Creator of the GEMS sound driver for Genesis/Mega-Drive, Jon Miller, has passed away

It is with a heavy heart that I inform you all of the news recently shared on Twitter by Ecco The Dolphin creator Ed Annunziata that his old colleague, Jon Miller, has sadly passed away on May 7th 2024. Unfortunately, his exact birthdate is unknown, so we don’t know of his age at the time of death.

Jon Miller (Not to be confused with Joe Miller, former Sega of America Vice President of Product Development from the Genesis/Mega-Drive and Saturn years who, himself, passed away in 2014) was a software programmer at a few companies that worked closely with Sega of America in the early 90’s. At those companies, Jon had worked on Genesis games like Spider-Man vs. The Kingpin (1991), Chakan The Forever Man (1992), Taz-Mania (1992), Taz in Escape From Mars (1994), and X-Men 2: Clone Wars (1995). He was also a co-creator of GEMS (Genesis Editor for Music and SFX), a sound driver and audio production software for PC made to ease the composition of music for Genesis games for musicians who were not well-versed in FM sound programming. GEMS has been used to make music and sound effects in many American-produced Genesis and 32X games, including every game that Jon himself worked on. His brother, Mark Miller (Composer for the Toejam & Earl series, as well as Sega Channel) was another co-creator for GEMS. After 1995, Jon would join Crystal Dynamics, where he would work on games such as Gex: Enter The Gecko (1998), Akuji The Heartless (1999), and Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver (1999).

On behalf of Sega fans everywhere, we here at SegaBits thank Jon Miller for lending his talents to many classic games, both Sega and non-Sega, and for his service in assistance to many composers of Genesis games. May he rest in peace. Many condolences go out to his friends and family.

Join us beyond the break as we reminisce on some classic Genesis game soundtracks that made use of GEMS in memory of Jon Miller.

Phantasy Star Jun Senoue Rock Remix coming to PSO2: New Genesis in Phantasy Star 35th Anniversary Event

Did you know that this year marks the 35th anniversary of the Phantasy Star series? It’s come a long way. To celebrate, Sega have released a brand new rock remix of the main theme for PSO2 New Genesis, featuring beloved Sonic musician Jun Senoue and arrangement by NGS community staff member GWIZOFTHESTARS. You can listen to it right now on YouTube, and if you log into NGS between now and November 21st 2023, you’ll receive this same remix as a music disc (Not a physical disc, like a CD) that you can play within the game and a poster to be displayed within your creative space. Both items will be absolutely free as long as you log in within the event period. Keep logging in every week to see more gifts, which will be revealed later.

In addition, there will be more music remixes soon to be revealed on the official PSO2 NGS YouTube channel and the various official social media pages: (Facebook) (Instagram) (Discord) (I’ll be deep in the cold, cold ground before I start calling Twitter “X”). Between November 7th and November 21st, the final day of the event, there will also be special movie concerts, which will play on the big screens in the in-game central city hubs, such as Aelio Town. If you’re playing NGS, you won’t want to miss any of this.

Phantasy Star Online 2 New Genesis is free to play and available for PC on Steam, Windows Store, and Epic Games Store as well as on Xbox, PS4, and PS5. All versions of the game are all cross platform, meaning you can play with anyone on any system. You can read more from the official website.

Are you already playing PSO2 NGS? What do you think of this new NGS theme remix? How long have you been a Phantasy Star fan and which game did you start with? Tell us all about it in the comments below.

The SEGAbits Swingin’ Report Show LIVE: Video Game Music with Special Guest Ap0c

Our next LIVE show is planned for Thursday, August 26th at 9PM central / 7PM pacific / 10PM eastern. Steve ‘ap0c’ Lakawicz will be on as guest to talk about video game music, how it’s made for both retro and modern consoles, how one makes a career out of composing game music and the state of video game music in 2021.

Steve is a classically trained musician with a Master’s degree in Music Performance, specializing in orchestral tuba. He has toured with brass quintets and performed with the Curtis Symphony Orchestra, and lately has taken an interest into crafting and emulating authentic chiptunes. Most recently he has composed music for Brock Crocodile. You can listen to his music here:

Support us on Patreon! Get early access, join in the conversation, get Q&A priority, become a guest on the show and more!

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Former SEGA Sound Designer Kazuhiko Nagai Shares Ghostbusters and Rambo III Music Demo Tracks

It seems like video game industry creatives stuck at home have been spent some of that time unearthing and sharing hidden treasures from past development projects. First we had Craig Stitt sharing cool STI game concepts, and now we have former SEGA sound designer Kazuhiko Nagai sharing music demo tracks from the late 80s!

