|Barry John Leitch|
Barry Leitch is a Scottish video game composer and sound designer. He was born in Strathaven, Scotland on April 27, 1970. He is probably best known for contributing the soundtrack to Top Gear (SNES).
His first video game soundtrack was ICUPS for the C64 and it was written when he was only 15 years old. In 1988, he joined Imagitec Design as a music and sound designer. During this time, Gremlin Graphics would outsource sound for their NES games to Imagitec, meaning Barry would have to go to their office to do the music. During this time, he'd produce music and sound more quickly so he could leave their office. He was also Enigma Variations' first sound designer for the NES/Game Boy games, until he was replaced by another legendary composer David Whittaker, and later Kevin Bateson. In 1992, Leitch left Imagitec for Ocean Software. He later left Ocean for Origin Systems. From 1994 to 1998, Leitch worked at Boss Game Studios as an audio director. Near the end of the 90's, Barry worked at the prolific game companies Midway Games and Atari Games. In September 2000, he worked at Fisher Price, designing music and sound for their toys.
Since February 2004, Barry operates Barry Leitch Audio Studios, which specializes in audio for various media, including video games.
Barry currently uses the tracker Renoise.
Leitch initially both composed and arranged in Electrosound. When better but harder-to-use drivers came in 1988, he kept composing in Electrosound on one C64 while thinking of better instruments and chords, and typed the notes and thoughts in Turbo Assembler on another C64. By 1989, he replaced Electrosound by Amiga trackers and emulated some of the used samples (with varying success he feels). For Marauder, the target driver was Ariston, then his own until 1990 and finally Charles Deenen's.
For Weird Dreams, he said the sound driver would have been programmed by Axel Brown if it's the same sound engine as Xenophobe (C64), but also thinks Dave Chiles and Adrian Waterhouse may have modified the driver. He had to write that game's soundtrack in assembly.
For Weird Dreams, Leitch used AdLib Visual Composer.
Leitch used a sound engine written by Richard Hutchison.
For Wheel of Fortune, he wrote the music in Z80 assembly using a sound driver by Richard Cowie.
Leitch used Fasttracker II.
Leitch composed the songs on MODTracker for the Commodore Amiga. Then, he would rewrite the music in MS-DOS using a driver created by an unknown programmer named "Mule the Top Lad".
During the development of Top Gear, Leitch was given instrument samples from Kemco, which were probably Korg M1 instrument samples. According to composer Hiroyuki Masuno, samples were given to Kemco by Sony, the creators of the sound chip of the SNES (SPC700).
When he worked at Ocean Software, he used MEdit. The program was coded by Leslie Long and was meant to resemble OctaMED, the tracker that Ocean Software used for their Commodore Amiga music. MEdit was also used for MS-DOS games as well.
All of these games have been verified to have been composed by Leitch via his website: http://barryleitch.com
In Wheel of Fortune: Starring Vanna White for the NES, as well as Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun, he is credited as Imagitec Design, the name of his employer. This was because the developers, GameTek, had no audio staff, and instead outsourced sound to Imagitec's UK division.
- barryleitch.com - Official.
- linkedin.com/in/barryleitch/ - Linkedin.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,6258/ - MobyGames.
- facebook.com/BarryLeitch - Facebook.
- zakalwe.fi/~shd/texts/imr/c116jack.htm - Interview from circa April 18, 1996.
- remix64.com/interviews/interview-barry-leitch.html - Interview from April 19, 2001.
- c64.com/interviews/leitch.html - Interview from November 27, 2003.
- c64.com/scene_display_interview.php?interview=161 - Interview from February 8, 2005.
- retrovideogamer.co.uk/rvg-interviews-barry-leitch/ - Interview from April 20, 2019.