Robot Rock
February 24, 2012 6:45 AM   Subscribe

I can't listen to music at work; was this stuff made with VSTs or (emulated) hardware? Not that hardware-authenticity makes for inherently better chiptune, but I've always felt that working within the constraints of outdated/difficult-to-program-for hardware is somehow more impressive.

Also, there was a chiptune version of Harder, Better, Stronger, Faster in D-Pad hero.
posted by griphus at 6:50 AM on February 24, 2012


ALSO: Daft Punk is teaming up with Nile Rodgers! Are you excited?! I am!
posted by hellojed at 6:52 AM on February 24, 2012

How much better could this be?

None. None much better.
posted by jquinby at 6:53 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

(just fyi, the previously was about the first album of 8-bit remixes, this is the second).
posted by empath at 6:54 AM on February 24, 2012

From the Artist page on the Da Chip website, looks like it's mostly done via proper hardware. Not sure about the XM files, but the Gameboy and NES stuff is from real systems.

I can tell from the filters and from hearing quite a few tunes in my time.
posted by helicomatic at 6:55 AM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Ah, sweet, I am more excited about this! Not that it doesn't take plenty of skill to make good use of VSTs, but it's the rough equivalent of putting an electronic keyboard in "pipe organ" mode and actually playing a pipe organ.
posted by griphus at 7:01 AM on February 24, 2012

it's linked from the article page, but the theme to Tron played by floppy drives is pretty awesome.
posted by askmehow at 7:03 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Veridis Quo already sounded like it was straight out of a Final Fantasy game, this just cements that for me. This is fantastic - thanks.
posted by phong3d at 7:21 AM on February 24, 2012

This is awesome.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:24 AM on February 24, 2012

Burnin' captures the goofiness of the original really well.

I remember buying Homework at the Strawberries with the $20 plastic gift coin my uncle gave me for Christmas in 1997. My brother and I couldn't stop listening to it, because it was from the future.

Chiptune versions of songs I loved as a kid give me an awesome feeling of nostalgia with a retro-futurism bent, since electronic music of any kind was such a novelty for me back then. When I was in elementary school I had tapes I made of songs from Gameboy games, holding a "portable" tape recorder up to the single speaker because that's all I had to work with. The Link's Awakening overworld theme had a couple of sword swipes in it because I accidentally hit A while recording.

Listening to anything composed on a Gameboy today brings back very strong sensory memories, and I'm really glad that Gameboy chiptunes have taken off the way they have.
posted by helicomatic at 7:37 AM on February 24, 2012

Here's the actual site for the albums. The version of "Around the World" by The Listrix sounds more 16 bit, SNES era, although enough tracks overlaid I doubt the whole song is running on an actual emulator.
posted by Nelson at 7:45 AM on February 24, 2012

Looking at the artist page I was hoping (Mefi's own) virt/jake would be involved but it looks like he isn't. This is still great.
posted by empyrean at 7:50 AM on February 24, 2012

Cool, didn't know about this. I know rushjet1 writes .nsf files (not modules with VSTs), which is basically code and data that runs on an NES's 2A03 (plus expansion chips.) Not sure if these tracks were recorded using real hardware, but I wouldn't doubt it. I will ask...
posted by MrFTBN at 7:50 AM on February 24, 2012

This was one of the highlights of my week. When my friend sent it to me Wednesday night (we were already avid listeners of the first one), I immediately put it on Facebook and several of us stayed up much too late listening to it.

After the first one came out, I was in a small, independent book store and the guy behind the counter was listening to some 8-bit music and so a brief conversation about 8-bit covers began and I just casually mentioned, oh, hey, have you heard the 8-bit Daft Punk album? The guy paused and stared at me liked I'd just revealed the secret of the universe to him.

I don't know if he was really wrong for feeling that way. There is something about these 8-bit Daft Punk albums that feel like this is the way Daft Punk is meant to be heard.
posted by darksong at 7:51 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

odinsdream: "How much better could this be?"

I think some of the tracks fall a bit flat. (or 8 bits flat yuk yuk yuk)

The cover of Teachers has different names (I think). Does anyone recognize any of them? I couldn't.
posted by mkb at 7:54 AM on February 24, 2012

Thanks, empath. Enjoying it right now!
posted by seanmpuckett at 7:56 AM on February 24, 2012

Loving this, especially "Around the World".
posted by needled at 7:57 AM on February 24, 2012

Teachers lists chiptune artists, those that have come along pretty recently, like David Sugar, and legendary composers from the "scene", like Ron Hubbard. Here's the Lyrics
posted by helicomatic at 8:01 AM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

That should be Rob Hubbard, of course. It's wrong in the lyrics on that page as well.
posted by helicomatic at 8:04 AM on February 24, 2012

For some reason, the embedded Soundcloud players on the site linked in the FPP didn't work for me, and the download options on the Da Chip website are blocked here at work. But I am able to listen to them by going directly to the Soundcloud page for Da Chip, in case anyone else has the same problems.
posted by mysterpigg at 8:20 AM on February 24, 2012

Oh this is the perfect post for a Friday. Office door closed and dance party commencing NOW!
posted by haunted by Leonard Cohen at 8:28 AM on February 24, 2012

This is really great.

There's very little that is "8-bit" about this though. "Chiptune" works.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 8:29 AM on February 24, 2012

Back when I first discovered the Nosefart plugin that lets you play NSF files on winamp, it made my workday so much better because it was like I was just constantly leveling up rather than staring at Illustrator for 8 hours. Over a decade before Fitocracy I was already videogamizing my life.
posted by SharkParty at 8:36 AM on February 24, 2012

This is awesome! The most minor of quibbles, though: People really need to get rid of the various files/folders that are created by Macs when they put stuff on the internet. The OCD in me must go through and remove all of the MACOSX and DS.Store cruft or else I fret about something getting messed up. People do this a lot with files designed to be flashed on rooted Android devices too, and I always worry that it's going to brick my stuff.
posted by zombieflanders at 9:09 AM on February 24, 2012

This is nicely reworked, but I'm partial to genius beatboxer extraordinaire Reggie Watts' version of Digital Love and Around the World.

He also does a spot-on interpretation of latter-day Radiohead, although it requires more patience. I am pretty much completely convinced that if we could somehow send Reggie Watts and his associated musical technology back in time -- like, to the beginning of the Renaissance -- the modern world would be either seriously awesome or completely terrifying or both.
posted by compartment at 11:54 AM on February 24, 2012

Ahhh... a perfect way to celebrate and enjoy a well earned day off from work... Thanks for the HEADUP, empath.

Though... why the hell am I still logged into remote virtual servers???

Le sigh...
posted by PROD_TPSL at 1:21 PM on February 24, 2012

These are fine instrumentals, synthesis is a good thing, don't get me wrong. But I was hoping that, for once, I'd hear real 8-bit vocal samples on Around the World for example.

If that's blasphemy, forgive, I've fallen behind on the aesthetic.
posted by Twang at 3:52 PM on February 24, 2012

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