Song: Syntheticity

Download song: mp3 Ogg MIDI

“Syntheticity” has gone through any number of name changes. It started out as “Technojazz”, then later became “Diridian Syndicate Theme” as part of a video game project. When that project went belly-up, the song ended up lost in an obscure folder on an old Windows XP hard drive.

When I finally stumbled across the piece while perusing old musical archives in search of music worth fixing up, I have to admit I was pretty excited to see “Syntheticity” again. The 80’s drum sound combined with a catchy electric piano line and a great slap bass were too vintage to pass up! I also decided against using any of the previous song titles, and instead settled on the excellent noun “syntheticity”. (It’s partially a real word.)

I’ve adjusted all of the soundfonts to more closely match my original idea for the piece (a retro-heavy town theme), so don’t be alarmed if the MIDI sounds quite different from the mp3 and ogg.

Creative Commons License

"Syntheticity" 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: Familiar Roads

Listen online:last.fm

Download song: mp3 Ogg FLAC MIDI

As has become typical in my work, this song relies heavily on its mp3 mix for sound quality.  MIDI instruments don’t do it justice. (In other words, please don’t download the MIDI version. :)

I wrote “Familiar Roads” as a simple, catchy town theme – not the typically dull background piece associated with that style of VG music.  I like the instrument mix and pace and am pretty damn happy with how it turned out.  For better or worse, this is the closest thing to “pop music” I’ve ever written. All it needs are some corny lyrics, like:

Lookin’ in the rearview mirror
Missin’ your face
We were so good together
Why did you leave me for that other guy
Blah blah blah

Creative Commons License

"Familiar Roads" 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: Lost Islands

Download song: mp3 MIDI

Mmm…hehe…a ha ha ha.  This song is so bizarre.  I’m not sure how to explain it.

Truth be told, a large element of track 10 (the MIDI percussion track) was generated by random mouse-clicking.  At the time I wrote this piece, I was frustrated by the way my percussion tracks had all started to sound the same.  So, I resolved to write a percussion track unlike anything I’d done before.  Several hundred mouse clicks later, the first rendition of “Lost Islands” was born.  I tweaked my favorite random-clicking percussion track, added several other percussion tracks (taiko, tom, wood block), picked sweep for the main instrument (I still don’t know what a “sweep” is), wrote a choir track and added a couple other mystery instruments (like the shakuhachi).

I’m still amazed this piece turned out as coherent as it did.  The song has a sweet groove and the dissonant-ish choir adds rather than distracts.  The percussion blends well and the instrument mix really is one-of-a-kind.  I don’t know that I’ll ever find the patience to write a percussion track more complex than this one.

Creative Commons License

"Lost Islands" 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!