Sunday, October 3, 2010

8-Bit Covers of Metallica, Led Zeppelin and Any Other Band

Last night, I was reading through an info thread, where people post images that contain info on various subjects.  One of these explained how to turn any song into an 8-bit cover.  I followed the process, and much to my suprise it produced some pretty good results.  You can see the orginal image with instructions to the right.  Here is my overview of the process (slightly modified by me).

1. Go to Ultimate Guitar and get the tabs for the song you want.  The instructions recommend you get either 'guitar pro' or 'power guitar' type tabs.  There are often multiple versions of the same song uploaded.  Get the one with the best rating.  Where it lists instruments in the tab make sure it has vocals included.

2. Once you have your .gp4 tab file, open it up in Tux Guitar.  Export it as a midi file.  File > Export > Export Midi.  Tux Guitar is pretty easy to use, so you shouldn't have any problem.

3. Now download GXSCC and just drag your midi file into it.  It should start playing.  If you click on Config near the top you will be able to choose the instrument set.  It defaults to the SCC full set, and you can change it to a famicon set.  Famicon is the NES, so if you're aiming for NES like songs choose that.  I do think SCC sounds slightly better as it seems to have a greater range.  I went with Famicon for all the ones I made.

4. To export the song just click the Authoring button.  It will export the song exactly as it sounded in GXSCC to a wav file.  Since wav files are way too big you should convert them to FLAC.  Use whatever program you want.  I use foobar2000 for conversions.  Since wav and FLAC are both lossless you won't lose any quality.  From there convert again to your lossy format of choice (e.g. mp3, ogg).

I made some songs last night and uploaded them to mediafire.  They are all in ogg format, and zipped with 7zip.

Led Zeppelin:
Achilles Last Stand; Black Dog; Immigrant Song; Misty Mountain Hop; Moby Dick; Over The Hills And Far Away; Ramble On; Rock And Roll; Stairway To Heaven; Ten Years Gone; The Ocean; When The Levee Breaks

...And Justice For All; Battery; Blackened; Creeping Death; Dyers Eve; Enter Sandman; For Whom The Bell Tolls; Master Of Puppets; Metal Militia; Nothing Else Matters; One; Orion; Phantom Lord; Ride The Lightning; Seek And Destroy; The Four Horsemen; Welcome Home Sanitarium

All Good People; Close To The Edge; Roundabout; Siberian Khatru; South Side Of The Sky; Yours Is No Disgrace

Hallowed Be Thy Name; Money; Another One Bites The Dust; Bohemian Rhapsody; We Will Rock You; Raining Blood; Super Mario Bros Theme; Snow Owl

I think the results turned out pretty well.  Just for reference the end of One was where I decided this was awesome.  I did Money as a comparison to Brad Smith's wonderful 8-bit Dark Side of the Moon.  Unsurprisingly, his is better.  Although, it took him 100 hours to do the album, where-as it took me a few hours to do 40 songs.  Quantity vs quality.

Did the rest of Metallica's first four albums.

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