 

 

So far I've only done 4 tracks from the album, haven't got much of a response at all on Twitch so I think I'm the only person alive who cares about this any more. I probably won't end up finishing the album. Depression's a bitch, not even music brings me joy any more. But this forum is where I discovered virt, I can't think of a group of people who love(d?) virt as much as I do.

Here's some links to zip files on my Dropbox that contain a PDF, the GP5 file so you guitar-heads can try playing this stuff on guitar, and a MIDI. I'm a keyboard player, so I didn't even look at the resulting tablature, good luck playing it. The standard notation uses 8va markers so I could see what notes were played at a glance, maybe it's not the most practical to actually play. I've actually tried, these runs aren't easy. Also I did a "debut" of each transcription on Twitch, which are just unrehearsed rants and harmonic analysis shot straight from my hip.
 

01 - HBO Feature Presentation
zip https://www.dropbox....tation.zip?dl=0

 

02 - Incident Zero
zip https://www.dropbox....t Zero.zip?dl=0
video part 1 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/338647659
video part 2 https://www.twitch.tv/videos/338652825
 

04 - Journey into the Rift
zip https://www.dropbox....e Rift.zip?dl=0

video https://www.twitch.tv/videos/350832968

 

10 - Undone
zip https://www.dropbox....Undone.zip?dl=0
video https://www.twitch.tv/videos/793597168

 

Thanks for reading this far. PS I wanted to enter DoD a few times the past few years but never got off the ground. I learned the Golf music from Wario Land 3, I started making a version of some dungeon music from Phantasy Star 1, but never got further than that. Sigh.
PPS fuck that Shiner guy


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1. There are no rules.
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#2 ShinerCCC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:24 AM

also: two bonus videos of me playing Try from FX3 on DDR, I wrote this chart myself, it's freaking hard

on a dedicab in an arcade, filmed by my mom lol https://www.youtube....h?v=ASRIu5oFVvQ
 

on a plastic pad called the Omega ITGx, I built the stage out of plywood and black iron pipe https://www.twitch.tv/videos/287197892


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1. There are no rules.
2. Always obey Rule #1.
3. There is no third rule.
4. Rules can be broken. #3 especially.

#3 M-H

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:25 AM

You are a brave soul. I commend your efforts.
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BANDCAMP featuring free music such as:

- 2020 Super Hang-On cover album Ride to Survive

- 2020 Original, full-length metal album Rotting Planet

- 2019 Star Ocean tribute Maiden Voyage 

Oh, and random stuff on SoundCloud
 


#4 thebitterroost

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:55 AM

also: two bonus videos of me playing Try from FX3 on DDR, I wrote this chart myself, it's freaking hard
on a dedicab in an arcade, filmed by my mom lol


Good lord man, this hurt my brain to watch. Shit like at 4:39 seems like it should be impossible...!
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Drummer, gamer, always, lamer

#5 mooniniteG

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:05 AM

Welcome back!!
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#6 brodan

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:13 AM

also: two bonus videos of me playing Try from FX3 on DDR, I wrote this chart myself, it's freaking hard

on a dedicab in an arcade, filmed by my mom lol https://www.youtube....h?v=ASRIu5oFVvQ
 

on a plastic pad called the Omega ITGx, I built the stage out of plywood and black iron pipe https://www.twitch.tv/videos/287197892

holy shit!!! as a fellow DDR player hoping to get to pretty high-level play, can you send me the charts!


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I was halfway through track 1 (awesome so far btw), then had to pause to give full attention to Brodan's fart.  Resuming now.

 


#7 Beef-Clef

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:13 AM

This is kickass


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#8 Arm Cannon

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 11:52 AM

whoa


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#9 Beef-Clef

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 12:05 PM

definitely gonna check these transcriptions out, I had a real rough time transcribing virt's stuff in the past


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#10 Beef-Clef

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 12:48 PM

I love how without the intricacies of 2a03 volume controls and all that, virts compositions all sound like they're played back at 2x speed.


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#11 ShinerCCC

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 09:00 PM

 

also: two bonus videos of me playing Try from FX3 on DDR, I wrote this chart myself, it's freaking hard

on a dedicab in an arcade, filmed by my mom lol https://www.youtube....h?v=ASRIu5oFVvQ
 

on a plastic pad called the Omega ITGx, I built the stage out of plywood and black iron pipe https://www.twitch.tv/videos/287197892

holy shit!!! as a fellow DDR player hoping to get to pretty high-level play, can you send me the charts!

 

here ya go https://www.dropbox....as/Try.zip?dl=0

also thanks for the replies so far guys. Been thinking of going after Weapon next, if I were to pick this up again.


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1. There are no rules.
2. Always obey Rule #1.
3. There is no third rule.
4. Rules can be broken. #3 especially.

#12 kisthekids

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Posted 20 November 2020 - 10:46 PM

Downloaded all.  Love all.

This is so cool.  Your work is greatly appreciated!


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#13 ShinerCCC

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 12:46 AM

You are a brave soul. I commend your efforts.

No bravery, this is basically the same thing as monks copying out scripture. I did take some ear training back in my uni days but I'm not powerful enough to write down virt's music by ear, I'm just rewriting everything that's imported into Famitracker.

Basically what I've learned from doing all this is that all the plebs who told me I was missing the forest for the trees were right. Music is more about context than individual notes.


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1. There are no rules.
2. Always obey Rule #1.
3. There is no third rule.
4. Rules can be broken. #3 especially.

#14 Ken Oh

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Posted 21 November 2020 - 05:09 AM

Wow
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#15 Robby V

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Posted 22 November 2020 - 06:17 PM

This is wild! Hell yea

 

Not sure if it'd help, but I made a video on how to get a more usable result out of those janky nsf to midi converters. I'm not sure if it'd even save you any time with how intricate virt's arrangements and sound designs are, but it might be useful here and there whether it's to cross reference some parts or to give you a foundation to start from.

 


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