David Whittaker (video game composer)

David Whittaker (video game composer)

David Whittaker (born 24 April 1957 in Bury, England[1]) is known for numerous video game music which he wrote in most of the 1980s and early 1990s, for many different formats.


He is known for the large quantity of his works—more than any other composer (in fact, more than most of the other top composers' works combined). He was offered so many projects in the late 1980s that he had to pass some of them over to other computer game music writers (such as his good friends, Rob Hubbard and Ben Daglish). Initially, he had been a programmer, rather than a music maker. The first games that featured his music were also designed and programmed by him, such as Lazy Jones.

While making music, he often programmed music directly, instead of using any music composition tools, using just a "machine code monitor"—and then an 'assembler' system/program—including SuperSoft's and then Commodore's tools. Commodore 64 was the format that he composed for most frequently. He was more impressed with the Amiga's more developed technical sound capabilities, but used a few of the same instrument sounds, in several of his works, for Amiga. Thus, his Amiga music is often easy to recognise. For Shadow of the Beast, he was asked to compose especially good music, as much more memory was available for that game—so he used different and very high quality (at the time) instrument samples. These days, he works mostly in the field of computer game sound effects and voices rather than music.

Although he does not compose much at present, he is still involved in the implementation of Music, Ambiences, Sound FX—and his admitted "forte"—Dialogue (hence, his current moniker: DialogueGuru).

His most successful compositions appeared probably in Amiga games such as Shadow of the Beast, Obliterator, Xenon, Beyond the Ice Palace and Speedball. On the Commodore 64, his most popular compositions include for example Glider Rider, Storm, Street Surfer and Armageddon Man. His subtune 21 of Lazy Jones was the basis for the dance hit "Kernkraft 400" by Zombie Nation. Many of his other tunes can be heard on internet radio stations such as SLAY Radio. Other formats he has composed for include Amstrad CPC, Atari ST, Atari XL, MSX and ZX Spectrum. Many of his old songs are these days remixed by video game music enthusiasts.

After 8 years working in the US for Electronic Arts at their Redwood Shores studio, he joined the British video game developer Traveller's Tales, at their studio in Knutsford, Cheshire as Head of Audio in September 2004.


  1. ^ C64.COM interview

External links

  • Photograph of Whittaker at Lemon64.com
  • Whittaker's Amiga music at UnExoticA
  • David Whittaker at MobyGames
  • Artist profile at OverClocked ReMix
  • Remix64 Interview with David Whittaker Carr, Neil (2 October 2001)