You and all the friends who are yourself can get together and play
April 11, 2013 10:30 PM   Subscribe

I don't know how this guy got 8-12 perfectly harmonized versions of himself stuck in a Nintendo, or why, but the results are basically pretty amazing. with bonus intruding kitty!
posted by TheNewWazoo (35 comments total) 27 users marked this as a favorite

 
I'm thinking the "perfectly harmonized" has a little autotune help, but even so these are really well composed. Thanks!
posted by Popular Ethics at 10:38 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Lovely. And doesn't he look like a young Gandalf?
posted by salishsea at 10:42 PM on April 11, 2013


The whistling in the last video is the best.
posted by robcorr at 10:50 PM on April 11, 2013


Man those FFVII melodies have just been sitting there in my brain displacing chemistry and math this whole time.
posted by Space Coyote at 10:51 PM on April 11, 2013 [6 favorites]


Yes! He does Dire Dire Docks!!!!!

Good music. Annoying level.
posted by Hicksu at 10:54 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


One I actually remember...
posted by cosmic.osmo at 10:56 PM on April 11, 2013


Oh holy crap, I totally missed the Overland Theme!
posted by TheNewWazoo at 11:03 PM on April 11, 2013


0 results for Brady Bunch Theme. :(

This is pretty cool, thanks!
posted by ODiV at 11:05 PM on April 11, 2013


Adorable! and so much the better for the occasional kitteh inclusions.
posted by a humble nudibranch at 11:39 PM on April 11, 2013 [2 favorites]


Clearly a cat person.
posted by Rhomboid at 12:51 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Grrrrr! Ever since The Flying Pickets did Only You, I have had these words in burning fire circulating in my brain like Times Square during a nuclear attack: SAMPLED VOICES DO NOT EQUAL A CAPELLA. Now I guess I must update it to TREATED VOICES DO NOT EQUAL A CAPELLA.

A capella means without instruments. Autotune is an instrument. Speeding shit up and slowing shit down is using an instrument. Do it if you must, and certainly do it if you've got something funky to share, but stop pretending it's your leet pipes alone wobbling the air.

(Oh, this music? Never played consoles. Have no nostalgia for the tunes. It's some bloke chanting a jolly riff through machinery. Nothing wrong with that, except autotune.)
posted by Devonian at 12:56 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


So I guess recording something on an actual machine with a mechanical microphone and having someone adjust the balance of the voices and the volume and maybe throwing in a little reverb in the mix in a studio isn't a capella either. Damn, now I gotta throw out all my Take 5 albums. Poseurs.

I think he's pretty great myself. But maybe that's my nostalgia kicking in....
posted by umberto at 1:11 AM on April 12, 2013


This is really quite fantastic. It's pretty impressive he's able to break down and re-arrange each piece into the disparate tracks he has to lay down.

Here's hoping he gives Earthbound a shot. That game had a freakin' brilliant soundtrack.
posted by disillusioned at 2:05 AM on April 12, 2013


Well, yeah. Of course you can see the studio as an instrument - even just a mike and PA. It's like the barrier between a 'truthful' photograph and one that's been photoshopped too far; that line isn't actually visible.

But it's there. Everything that takes a human activity and creates a simulacra has its uncanny valley.
posted by Devonian at 2:10 AM on April 12, 2013


TREATED VOICES DO NOT EQUAL A CAPELLA.

Last night, I treated my voice to some cold beer and then a capella'd some Funkadelic.

You can't stop me.
posted by orme at 3:58 AM on April 12, 2013 [4 favorites]


I'm thinking the "perfectly harmonized" has a little autotune help, but even so these are really well composed. Thanks!

Someone who claims to have spoken with him says he does not correct pitch.
posted by Fongotskilernie at 4:17 AM on April 12, 2013


I am fairly sure that the cat was photoshopped in later.
posted by GenjiandProust at 4:22 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


I've never played any of these games, so I've never heard this music before. There's a Beach Boys crossed with electronics thing happening that's very jarring.
posted by droplet at 5:46 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Really reminds me what impressive things the composers working on these games achieved with such a limited pallet. Also... +1 nostalgia.
posted by adamt at 6:23 AM on April 12, 2013


A CAPELLA DOES NOT EQUAL A CAPPELLA. Or, well, yeah... I guess it does, but I don't like it.

