Frank Klepacki

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Frank Klepacki
Frank Klepacki - 1.jpg
Born 1974-05-25
Birth Place Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
Nationality American   USA.svg
Website frankklepacki.com

Frank Klepacki is an American video game musician. He was born on May 25, 1974 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Frank started out musically at age 8 when he received a drumset. By age 11, he learned to play drums professionally. He had tried to form bands but couldn't work well with them on original content. Frank ended up getting into programming and learned BASIC for the Tandy 1000 computer. He then saw an ad for Westwood Studios looking for game testers, in which he applied at. When Klepacki was testing games for Westwood, he gave Paul Mudra, Westwood's audio director recordings of his songs. Paul and Westwood were impressed by his work and Frank started working at Westwood at age 17 in 1991. The first games Klepacki worked on was Dragon Strike for the NES, and Eye of the Beholder II for MS-DOS. Making music for DOS games was difficult because Klepacki had to use AdLib Visual Composer, a very limited piece of music software. However, despite the program's limitations, Frank pushed the program to its limit, creating high-quality orchestral scores for Eye of the Beholder II and other games. Because Frank was Westwood's musician, their original audio personnel, Paul Mudra and Dwight Okahara, started contributing less as composers and were usually credited as audio directors or sound effect designers, and occasionally cast as voice actors in the games they worked on.

Some of Klepacki's best known soundtracks include the Command & Conquer and Dune series. When Westwood was dissolved by Electronic Arts, Klepacki (along with most of the original Westwood employees) left to form their own company, Petroglyph. Klepacki was also one of the youngest people to work on video game music, being 17 years of age when he worked on his first game.

Klepacki is also involved in the film industry making soundtracks for movies and television shows and has released a few albums of his solo work.

Music Development

DOS

Frank said this about the Eye of the Beholder II soundtrack:

That's going way back... I composed EOB2 music on a program for the PC called Visual Composer, on an FM synthesis AdLib card. Didn't even use a keyboard, I entered every note by hand!

Frank used AdLib Visual Composer for MS-DOS. Despite Frank's age and the program's limitations, he pushed the program to its limits. The instruments were created by Paul Mudra, and his compositions were converted to the ADL format. According to Frank, Visual Composer was used to compose all of his MS-DOS music.

GEN

Frank said this about his Genesis music, mainly for Warriors of the Eternal Sun:

I used Visual Composer for Warriors , but converted to MIDI, and then had to re-edit instruments on the Sega development system, and sample the drums.

Music was composed in AdLib Visual Composer (DOS) and then converted to GEMS.

NES

Frank said this about DragonStrike, the only NES game he worked on:

I composed that on a program called Dr. T for the Amiga computer back then, entering notes on a sheet music staff, and then exporting it to the format for the NES, I can't remember if NES accepted standard MIDI or not... The NES was only limited to 3 mono voices and a white noise channel which I used for a snare drum beat. The other voices were one for bass line, and 2 for melody / harmony.

TG16

Frank on composing Order of the Griffon, the only TG16 he and Westwood worked on:

That one was tough to implement - I'm not sure what sound system was used, I think it was just the one that came with the dev kit we had. I wrote everything in Visual Composer and ported the MIDI files over to the TurboGrafx-16 - I think we had to recreate the FM instruments. The annoying thing was the how it handled transitions between ambient and combat music - sometimes the tempos didn't change back properly.

W32

Frank used Cubase 6.

Gameography

Released Title Sample
1991-??-?? Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (AMI)
1991-??-?? Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (DOS)
1992-??-?? Dungeons & Dragons: Order of the Griffon (TG16)
1992-??-?? Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (AA)
1992-??-?? Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (AMI)
1992-??-?? Dune II: The Building of a Dynasty (DOS)
1992-??-?? The Legend of Kyrandia (AMI)
1992-??-?? Warriors of the Eternal Sun (GEN)
1992-07-?? DragonStrike (NES)
1993-11-19 Eye of the Beholder II: The Legend of Darkmoon (PC98) (アイ・オブ・ザ・ビホルダーⅡ) Composer
1993-??-?? Lands of Lore: The Throne of Chaos (DOS)
1994-??-?? The Legend of Kyrandia: Book 2: The Hand of Fate (DOS)
1994-03-?? Young Merlin (SNES)
1994-10-?? The Lion King (SNES) (ライオン・キング)
1995-09-30 Monopoly (W16)
1997-09-27 Lands of Lore: Guardians of Destiny (DOS)
1998-08-31 Dune 2000 (W32)
2008-03-24 Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (W64)
2008-06-23 Command & Conquer 3: Kane's Wrath (X360) Composer?
2008-10-28 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (MAC)
2008-10-28 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (W64)
2008-11-11 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (X360)
2009-03-12 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Uprising (W64)
2009-03-23 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 (PS3) Composer?
2009-09-16 Command & Conquer: Red Alert 3 - Commander's Challenge (X360)
2009-10-21 Panzer General: Allied Assault (X360)
2016-04-22 8-Bit Armies (W64)

Links