Markus Schneider

From Video Game Music Preservation Foundation Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Markus Schneider
Markus Schneider - 06.jpg
Born 1970-11-03
Birth Place Winsen, Lower Saxony, West Germany
Nationality German   Germany.svg
Aliases Markus of Parsec
Markus Schneider (Lords of Sonics)
Markus Schneider of X-ample
Markus Schneider / X-ample
M. Schneider
Markus Schneider 'X-ample'

Markus Schneider is a German composer and programmer.

Schneider discovered arcade machines at a restaurant where his father took him to. In 1978, he got a few tele-games and for Christmas 1979, an Atari 2600. Around 1984, his aunt bought him a Commodore 64 with tape drive. His first played game was Match Point. In early 1985, he got a disk drive and got into the demo scene by 1987.

During a project week at Hermann-Billung-Gymnasium, Schneider met Jens Blidon who was composing using Soundmonitor. Schneider watched and Blidon got him started as well. They then unsuccessfully tried to sell songs. Since Blidon did not like Soundmonitor much anyway, Schneider spent 2 months in 1988 writing him a better sound driver, and they founded Lords of Sonics. When their classmates heard, they asked them to score their games, which was their start in the video game industry (too late, Schneider feels). In 1989, Blidon left for the army, and Schneider talked with X-Ample Architectures about merging their sound driver with his. Schneider drove over and spent 7 weeks on it. One night in 1989, X-Ample invited Schneider to join as a composer and programmer.

Schneider was inspired by other computer musicians, Jean-Michel Jarre, the game he had to score, and jamming on his Kawai K4 for hours. Charles Deenen also briefed him about some special music styles. Schneider found it best to find an own style, take time to make composition and instruments real and professional, and not just make disco music with unusual basslines and chords, since companies did not want that. Ironically, and to his annoyance, he was usually contacted directly by game programmers, who themselves wanted disco music (once even in 2 days). When Schneider pitched to companies, they forgot about him. Some paid after 20 phone calls and 60 days. 25 to 30 of his disks were even stolen by a computer freak at the post office. Earning only 500 to 1500 DM per music, his main jobs were as a games programmer and later a project manager at a company engaged in consoles. His video game career ended with his conscription.

In July 1998, he co-founded Skycom GmbH, an IT company. After years of self-studying orchestration and building up a digital studio, he started remixing C64 music in 2002. In 2005, he co-founded Symphonic Dreams (as a division of Skycom) with Rob Hubbard. As of 2001, he only plays Formula One Grand Prix and does not pay attention to video game music other than Black & White (W32) and X: Beyond the Frontier (W32). For companies, he liked Thalamus, Cinemaware and Hewson. He has listened to pop, rap, jazz, classical and other genres (except for punk, speed metal and thrash metal), but always preferred film music (citing Mike Post and John Carpenter).

Audio Development


In 1989, Schneider wanted to write his own driver, but in 1990, Chris Hülsbeck gave him a special version of TFMX-Editor for free.

His favorites were Tim Follin, Tim Wright, Lee Wright, Unreal (AMI), Chris Hülsbeck, Title - Populous, PGA Tour Golf (AMI). He considers his best song Tusker (AMI).

Commodore 64

Schneider used his own driver which evolved into The Parsec Music Editor and Compotech. For the sound effects in Timezone (C64), he used ROM's Fix.

His all-time favorites and inspirations are Tim Follin, Rob Hubbard (especially LightForce (C64)) and Martin Galway, Jeroen Tel (especially Tomcat (C64), because it was not too discoish) and Charles Deenen. He also likes Johannes Bjerregaard (especially Nightdawn (C64)), Thomas Detert, Eliminator (C64), Cybernoid (C64), Eagles (C64), The Flexible Arts and has met Chris Hülsbeck, Ramiro Vaca and F.A.M.E.. He considers his best songs Rolling Ronny (C64), No Mercy (C64), Lethal Zone (C64) and Xiphoids (C64).

As of 2004, he still owns all of his four C64s, but only one with a defected SID chip works.


In February 1991, someone was programming a driver for Schneider. It may have been TBSA, created by Mario Knezovic and used by Thomas Detert, both of whom Schneider had worked with before.


Released Title Sample Notes
1988-0?-?? The Magic Events (C64) With Johann Hartmut Stoeten.
1988-10-?? Babylon Four (C64) With Jens Blidon.
1988-1?-?? Platou (C64) With Jens Blidon.
1989-08-?? Gravrace (C64) Music driver.
1989-09-?? Timerunner (C64)
1989-0?-?? American Express (C64) Music driver.
1989-0?-?? Counter-Force (C64) Music driver.
1989-0?-?? Leonardo (C64) Music driver.
1989-10-?? Metal-Force (C64) Music driver.
1989-1?-?? No Mercy (C64)
1989-1?-?? Timezone (C64) Sound effects. Music driver.
1990-04-06 Reaction: New Age (C64)
Arranged by Clemens Langowski.
1990-06-?? Elite Squad (C64)
1990-08-?? Declem (C64)
1990-08-?? Intruder - The Space Quest (C64)
1990-09-?? Django (C64)
1990-0?-?? Crystal Fever (C64)
1990-0?-?? Domination (C64)
1990-0?-?? Paranom - Elite Squad II (C64)
1990-0?-?? Tusker (AMI)
1990-0?-?? The Yawn (C64)
1990-10-?? Zozoom (C64)
1990-11-?? Trans World (C64)
1990-12-?? Dick Tracy (C64) Arranged Dick Tracy (AMI).
1990-12-?? Tit Bit (C64)
1990-??-?? Gordian Tomb (AMI) Arranged Gordian Tomb (C64).
1991-01-?? Project S.O.L (C64)
1991-02-?? Stümp (C64)
1991-07-?? Apoxoly (C64)
1991-0?-?? Crown (C64)
1991-0?-?? Gilded Age (C64)
1991-0?-?? Lethal Zone (C64)
1991-0?-?? Mad Springs (C64)
1991-0?-?? Rolling Ronny (C64)
1991-0?-?? The Second World (C64)
1992-06-?? Magic Mouse in Goblin Land (C64)
1992-0?-?? Xiphoids (C64)
199?-??-?? Think Cross (C64)
199?-??-?? Turn It II (C64)

Picture Gallery