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This one just came out of the swamp
May 19, 2012 12:43 PM   Subscribe

Radiohead's Kid A has been transcribed to the "8-Bit" style in full.
posted by Algebra (35 comments total) 38 users marked this as a favorite

 
Cue the ton of early comments of "how is this different from the original, etc.".

Thanks for the link!
posted by King Bee at 12:45 PM on May 19, 2012


I know it exists, so please tell me metafilter community. How can I download that in mp3 format? Or if it's not too much trouble, would you do it for me?
posted by Fizz at 12:52 PM on May 19, 2012


It's in the video description on the page. MediaFire download link
posted by carsonb at 12:53 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


...and for those who think things went downhill from Creep, here's the 8 bit Creep.

Not me - Everything in it's Right Place is great in any form.
posted by Hobo at 12:55 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's in the video description on the page. MediaFire download link

Well yeah, I guess we can do it the easy way, you know if you read things and pay attention. :)
posted by Fizz at 12:56 PM on May 19, 2012


I use http://saveyoutube.com/ for all of my YouTube downloading needs.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:03 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


Too much polyphony!
posted by scose at 1:05 PM on May 19, 2012 [3 favorites]


Pretty good (esp. Everything in Its Right Place and The National Anthem), but I thought the title track actually suffered from this treatment. Needs better mixing, or to get rid of that mario-jumping noise entirely.
posted by axiom at 1:11 PM on May 19, 2012


By Quinton Sung, who has a couple of albums on Bandcamp and is on Twitter. At least I think it's the same guy, not sure how common the name "Quinton" is in Hong Kong.
posted by Nelson at 1:20 PM on May 19, 2012


A friend of mine does this sort of thing as a audience participation trick at conferences - he'll take a suggestion of a (preferably 80s) tune from the audience, then spend half an hour to an hour turning it in to an 8bit chiptune... using a piece of audio software for the Spectrum called Soundtracker that was released in 1990 (he runs it on a Spectrum emulator).

I've seen him do it twice now, and it's absolutely spellbinding - he has to start the process by manually creating the waveforms he'll need for the different tones, then he composes the different tracks in a whirlwind of beeps, bloops and frantic typing.

The first time I saw him he did Gold by Spandau Ballet, the second time he was asked (of course) to do Never Gonna Give You Up by Rick Astley. Both times he put together a really great track while we watched. Here are the recordings:

http://soundcloud.com/matt-westcott/gold-spandau-ballet (from BarCamp London 9)

http://soundcloud.com/matt-westcott/never-gonna-give-you-up (from the Horizons conference celebrating the 30th anniversary of the ZX Spectrum)
posted by simonw at 1:27 PM on May 19, 2012 [4 favorites]


It's chiptune, though I'm not sure it's on actual chips; drums sound too clean to me on that first track for 8-bit, but maybe jake/virt or someone can chime in on this.
posted by curious nu at 1:27 PM on May 19, 2012


And now I will listen to Radiohead for the rest of the day.
posted by Defenestrator at 1:28 PM on May 19, 2012 [1 favorite]


It's chiptune, though I'm not sure it's on actual chips; drums sound too clean to me on that first track for 8-bit, but maybe jake/virt or someone can chime in on this.

At your service! Whee!

These are indeed MIDI conversions run through a synth plugin, not anything with actual chips. The drums are just run through a bitcrusher to sound "lo-fi". It even does pandering stuff like using Punch-Out and other sampled iconic sound effects as percussion, which is a super pet peeve of mine (dude I'm gonna use the Mario Coin sound as a snare drum it will be so retro!!!)

That said, it's Radiohead covers, and that already makes it 100 times better than the usual "8-bit MIDI conversion" stuff like Xmas music and internet memes. And the guy obviously put a ton of time and love into it. So hats off to him for covering an incredible album, and I hope he keeps having fun transcribing stuff, even if it's not up to my aspergerian technical standards.

The way Simon's friend Matt Westcott does it is the real deal (points off for emulating and not finding a real Speccy, but only a few points), but not everyone has the time or inclination to master ancient tracker programs, it's quite a niche. In case anyone DOES want to play around with one, though, let me link as per usual to FamiTracker, and extend my offer of help via MeMail to anyone who wants to get started.
posted by jake at 1:56 PM on May 19, 2012 [11 favorites]


jake (or anyone), is there a word for music actually built with real 8 bit (or 16 bit) sound hardware vs. music that's been built with modern tules and then downsampled / crushed to sound "chip-like"? I'm less worried about whether it's on real hardware or emulated, but I have a lot of admiration for folks who can wrest subtle sounds out of very limited music systems.
posted by Nelson at 2:00 PM on May 19, 2012


Thanks jake!

