Barry Leitch

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Barry John Leitch
Barry Leitch - 02.jpg
Gender Male
Born 1970-04-27
Birth Place Paisley, Renfrewshire, Scotland
Nationality Scottish   Scotland.svg
Aliases The Jackal
Imagitec Design Ltd
Website barryleitch.com

Barry Leitch is a Scottish video game composer and sound designer. He was born in Paisley, 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 Leitch 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 was fired from Imagitec and joined 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 '90s, Leitch 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, Leitch operates Barry Leitch Audio Studios, which specializes in audio for various media, including video games.

Audio Development

Leitch currently uses the tracker Renoise.

Amiga

Leitch used OctaMED and Noisetracker. Most of his instrument samples were taken from Soundtracker.

Commodore 64

Leitch's process greatly evolved over time:

  1. On I.C.U.P.S. (C64), Leitch solely arranged using Electrosound 64.
  2. Starting in 1988, when he had better-sounding but harder-to-use software, he kept composing using Electrosound on one C64 while imagining chords and better instruments, and typed the notes and imaginations on another computer.
  3. By October 1989, Leitch was composing using trackers on an Amiga, and typed emulations of the used samples (with varying success he feels).

The aforementioned software changed even more. In any case, Leitch typed notes and instruments into an 6502 assembler. All drivers happen to be tuned at 424 Hz (briefly 434 Hz in 1988).

  1. On Marauder (C64), the driver was Ariston. It is unknown how he got it.
  2. From 1988–1989, the driver was created by an unidentified programmer friend using Turbo Ass.
    • The driver was once also used by James Smart.
    • A few versions of the driver hide the comment **** ◦C) WYZARD 1988 ****, Wyzard indeed having been a programmer friend in 1986.
    • On Ferrari Formula One (C64), Leitch first used samples, and David Chiles modified the driver.
  3. Inmidst of scoring Xenophobe (C64), Leitch switched to a driver created by long-term collaborator Axel Brown, most likely using a cross assembler.
  4. Finally, starting in 1991, the driver was Charles Deenen's. Again, it is unknown how he got it.

His favorite composers are Rob Hubbard (especially Spellbound (C64)), Martin Galway, Ben Daglish and Fred Gray (specifically Shadowfire (C64)).

DOS

On Weird Dreams, Leitch used AdLib Visual Composer. Ever since, he hates FM synthesis.

Game Boy

Leitch used a sound engine written by Richard Hutchison.

Game Gear

Leitch wrote the music in ProTracker. The music was then converted to the Game Gear using Axel Brown's sound driver and software.

For Wheel of Fortune, he wrote the music in Z80 assembly using a sound driver by Richard Cowie.

Genesis / Mega Drive

Ocean Software offered Imagitec Design a "really good" but way too expensive driver, so Leitch used a driver he hated (like FM synthesis in general). On Wheel of Fortune (GEN), the driver was by Rab Walker. The music was programmed in assembly.

Nintendo 64

Leitch used Fasttracker II.

NES

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".

SNES

For the games Leitch did for Imagitec, Leitch wrote the music in assembly, using Imagitec's variant of Nintendo's Kankichi-kun sound driver. Leitch had to reprogram the driver, as he only received the source code for the sound engine itself, but not the hardware that came with purchasing Nintendo's development equipment.

During the development of Top Gear (SNES), 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 (S-SMP).

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.

TG16

For Leitch's only TurboGrafx game, Impossamole (TG16), he and the development team wrote the sound driver and music in assembly. Leitch arranged the game's theme from the computer versions, as well as composed new music for the stages, bosses, high score screen and ending.

It was a crazy project. We had to make the music driver from scratch as well as write all the extra tunes for the pce version over the course of a few days.most of that was working out what the hardware could do and trying to do some pulse width modulation.

As the PC Engine sound hardware is wavetable-based, pulse width modulation proved impossible without extensive programming for the sound driver. The music instead makes use of half-width squarewaves, as well as other custom waveforms per PC Engine fashion.

