Mariachi Games out of Mexico will be putting on the VCONCERT 2014 Game Music Event tomorrow, November 8th out of Monterrey, and streaming live through Twitch! Starting at 4 o’clock CST, a lineup of 10 hours worth of music performances from some of the most iconic names in the game music industry will be broadcast online for the masses to enjoy, including composers Akira Yamaoka (Silent Hill, Shadows of the Damned) and Michiru Yamane. (Castlevania: Symphony of the Night, Skullgirls)
VCONCERT was started in 2012 by game music fans Mariano Latapi di Carlo and Poulette Roel through their videogame promotion agency, Mariachi Games. This year celebrates the event’s 3rd year of doing live performances. You can check out last year’s performance featuring the likes of Jake Kaufman, The One Ups and DisasterPEACE on Spotify for a taste of what to expect this year, be sure to tune in at 4pm CST to hear for yourself live!
TheLegend of Zelda series plays host to a lot of great game music. A number of different composers have contributed to the franchise including Koji Kondo, Akito Nakatsuka, and Toru Minegishi, just to name a few. The first handheld Zelda title Link’s Awakening featured a few themes from Kondo, but primarily had its music written by Minako Hamano and Kozue Ishikawa. The two composers wrote some fun and memorable tunes that have stuck with many Zelda fans, so it shouldn’t be surprising that their work has inspired a remix album of the Link’s Awakening soundtrack.
The Meow Meow & Bow Wow remix album is a collaboration between DJ Cutman and Spamtron. The album’s title comes from the two chain chomp characters in the Link’s Awakening game. These two artists have worked together before on albums like Bagu and The Riverman. They each have a style that complements the other and their efforts have led to some great remixes. The Legend of Zelda: Link’s Awakening has some great material to be covered. How do these two remix artists approach this classic videogame soundtrack? Read on to find out. (more…)
This seems to be the time of year for game music Kickstarter campaigns. In addition to the previously covered Beep game audio documentary, another full length film titled The Players’ Score: A Videogame Music Documentary is looking for support through a Kickstarter campaign. Unlike the Beep documentary, The Players’ Score will be focused specifically on the music by game composers, chiptune artists, and videogame music cover artists. The documentary will also be taking a look at the culture and community surrounding game music.
The primary goal of the Kickstarter is to help fund the film team’s expenses as they travel to locations like MAGFest (Music and Game Festival) and to international locations in order to interview composers and artists and to cover game music events. Hitting the first stretch goal will allow the team to fly out to Japan for even more interviews.
Cast members in the film include Austin Wintory, Jesse Buddington, Nate Horsfall, and bands like Urizen and The Megas. The documentary is being narrated by Arin “Egorapter” Hanson and will have an original soundtrack composed by Jake “Virt” Kaufman. Backer rewards for the project include physical copies of the soundtrack, Blu-ray copies of the film, and special Skype calls with the cast and crew. If a documentary on the community and culture of videogame music sounds interesting to you, definitely take a look at this Kickstarter project.
Do you like chiptunes? How about a massive amount of chiptunes all compiled by some of the scene’s diverse blood? How would you like 50+ assorted tracks all bundled together at a price you get to determine?
You just basically got the gist of Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 3 that just came out this week. Comprised of a slew of the chip community’s bigger names and even some newcomers to the scene, the album delivers a grand assortment for your listening pleasure. Directed by Brandon “President Hoodie” Hood with art by Nate “FoxxDragon” Horsfall, Volume 3 also features additional merchandise and a whole bunch of antics and tomfoolery.
Details about the album can be found on the ChipWIN Blog, and the album can be grabbed for whatever price you want on the group’s Bandcamp page, along with all of the previous albums. I definitely recommend checking the compilation out and dare you not be shaking certain posterior body parts while doing so.
Back in February of this year, composer Jimmy “Big Giant Circles” Hinson released a Kickstarter funded album titled The Glory Days. A spiritual sequel to one of his earlier albums, Impostor Nostalgia, this new project featured original music written in the style of chiptunes and old-school videogame music. Part of the original Kickstarter stretch goals included the eventual release of a remix album, which the Kickstarter achieved.
The time has finally come for the release of this extra album. Each remix track comes from members of the game music community. Artists contributing on the album include Stemage, Chipzel, and C418. The Glory Days Remixed is set to launch on August 27th and you can pre-order it on the Big Giant Circles Bandcamp page.
Creators of a new game documentary have launched a Kickstarter. The project titled Beep is intending to take a look at the history of game music and sound. Everything from the old school sounds of arcade games all the way to the games of today. The focus isn’t just on the music of these games. The documentary will also be an exploration of audio design, voice work, and the use of chiptune and other game sound technology outside of the gaming medium. A book will also accompany the documentary to supply more detailed information about the various subjects covered in the film.
There are already plans for interviews with major members of the game audio community. Raising money through Kickstarter will aid the creators in being able to travel and interview composers and sound designers. Several composers have already been named for interviews including Tommy Tallarico, Winifred Phillips, Shota Nakama, Peter McConnell, and many more.
Rewards for backers include copies of the documentary, book, soundtrack, t-shirts, and many other physical rewards. The Kickstarter has already raised over $15,000 of the needed $40,000 pledge goal. If this sounds like a project you’d like to see made, definitely check this Kickstarter out.
Ever wonder if any video game music bands, nerdcore artists or chiptune peeps are in your area? Well, for your stalking pleasure, you now can find out where your favorite artists hail from! (note: please no actual stalking; nobody likes a creeper)
First Lady of Chiptunes, Erin “Ryn” McQuisten of Chiptunes = WIN has created a Google Map documenting the locations of a hefty list of the current scene’s video game bands, Nerdcore Artists, Visualists and Chiptune Artists from around the globe! An interesting little piece of valuable info if you happen to have some musical artists near you that you may have never known about. (I never knew that chiptune band The Revengineers were right near me!)
