Chiptunes

There are two types of chiptune: 1) New music written using classic video game and computer hardware; 2) Music made with very small (single-cycle) waveform samples, like a saw wave or a tiny snippet of data. I make and listen to both kinds, in MOD trackers, on Game Boys, with Nintendos and Turbografx16s and PCI synthesis cards and ancient FM synths. It’s the kind of music I most enjoy writing, and has the coolest internet community I’ve ever found.


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I played this in memory of Michael Jackson, who is my all-time #1 musical inspiration, at Magfest 8. What you are hearing is Michael Jackson’s original Thriller in one ear, and my own NES chiptune cover of Thriller in the other, with a tiny bit of bleed-through. The mash-up effect is a little jarring at [...]

As performed at Magfest 8, in January 2010. This isn’t the original song just run through chip synths, it’s almost entirely rewritten to account for how sloppy my playing was on the full production. Chip instruments are much less forgiving and stick out terribly if they’re just a little bit off, so I just selected [...]

This is the first new NES chiptune from me in quite a while — this won first place in the Oldschool Music competition at Blockparty 2009. If you’re a fan of my chiptunes, you probably want to hear this. Additionally, and this is kind of a big deal, the IT version contains… all of my [...]

This is Nugget’s Theme. For anyone who doesn’t already know, Nugget is my adorable puppy (there’s a link to a picture on my About page). This song is for and about him — his own simpler, more upbeat counterpart to “Staring at My Spaceship”. The mini-melodies during the silent pauses are the “fanfares” our Roomba [...]

This is one of the three new songs I debuted at MAGFest 7 – An FM journey into an epic past where metallic wizards do battle on high windy cliffs with guitars and lightning. Dedicated to Wizwars, who couldn’t be at Magfest, and who was deeply missed in an otherwise incredible chiptune concert.

This is the enhanced version (orchestra, piano, drums) of the song I wrote for Kristi. The plain-NES version is featured on 8bitpeople’s 8BP050 compilation CD, which you should buy immediately.

This isn’t actually DnB for most of it, I just called it that. It’s uptempo dance stuff, though, and contains my most complex Little Sound DJ track yet (as well as FM and PCM elements. The tracks within are named Stas, Tomato Formula, and Vectors.

This started life as a Kwakfest (and is one of the few Kwakfest tracks not on my new CD) and ended up being played at Blip Festival 2007. Chibi-tech, one of my chiptune-writing friends and one of the most talented mofos in the whole scene, danced to it in a maid costume. I’m not making [...]

A full-on arrangement of my favorite track from Shantae, this one combines GBC, GBA, and sampled instruments.

An FM+VRC6 arrangement of one of my favorite songs in the universe, by one of my favorite bands. Performed this at Blip Festival 2007, and it was a crowd favorite, whee!

FM + PCM, the third entry in my Blast Off series, this is designed to feel like you’re playing a Neo Geo shooter, taking off and shooting up some alien hordes.

Katamari, done with NES+VRC6. And great minds think alike: my friend Steven (surasshu) did something similar with Lonely Rolling Star. Now we just need YOU guys to fill in the rest of the brilliant Katamari soundtrack, and we can release a whole fan album. Please?

I wrote this TurboGrafx16/PC Engine song in Notepad, using MML (Music Macro Language) and the HuSIC MCK player. This is a chip-ification of a Kwakfest song.

My first song done using Little Sound DJ. LSDJ is a tool for Game Boy (original and color) that lets you track songs using only the Game Boy itself. It’s spawned an entire scene of musicians who compose and perform using it.

Bruce Lee at his best (no arguments please). One of my favorite movies, and the first song in the first solo set I ever played live in NYC.

This is the first piece I wrote for FX3, and the only one which received extra FM treatment, heard in this recording. I played this live by playing keyboard with one hand and guitar with the other, which may not have been such a great idea.

The second song in the “Blast Off” series, this one is done with pure FM.

This was done for my friend Ian (zsazs) a couple months ago for his wedding. I tend to do wedding chiptunes a lot, because nothing can possibly be happier than an upbeat chiptune! If you can’t smile while listening to chiptunes you have a cold, black heart and are probably a terrorist.

Best pop song of all time, hands down. I figured it had to be the one song I’d allow myself to use vrc6 sounds to cover, since doing it with the normal 2A03 channels would have been much more simplistic and arpeggiated. If all that is greek to you: This is a cover of Michael [...]

(gradius 2) traditional konami “shooter music” – a genre that is completely exlusive to games, and immediately recognizable.

(tmnt 1) starts out with my version of overworld music, then sort of goes off on a huge tangent and skips to later in the game, and inside later buildings, then bosses and stuff. Gets really progressive-wank later on.

(tmnt 3) tmnt3 is my favorite NES soundtrack of all time, and this is my attempt to pay homage to it. I love the “hey!” sample so, so much.

This is a full on arrangements/remix of blast off, done with my synths and stuff just for this occasion! Grab this if you like blast off!

(gyruss) in the real game, an absolutely brilliant “konamization” of bach’s toccata and fugue in dmin plays. This is what I would do instead.

(top gun) a much more aggressive and frantic tune than the original, with guitar solos, and the original dpcm jet hum in the background.

(contra) this is the most sparse of all the songs, but contra is one of the sparsest konami soundtracks, too. I did some weird rhythmic stuff here.

The full-quality mp3 renderings, recorded straight from impulse tracker, exactly as they should sound. This is the entire package in a zipfile, it’s 20 mb but I think you will be happy with them and keep them for some time!

kwak (Apr 2002)
1 Comment »

Boy do I love jazz/soul chords and basslines, but even more when done with fm synthesis and psg!!

YOUR MOM!!!!!!!!1

Kristi-inspired fm goodness. By that I mean that she came up with an adorable turn of phrase (we were talking about a mexican-themed s&m club for some reason) and I used it to title a completely unrelated song.

For Kristi. Long story short, she constantly inspires me with short catchy phrases about everyday life, and this was one of them.

This weird guy kept trying to sell Kristi flowers at work, and he invited her to a pool party! So I used that as a title for a totally unrelated song.

FX (Jun 2001)
1 Comment »

A collection of five chiptunes in s3m format, written using nintendo sounds and limitations – if you ever enjoyed konami’s NES soundtracks, you must hear these.

Written for my friend mathew to cheer him up! I think it does the trick!

God I love skyline. He didn’t write any of this but he has inspired me countless other times. This was written for a one-hour compo, and is also available as part of the virt compopack.

And if the first did not convince you, this one will. (s3m format)

God I love beek. So much. So when I got to co-op with him we came up with this. (it format)

Christina aguilera gets mutilated by a farm combine, but wait! They can reanimate her and give her singing ability back! Only it comes out as square waves!!!! Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha!

Someone found out what my favorite thing is! Greets to shade/serpent. Anyone else?

Everyone says ‘hahe this sounds like dragon warrior’ and then the beat kicks in. Chiptune for robert and tasha

The original classical favorites. From a very long time ago.

You’ll probably recognize the original pieces, and upon hearing what I’ve done to them, mail a bomb to my house. It format