Posted to his YouTube channel, demo tracks from the Genesis/Mega Drive release of Ghostbusters, the Genesis/Mega Drive release of Rambo III and a track from the Genesis/Mega Drive game Mystic Defender have appeared in recent weeks. The tracks are labeled as rough sketches and “maybe rejected”, with Nagai providing his best guess at times for what the intention of the track was. As of writing, a new video was just uploaded (after the break) with fingers crossed for many more over the coming days.

Streets of Rage 4 Original Soundtrack to be available on digital platforms on day one and Vinyl this Summer

DotEmu announced that a official Streets of Rage 4 original soundtrack will be available to listen on several digital platforms (Spotify , Deezer, etc) on day one of release with the Vinyl coming out this Summer with the help from Brave Wave Music and Mutant Ninja Play.

Streets of Rage 4 will be available on Playstation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC this Spring 2020. Pre-orders for limited editions are also available on Limited Run Games website.


Crush 40 set to release a new “Ultimate Collection” album in July

Johnny and Jun are doubling down this year with their own album: Driving Through Forever: The Ultimate Crush 40 Collection, listing all their best hits from the last 20 years. Unlike Maximum Overdrive, which lists multiple artists with Jun Senoue, this is all only Crush 40. There are multiple Internet listings, from Amazon UK to Tower Records JP, ranging for around $25-$30 depending on the seller. Four tracks are already confirmed with classics like: Open Your Heart, Live & Learn, Sonic Heroes, and Green Light Ride.

Take a behind the scenes look of Making of the Music for Team Sonic Racing – Part 1

The Sonic the Hedgehog social media page has uploaded a new video showcasing a behind the scenes look of the music being composed for Team Sonic Racing featuring Sonic the Hedgehog music veteran, Jun Senoue and many other musicians. The video features sample tunes of many tracks such as Boo’s House, Frozen Junkyard, Market Street, and Green Light Ride.

As this is part 1 of Making of the Music for Team Sonic Racing, it would be cool to see Tee Lopes and Hyper Potions at work on video for part 2. Like the music for Team Sonic Racing? Let us know on the comments below.

New OverClocked ReMix album VROOM: Sega Racing releases, celebrating SEGA racing game music

VROOM: Sega Racing is the latest OverClocked ReMix album, which celebrates the music of SEGA’s arcade and console games. The free to download album features 11 tracks from 14 artists featuring new remixes and arrangements from games which include Daytona USA, SEGA Rally Championship, Indy 500, OutRun, NASCAR Arcade, Metropolis Street Racer and Virtua Racing Deluxe. As with previous OverClocked ReMix releases, the album is completely unofficial.

Download and listen for yourself here!

Data Discs announces Metal Slug on vinyl

DATA013_Ltd_Ed_2Data Discs has announced their 13th number release, this one being Metal Slug. Which is kind of strange considering that each of their prior releases was a SEGA published or owned IP. In the end of the day I decided to post this because Metal Slug was on the SEGA Saturn, so technically its sort of SEGA related? Metal Slug vinyl will be worked on with collaboration from the SNK Sound Team! Each shipped copy will come with a double-sided lithographic insert featuring artwork from SNK’s Japanese archives.

The Metal Slug vinyl will come in three flavors:

  • 180g Tri-Colour with White Splatter (Limited Edition)
  • 180g Opaque Yellow
  • 180g Classic Black

Pre-orders for the vinyl start on October 7th, you can listen to some of the sample tracks here. Are any of you guys big fans of SNK’s Metal Slug? Will you be picking up the vinyl?

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Forces Fist Bump Vocal Theme Reaction

On this SEGA News Bits, George and Barry fist bump their way through the recently revealed main theme to Sonic Forces. The track, titled “Fist Bump”, features vocals and lyrics by Douglas Robb of Hoobastank and is composed and arranged by Tomoya Ohtani. How does the tune compare to past title tracks? What do we think of the lyrics? Who… bastank?

If you enjoy our SEGA News Bits segments and want to support us: Give us a sub and give this video a like so it shows up on more like minded fans YouTube recommendations. You know, how that YouTube algorithm is. Thanks for the support.

SEGA releases new Sonic Forces music track – give it a listen!

