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Key-Glyph
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Key-Glyph's Music Box Arrangements, etc.

by Key-Glyph Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:14 am

Latest Update:

2017/12/15: Hey guys. I did another music box arrangement, this time as a gift for one of my Patreon supporters. He let me choose from a bunch of tunes he'd recommended, and... well, I was surprised by how seasonally appropriate it sounded on this instrument?!

Mega Man 9: "Flash in the Dark (Wily Stage 1)"

Come for the jam. Stay for the Wily eyebrows.

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2012/1/12: Original Post: I've been making arrangements of video game tunes for the Kikkerland DIY music box for a little while now, but only just posted one to YouTube yesterday. You can find it here.

Please have a look/listen if you're so inclined. Thanks, and enjoy!
Last edited by Key-Glyph on Fri Dec 15, 2017 6:22 pm, edited 10 times in total.
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CFFJR
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Re: Sonic's Labyrinth Zone Theme on Music Box

by CFFJR Wed Feb 01, 2012 1:22 am

That is really, really cool.

I'm amazed how well it translated too.

Well done!

Edit to ask a question I intended to ask and stupidly forgot:

How long did it take you to do this? Was it difficult?

Also, I'd bet the Star Light Zone would sound really nice done this way.
GameSack wrote:That's right, only Sega had the skill to make a proper Nintendo game.
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Key-Glyph
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Re: Sonic's Labyrinth Zone Theme on Music Box

by Key-Glyph Wed Feb 01, 2012 10:23 pm

Thanks CFFJR. :)

This takes more time than I expected, and often for reasons I hadn't predicted. I imagined that the manual labor of punching out all those holes would take forever, but so much more effort gets spent on the incorporeal aspect of arranging the music.

You're limited in a bunch of different ways with this machine and you have to plan out what you're doing. For instance, the music box itself possesses only 2.5 octaves of notes in the key of C. There are no accidentals provided, so any tunes you want to render have to first be transposed into that key. If there are still a few sharps in there after transposition, you have to figure out what notes to substitute that best maintain the feel of the original song. That takes time.

You also can't adjust the volume of individual notes -- so not only do you have to cut things out if too many musical lines obscure the melody or otherwise muddle the piece, but you have to figure out which parts are expendable and which are essential to the tune's spirit.

You're even limited by the mechanics as to how often notes can be subsequently struck, and how fast the piece can be cranked. It's a thrilling puzzle.

I cut one major corner by starting with accurate sheet music. I use midis from vgmusic.com and convert them into notation pages and work from there, instead of doing everything from the beginning by ear.

CCFJR wrote:Also, I'd bet the Star Light Zone would sound really nice done this way.
I've considered this, but I can't remember why I had doubts. I can guarantee you I'll be looking into it in the future to really try to work it out though, because you're right: Starlight certainly lends itself to being played on this instrument. :)
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Key-Glyph
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Ultima III Music Box

by Key-Glyph Wed May 16, 2012 12:31 am

I posted another music box arrangement of a chiptune: the sailing theme from the NES port of Ultima III: Exodus.

Apparently the song has a real name, "Voyage to the Unknown." You learn something every day, I guess.

Thanks for looking!
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Key-Glyph
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Re: MOTHER 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by Key-Glyph Sun Mar 15, 2015 5:04 pm

It's been a few years, but I've finally finished another arrangement for my punchcard music box:

the Eight Melodies/Ending from MOTHER (Earthbound Zero).

I've been so obsessed with this tune for the past month or so that my husband has learned melody entirely from my second-hand humming. If you listen, I hope you enjoy!
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MrPopo
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Re: Mother 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by MrPopo Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:19 pm

The paper just keeps going and going!

Awesome rendition.
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Erik_Twice
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Re: Mother 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by Erik_Twice Sun Mar 15, 2015 6:41 pm

Wow, that's great! You must also have better wrists than me to keep the crank going for so long without screwing the tempo up :)
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Re: Mother 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by BoneSnapDeez Sun Mar 15, 2015 7:03 pm

Whoa. Very nice. Always loved that melody.
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Re: Mother 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by Ivo Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:33 am

I had missed this the first time around, just had a look at the Sonic one. Well done, it brought a smile to my face :)
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Key-Glyph
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Re: Mother 1 "Eight Melodies" on Music Box

by Key-Glyph Wed Mar 25, 2015 12:01 pm

Thanks for the super nice replies, you guys!
Erik_Twice wrote:Wow, that's great! You must also have better wrists than me to keep the crank going for so long without screwing the tempo up :)
Aww, that's so nice of you to say that, because I actually didn't keep the tempo as consistent as I'd like. The beginning is very slow when it's the melody alone, and then I speed up when the other parts come in. I'm glad it still sounds natural to you!

The problem is that it's very difficult to keep things going at a steady pace when you have long stretches of silence, because the rhythm of the crank isn't in sync with the spacing of the notes. The result is that you can't keep time in any way; you just have to go by feel and hope it works.
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