Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sample Pack: Merlin Electronic Game

Photo courtesy: the internets.

While searching the local re-use centre for electronic goodies a couple of weeks ago I spotted a cool retro-looking box with a hand-held game on the cover. In wonderful space-age chrome lettering on the side was the word 'Merlin.' "6 electronic games," the box proclaimed,  "vocabulary of space age sounds," "powerful computer brain." The game itself still resided inside, and though a little battered, it looked to be in working order. So for the princely sum of 25 cents it was mine.

I knew of this game, but had never played it. It was made by Parker Bros. in 1978 (a year before I was born). It's actually quite fun, but more importantly it makes some wonderfully retro bleep sounds. I've created a sample pack containing all these sounds, recorded direct from the speaker using my CAD GXL1200 through an ART USB preamp. The pack is hosted on and is 100% royalty free.

One further note: although I made sure to use fresh batteries when making the recording, I realised afterward that Merlin is out-of-tune by approximately three semitones. Thus the tone 'do,' which should be a C, is closer to an A. This being the digital age, it can easily be corrected if you plan on using the sounds musically.