Gameography

All of these games have been verified to have been composed by Leitch via his website: http://barryleitch.com

Released Title Sample Notes
1986-0?-?? I.C.U.P.S. (C64) Arranged Graham Marsh's Detergent.
1988-06-2? Marauder (C64)
1988-10-2? R-Type: Catalyst Coders (C64)
1988-1?-?? Super Dragon Slayer (C64)
1988-1?-?? Emlyn Hughes International Soccer (C64)
1988-1?-?? Battlefield (C64)
1988-??-?? The President Is Missing (AMI)
1988-??-?? The President Is Missing (AST)
1988-??-?? Silk Worm (AMI)
1988-??-?? Silk Worm (AST)
1988-??-?? Ultima V (AMI)
1989-05-?? Silk Worm (C64)
1989-05-2? Postman Pat (C64)
1989-0?-?? Gilbert (C64)
1989-08-2? Gemini Wing (C64)
1989-10-?? Xenophobe (C64)
1989-??-?? Airborne Ranger (AMI)
1989-??-?? Airborne Ranger (AST)
1989-??-?? DNA Warrior (AMI)
1989-??-?? Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun (CPC)
1989-??-?? Gemini Wing (AMI)
1989-??-?? Gemini Wing (AST)
1989-??-?? Gemini Wing (ZXS)
1989-??-?? Gilbert: Escape from Drill (AMI)
1989-??-?? Gilbert: Escape from Drill (AST)
1989-??-?? MicroProse Soccer (AMI)
1989-??-?? MicroProse Soccer (AST)
1989-??-?? MicroProse Soccer (ZXS)
1989-??-?? Rock'n Roll (AST) Arranged Rock'n Roll (AMI)
1989-??-?? Rock'n Roll (ZXS) Arranged Rock'n Roll (C64)
1989-??-?? Silk Worm (AST)
1989-??-?? Silk Worm (ZXS)
1989-??-?? Starglider 2 (ZXS)
1989-??-?? Weird Dreams (DOS)
1989-??-?? Xenophobe (AMI)
1989-??-?? Xenophobe (AST)
1989-??-?? Xenophobe (ZXS)
1989-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (CPC)
1990-??-?? Combo Racer (AMI)
1990-??-?? Combo Racer (AST)
1990-02-?? Weird Dreams (C64)
1990-0?-?? Ferrari Formula One (C64)
1990-03-1? Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun (C64)
1990-04-?? Impossamole (C64)
1990-??-?? Fiendish Freddy's Big Top O' Fun (ZXS)
1990-??-?? Impossamole (AMI)
1990-??-?? Impossamole (AST)
1990-??-?? Prophecy I: The Viking Child (AMI)
1990-??-?? Prophecy I: The Viking Child (AST)
1990-??-?? Prophecy I: The Viking Child (DOS)
1990-??-?? Supremacy (DOS)
1990-??-?? Treasure Trap (AMI)
1990-??-?? Treasure Trap (AST)
1990-??-?? Xiphos (AST)
1990-??-?? Xiphos (DOS)
1991-0?-?? Hero Quest (C64)
1991-09-2? Stratego (C64)
1991-??-?? American Gladiators (AMI)
1991-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (AMI)
1991-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (AST)
1991-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (DOS)
1991-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (GEN)
Arranged by John Phillips.
1991-??-?? Back to the Future Part III (ZXS)
1991-??-?? Gadget Twins (AMI)
1991-??-?? Hero Quest (AMI)
1991-??-?? Hero Quest (AST)
1991-??-?? Hero Quest (DOS)
1991-??-?? Hero Quest (ZXS)
1991-??-?? Impossamole (TG16)
1991-??-?? Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 (AMI)
1991-??-?? Lotus Turbo Challenge 2 (AST)
1991-??-?? Pegasus (AMI)
1991-??-?? Pegasus (AST)
1991-??-?? Stratego (AMI)
1991-??-?? Stratego (AST)
1991-??-?? Super Cars II (AMI) In-Game
1991-??-?? Suspicious Cargo (AMI)
1991-??-?? Switchblade 2 (AMI)
1991-??-?? Switchblade 2 (AST)
1991-??-?? Utopia: The Creation of a Nation (AMI)
1991-??-?? Utopia: The Creation of a Nation (AST)
