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In June of 1996, I signed up for a 3-week summer course at New Market Vocational Skills Center. The course was for computer programming and data processing. I had at least one other friend from high school attending it as well, and somebody I know from R-Squared (alias: Wurkir) also was there on the first day or two, but then quit the class because he didn’t like the teacher.
Our teacher’s name was Mr. Sergienko. I don’t recall much about him, but I do remember he required us to run floppy disks through the virus scan computer if we brought them in or took them out of the classroom. I do recall him talking about how 5.25 inch floppy disks were going obsolete, and that 3.5 inch floppy disks would probably be obsolete before too long (this came true). Our class was kind of free-form and self-directed. I ended up making a role-playing game in QBasic (it didn’t work out so well but I still got credit for it).
Partway through the class, I decided to compose this: an “anthem” for our class. I brought it to class one day, installed Scream Tracker on my computer, and played it. The teacher was reasonably impressed, and considered that since I was sort-of using programming principles to compose songs in Scream Tracker, I could get credit for writing songs.
So, of course, I spent the next week or two furiously composing songs to get credit for the course. I ended up with six in total. The CPDP collection are: CPDP, Aquatic Jive, Kryptonite Arsenal, Oh, the Suspense!, The Unbrunchables and Willy Universe. I don’t recall the exact order I finished them in, but given the short time frame that’s almost a moot point (I know for sure Willy Universe was either last or near the last, and Aquatic Jive definitely came before it).
What do these songs all have in common? Well, they’re all short and I put very little effort into making them sound good. I wanted class credit, so I put everything together very quickly. So the result is that these songs are pretty bad. I did learn a few new skills in the process, but in terms of quality, these are only slightly higher than the worst of the worst for me.
This song in particular is probably better than most of the other CPDP songs. I came up with a decent lead, and I think the build-up in the intro worked reasonably well. The issue was that I just repeated the lead hook over and over and over until the song finished. It’s really repetitive. But repetition was a theme that would repeat itself (ho ho) over much of my tracking years.
I was starting to use effects and realize their power. In this case, I learned how to use pitch sliding, which you’ll hear in the lead just about every pattern. In Scream Tracker and Impulse Tracker, it’s the Fxx command to pitch slide up (1xx in Fast Tracker, Uxx in Renoise). I also used a technique for the first time in this song: creating an echo effect by copying a channel and repeating it in a separate channel, but a few rows delayed and at a lower volume. I would end up using this technique liberally.
Also worth noting: I made a sequel to this song one year later when I took the class again, this time with a larger group of friends. However, due to a hard drive crash that summer, that version of the song is lost forever. I remember how it sounded and since it’s been 24 years and I haven’t forgotten it, I’m not likely to forget anytime soon. I’m not going to attempt to re-create it though.
I was becoming interested in all things computer at this point which of course would lead to a solid career for me. So, thanks, computers!
Internal Texts *
Throb Drum Reveresed Cymbal Snare (no header) Bass Guitar Distant Distorted Distend Weird Trumpet (no header) Short Bwip Bass Drume + Hihat High Crash Guitar leader CP/DP by Arcturus Well, this is a pretty co song. CP/DP stands for computer programming/data processing. Wurkir, why did you quit that class? (c) 1996 Nucleus Software