Mainframe (music inspired by System Shock) by tapewolf

Mainframe (music inspired by System Shock)

Mainframe (music inspired by System Shock)


15 October 2019 at 15:37:04 MDT

For those waiting for my next prog masterpiece, I'm afraid you'll have to wait a little longer.
That said, it's always good to step outside your usual boundaries, so here's some videogame music.

For a while now I've wanted to do something in the vein of System Shock, the sci-fi masterpiece from 1994 with a dynamic soundtrack assembled from repeating patterns which are overlaid and cross-faded. I always play the game with FM synthesis because the electronic bleeps and bloops are far more cyberpunk than General Midi with its weird assignments and occasional 'surprise piano' in the Reactor deck. However, FM drums absolutely suck.

As it happens I've been developing a game on and off for years, which attempts to merge the medieval fantasy of Ultima 6 and 7 with the cyberpunk of System Shock. So I've written this as a music cue for the computer room in the alien spaceship.

It might need editing down for the game, we'll see. In the meantime I'm quite pleased with it so I've uploaded it here.

Instruments used:
Moog Voyager
Alesis DM10 drum brain
Waldorf Pulse
Korg Triton Rack
Korg M1R and N1R
Behringer VC340 with Jurgen Haible triple chorus

As usual this was recorded to 2" 24-track and mixed to 1/4" tape.
The screenshot in the icon is from System Shock's mainframe room at the end of the game.

Submission Information

Multimedia / Original Music


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    Damn this is good as hell! That pumping 90esq beat especially blew me away, it's the kind of thing that I've tried to imitate with little success. Anyway it's nice to finally encounter a fellow fan of the original System Shock, that game and its sequel influenced me greatly.

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      Thanks! I also put together a quick video for it, but it's mostly SS1 footage:

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        Very nice, gotta love classics like that game. Could never pick a single favorite weapon but I liked the flechette gun a lot and the laser rapier of course was OP as hell.

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          I always loved how you can bounce the plasma balls off the walls using the plasma rifle, thereby vaporising enemies around the corner. However this also tended to happen to you as well.

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    Can’t listen immediately, but know that I am interested. :) I’ve been considering looking into System Shock 2, myself.