Author Topic: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble  (Read 2414 times)

Online zapiy

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RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« on: May 21, 2014, 19:11:02 PM »
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[size=120]I am pleased to announce our latest interview with Allister Brimble.

Allister Brimble (born 1970) is a video game music composer. Allister has written music and sound effects for the videogame industry since the mid 1980s for a vast array of games, such as Driver, Project-X, Superfrog, Alien Breed, Assassin, Colonization, Descent II, Dizzy series (except the first game, Dizzy), Slightly Magic on the ZX Spectrum and the Amiga.

More recently, he has composed music for the games RollerCoaster Tycoon 1 & 2. For Chris Sawyer's Locomotion, he created a couple of songs out of different eras, from 1900 to present day.

He also produced various audio tracks, as "Brimble's Beats", that were distributed on coverdisks of magazines including CU Amiga and Amiga Format.

More recently Allister created double CD album (limited edition) packed with 27 tracks chosen by the fans of Kickstarter and re-enhanced to studio quality and giving the tunes a more creative highlight. This will be the last time these tunes will be re-created.[/size]

[size=120]More Here[/size]
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Enjoy the Interview[/size]
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Zapiy

Firstly thanks for taking part in this interview Allister, can you tell us a little about you?

Allister

I'm Allister Brimble and I compose the music & sound effects for video games. I've been doing this since the early days of the commodore Amiga and I still work in the same business today. I composed music for games such as Alien Breed, Superfrog, Full Contact, Project X, Driver & Rollercoaster Tycoon


TrekMD

What attracted you to composing music for video games?

Allister

I was a big games player as a child and was amazed by the music the early computers could produce. I think what really inspired me was a track by David Whittaker on the ZX Spectrum 128K, Glider Rider. Once I had heard this I knew what I wanted to do.


TrekMD

As a composer, is there a particular game type that you prefer to write music for?

Allister

Anything scifi is great for my style but I will turn my hand to any genre.


TrekMDAllister

My biggest challenge was to create the music for Rockstar Ate My Hampster by Codemasters & Colin Jones. In the game you had to manage a band and the music could come out either good or bad. I had to create many different parts that when mixed together would all work seemlessly and we had to be able to predict when it would clash as well so that we could deliberately make bad music.


TrekMDAllister

The Amiga Works took me about 3 months to create. The biggest challenge was to bring the tunes up to date but at the same time not lose the simplicity of the originals, thus staying as faithful as possible to them but at the same time make them very modern sounding. Perhaps the biggest challenge was the logistics of posting all the albums by myself! I now have huge respect for all those people who work in warehouses packaging things up and making sure the address's are correct.


The Laird

Who are your own chip tune heroes?

Allister

The usual suspects, Rob Hubbard, Tim Follin, David Whittaker, Martin Galway, Maniacs of Noise


The Laird

What piece of music do you feel was your greatest?

Allister

On the Amiga probably Alien Breed. It bought together all that I had learnt from the C64, The composer Jarre & various TV shows such as Knight Rider.


The Laird

What was your favourite sound chip and why?

Allister

The Amiga's chip Paula as it was the first chip to make full use of sampling and gave me seemingly endless possibilities. I learnt to compose because of this chip as did many others.


The Laird

What is your favourite chip tune by another composer?

Allister

There are many but I would say Agent X by Tim Follin on the ZX Spectrum 48K https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JOZ8rbmlWrk


The Laird

Which company did you most enjoy working for and why?

Allister

In the early days it had to be Team 17 as I was given so much freedom to create what I thought best, in the modern era it has to be Curve studio's who gave me the ability to adjust the music & sounds in the game remotely and generate new builds of the game. This gave me complete creative control, especially over sound effects. The game I worked on for them was called Fluidity Spin Cycle for the Nintendo. 3DS.


Greyfox

Who would you most liked to have worked with on a score within the Industry back in the day?

Allister

Well, considering most composers are quite single minded this probably couldn't happen! However I would have loved to have worked with Rob Hubbard as he's a really nice guy.

Greyfox

Your so well known for your "Alien Breed" masterpiece, what was your inspiration for it?

Allister

The inspiration came from parts of Rob Hubbards Knuckle Busters tune, The TV theme from Knight Rider & the composer Jean Michel Jarre, all wrapped up in Alien sounds of course.


Greyfox

Did you find it difficult to switch platforms while composing for the Atari ST and Amiga?

Allister

Whilst each games system had its own sound driver format I wrote some software that would convert soundtracker data from the Amiga to the required format. Then all I had to do was create the instruments for each format.


Greyfox

With the release of your fantastic new album "The Amiga Works" was the music transferred from the Mod format to your sequencer, how did it work?