If you haven’t heard, there’s this new little Kickstarter for a 2D platformer/shoot-em-up hybrid game called Temporus that’s currently seeking funding. Why that is relevant in this case is because Ubiktune founder Dmitry “C-jeff” Zhemkov is the one who will be composing for the game should it reach its goal.
Featuring a chiptune prog flavor inspired by the FM synthesis of the Sega Genesis era and retro NES 8-bit synths, C-jeff currently has a preview on his Soundcloud of what he plans to do with the Temporus soundtrack should it reach its goal.
“Think the ambient chiptunes of FEZ combined with the classic progressive rocky stylings of Transformers: The Movie (1986), and you’ll have the basis for Temporus. It’s this, and so much more.” – C-jeff
Beyond that, should the project reach its stretch goals, a remix album will be created featuring other names in the game music industry such as Jeff Ball (Tiny Barbarian, Globulus) and Mitch Murder (Kung Fury, Interception LP) and the one and only Mr. Vince DiCola! (Rocky IV, Transformers: The Movie, Saturday Morning RPG)
The Kickstarter has under 2 weeks left in its campaign and looks to have some interesting style in its construction that draws inspiration from games like Mega Man and Cave Story, so why not throw a few bucks at Temporus to help fund a fun-looking indie game that is sure to have some great tunes to enjoy?
New work from Sam “Shnabubula” Ascher-Weiss came out today, and it’s quite a listen! The soundtrack for the game based off of the webshow Continue?” features a delightful mixture of chiptunes and comes at the even more delightful Name-Your-Price structure on Bandcamp. The 11-track album is exactly what you would expect a Contra-styled soundtrack to sound like, complete with high-energy pieces such as “Whirlpool Battle” and “Alien War-Machines”.
If you like some Shnabubula in your life and need some awesome chiptunes for your ride into work tomorrow, why not grab Continue? Philly Under Fire‘s OST and enjoy some great oldschool jams?
With the help of Kickstarter, another chiptune album has been brought into existence. Most people probably know Jimmy Hinson (a.k.a Big Giant Circles) and his music from games like Mass Effect 2 and Call of Duty Black Ops 2. It might surprise some people that in addition to the game music he writes, he also composes chiptunes. This latest album, The Glory Days, is a new collection of original pieces written by Hinson. The Glory Days was funded through a very successful Kickstarter campaign that far exceeded its original goal. Not only did the Kickstarter hit the goal of $5,000, but every single stretch goal was met as well. The Kickstarter receiving over $60,000 in pledges, allowing Big Giant Circles to hire several remixers and fellow game composers to help construct an extra remix album for release at a later date.
The Glory Days is a sequel to Hinson’s first album of original music, Impostor Nostalgia. This original album was a collection of music written by Hinson and featured several music remixers and composers. The concept behind Impostor Nostalgia was that while the music mimicked the sound and energy of chiptunes from older videogames, the music itself was original work that was never featured in any game, past or present. It was a cool experiment and generated some excellent new tunes. This time around, Hinson is flying solo with this sequel album, The Glory Days. Like the first album, this one aims to celebrate the sound of older game tunes while enhancing it with modern synth and electronic sounds that weren’t available years ago. Does Big Giant Circles pull this off on this second solo album? Read more to find out. (more…)
There are plenty of chip music makers out there these days. I have respect for all of them — it’s difficult work, to be sure. But one person I especially admire is Chipzel. She broke onto the scene when she wrote the three-track OST for Super Hexagon. But she has plenty of original works out there too.
The latest among them is Spectra, released in September 2013. This full-length album was created entirely in LSDJ, so it’s pure Game Boy goodness. The nature of this album? I think the headline gives it away, but if you want a detailed report, as well as where you can pick up the album, keep reading!
TED talks have always been about presenting ideas worth spreading, so I’m glad to see they’ve put Chiptunes on display. TED talks try to gain a deeper discussion in a local field, TEDx is more for local programs, and Dan (Dan Behrens, aka Danimal Cannon) hit it off. As Dan described Chiptunes, he defined it as…
… Any music made using, or emulating the sound of, old video game consoles and their soundchips.
Technically with that definition, the PS4 could also be considered platform for Chiptunes, but it’s the sound that Dan and the others are attracted to, not particularly a beefy console. Dan’s chip of choice being a classic Gameboy, he continued into his list of consoles that other artists use to make Chiptunes. Consoles such as the NES, Genesis, Commodore 64, Atari Amiga, and many others. As Dan described, it’s really about taking minimalist hardware, and pushing it to the maximum potential.
The talk itself features some excellent music past the 4:35 mark. Take a listen.
Dan went further to talk about a trend taking place in music software, one that makes music controls easier to use, but leaves you ignorant to what the controls directly changed to achieve its sound. For instance, if you use a plug-in that has a fader controlling a “Smash” parameter, what is the “Smash” doing exactly? Does it EQ the sound? Is something being filtered? Does it matter? By using plug-ins like that, Dan considered it a failing to learn.
Dan also stated that such software is good for businesses, which is true. Music software that gives the end user the sounds they desire is often the goal developers strive for. However, Dan insisted that Chiptune is not a response to such easy-to-use music software, but rather it evolved by itself into where it currently stands in the community.
What are your thoughts on the subject? Do you agree that simple and easy to use software actually does make you less curious about how the sound was achieved?