Song: Remember

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Remember” is a simple remix of the 2nd half of “Cyaron’s Gate” – which tells you how long ago I wrote it (~1999).  Despite its age, I still find it to be one of my more majestic themes.  I wrote this song for piano probably a good year or two before I used it as part of Cyaron’s Gate, and a short piano version of it is available for anyone curious about what it originally sounded like.  Email me if interested.  :)

I’ve not done much to change it from the piano version to the MIDI version, and I don’t know that I’ll ever change this theme much.  There’s something invariably nostalgic about compositions from early in your career, and messing with songs from that era just seems…wrong, you know?

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"Remember" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Purgatory’s Mansion

Download song: mp3 MIDI

This piece uses a really simple mix of instruments – four pianos and a drumset – to create a driving yet haunting theme unlike anything you’ve heard before.  The simplicity of “Purgatory’s Mansion” is remarkable – I really like this recurring simplicity idea, if you haven’t guessed – and I think that’s why it’s such a dramatic piece despite its lack of orchestration.  With the piano being my favorite instrument and the one I’ve studied the most, you’ll notice it shows up in almost every one of my compositions for at least a cameo appearance.  “Purgatory” is one of the few pieces that really uses it front-and-center, and I like it.  Pianos are great!

Creative Commons License

"Purgatory's Mansion" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Nevermore (Game Over)

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Game Over.  You lose.  Failure.  Etc.

Hopefully this song doesn’t make you feel too bad, but it’s not exactly a happy song.  It was originally a “game over” theme so I couldn’t make it too gleeful!  Some unique instruments (including a celesta and glass bottles) make this a particularly unique one, so enjoy it…

…as much as it’s possible to enjoy a song this depressing. lol.

Creative Commons License

"Nevermore (Game Over)" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: March of the Zargansk

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Your first question is probably “what the **** are Zargansk?”  That is a very good question, and I don’t really have a good answer, but this is what it sounds like when they march.

“March of the Zargansk” is a very bass song.  Over 90% of the song takes place below middle C.  There’s something ominous about the bass clef and I like exploiting that.  Also, MIDI instruments sound best in the low bass range because the human ear isn’t as precise at those low wavelengths – so the synthesized instruments sound more realistic than, say, a piccolo or flute in its natural range.

Were I to pick another name for this song that didn’t involve imaginary names, it would probably have something to do with “inevitability.”  This song conjures up images of something really big, really bad coming…and there’s not a thing you can do about it.  Inevitable indeed.

Creative Commons License

"March of the Zargansk" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Home

Download song: mp3 MIDI

The mp3 arrangement of this piece makes all the difference.  The original MIDI sounds shallow and somewhat trite, and what should be beautiful melodies are ruined by weak MIDI instruments.  I used a mix of several excellent soundfonts to arrange this piece, and I really like the way it turned out.  Not bad for fake instruments, eh?

“Home” is short, simple, and peaceful.  I hope that listening to it brings back a comforting feeling – like coming home after too much time away…

Creative Commons License

"Home" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Hidden Tears

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Hidden Tears” was originally designed as an a capella choir piece, but because it lost so much in transition to MIDI, I added string accompaniment to the second half and filled out the choir (to make it sound more full).  For a MIDI choral number I’m impressed with how well the harmony is preserved.  I wish the piece had a little more dynamic and tempo variation – to make it more realistic and “humanized” – but effects like that are all but impossible to manually translate into MIDI.

I’m not sure where a piece like this would best fit in a video game; the great balance between major and minor chords makes it inspirational but reserved, leaving a lot of options open.  The emotion of the piece is striking (again, a by-product of its simplicity) and if I ever get the means to record a real choir for it, you can bet I’ll post it here first…

Creative Commons License

"Hidden Tears" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Song: Halls of Despair

Download song: mp3 MIDI

“Halls of Despair” was my first attempt at a fully mixed horror theme.  Because of this, it was also the first effects-driven song I ever wrote.  The huge amount of volume panning almost gives me motion sickness now…hehe…  Part of me thinks the effects are almost too much, but another part of me kinda likes how they work together to totally disorient the listener.  This song is best listened to at a quiet volume, so the effects are more subconscious than explicit.

Personally, I find this song too thick for use in an actual horror sequence.  Were I to tone it down a little bit (and strip out the whole last half, obviously) I think it would work just right as an ambient horror song.  But, for now, I’ll leave it as-is to demonstrate the fun that panning effects can be.  :D

Creative Commons License

"Halls of Despair" by Tanner Helland is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License. Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be obtained here.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Smooth color gradients using only VB6 (NO images)

This program demonstrates how to create a smooth color gradient between any two colors on any size of form. While gradients are often used for visual effects, perhaps the most useful aspect of this project is the gradient algorithm itself. Many other algorithms (like image resampling) use variations of the gradient algorithm – so learn it well! :)

 

DISCLAIMER: These download files are regularly scanned to ensure they remain free from malicious content. Unfortunately, some virus scanners will flag these .zip files as suspicious simply because they contain source code and/or executable files. I have submitted my projects to a number of companies in an attempt to rectify these false-positives. Some have been cooperative. Others have not. If your virus scanner alerts you regarding these files, please allow the file to be submitted for further analysis (if your program allows for that). This should help ensure that any false-positive warnings gradually disappear for all users.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Image Resampling in VB6

Resampling uses specialized interpolation algorithms when resizing an image to minimize any negative impacts to image quality. For example, when you resize a 50×50 image to 500×500, the image looks horrible – like a bunch of giant squares. Resampling reduces that “blockiness” by interpolating pixels, so the image looks rounded even after being resized.

If that made no sense whatsoever, download the program to see what I mean! :)

(Note: as far as VB6 is concerned, it would typically be faster and simpler to use the LoadImage API call (which relies upon an inaccurate but very fast resampling algorithm). However, I hope this code provides a good insight into how resampling actually works.)

 

DISCLAIMER: These download files are regularly scanned to ensure they remain free from malicious content. Unfortunately, some virus scanners will flag these .zip files as suspicious simply because they contain source code and/or executable files. I have submitted my projects to a number of companies in an attempt to rectify these false-positives. Some have been cooperative. Others have not. If your virus scanner alerts you regarding these files, please allow the file to be submitted for further analysis (if your program allows for that). This should help ensure that any false-positive warnings gradually disappear for all users.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!

Real-time Image Contrast in VB6

Here’s the first (and still the best!) VB-based example that demonstrates how to correctly adjust an image’s contrast. I use DIB sections to maximize speed; it’s also worth mentioning that to perfectly determine contrast, you would have to first find the average brightness of the image – I use the shortcut method and assume that the average is 127 (close enough for our purposes).

Many people have used this code in various open-source VB projects, but rest assured: this is the original, most complete, most correct copy.

 

DISCLAIMER: These download files are regularly scanned to ensure they remain free from malicious content. Unfortunately, some virus scanners will flag these .zip files as suspicious simply because they contain source code and/or executable files. I have submitted my projects to a number of companies in an attempt to rectify these false-positives. Some have been cooperative. Others have not. If your virus scanner alerts you regarding these files, please allow the file to be submitted for further analysis (if your program allows for that). This should help ensure that any false-positive warnings gradually disappear for all users.

This site - and its many free downloads - are 100% funded by donations. Please consider a small contribution to fund server costs and to help me support my family. Even $1.00 helps. Thank you!