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My personal blog. Software, devops, security, music, and general nerditry.

Music Post: The Crappy Chrono Trigger Project

Earlier this year, I started what I dubbed the Crappy Chrono Trigger Project. Essentially, in an attempt to stretch my musical chops, I wanted to cover a bunch of themes from the classic SNES RPG, Chrono Trigger. I didn’t end up getting terribly far in (as it turns out, they’re basically all the same A minor chord progression, and didn’t provide too terribly much variety) but I did get a few tracks down, and made some progress learning my tools in the process.

I’m a bassist at heart - I’ve been playing the bass for nearly 20 years now (wow). A couple of years ago, I picked up an electric guitar, and just recently I picked up an acoustic guitar as well, with the idea that maybe if they’re in my office I’ll learn them by osmosis or something. And as with most musicians, I can doodle around on a keyboard decently enough, though clearly not to the level of profiency of an actual pianist.

I record and mix in Reaper, with my Warwick Corvette V bass (my only actually decent instrument) and an el cheapo Casio keyboard, Squier Telecaster, and Fender acoustic. Drums are all sequenced in Reaper with pre-fab templates because I have no clue how to sequence drums. But hey, that’s why we do these things, right?

After a few months, I don’t completely hate a few of the tracks that came out. These were done with the explicit intent that they don’t have to be perfect - I published them to keep myself honest. And hey, listening to them makes me want to go back and pick it up and continue to get better.

Confrontation with Magus

Magus’ theme is one of my favorites from the games, and there are so many cool renditions of it that this one is really paltry. But it’s probably the technical best of the bunch.

Ayla’s Theme

AKA “Power Chords: The Song”:

Schala’s Theme/Undersea Palace

These two themes have so many common elements (by design) that they sort of bleed together in my head. I just rolled with it and merged the two.

I’m feeling the itch again to pick it back up and knock a few more out. I’ve reached the point as a musician that I recognize how little I know and how far I have to go, but there’s never been a better time to be a self-taught musician. The resources available (heck, just the free lessons from professionals available on YouTube) are utterly staggering. Time to dive back in.

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