Also thanks Algebra for the link; both Radiohead and chiptunes are always good to have. (This is the first time I've seen the note-link-things used as track skippers for a long clip like this, too, so that was neat).
posted by curious nu at 2:13 PM on May 19, 2012


The word "fakebit" is sometimes used to describe the latter (MIDI conversions and the like). Not sure about the opposite, though often people will use the name of the chip or the code-name of the game console (SID for C64, 2A03 for NES, DMG for Game Boy, YM2149 for Spectrum, etc) to signify that it's actually from that chip.

A lot of folks look down on "fakebit", but I've encountered a ton of stuff that falls under that definition which is compositionally incredible (like Disasterpeace and Big Giant Circles), and a ton of authentic stuff done right on a Game Boy that sounds phoned-in and terrible. I myself do both kinds -- some machine-code NES, some VST plugin wankery.

(amusingly, even within the "authentic chip" NES crowd, there are people who insist on only using the 5-voice original NES/Famicom sounds, and shun the use of the many and varied "expansion chips" developed for the Famicom, such as the VRCVI or FDS. Every niche hobby has elitists!)
posted by jake at 2:16 PM on May 19, 2012 [5 favorites]


Goddamn, this is GREAT.
posted by dbiedny at 2:35 PM on May 19, 2012


Holy fuck, thank you so much! This is the greatest thing ever, the Magna Carta notwithstanding.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:11 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


And thank you hobo for the link to Creep!
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 4:50 PM on May 19, 2012


I like to think this was the soundtrack to some forgotten NES RPG and Radiohead just copied it.
posted by shakespeherian at 5:11 PM on May 19, 2012 [2 favorites]


But.. the image on the Youtube was 16 bit. Just can't get that faux shaded solid tile effect on 8 bit.

Well, perhaps MSX.
posted by Devonian at 6:39 PM on May 19, 2012


Very cool. Thanks.
posted by photoslob at 6:44 PM on May 19, 2012


Now I know what to listen to while playing Dwarf Fortress.
posted by kaibutsu at 7:14 PM on May 19, 2012


I've listened to this twice now and it's pretty good. I particularly like how he bends some of the songs up really hard. I like what he does with In Limbo, particularly towards the end.
posted by Nelson at 7:24 PM on May 19, 2012


Is it just me or is 'Optimistic' kinda slow on this?
posted by shakespeherian at 7:40 PM on May 19, 2012


That kick drum on the first song is too well rounded: NOT 8-bit (at least not NES 8-bit).
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:15 PM on May 19, 2012


Totally going to have non-ironic sex to this.
posted by bardic at 9:24 PM on May 19, 2012


The second song sounds more NES-ee. What is it again: 2 square waves, 1 triangle wave and a noise channel? Jake is right about the more subtle chiptune variants but the unique thing about the NES's sound system, the 2A03 (actually designating the specialized 8048 processor that everyone was using at the time [for the 2a03, think about the modern Intel Ivy Bridges that integrate graphics into the CPU, this one integrate sound, and some other stuff]) only had those channels that I mentioned. The Commodore 64 had its own chip built in for sound and music, the 2A03 had to make do with some manufactured add-ons that certainly had their own character.
posted by coolxcool=rad at 9:30 PM on May 19, 2012


Is it just me or is 'Optimistic' kinda slow on this?

I actually think it's 1 bpm faster than the original album.
posted by klausman at 10:14 PM on May 19, 2012


I am sort of actually surprised someone hadn't done this already. When will we reach peak chiptune?
posted by speicus at 9:50 AM on May 20, 2012


When will we reach peak chiptune?

Hopefully.. never?
posted by curious nu at 1:58 PM on May 20, 2012


If it's not an eight kilobyte MOD, it's not a real chiptune.

(But this is fighting an uphill battle, like the ones trying to take back "hacker")
posted by ymgve at 3:19 PM on May 20, 2012


This Greasemonkey script adds a simple download button to the regular YouTube interface that lets you easily download videos at any of the available qualities levels (and is remarkably stable -- so many other solutions tend to break every few months when YouTube changes how they do things).

This is a very good freeware program for extracting audio from videos such as the ones you might download from YouTube.
posted by straight at 5:50 PM on May 20, 2012


How about Kid A with a bluegrass instrumentation?
posted by gilrain at 6:53 AM on May 21, 2012


And now, OK Computer in 8-bit.
posted by crunchland at 11:07 AM on May 22, 2012 [2 favorites]


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