David Warhol

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David Warhol
Dwarhol1.jpg
Born 1959-07-15
Birth Place Hibbing, MN
Nationality American   USA.svg
Aliases Dave Warhol
Dave Worhal
Realtime Associates
Real Time Associates
Website rtassoc.com

Dave Warhol is a composer, sound designer, and programmer. He played low brass instruments when he was in school. He started working at Mattel Electronics as a audio engineer, game designer and programmer. After being a video game musician and audio engineer for some time, he decided he wanted to make his own company for video games and he founded Realtime Associates in 1986. Realtime still exists to this day and is still run by David Warhol. He has also won the 12th Annual G.A.N.G. Lifetime Achievement Award.

Music Development

Commodore 64

Warhol programmed in assembly, first directly on the C64 using Merlin, and later on an PC using AD2600.

Game Boy

Warhol created a program that converted MIDI files to something that the Game Boy could read. According to one of the composer's at Realtime Associates, it was really touchy in that if a note overlapped another note a little bit in the MIDI file, the song wouldn't play back properly and instead hang on the said note.

Warhol also developed a live interface for controlling the Game Boy's audio with a keyboard. This was utilized to more efficiently test parts and sounds before sequencing or finalizing them. This was something he had also done with the NES, but not until he was part-way through the NES' lifespan. For Game Boy development, this is something he had ready for the first title he worked on.

Genesis / Mega Drive

Warhol composed MIDI files in Cakewalk and converted them to the GEMS sound engine.

Game Gear/Sega Master System

Warhol created a MIDI conversion tool.

NES

Warhol created a program that converted MIDI files to the NES. He would compose his MIDI files in Cakewalk and then use his program to convert said MIDIs to the NES. If another composer at Realtime Associates was behind the music, he would use the same procedure, except he would arrange the composers' MIDI files first before converting them.

Warhol has explained the process in which he was able to convert from MIDI as efficiently as possible:

MIDI files are way too large for an 8-bit cartridge for memory footprint, So my processes always read MIDI files, compressed them using very specific 5-bits per-note instructions, and then 3-bits per-duration. So I was able to get a note into 1 byte, instead of a MIDI command which might be 3 bytes for note on, 3 bytes for note off. That’s 6 bytes per note, that’s way too expensive. So I took it all the way down to be 1-byte per note on/ note off, except for some patches (that) might’ve required 2 bytes, but yeah, very, very conservative with memory.

Before developing his MIDI converter, he worked with sheet music and would program the music in hexadecimal notation. He described this as a "very labor intensive process", and his earliest NES games used this method.

None of his NES music utilizes the 5th audio channel for sample playback, as he was unable to figure out how to use it.

SNES

Warhol programmed a sound driver which converted MIDI files to the SNES. The instrument samples were taken from other SNES games. Warhol lent his sound driver to many video game developers, but only his company name was mentioned in those games.

Because David Warhol taught him updating his driver for the games AAAHH!!! Real Monsters (SNES), Big Sky Trooper (SNES) (composed by his friend Greg Turner) and FIFA: Road to World Cup 98 (SNES) (composed by his friend Eric Swanson), he used SLICK/Audio from Bitmasters.

Gameography

Released Title Sample Notes
1983-??-?? Thin Ice (INTV)
1984-??-?? Realm Of Impossibility EA
1984-??-?? Zombies (C64)
1985-??-?? Heart of Africa (C64)
1985-??-?? Racing Destruction Set (C64)
1985-??-?? Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set (AMI)
1985-??-?? Stuart Smith's Adventure Construction Set (C64)
1985-??-?? World Tour Golf (DOS) Music / Sound Programming
1986-??-?? Robot Rascals (A2)
1986-??-?? Robot Rascals (C64)
1986-??-?? Tass Times in Tonetown (AMI)
1986-??-?? Tass Times in Tonetown (DOS)
1986-??-?? Thunder Castle (INTV)
1987-??-?? Commando (INTV)
1988-??-?? Pool of Radiance (C64)
1988-??-?? World Tour Golf (AMI) Sound Effects
1988-??-?? F/A-18 Interceptor (AMI) Sound Effects & Music
1989-??-?? Curse of the Azure Bonds (A2)
1989-??-?? Curse of the Azure Bonds (C64)
1989-??-?? Curse of the Azure Bonds (DOS)
1989-??-?? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (AMI)
1989-??-?? Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (DOS)
1990-08-?? Dick Tracy (NES)
Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger and David Hayes's music.
1990-08-?? Swords and Serpents (NES) Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger's music.
1990-08-?? Total Recall (NES)
1990-10-?? Maniac Mansion (NES)
1990-12-?? The Adventures of Rad Gravity (NES)
1990-??-?? Champions of Krynn (A2)
1990-??-?? LHX: Attack Chopper (DOS)
1990-??-?? Ski or Die (AMI)
1990-??-?? Ski or Die (C64)
1990-??-?? Ski or Die (DOS)
1990-??-?? Stormovik: Soviet Attack Fighter SU-25 (DOS) Sound Effects
1991-01-?? Fun House (NES) Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger's music.
1991-05-?? The Rocketeer (NES) Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger and David Hayes's music.
1991-06-?? Skate Or Die: Tour de Thrash (GB) Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger's music.
1991-??-?? Neverwinter Nights (DOS)
1992-07-?? Defenders of Dynatron City (NES) Sound FX and Arrangements
1992-09-?? Monster Truck Rally (NES)
Sound Driver, arranged George Sanger's music.
1992-09-?? Toxic Crusaders (GB) Arrangements
1992-09-29 Wings 2: Aces High (SNES) (スカイミッション) Sound Driver
1992-10-?? Q*bert 3 (SNES) (〜キュー・バート3〜) Sound Driver
1992-11-?? Wordtris (GB) Sound Driver, arranged Ed Bogas's music.
1992-12-?? Caesars Palace (NES)
Sound Driver, arranged David Hayes's music.
1992-12-?? Wordtris (SNES)
Sound Driver
1993-??-?? Quest for the Shaven Yak starring Ren & Stimpy (SMS)
1993-09-?? Zombies Ate My Neighbors (SNES) Sound Driver
1994-??-?? Ghoul Patrol (SNES) (グール・パトロール) Sound Driver
1994-??-?? Quest for the Shaven Yak starring Ren & Stimpy (GG) Sound Driver
1994-06-?? BreakThru! (SNES)
Music Orchestration
1994-09-?? Wild Snake (GB) (スーパースネーキー) Sound Driver
1995-01-?? BreakThru! (GB) Sound Driver
1995-04-?? Metal Warriors (SNES)
1995-08-15 AAAHH!!! Real Monsters (SNES) Sound Programming
1995-10-?? Big Sky Trooper (SNES) Sound Programming
1995-11-05 Zoop (GB) (ズープ)
Sound Driver Provider
1995-??-?? Zoop (GG)
Sound Driver Provider
Unreleased Robocop Vs. The Terminator (NES) With Eric Swanson.
Unreleased WildSnake (GG) Sound Driver

Links