Another nitpick: I don't hear autotune in this. I mean, the whole thing is assembled since it's just one guy. And it is very, very clean. Splicing, pitch straightening, synchronizing attacks and releases... all are likely, and all take place in nearly every studio recording of vocal groups. But there's no reason for him to have autotuned a bad note, which would sound funny and stand out, when he could have just recorded it again and spliced it in.

The guy has a nice voice and an incredible ear. That is 98% of what we are hearing. The other 2% is studio craft, and he is very good at that too. The takeaway for me is that this is one heck of a talented dude, who likes cats.
posted by Balonious Assault at 6:32 AM on April 12, 2013 [5 favorites]


Every time he'd get a tender look on his face I imagined he was serenading his hair.
posted by sourwookie at 6:35 AM on April 12, 2013 [2 favorites]


Reminiscent of Multiple Sidosis (which is completely astonishing--imagine doing this with 1970 tech).
posted by Scram at 6:44 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


For future reference, those are the correct facial expressions to make when singing this music.
posted by straight at 7:19 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


re: a capella: I dunno.

re: Castlevania music: good gods does that series (pre-SOTN, at least) have some great music. Classical renditions of same.
posted by curious nu at 7:23 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


One of my favourite things about chiptunes is the way they juggle parts across the limited number of channels, often making it seem like a lot more is going on. Playing music files from old Mega Drive games in a program that lets you listen to a single part, sometimes a channel will play a little bit of the bassline, then abruptly switch to a harmony for a few beats before switching back.

I wonder how close his parts are to the parts of the original compositions. The number of him in each video does seem to match roughly with what I'd expect in terms of the hardware.
posted by lucidium at 7:32 AM on April 12, 2013


Perhaps he can get pitch that accurately and that pure, in which case I apologise for using the A-slur. (hah, not that you normally get good slurs with autotune.) It still sounds uncomfortably inhuman to me.
posted by Devonian at 8:09 AM on April 12, 2013


I'm partial to this one myself.
posted by Navelgazer at 8:16 AM on April 12, 2013


A capella means without instruments. Autotune is an instrument. Speeding shit up and slowing shit down is using an instrument. Do it if you must, and certainly do it if you've got something funky to share, but stop pretending it's your leet pipes alone wobbling the air.

That is certainly one viewpoint. The other viewpoint is that as long as the only inputs are voices, that's a capella. This isn't a new debate or anything... it's a longstanding issue with college a capella groups, on how much production should go into their CDs.

That usually isn't about auto-tune though... you can always find someone to sing in tune. It's more about using filters and cutting stuff up. Is running a human voice through a guitar pedal still a capella?
posted by smackfu at 8:40 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


For what it's worth, I agree with you Devonian. I prefer vocal harmonies to sound more organic, even when I know they are not. I've had this argument with studio engineers, always from your side. I've eventually come around to accepting that what I call overproducing is a valid approach, even though it may not be my taste, and I can appreciate the artistry and the craft in that too.

It's a strange new world when "sounds too good" can be a flaw. There is definitely a fine line that can be difficult to walk when you have all these new tools in your bag of tricks. It's hard to know when to stop trying to achieve perfection when committing to a final mix.

A funny conversation I once had with a studio guy:
Me: Measures 28-32 sound too good. I think you may have gone a little overboard there. It's way too clean.
Him: I didn't touch it.
Me: They are not that good.
Him: I know. But they were on that take. Here, listen.
Me: Oh... my bad.
posted by Balonious Assault at 8:50 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


No one has mentioned that the dude's name is Smooth McGroove? Classic.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:22 AM on April 12, 2013


The whistling in the last video is the best.

And no. This is the best whistling.
posted by mrgrimm at 9:23 AM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


Loving the Megaman.

I can't help but notice that in the Castlevania video one of his heads is manipulating his cat like a hand puppet.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 9:52 AM on April 12, 2013


He tweets that he doesn't use autotune, and I definitely don't hear autotune. Some lining up and splicing, perhaps, per Balonious Assault, but not autotune.

He's definitely extremely talented and this is fun so jesus christ does everything have to have the beanplating metafiltery wind taken out of its sails here? I mean, I get that's what we do here, but try to relax and enjoy things for a change.
posted by disillusioned at 11:29 PM on April 12, 2013 [1 favorite]


GUYS STOP HAVING FUN
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:45 PM on April 13, 2013


(Apparently a bunch of comments showed up between when I loaded the page and when I tried to post a reply to the "well actually" rant about what "a Capella" technically and officially means, and BOY do I have EGG ON MY FACE)
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:47 PM on April 13, 2013


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