Allister Brimble

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Allister Brimble
photo of Allister Brimble

Photo courtesy of Jan Zottmann
Handle(s) The Demon
Homepage http://www.orchestralmedia.co.uk
Comments Allister's handle of The Demon is not to be confused with Demon on the C64.

Allister Brimble is a game soundtrack composer and sound effect creator, with a back catalogue of memorable classics dating back to the late 80s. Allister has produced music for practically every conceivable platform out there, and is still going strong to this day!

Coming from a musical family and given piano lessons from the age of 7, Allister confesses that his journey into the world of game music stemmed from "being in the right place at the right time."[1]

Naturally, with the dawn of the home microcomputer, it wasn't long before Allister received one as a birthday present in the form of a humble Sinclair Spectrum, and like others at the time, began to learn BASIC by typing in programs from magazines.

Frustratingly for Allister, the 16K/48K Spectrum had a very simple 'sound system' consisting of a single channel, 10-octave beeper that produced the sound directly from the computer, rather than channelling it through the TV. Allister manage to get to grips with the BASIC BEEP command enough to create a "series of tones which vaguely resembled a tune" and eventually started experimenting with 'WHAM! The Jukebox' since it allowed a stunning number of 2 notes to be played simultaneously!

Fortunately for Allister, 1986 saw the release of the ZX Spectrum 128 in the U.K., which also featured an AY-3-8910 3-channel sound chip as well as the beeper. Allister sold his older Spectrum and saved for 6 months to buy the new model along with a game called 'Glider Rider'. He couldn't wait to load-up the game and listen to the new Spectrum's sound capabilities and was instantly blown away, "I could not believe my ears! David Whittaker had produced a soundtrack, which at the time was breathtaking to me. It used what Dave Whittaker termed 'single channel chords' which alternated between the 3 notes of a chord on one sound channel to create the illusion of more than 3 notes playing simultaneously." Allister continued to experiment with Sinclair BASIC and the new PLAY command.

Clearly bitten by the home computer bug, Allister then bought a second hand Commodore 64 to see what all the fuss was about regarding its sound capabilities. Allister admits to Rob Hubbard being his biggest influence, and much of Rob's best work was performed on a C64. More music experimenting was carried out and, feeling brave, Allister sent some example tunes on a cassette to Elite Software. Their almost generic reply was that although the tunes showed much promise, they were not quite up to today's commercial standards.

Not a good start to Allister's attempted career as a games music composer, and more bad news was to follow in the death of a family member. But it wasn't all doom and gloom as he was left £100 in their will. So again, Allister sold all his existing equipment and this time he bought a Commodore Amiga.

Once Allister mastered music packages such as Sonix and SoundTracker, he created several tunes and sent them to a new public domain software library by the name of 17BIT Software. The library founder Martyn Brown loved the tunes enough to include them in the library on their own disk. This proved to be an excellent way for Allister to distribute his music and gain a large fanbase to whom he continued to make more free music disks for via 17BIT, and this significantly helped him in putting together a demo disk to send to a commercial game publisher.

Allister Brimble in his home studio / office

Success at last! Allister's first game soundtrack was written in 1988 for Codemasters' Nitro Boost Challenge, which, "didn't do particularly well," as he recalls. Most of the famous 'Dizzy' game series also feature Allister's music.

During this period, Allister also worked for other companies such as Grandslam and produced the soundtrack for their hit tie-in game 'Thunderbirds'.

Not long after Allister began working for Codemasters, Martyn Brown of 17BIT took it upon himself to create a new games software company and call it Team17, but not before releasing one game through Codemasters as Team7. The game was called Miami Chase.

Allister and Jimmy Fredriksson received rave reviews by various magazines for their work on the soundtrack and sound effects for Team17's first release, 'Full Contact'. The game was an unofficial modern remake of 'Yie Ar Kung-Fu', but Allister felt it "was not quite up to Team17's subsequent releases."

Team17's next release was Alien Breed and the rest is history!

Singles

Silicon Heaven (single cover)
Year Single Comments
2009-11-13 Silicon Heaven Allister's first commercial download only single, that is available for purchase from Amazon, iTunes and Bandcamp.

Solo Albums

The Amiga Works (album cover)
Year Album Comments
1993 The Team 17 Works Allister's first album was cassette only and contained six pieces of music, some were studio versions of Amiga game themes whilst others were original synth pieces.
1993 Sounds Digital Allister's second album was CD only and contained eleven tracks, some of which were on his previous album - but this time in full CD quality.
1997 Bang! Tick... Tick... Allister's third solo album. There are no studio versions of Allister's game soundtracks. This time your ears are treated to a Big Bang themed concept album.
2013 The Amiga Works Allister's 4th solo album. It contains completely new and up to date versions of many of his popular Amiga game soundtracks, and was initially funded via a Kickstarter Campaign. It also includes one track arranged by Chris Hülsbeck.

Collaborative Albums

Merregnon Soundtrack - Volume 1 (album cover)
Immortal 3 (album cover)
Year Album Comments
1999 Immortal This album features studio versions of Amiga game soundtracks, two of which were performed by Allister.
2000 Merregnon Soundtrack - Volume 1 A fantasy-based concept album.
2002 Immortal 2 This album also features studio versions of Amiga game soundtracks, one of which was performed by Allister.
2004 Merregnon Soundtrack - Volume 2 Fantasy-based, sequel concept album.
2006 Immortal 3 The third in the series, which again features studio versions of Amiga game soundtracks, two of which were performed by Allister.
2013 Paula Agnus Denise Compilation album which features studio versions of Amiga game soundtracks, two of which were performed by Allister.


