Episode 02 – Shmups with Jredd

Chiptune artist Jredd, composer of The VGMbassy theme song, guest hosts episode 2!

On today’s episode of The VGMbassy, Ed is joined by Trevin Hughes (better known as chiptune artist Jredd,) who wrote the amazing theme song you hear at the beginning of every show. As a VGMbassador, Trevin shares with us his passion for vgm from shmups, splitting the show into two parts: music he grew up with, and music that’s influenced his musical career. Fans of rockin’ BGM and incredible synth solos won’t be disappointed with the tunes on parade today!

Find Jredd’s awesome music on the web:

https://soundcloud.com/jredd (soundcloud)

A huge thank you to Indira J (The Misadventures of Buddy and Friend, Sacrimony) for the amazing VGMbassy artwork and design, and to Trevin Hughes (aka chiptune composer Jredd) for the podcast theme song!

Check out the brand new VGMbassy Patreon for some fantastic bonuses, including exclusive podcast content!

Join our Facebook group for discussion and bonus content: facebook.com/groups/thevgmbassy

Follow The VGMbassy on Twitter: @TheVGMbassy

Check out the Instagram account for artsy-fartsy game-related images: @TheVGMbassy

Listen here or find us on iTunes, Google Play Music, Stitcher, or your favorite podcast app!

The Tracklist:

1 – “BGM 40” from Kaite Tsukutte Asoberu Dezaemon (Saturn, 1994) Composed by Koichi Ishibashi, Akiyoshi Saito, Kazuo Oikawa, and Hitoshi Nishimura

2 – “Stage 2 Brains Town” from Air Zonk (TG-16, 1992) Composed by Daisuke Morishima and Hisashi Matsushita

3 – “Area 9” from Blazing Lazers (TG-16 1989) Composed by Masatomo Miyamoto

4 – “Cielom” from Lords of Thunder (TCD, 1992) Composed by Satoshi Miyashita for T’s Music

5 – “Mission 1 – Rumbling” from Star Soldier: Vanishing Earth (N64, 1998) Composed by Ichiro Shimakura

6 – “Unkai” from Axelay (SNES, 1992) Composed by Taro Kudou and Masanori Adachi

7 – “BGM 1” from Silver Surfer (NES, 1990) Composed by Tim Follin and Geoff Follin

8 – “Stage 4 – Degeneracy” from Battle Garegga (Arcade, 1996) Composed by Manabu Namiki

9 – “Beyond The Galaxy” from Galaxy Force II (Arcade, 1988) Composed by Koichi Namiki and Katsuhiro Hayashi

10 – “Stage 1 & 6 – Advanced City” from Crisis Force (NES, 1991) Composed by Kenichi Matsubara, Yasuhiko Manno, and Jun Chuma

11 – “Aniki” from Iridion II (GBA, 2003) Composed by Manfred Linzner

12 – “Ekans Desert” from Project S-11 (GBC, 2001) Composed by Jonne Valtonen and Aleksi Eeben

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3 thoughts on “Episode 02 – Shmups with Jredd

  1. LOVE this episode! So much good music, and so much great conversation! I was super bummed that I found out about the YM2017 cart after it sold out….but it looks like it’s available again? Anyway, a question for you Ed…..I’m guessing that the streamable files we’ve heard of that compilation are direct renders from Deflemask; since you have the cart, have you noticed any difference between those files and the way they sound on the cart? I’m asking because I recently purchased th3 d34d’s Future 2612 album on cartridge and direct download. The cart isn’t ready yet, but there are samples on the direct download version that sound better than what I’ve ever heard come out of the Genesis. I’m wondering if Deflemask files plays the samples as they’d sound before they’re played through the YM2612.

    More on-topic, I loved so much about this epidode. I really enjoy Jredd’s music, and It’s really cool to hear about how he developed his talent sans lessons, as well as the music that influenced his style. I look forward to hearing more from both of you in the future!

    1. Thanks, UtopiaNemo! To answer your question, a lot of it depends on what kind of Genesis you have since sound quality varies greatly depending on the internal chip. But I will say that digitized samples sound better nowadays because of two factors: better compression algorithms and more RAM available since you’re usually not playing a game while the song is playing. My copy of YM2017 sounds just like the digital version (on my model 1) with very few differences, so I think you’ll be happy with Future 2612 (Which is an AMAZING album, btw!)

      I’m glad you enjoyed the show! Trevin is psyched to come back and share more music, and I’m looking forward to working with him again. 🙂

  2. Hey there, heard the whole thing and it was awesome, was awesome to listen to some of the songs that influenced Jredd over the years and also songs that were new to him! And I can further answer UtopiaNemo’s question as I directly worked on the YM2017 re-release which involved me recording all the songs from my non TMSS model 1 Genesis which is regarded as being the audiophile quality model, and I also made a rip of TH4 D34D’s Future 2612 as I have the cart. I can tell you there are a few differences between the emulated and real hardware sound, most prominently there is a lowpass filter on the Genesis amp output so the resulting sound doesn’t come out as bright or harsh (affects samples as well), it’s a bit more mellow and emphasises the bass a bit, whereas the emulation tends to sound kinda bright and tinny in comparison. The 2nd most obvious difference is that the real YM2612 exhibits a so-called ladder distortion or ladder effect which you can hear mainly on quiet sounds or sounds that are fading out, it’s a bit like quantization noise in low bit-depth digital audio. This is subjective but in many cases I find this ladder distortion to be a desirable artifact in the output sound as it adds a bit of grit and harmonics that contribute to the classic Genesis sound and prevents anything from getting absolutely digitally quiet, where the emulation lacks this distortion entirely. In fact, I think some composers back in the day took advantage that this distortion was present and designed their music around it, one example I can think of would be Yuzo Koshiro with the Streets of Rage soundtracks, there is quite a notable difference between playback on the real hardware and the emulated version, sounds fuller on hardware with long decaying instruments trailing audibly throughout and more lacking on emulation where they simply sound like they fade out entirely. Another example I can think of is in Earthworm Jim 2, the Villi People music which is a cover of Moonlight Sonata, you can clearly hear the the sounds trail and sustain in the background on hardware, while on emulation they simply decay completely. It seems to me that the sounds were purposefully designed this way by the composers, and well back then they didn’t have emulation to go by so they were always listening to the real hardware so it makes sense. Over time with the several revisions of the Genesis, the audio circuitry changed quite dramatically and in some of the later model 2s the ladder effect is almost entirely gone, so your exact experience with the hardware depends on the revision you have, and some are definitely known to have absolutely terrible audio in general.

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