An Apple II appearance in Beep!


Filed under Musings;
3 comments.

I have a growing collection of documentaries in my watch queue, many of them springing from Kickstarter. If I see a topic I like, I can't help but throw $15 at it — especially if it'll get me a digital copy of the movie, years down the road.

Such is the case with Beep: A Documentary History of Game Sound. This movie, crowdfunded in 2014, chronicles the evolution of audio composition technology in the interactive entertainment industry, featuring interviews with composers for such classic games as Marble Madness. A variety of hardware platforms and sound processors are featured, especially the Commodore 64 and its infamous SID chip — but disappointingly, at no point did I hear mention of the Apple II.

But I did see it! In two scenes, the narrators' commentary is overlaid with B-roll footage of convention-goers (perhaps at MAGFest?) using classic computers. At 25:19, the machine on-screen is very obviously an Apple IIGS, though the exact software being demoed is indeterminable; minutes later, at 32:44, an Apple RGB monitor — perhaps the same one previously featured, but from a different angle — can be seen in the background.

Playing an Apple IIGS in Beep documentary

Apple IIGS monitor in background of Beep documentary

Given the breadth and depth that Beep set out to cover, it's unsurprising that they wouldn't have the opportunity to focus on our favorite retrocomputer. But the Apple IIGS's Ensoniq chip was one of the platform's hallmark features, warranting acknowledgement right in the model's name — the 'S' stands for "sound", after all. At least it had its cameo.

For more opinion about Beep, read my review on Gamebits.

  1. I'm fairly sure the computer in the second photo is actually a Macintosh, though I don't know which model. If you look closely, you'll see that the front of the case is slightly curved and has 3 drive slots — I think they're a CD-ROM, 3.5" disk, and Zip disk, but could be wrong.

  2. Disappointing they didn't mention the attempts at 1-bit polyphonic on the Apple, or the Mockingboard, one of the first add-on sound card peripherals.

  3. Trilkhai: You are correct that the computer featured in the second image is a Macintosh. I was referring to the RGB monitor in the background.