The National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) has announced the winning entry of its BBC Micro Inspired Musical Challenge.
BBC Micro Model B
Richard Hovsepyan, 15, from Cambridgeshire, took first place with a 30-second clip inspired by Toby Fox Subtitle, a delightfully retro RPG.
The audio is captivating, taking this hack back to the teenage years of crushing the keys of various 8-bit personal computers as the increasingly urgent music served to highlight a glaring lack of progress via the noise and tone channels. .
The competition took place all summer and the entries were judged on their authenticity, originality and hook. For the latter, we would still have to recommend the sheer wonder of Rob Hubbard Thing on a spring.
Unlike Hubbard’s opus (which showed the Commodore 64’s SID chip), TNMOC’s competition centered around the 40th anniversary of the BBC Micro, which did not share the chip of the (then) Commodore’s best. Instead, the Texas Instruments SN76489 with its three tones and a featured noise generator.
The competition was judged by British composer Matthew Applegate and BAFTA and Ivor Novello nominated composer David Housden.
Housden said of the winning composition: “Richard’s entry was an excellent composition. It is well arranged with a nice use of various sounds and textures and a strong melody. I wanted to hear more of it.”
Hovsepyan’s effort was also inspired by other pieces composed with a 2A03 synthesizer as well as the Subtitle soundtrack. The 2A03 is the 8-bit processor for the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), which found its way into many home televisions in the 1980s. The chip has since found its way into a number of synthesizers.
Hovsepyan, who collected a bag of gifts including Acorn – a world of pixels with free entry and a guided tour of TNMOC, told the museum that his ambition was to become a game developer for Valve or Jagex (the developer of RuneScape.)
A laudable goal. However, we would just like to hear a little over 30 seconds of this melody and maybe see a game filled with 8-bit chunky pixels to go along with it. Â®