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The 8-bit “Dark Side”

Posted April 1, 2010 by Floydian Slip

prismBrad Smith is enjoying his 15 minutes of fame within two disparate groups of fanatics: retro video game fans and Pink Floyd connoisseurs.

He’s recreated Floyd’s 1973 “Dark Side of the Moon” album — with surprising accuracy — using nothing but ’80s-era video game system beeps and bloops.

Smith, a 27-year-old game programmer from Ontario, Canada, tells us he spent about 190 hours working on his creation, which he’s named “Moon8,” for a friend’s birthday.

“I thought I’d put this together, partly as a joke, and play it at the party,” he says. “I say it was partly as a joke, but I really do mean only partly. I spend a lot of time listening to old game soundtracks, and I do find them fully aesthetically satisfying.

“I’ve always been interested in transcription/arrangement, taking a piece of music from one instrument/ensemble to another. I also like the challenge of making something big fit small space.

“‘Dark Side of the Moon’ as an album has been around me all my life, and it’s one I’ve listened to with friends again and again.”

Smith used Famitracker, an application that takes user input and feeds it to an emulation of the Nintendo Entertainment System sound software.

The result sounds something like … well, it’s almost like a cross between … Well, listen for yourself: Download the entire work for free.

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