|Timothy John Follin|
Tim Follin is an English composer and sound designer. He is also the brother of Geoff Follin, another popular video game musician, and Mike Follin. Tim is one of the most popular video game musicians. Some of his best known works include Ghouls 'N Ghosts, Plok, and Silver Surfer.
Tim did not have prior music training before starting his music career. He attended the Liverpool Sandown Music College, but dropped out after a year of studies. Mike gave Tim a brief tutorial on creating music on the Spectrum via machine code, and Tim later wrote the music driver and soundtrack for their first professional game, Subterranean Stryker.
Tim and Mike were then hired at Software Creations by co-founder Richard Kay. It was while working at this company where Geoff came along. Tim and Geoff composed the music to a vast majority of their video games, including all of their NES titles. During Software Creations' SNES and Genesis development, the Follins would usually compose the music to the SNES versions while Tony Williams converted their compositions to the Genesis.
Citing a declining work environment, the brothers and 2 other employees left Software Creations in 1994.
The Follins then joined Malibu Interactive. However, this only lasted 18 months due to the company filing for bankruptcy. While 3 games were made by the company, only Ultraverse Prime / Microcosm got released, with Time Trax and Firearm getting cancelled.
After Malibu's bankruptcy, Tim spent the rest of his career as a freelancer.
Tim often didn't pay attention to the games he did music for, and as a result, many of the soundtracks were unfitting to the game itself (Pictionary being a prime example). He said that if he were to do game music again, that he'd try to make the music more fitting to the game he worked on. Tim also isn't a big fan of his video game work, with the exception of Ghouls 'n Ghosts. He described his C64 work as nonsense he wasn't particularly happy with. However, he likes the SID chip, saying making music on it was "playing an instrument in its own right". Tim seemed to enjoy his music on SNES and onwards more.
Tim said that he isn't much of a gamer and just likes to compose music.
Tim's sole game programming credit (not counting music drivers) came with his fourth title, Future Games, where he created one minigame of the several featured.
Some of Tim's prominent works include Plok, Solstice, Treasure Master, Rock 'N Roll Racing, and many others.
Tim's Game Boy / Game Boy Color music was sometimes arranged by Andy Brock. However, it isn't known if he arranged the music to WWF Warzone on Game Boy.
Follin used drivers written by Stephen Ruddy for his early music on the Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, C64, Game Boy, Game Gear, Master System, NES, and ZX Spectrum. To utilize these drivers, Follin had to take his music and convert it to hexadecimal representations of the notes. For SNES music, Follin used a sound driver written by Mike Webb. The SNES instruments were from either a Korg M1 or Korg Wavestation, and possibly other keyboards.
According to Tim, for Time Trax, he used a sound driver written by Dean Belfield, in which he programmed the music in assembly. Unfortunately, this was the only game he ever composed on the Genesis, so the driver was never used again.
Tim used a sound driver by Stephen Ruddy. He programmed the music in hexadecimal on MS-DOS, and then the music was burned onto an NES cart for playback. Tim did all of the instrument design.
Tim used a sound driver written by Mike Webb. Follin used an Ensoniq ASR10 keyboard. He also said that guitars were recorded from actual guitars, and some of the basses as well. Even at this time, Tim still had to write and program the music in hexadecimal. He also wrote on his Ensoniq and converted his sequenced files to the sound engine. He later ended up creating MIDI files on Cakewalk.
Note: Despite being credited in the game, the audio staff of Ken Griffey Jr. Presents Major League Baseball (SNES) confirmed Tim wasn't involved with the game's music and sound effects, as he had already left Software Creations before the game was developed. Therefore, it has been removed from his gameography.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,56818/ - MobyGames.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tim_Follin - Wikipedia.
- linkedin.com/in/tim-follin-82969020/ - LinkedIn.
- vimeo.com/user21326665 - Vimeo.
- youtube.com/channel/UCOxd-q5A0YbDh0IyZu5tdHQ - YouTube.
- youtube.com/watch?v=894_PNqBkx4 - Video Interview about Solstice (NES) from 1990.
- csdb.dk/release/?id=8763 - C64 Disk Interview from December 1990.
- web.archive.org/web/20021118161113/http://www.mono211.com/follindrome/interview1.html - Interview from 1998.
- web.archive.org/web/20021223070706/http://c64audio.valuehost.co.uk/edge/czone_follin.htm - Interview from Commodore Zone in 1998.
- web.archive.org/web/20030224044627/http://www.kdvs.org/6581SID/timfollin.html - Interview from March 4, 2000.
- youtube.com/watch?v=bQkicZOG-Z4 - Video Interview from 2007.