Dave Warhol is a composer, sound designer, and programmer. He played low brass instruments when he was in school. He started working at Mattel Electronics as a audio engineer, game designer and programmer. After being a video game musician and audio engineer for some time, he decided he wanted to make his own company for video games and he founded Realtime Associates in 1986. Realtime still exists to this day and is still run by David Warhol. He has also won the 12th Annual G.A.N.G. Lifetime Achievement Award.
Warhol programmed in assembly, first directly on the C64 using Merlin, and later on an PC using AD2600.
Warhol created a program that converted MIDI files to something that the Game Boy could read. According to one of the composer's at Realtime Associates, it was really touchy in that if a note overlapped another note a little bit in the MIDI file, the song wouldn't play back properly and instead hang on the said note.
Warhol also developed a live interface for controlling the Game Boy's audio with a keyboard. This was utilized to more efficiently test parts and sounds before sequencing or finalizing them. This was something he had also done with the NES, but not until he was part-way through the NES' lifespan. For Game Boy development, this is something he had ready for the first title he worked on.
Genesis / Mega Drive
Game Gear/Sega Master System
Warhol created a MIDI conversion tool.
Warhol created a program that converted MIDI files to the NES. He would compose his MIDI files in Cakewalk and then use his program to convert said MIDIs to the NES. If another composer at Realtime Associates was behind the music, he would use the same procedure, except he would arrange the composers' MIDI files first before converting them.
Warhol has explained the process in which he was able to convert from MIDI as efficiently as possible:
Before developing his MIDI converter, he worked with sheet music and would program the music in hexadecimal notation. He described this as a "very labor intensive process", and his earliest NES games used this method.
None of his NES music utilizes the 5th audio channel for sample playback, as he was unable to figure out how to use it.
Warhol programmed a sound driver which converted MIDI files to the SNES. The instrument samples were taken from other SNES games. Warhol lent his sound driver to many video game developers, but only his company name was mentioned in those games.
Sometimes, David was credited by his company's name, Realtime Associates.
In the manual for The Adventures of Rad Gravity (NES), his name is misspelled as "Dave Worhal". In addition, Warhol never actually composed music for this title, but rather arranged George Sanger's music.
- rtassoc.com - Official.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,341/ - MobyGames.
- facebook.com/dave.warhol - Facebook.
- twitter.com/davidwarhol - Twitter.
- youtube.com/watch?v=WeMseLpbREQ - Video Interview.
- remix64.com/interviews/interview-david-warhol.html - Interview from April 23, 2002.
- vgarc.org/vgarc-originals/interview-with-david-warhol/ - Audio Interview with Text Transcription from December 9, 2016 and June 14, 2017.
- c64.com/?type=4&id=52 - Interview from January 9, 2020.