1991-??-?? Utopia: The Creation of a Nation (DOS)
1991-??-?? Zone Warrior (AMI)
1991-??-?? Zone Warrior (AST)
1991-02-?? Super Cars (NES)
1992-0?-?? The Shoe People (C64)
1992-0?-?? Space Crusade (C64)
1992-05-14 The Humans (GEN)
1992-??-?? The Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt (NES)
1992-??-?? Frankenstein (AMI)
1992-??-?? Harlequin (AMI)
1992-??-?? Harlequin (AST)
1992-??-?? Robocop 3 (DOS)
1992-??-?? The Humans (AMI)
1992-??-?? The Humans (DOS)
1992-??-?? Lethal Weapon (AMI)
1992-??-?? The Shoe People (ZXS)
1992-??-?? Space Crusade (AMI)
1992-??-?? Space Crusade (AST)
1992-??-?? Space Crusade (DOS)
1992-??-?? Space Crusade (ZXS)
1992-??-?? Universal Monsters (AMI)
1992-??-?? Super Kick Off (GB)
1992-??-?? Wheel of Fortune (GEN)
1992-??-?? Wheel of Fortune (GG)
1992-01-?? Wheel of Fortune: Featuring Vanna White (NES)
1992-03-27 Top Gear (SNES)
1992-07-?? Greg Norman's Golf Power (NES)
1992-07-22 Kick Off (NES)
1992-08-13 Gadget Twins (GEN)
1992-09-?? Wheel of Fortune (SNES)
1992-12-?? Daemonsgate (DOS)
1992-12-?? Lethal Weapon (SNES)
1993-??-?? European Champions (AMI)
1993-??-?? King's Table: Legend of Ragnarok (AMI)
1993-??-?? King's Table: Legend of Ragnarok (DOS)
1993-??-?? Lothar Matthäus (AMI)
1993-??-?? TFX (DOS)
1993-04-?? American Gladiators (SNES)
1993-07-?? The Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt (GB)
1993-08-?? The Addams Family: Pugsley's Scavenger Hunt (NES)
1994-??-?? Inferno: The Odyssey Continues (DOS)
1994-??-?? The Humans (CD32)
1994-??-?? Wing Commander: Privateer - Righteous Fire (DOS)
1994-??-?? Wings of Glory (DOS)
1994-08-?? Eek! the Cat (SNES)
1995-07-28 Ultima: The Savage Empire (SFC)
1997-??-?? TFX (AMI)
1997-02-26 Spider: The Video Game (PS1)
1997-10-?? Top Gear Rally (N64)
1998-11-10 Rush 2: Extreme Racing USA (N64)
1999-02-28 California Speed (N64) With Pablo Buitrago.
1999-07-14 Drakan: Order of the Flame (W32)
1999-08-31 Gauntlet: Legends (N64)
2000-02-29 Gauntlet: Legends (PS1)
2000-05-30 Gauntlet: Legends (DC)
2000-09-06 San Francisco Rush 2049 (DC)
2000-09-07 San Francisco Rush 2049 (N64)
2003-10-27 Batman: Rise of Sin Tzu (GBA) Adapted by Michel Marsan
2004-02-24 Tom Clancy's Splinter Cell: Pandora Tomorrow (GBA) Adapted by Michel Marsan
2005-11-22 King Kong: The Official Game of the Movie (GBA) Adapted by Michel Marsan
2006-04-06 Bonnie's Bookstore (W32)
2007-04-20 Zendoku (NDS) With Allister Brimble and Will Davis
2007-04-20 Zendoku (PSP) With Allister Brimble and Will Davis
2009-05-08 The Humans: Meet the Ancestors! (W32) Arranged by Kevin Saville.
2013-04-16 Dark Quest (IOS)
2013-07-14 Dark Quest (X360)
2013-10-08 Dark Quest (PSV)
2015-01-21 Dark Quest (W64)
2015-08-20 Horizon Chase: World Tour (IOS)
2016-03-24 Slain!: Back from Hell (W64)
2018-04-13 Dungeonette (ZXSN)
2018-05-15 Horizon Chase Turbo (W64)
2019-11-26 Story of a Gladiator (PS4)
2022-09-07 Horizon Chase 2 (MAC)
Unreleased Gadget Twins (SNES)
Unreleased Kick Off 2 (GB)
Unreleased Kick Off 2 (NES)
Unreleased Wing Commander 2 (SNES)
Unreleased Gauntlet Legends (GBC) Arranged by Matthew Simmonds

Picture Gallery

Aliases

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.

Links