Archive for February, 2015

Heart Broken Trekkie. Rest In Peace Leonard Nimoy.

Posted in Personal, Uncategorized on February 28, 2015 by Q

I just heard the news only a few minutes ago. I’m not skilled enough with words to express sorrow properly, but I do need to say that I loved Mr. Spock, which is what I admired Leonard Nimoy’s talent for the most. He was an amazing man, and I followed him thru his various ventures in the Star Trek universe, and was a customer of Alien Voices, an audiobook and voice acting company founded by both him and the original Q, John DeLancie.

The world just lost a legend. My eternal thanks for everything you’ve done. As a lifelong Trekkie, it’s a guarantee I will never forget your work and dedication, it will always be some part of my life. My love sir, please rest well.

–BitPusher

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Reformat The Planet Documentary Is Excellent

Posted in Uncategorized on February 10, 2015 by Q

It’s worth buying and watching through if you love chiptune, which is who I believe would be the initial customer anyway. Hey what the hell, if you like chip music and have friends or fam that think what you do are or into is weird, incomprehensible or otherwise neat, have them watch this because it really does a swell job of explaining the broadness and fully open, undefined and highly personal experience of being a chip music maker or listener.

Naturally, there is alot of live video of all the big name folks all of have heard of, and to a point it is really fascinating to hear these same people talk about their music, the fandom, and of course how they themselves began.

I only want to say this much (and the following rambles actually does lead up to something.) I picked up on chiptune somewhere in 2009. Believe this or not, for other electronic music ventures, I actually came up with the name Bit Shifter for myself because of how I was working only with a Mac and a PC to create some rudimentary tunes. I was a bit shocked to find someone very popular already had that name, and having stumbled upon that opened the door to some shit that I would’ve never conceived. I had heard of software like one called Plogue Chip Sounds, but never knew there were people actually using the genuine articles and making their own. Learning about the existence of Bit Shifter and the entire concept lead me to 8BitPeoples, and then the 8bit collective. My first console as a kid was the Atari 2600, and just ask my mom how hard it was to keep me away. That had to be my first pursuit and the rest is history.

So, I made my first foray into chiptune somewhere in 2010, and that year released two EPs of my own after having acquired pro-sound modded Atari’s of my own. It’s now 2015, so I’ve got a good stretch under my belt of listening to and supporting chip music. I’ve long known the names of the various softwares, known many of the widely recognized people and have plenty of their music in my collection, so what else could I take from watching a documentary about music, people, and culture I’m already very familiar with (and even so brash to consider myself an active part of?) Surprisingly, there’s alot to take away with you by watching it. It’s interesting to get details of the humble beginnings of things like Blip Fest, Pulsewave and so on right from the very mouths of the people there for all of it. You also get to see the custom set up used by so many of these folks, and how they do what they do. I suppose between the knowledge and background you get, it does leave you a slightly more personal connection to some of these names, not to mention putting names to faces.

Can’t forget bonuses. Live performance vids of a small handful of folks, extra interviews with some favorites including even Johan Kotlinski. That was awesome by the way. There are also a pair of basic how-to tutorial videos, each about 22 minutes in length from the ever awesome Glomag on LSDJ, and Bit Shifter on Nanoloop. I had to watch Glomag twice since I’m still learning LSDJ myself 😉

I know there are plenty of us who have to have tight budgets to survive or otherwise hate spending money. I’m also sure there are some assholes out there who have pirated the documentary itself, and trust me, if you love chiptune don’t go those routes. Hit up 8bitpeoples.com and get yourself a copy of this movie. It is very enjoyable, and has so much any chipper would appreciate and enjoy quite a bit. If I had any complaints, it would only be that unless I somehow missed them I never saw Oliver Wittchow, Paul Slocum, Yerzmyey, XK, Psilodump or Neotericz in the video, because I frackin’ love those guys and they just should’ve been on there somewhere. That aside, yep. Awesome shit going on there, very worth owning.

Later.

–BitPusher

Status Update, Me & LSDJ, So On & So On.

Posted in BitPusher2600 News on February 4, 2015 by Q

Hello all.