SEGA, via the official Sonic the Hedgehog YouTube account, has released a music track from the upcoming Sonic Forces. The track, titled “Park Avenue” was heard briefly in the gameplay teaser, but now we’re hearing the lyrics that only were heard at the tail-end of that teaser. SEGA PR had this to say about the track:

Hit that beat, Sonic! Today, SEGA® dropped a brand new music track featured in Sonic Forces, the upcoming Sonic game that lets players experience fast paced action as Modern Sonic, catapult past perilous platforms as Classic Sonic, and use powerful new gadgets as your own Custom Hero Character. The energetic, upbeat music is the background music for the Park Avenue Stage featuring the Custom Hero Character.

Composed by Tomoya Ohtani, the track is upbeat and features lyrics that evoke both Sonic Adventure 2‘s Knuckles stage tracks and Sonic R. Personally, I think it’s great to hear vocals back in Sonic games. What do you think of the track?

SEGA News Bits: Sonic Mania Delayed, Sonic & Knuckles Remix Level Revealed

Welcome to a new SEGA News Bits, now that the SXSW Sonic the Hedgehog panel has passed we sit down and discuss what we learned regarding Sonic Mania. We talk about Sonic Mania being delayed, Sonic & Knuckles‘ Flying Battery Zone being announced as a new remixed level, new official Sonic Mania artwork, the Sonic Mania soundtrack vinyl, and even the first real life look at the Sonic Mania Collector’s Edition. So all you Sonic Maniacs tune in and what are your opinions on all the new Sonic Mania news? Let us know in the comments below.

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Streets of Rage and Shenmue soundtracks are getting a vinyl release [update]

I got to say I love records, I have quite the collection and I’m so excited that SEGA has teamed up with a new record label called ‘Data Discs’ to release both the Streets of Rage and Shenmue soundtracks.

Data Discs is calling itself the first record label dedicated to releasing video game soundtracks and its fitting that its first two releases would be two of the most iconic soundtracks of their time. The Streets of Rage soundtrack will be fully remastered with the help of Yuzo Koshiro . Both releases will be pressed on 180 gram vinyl and include a lithographic print with each title.

If you want to pre-order yourself a copy (like I do), you’ll have to wait until May 30th when Data Discs opens its website. The records won’t ship until September and there will be extras for early pre-orders.


Found out that each release will come in three different colored vinyls, one of the colors will be exclusive to Data Disc website!

Streets of Rage: 

  • 180g translucent red vinyl with black splatter (exclusive to the Data Discs website)
  • 180g translucent red vinyl
  • 180g black virgin vinyl

The Streets of Rage soundtrack will come with traditional OBI strip and 2x lithographs featuring artwork from both the western and Japanese release. Early bird orders will come with five playing cards featuring original character art, and packed with hand-stamped envelope.


  • 180g translucent blue vinyl with ‘colour in colour’ effect (exclusive to the Data Discs website)
  • 180g translucent blue vinyl
  • 180g black virgin vinyl

The Shenmue soundtrack will feature one lithograph, spot varnished cover and a OBI strip. You can hear samples of the Shenmue remaster on Data Disc’s soundcloud. I’ve been told they will be priced at £20 (roughly $30 USD), but can’t 100% confirm that.

[Via: Polygon]

SEGABits At Magfest 13: The Write Up


So, for my first article proper on the site, I figured why not talk about my favorite gaming event of the year, MAGFest, which just wrapped this past weekend at the Gaylord National Resort and Convention Center in National Harbor, Maryland. In its thirteenth year, this gaming festival was primarily started as a celebration of music in gaming and all the video-game inspired bands that have risen up in the past decade or so, but has grown to become an all-encompassing celebration of gaming culture at large. From gaming developers, artists, journalists, personalities, and even other aspects of geek culture, it truly has something for everyone.

Dj CUTMAN’s “Spindash” – a Sonic the Hedgehog fan-made remix album available now!

The Sonic the Hedgehog franchise is not new to fan-made remix albums, and given the quality of Sonic music, I can’t blame the many artists out there for being inspired to put their spin on classic tracks. But every once in a while a really special remix album hits, and Dj CUTMAN’s “Spindash” is one of those. The album, licensed by SEGA, is a fitting tribute to SEGA’s blue mascot featuring diverse styles of music and even ventures outside of the 16-bit era to remix tunes from Sonic Adventure 2 and Sonic Colors.

“Spindash” is available now on Loudr, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play. Dj CUTMAN performed at this past weekend’s MAGFest, and SEGAbits was there! We’ll have coverage from the event up on the site soon, in the meantime check out the album and after the break, read the press release.