November 17, 2013 | In: Audio, Games, Other by Stamba

Miami Vice & Crockett’s theme

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From Martin Galway to Jan Hammer

(or “vice”-versa…)

Back in the 80s, Sonny Crockett and Ricardo Tubbs were ruling were trying to rule Miami, driving fast Ferrari Daytona Spyder or Testarossa! Sure it had a HUGE success on TV and it was almost impossible to Ocean to miss such an opportunity to make a game about it.

Crockett and Tubbs have heard; the word is on the street – a one million dollar contraband shipment is due in town on Thursday morning, for collection by Mr. ‘J’ – an old fashioned gangster with a respactable new image and some influential friends. These big deals usually go down under the cover of a waterfront warehouse and as of Midnight Sunday that’s as much as you know. Just get out and squeeze the network of dealers; starting with the real low – life, the $10 wrap men who frequent the local bars. If you handle them right you just might get to their suppliers, the next link in the chain and eventually the slick businessmen who operate in the casinos – they should have lots of information if you don’t have to shoot them first!

Some advertisement and review:

Unfortunately, once again, Ocean managed to make a pretty bad adaptation. The game was pretty hard and controls were a pain in the *ss.

Reading many forums, it appeared that most of the players didn’t know what to do in this game. Maybe they just didn’t have to manual… so… here it is!

Download : Miami Vice – Manual (EN-FR-DE) – PDF


What did save this game? Music!

Martin Galway did an excellent cover of the Miami Vice theme composed by Jan Hammer but also managed to make an awesome 11 minutes master piece – full filtered hit – of the title Evan!

418221_3213470128966_1999408462_n“The Miami Vice game was a very quick job. I had been handed ‘Miami Vice’ and ‘Highlander’ because the outside development team working on it hadn’t worked out who was going to do the sound (notice those games have little or no sound-effects), so I did my best in a very short time. I […] picked ‘The Chase’ and the ‘Main Theme’ as the two tunes I would do. We had settled on two modes for the game – in your car and out of it I think. (Or maybe it was in the game and out of it, I can’t remember.) I started on ‘The Chase’ and if you listen to the first few seconds of that you can hear the basis of that super-filter-echo tune that is so cool. I recall David Collier was sitting in the office with me while I was working on it. But while messing with it while everyone else was at lunch, I came across this cool sound. I added to it and added to it, and when we applied the non-sync’d filter sweep we both flipped out! I decided to abandon the conversion of that tune and simply go with the cool sounds I had stumbled upon. When the guys came back from lunch and listened to it they swore that there was a cassette deck connected somewhere and it wasn’t the C64 playing it! Such a sound had not been heard before by any of us out of the C64. So I extended it and turned it into this tripping-out 11-minute piece. The main theme itself… I simply did my best with no drums (Rob Hubbard’s strength). I think my strength with guitar solos helped pull it off. Both of those problematic games benefited from my music, actually, and the Ocean management were very relieved (understatement).” (MG)


Miami Vice theme:

Evan (instrumental, extended remix):

The Crockett’s theme

Remembering the TV serie… my prefered track was definitly that neverending Crockett’s theme composed by Jan Hammer. According to some websites, Mr Hammer has used a Commodore 64 and Dr. T’s KCS and his “Algorithmic Composer”.

A little history about KCS and PVG. What is PVG?

“The PVG is an enormously capable musical instrument, and is arguably the most powerful composition system ever seen on this planet.” – from the PVG manual by Jim Aikin.
What PVG allows you to do is create variations of your music from a number of screens in many ways to alter, change and even create new music from your input…
What started all of this was a program produced in 1986 by DR T’s Software called, “Algorithmic Composer” for the Commodore 64 platform. It was used by Jan Hammer in his Miami Vice scores…

Source: (march 2003)

The Ghost in the Machine

Enter Tunesmith, a second-generation algorithmic composing program, developed by Jim Johnson, that can assist with both music creation and performance. The original version was part of the Algorithmic Composer program from Dr. T’s for the Commodore 64. This program took on legendary proportions after being endorsed enthusiastically by synthesist Jan Hammer, who bought a C64 system just to run the Algorithmic Composer as a front end to his $80,000-plus Fairlight Series III sampler/sequencer.

Source: (may 1989)


I’ve tried to contact Jan Hammer to get some information about this… but no reply so far (haha). Il would be damn cool to get an overview about his experience of it back in the 80s… Anyway, here are the original track and my prefered remix.

Original by Jan Hammer (1984-1987)

Remix by FPU (2003)


While I was waiting for some anwser from the boss, I’ve found a nice interview of him in the Compute Gazette (issue 35, May 1986). His conclusion is pretty nice and many artists should think twice about it :

Hammer: I would like to have a limitless supply of inspiration [laughs]. The technology is going along just fine. I’m not worried about technology anymore. I’m sometimes worried about being able to keep up with the ideas that feed the technology.

Download : Jan Hammer interview – Compute_Gazette_Issue_35_1986_May


And… finally… some more music!

Most of the players of this game were just listenning to the Martin Galway tracks but a lot of composers and remixers made interesting covers of the Crockett’s theme.


Bonus files

Download the game (.tap) : Miami Vice_0866 – tap
Download the game (.d64) : Miami Vice +5 (1986)(Ocean)[cr wdr]
Download the music (.sid) : Martin Galway – Miami Vice
Download the manual (.pdf) : Miami Vice – Manual (EN-FR-DE)

And to finish… that good old tape 🙂


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