Allister

For most of the track I recreated them from scratch on my sequencer so that I could improve them as much as possible, both the instruments and structure to bring them up to modern day standard. However for some of the Superfrog tracks I exported the MOD to MIDI as I felt these tracks should not stray too far from the Amiga versions. I then created new sounds and added new parts.


Greyfox

Would you ever consider producing and performing at a live concert of your works?

Allister

Whilst it would be fun, I feel my early works should stay as they are. The Amiga Works album is as far as I want to take it. There are a few particular tracks that could be played live such as Spellbound Dizzy & Alien Breed but I would have to re-orchestrate them.


Greyfox

With the video game industry the way it is now, do you find it difficult to secure musical work or has your name made it easier to secure work in the gaming industry

Allister

I think making my name back in the early days has made it much easier for me. However, I have to keep up with modern day standard, buying all the latest instrument VSTi's etc. Some of the new up and coming musicians are really good so I have to be on my toes!


Greyfox

You wrote a lot of music for the Dizzy games, matching the melody to the games, were you asked to play these games before to find what the right style of music should be?

Allister

Yes, I had access to these games before I wrote the music. It really helped to get a sense of the style required. I was also shown previous versions of Dizzy so that I could compose music along the same lines.


Greyfox

Have you any intentions to produce an unique and brand new selection of tracks or album that will not be video game related in the near future?

Allister

Yes I hope some day soon to create Sounds Digital II, the sequal to my first album. The theme will be the same.. to use digital technology to recreate realistic sounds.


Greyfox

How do you feel things have changed within the video games industry now compared to the early days of the industry, has the magic of what once was (the environment, atmosphere etc..) been lost forever in your opinion? what are your views on this.

Allister

No, I believe the magic is still there but we are all older ;-) In the eyes of a young person its all new and thats how it was for us as well. One thing that was different back then though is that computers were new so everything you saw was something unexpected.. never before seen. Today we still have games like this but not so often, so the wow factor has to come from better graphics and physics.


Zapiy

What was your inspiration behind the kickstarter campaign for the Amiga Works Album?

Allister

I was inspired by Chris Huelsbecks kickstarter campaign for his Turrican 3 Anthology. Chris has showed the way forwards for me and I hope to produce more albums in this way in the future.


Zapiy

Do you have any chiptunes from games that never got released that you might like to share to the community?

Allister

I would have had some but unfortauntely due to a hard drive crash many years ago I lost it. I believe most of my work is publisher though. An excellent resource for listenning to all of my works (even on strange formats) is http://www.exotica.org.uk/wiki/Main_Page


Zapiy

What are you up to these days?

Allister

I still compose music for video games on all formats. You can look at www.orchestralmedia.co.uk for further info and a full portfolio. Most recent titles include Fluidity Spin Cycle 3DS, The Lighthouse HD (Ios) & Pro Foosball for Sony.


Zapiy

Are you a gamer yourself? If so what is you favourite game?

Allister

Yes I am a big gamer. My most played game is Eve Online but I am also enjoying Project Godus right now which is really good as an alternative to the Amiga's Popolous in its latest version.

Another fantastic Interview i am sure you will all agree.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC

Offline WiggyDiggyPoo

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #1 on: May 21, 2014, 20:45:36 PM »
Agree!

Much better questions than anything I could thinly of!

Appreciate the time and effort gone into this.

Offline AmigaJay

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #2 on: May 21, 2014, 21:20:38 PM »
Nice interview, loved his music!
Old School Gamer Since 1982 - Creator of various gaming websites and blogs 1998-2017

Offline Greyfox

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2014, 21:49:19 PM »
I'm delighted with the answers from Allister and he's one of my favorite Amiga Musicians and was always keen to hear what was coming next when he produced the next great sound track to his next project back in the day..so Allister..I sir, salute you  :77:

Offline TrekMD

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #4 on: May 21, 2014, 23:23:26 PM »
Very nice indeed!  Thank you!

Going to the final frontier, gaming...

Offline TL

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #5 on: May 22, 2014, 12:54:13 PM »
Good stuff  :113:

Online zapiy

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Re: RVG Interviews Allister Brimble
« Reply #6 on: May 22, 2014, 19:36:17 PM »
Glad you have all enjoyed it.
Own: Jaguar, Lynx, Dreamcast, Saturn, MegaDrive, MegaCD, 32X, GameGear, PS3, PS, PSP, Wii, GameCube, N64, DS, GBA, GBC, GBP, GB,  Xbox, 3DO, CDi,  WonderSwan, WonderSwan Colour NGPC