Knight Rider theme, a Commodore 64 SID cover with Goattracker

Knight Rider was a TV series really popular in the 80’s. The opening sequence music theme is still very famous and I thought a Commodore 64 version would be nice.

 

Some Commodore 64 covers already exist actually. Still, I wanted to make my try.

Again, I started to work on this cover ten years ago, then I left it unreleased. I had some problems with arps. I couldn’t figure out one chord properly. I had to fix drums as well. Now I have a music keyboard (an old PSR 200 by Yamaha), so I decided to give it a try. The keyboard proved to be very helpful and I figured out that chord istantly.

You can download my cover here:

The tune is intended for 6581 SID chip, but it can be listened on 8580 SIDs too. The song is 2X, so set up speed multiplier on Goattracker accordingly, otherwise it will sound too slow or too fast.

The main part of the song is that catchy repetitive melody. It gives the idea of movement and technology. It gives you anxiety as well. It is fast and notes are very close together (as far as I can see, there’s always a difference of only one half tone between notes: that’s why it gives you that feeling I think). You can see these notes on track 00.

The instrument playing the repetitve melody in the original song is quite complex for a SID chip. To simulate it a bit, I had to use two channels. Sometimes, creating two slightly different instruments and playing them together with the same notes on the same octave is a way of creating a more complex sound. This is done in this cover, on position 01 of the orderlist, by playing tracks 04 and 05 together, where instruments 02 and 09 are overlapped. Please note that on track 04, instrument 07 is actually instrument 02 with just an added hit hat. Track 03 contains bass and drums.

On position 02, tracks 03 and 05 are “mixed” on track 06. This way, there is now a channel left for arps and for the lead. Arps are played on track 07.

The arp I couldn’t figure out in the past is the second one on track 07. Well, it’s a simple E minor chord, but it is played starting from the G note. It’s just a simple voicing, but I couldn’t spot it by trying arps on Goattracker. Like I said, the use of a real music keyboard proved to be dramatically helpful.

The remaining part of the tune is quite simple, there’s a lead with some accompaniment instruments.

This task was quite ambitious, still I tried to do my very best. Again, I hope this cover will be of some help to those learning SID music with Goattracker.

Be sure to check the other articles for more information on Goattracker and SID music. You can find them on the section “retrotechnologies”.

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