Firstly, I got an email two days ago from now that Amazon has gotten things together and I can order my proofing copy of G33kMuz1k & The Love Of The BASS CD. The fully lossless beauty will be available in a matter of days now. Lol, no. I don’t expect it to sell much, but it’s exciting to see something you conceptualized become real and in your hand. Awesome.

Next, i spent some time today updating my website a little bit, and i’ve added a Links page. As much stuff as I could come up with to put on there, I decided to scale it back a bit and go for some relevant stuff instead. Chiptune and fellow chiptuners. I would expect that anybody who has ever discovered my music already knows well the existence of things like LSDJ and Nanoloop, but i’m so proud to be a part of the culture that uses these things, and what do I have to lose putting some links up anyway? As for the other artists I’ve put up, go check ’em out. They wouldn’t be mentioned on my website if I didn’t see something a bit outstanding going on for some reason or another.

OH! Having mentioned LSDJ brings me to another piece of “me” news. As I wrote before, the bass CD I recently completed was an attempt for me to step outside of purely chiptuning and into a more broad range of electronica. I know i’m not particularly talented and i’m definitely not knowledgeable on things like music theory, studio production and engineering, etc. Still, I wanted to try to fulfill that small pipe dream BUT to be clear, I want very much to consider myself a chiptuner because I love chip music and have put genuine chip music out into the world thanks to the Atari 2600 and a bit of curiosity. It was the first console I ever had as a young kiddo and my affinity for it is everlasting. Back to the point, when I wrote about moving beyond chiptune, I didn’t mean permanently, I meant for that particular project. The definition of “chiptune” that I have with regards to music is music that is produced entirely from a piece (or pieces) of vintage hardware. This is different than simply using chip sounds as part of a piece, such as I did in G33kMuz1k. This is why I make it clear that that album is not a chiptune release. That said, i’m attempting to expand my repertoire and tackling something I have shyed away from for years: LSDJ and the Gameboy. I have always been immediately intimidated by that software, and trackers in general. It’s extremely complex looking business and not something I would be able to pick right up on. At any rate, I don’t know why exactly but I got a fire under my ass recently to really make the effort. I guess for the moment I will blame it on how very much I love Kraftwerk and the awesomeness of the 8Bit Operators cover collection. I admire Ralf Hutter so much, and understand his concept of Minimum-Maximum. I guess I want to take myself a bit further and be even more a part of the chiptune music culture than I am now, whether I’m relevant to anyone else or not, it’s all for my mind to digest and as long as my heart is in it, I’m doing something right, even if everyone else thinks my tunes suck. Anyway, while I’m not far off on feeling LSDJ is a bit beyond me, I find i’m picking things up as I go and have met some decent people at chipmusic.org who are super helpful. I’m nowhere near ready to make a full out tune, but I’ve managed to put together my first beat with a badass little kickdrum, a snare and hi-hat. I also by dumb luck figured out what “tables” are for, maybe not how to fully utilize them but still. Someone on the chip music forum (an awesome chiptuner by the name of Ninten Kwon Do) when I had mentioned my discovery during a conversation told me what I managed to figure out on my own was exactly right, called me intuitive and said I could become an LSDJ wizard in no time. Man, honest praise and compliments like that really make me feel decent. I can confess that confidence (in any aspect of life) is not exactly a strong suit for me, but I almost want to believe just because in the week or so I’ve ignored the bird’s eye full on view of LSDJ and took things one bit at a time, I see myself having progressed much further than I would’ve believed prior. LSDJ is not something anybody can just pick up and immediately start rocking. It is definitely complicated and has a steep learning curve, hell I certainly have a long way to go, but man what a rewarding experience simply accomplishing something with it.

Sorry for the rambling, I guess I just can’t help it. So, as for the moment I don’t have any new material on the immediate horizon. I do want to try to do another chip sound and electronica bass CD, and at some point I hope to see a Gameboy EP entirely from LSDJ and my Advance SP as well. It would really be a long haul project for me if I were to somehow use both the Gameboy AND the Atari 2600 together. The Gameboy is entirely self contained a la LSDJ, and using the 2600 requires alot patience and time in Audacity. Don’t know if I’ll try for that particular project or not, but anyway. For now, this is me and what I’ve got going on over here. Chiptune is a labour of love. Keep it alive and well folks.

–BitPusher