|Barry John Leitch|
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.
Leitch currently uses the tracker Renoise.
Leitch's process greatly evolved over time:
- On I.C.U.P.S. (C64), Leitch solely arranged using Electrosound 64.
- 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.
- By October 1989, Leitch was composing using trackers on an Amiga, and typed emulations of the used samples (with varying success he feels).
- On Marauder (C64), the driver was Ariston. It is unknown how he got it.
- From 1988–1989, the driver was created by an unidentified programmer friend using Turbo Ass.
- Inmidst of scoring Xenophobe (C64), Leitch switched to a driver created by long-term collaborator Axel Brown, most likely using a cross assembler.
- Finally, starting in 1991, the driver was Charles Deenen's. Again, it is unknown how he got it.
On Weird Dreams, Leitch used AdLib Visual Composer. Ever since, he hates FM synthesis.
Leitch used a sound engine written by Richard Hutchison.
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.
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 (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.
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.
- mobygames.com/developer/sheet/view/developerId,6258/ - MobyGames.
- en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barry_Leitch - Wikipedia.
- barryleitch.bandcamp.com - Bandcamp.
- facebook.com/BarryLeitch - Facebook.
- linkedin.com/in/barryleitch - LinkedIn.
- reddit.com/user/barryleitch - Reddit.
- soundcloud.com/barryleitch - SoundCloud.
- twitter.com/barryleitch - Twitter.
- youtube.com/@BarryLeitch - YouTube.
- zakalwe.fi/~shd/texts/imr/c116jack.htm - Interview from circa 1996-04-18.
- web.archive.org/web/20010605001955/http://hem.passagen.se:80/tralala/Barry_Leitch/Barry_Leitch.mp3 - Audio greeting from 2000-12-11.
- remix64.com/interviews/interview-barry-leitch.html - Interview from 2001-04-19.
- amp.dascene.net/detail.php?view=515&detail=interview - Interview from 2001-10-10.
- www.c64.com/interviews/leitch.html - Interview from 2003-11-27.
- www.c64.com/?type=3&id=161 - Interview from 2005-02-08.
- web.archive.org/web/20150616193829/http://gamasutra.com/blogs/JesusFabre/20150612/245757/Interviewing_veteran_composer_Barry_Leitch_Part_I_Sound_chips_from_ZX81_to_the_SNES.php - Interview from 2015-06-12.
- retrogamesmaster.co.uk/barry-leitch-musician/ - Interview from 2016-03-02.
- youtube.com/watch?v=UK7BkFSBeT4&t=4m41s - Video interview by Tommy Tallarico from 2016-10-23.
- web.archive.org/web/20220522012036/https://infendo.com/an-interview-with-horizon-chase-composer-barry-leitch/ - Interview from 2018-05-15.
- retrovideogamer.co.uk/rvg-interviews-barry-leitch/ - Interview from 2019-04-20.
- youtube.com/watch?v=sdWJU2wyjNk - Video interview from 2022-10-??.