Music in the UnExoticA collection

Games

Game Comments Year Team / Publisher
1st Division Manager 1992 Cirrus Software / Codemasters
Agony Unused 1992 Art & Magic / Psygnosis
Alien Breed 1991 Team17 / Team17
Alien Breed II - The Horror Continues 1993 Team17 / Team17
Alien Breed Special Edition 1992 Team17 / Team17
Alien Breed: Tower Assault Title 1994 Team17 / Team17
ATR - All Terrain Racing 1993 Psionic Systems / Team17
Apache 1993 Team17 / Team17
Arcade Pool 1994 Mario Savoia / Team17
Arcade Pool (CD³²) 1994 Mario Savoia / Team17
Arcade Snooker 1994 Team17, Mario Savoia / CU Amiga
Assassin 1992 Psionic Systems / Team17
Assassin Special Edition 1993 Psionic Systems / Team17
Big Nose the Caveman 1993 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Body Blows Title 1993 Team17 / Team17
Body Blows (AGA) Title 1994 Team17 / Team17
Body Blows Galactic 1993 Team17 / Team17
Bubble and Squeak 1994 Audiogenic / Audiogenic
Bubble and Squeak (CD³²) 1994 Audiogenic / Audiogenic
Championship Manager '93 1993 Intelek / DoMark
Championship Manager '94 1994 Intelek / DoMark
CJ's Elephant Antics 1991 Genesis Software Developments / Codemasters
Colonization 1993 MicroProse / MicroProse
Dojo Dan Title and Ingame 1992 Psionic Systems / Europress Software
Dungeon Master II - The Legend of Skullkeep 1994 FTL / Interplay
Fantasy World Dizzy Unknown Codemasters / Codemasters
Fast Food 1991 Codemasters / Codemasters
Fields of Glory 1994 WJS Design / MicroProse
Full Contact Intro, Title and Ingame 1991 Team17 / Team17
Goal! 1993 Dino Dini / Virgin Games
Impossible Mission 2025 - The Special Edition 1993 MicroProse / MicroProse
Impossible Mission 2025 (CD³²) - The Special Edition 1994 MicroProse / MicroProse
The Incredible Crash Dummies 1994 Acclaim / Virgin Games
Indy Heat 1992 The Sales Curve / Storm
Italy 1990 1990 Codemasters / Codemasters
Kamikaze 1990 Codemasters / Codemasters
Kingpin - Arcade Sports Bowling (CD³²) 1995 Team17 / Team17
Kwik Snax 1991 Codemasters / Codemasters
The Lion King 1994 Virgin Interactive / Disney
The Lost Vikings 1993 Silicon and Synapse / Interplay
Mean Machine 1991 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Miami Chase Title 1990 Team7 International / Codemasters
MIG-29 Soviet Fighter 1990 Rapier Design / Codemasters
Mortal Kombat 1993 Acclaim, Probe / Virgin Interactive
Mortal Kombat II 1994 Probe / Acclaim
Nitro Boost Challenge 1989 Codemasters / Codemasters
Overdrive 1993 Psionic Systems / Team17
Primal Rage 1995 Probe / Time Warner Interactive
Project-X Title, Loader and Ingame 1992 Team17 / Team17
Project-X (Revised Edition) 1993 Team17 / Team17
Pro Boxing Simulator 1991 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Robin Hood - Legend Quest 1992 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Rock Star Ate My Hamster 1989 Codemasters / Codemasters
SAS Combat Simulator 1990 Codemasters / Codemasters
Seymour goes to Hollywood 1991 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Sky High Stuntman 1991 Codemasters / Codemasters
Slightly Magic 1991 Astonishing Animations / Codemasters
Space Gun Hiscore 1992 Images Software / Ocean
Spellbound Dizzy 1992 Optimus Software / Codemasters
Spellfire the Sorcerer 1990 Codemasters / Codemasters
Star Trek 25th Anniversary 1993 Interplay / Interplay
Subwar 2050 1993 MicroProse / MicroProse
Superfrog 1992 Team17 / Team17
Super Grand Prix 1991 Codemasters / Codemasters
Super Loopz 1995 Audiogenic / Audiogenic
Super Seymour Saves the Planet 1992 Optimus Software / Codemasters
The Sword and the Rose 1991 Codemasters / Codemasters
T2: The Arcade Game 1993 Acclaim, Probe / Virgin Interactive
Terry's Big Adventure 1989 Gametec / Grandslam
Thunderbirds 1989 Teque / Grandslam
Time Soldier 1989 Smart Egg Software / Smart Egg Software
Treasure Island Dizzy 1989 Codemasters / Codemasters
Troddlers 1992 ATOB, The Sales Curve / Storm
Ultimate Body Blows (CD³²) Ingame, Hiscore, Game Over & Continue 1994 Team17 / Team17
Wacky Darts 1990 Codemasters / Codemasters
Waggle-O-Mania!!! 1992 Team17 / The One
Waggle-O-Mania 2 1994 Team17 / The One
Zeewolf 1994 Binary Asylum / Binary Asylum
Zeewolf 2 - Wild Justice 1995 Binary Asylum / Binary Asylum

Demos

Demo Comments Year Group / Party
17BIT Intros and Music Disc 1989 17BIT
17BIT "Best of Submitted Artwork Vol 1" 1989 17BIT
Dragons Megademo I Reset Part 1990 Dragons
Hubbard Music #2 1989 17BIT
The Mandelbrot Show 1990 Image Creations
Sonix Jukebox 14 1988 17BIT
Sonix Jukebox 17 - Rob Hubbard Collection No.1 1989 17BIT
Sonix Sounds 1989 17BIT
Superwriter Data Disk 1988 17BIT
Super Sonix 1990
The Very Best of Rob Hubbard 1989 17BIT

External Links

References

  1. Allister's original homepage @ the Web Archive


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