Archive for March, 2015

Some Folks Remixed Me

Posted in BitPusher2600 News on March 30, 2015 by Q

This was exciting bit for me.
I’ve seen folks on the chipmusic.org forum put up a request for remixes and stuff in the past. I thought, what the hell? I actually got a couple takers. The one that surprised me is the guy I wrote about before, a long time chiptuner and well respected fellow, Yerzmyey! I was rather honored a guy so well known and so talented elected to do a remix of my shit. I was almost floored. He re-did “Digital Garbage” from my Atari 2600 based album Modus Operandi.

I also got a remix by someone I met on the same forums who goes by the name Nursey who did a sick reinterpretation of “When A Man Loves His Atari” also from Modus Operandi.

One other I have from quite some time ago was from my brother who was the lead vocalist and rapper for a really avant-garde group called Sonik Injexion and went by the name Turdlehed (and yeah, that’s how all this shit is spelled.) During that time, he did a solo record and wrote lyrics for a song called Foolish Ghoulish to the beat of my tune “8-bit Woofer Muncher II” and again, another from Modus Operandi.

So, in lieu of all this, I created a new section on the Music page of my website for remixes and for stuff that is either not yet on one of my “formal” releases, or won’t be on an album at all. Aside from the remixes, I have three of the songs I’ve composed on the Nintendo Gameboy with LSDJ uploaded and posted as well.

As I said, a kind of exciting time. When you are a musician who is essentially a nobody and unheard of and you have someone willingly do a cover or remix of YOUR stuff, it’s really a hell of a confidence boost.

So for now, there’s my rambles and news. By the way, if anyone wants to remix my stuff, it is under a Creative Commons license, so if you’re OK with that, I’d love to hear you. Send it to me and it’ll go up on the website, just try to work with some decent sound quality, that’s all I could ask.

A very honest and sincere thank you to everyone who has downloaded and listened to my tunes. Even my small numbers have been more than I would’ve even believed when I first started. Till later!

–BitPusher

To Myself, Just Thinking Out Loud.

Posted in Personal on March 19, 2015 by Q

My plans after writing this are to begin a new tune in LSDJ. I don’t know that I’ll get much done though. It’s such difficult and tedious software due to my inexperience with creating instruments in it. The amount of headache and experimenting is massive for me, so it burns me out pretty quickly in one sitting. That said though, I’ve completed three genuine and original Gameboy tunes since I started seriously trying to use it, and my third one, entitled “Nobody Listens To Techno”, http://chipmusic.org/bitpusher2600/music/nobody-listens-to-techno , is awesome and surprising to me as to just how well I feel it came out. It got a couple nods on the chiptune forum I am a member of including a listen and nod from a fairly known name in the genre, a fellow I had talked to a bit back when I was a member of an Atari chiptune forum, and his name is Yerzmyey (that is the correct spelling, still not sure exactly how it’s pronounced.) Someone who is recognized giving a nod, feels awesome. Yerzmyey makes awesome music man, I was crazy about a release he had on 8bitpeoples called FREAKuencies, which was fairly new at the time and how I first ever heard of the guy. When I got to talk with him on that old forum, He was very friendly and even offered words of great encouragement. I won’t forget him as I had just lost my chiptune virginity at that time, making my first few tunes with the console that will always be my favorite from childhood, that beautiful 2600. As ridiculously long and difficult my method was for making that music however (basically Synthcart and hand crafted composition entirely in Audacity), I doubt I’ll do Atari chiptune again, but because of both my undying affinity for the console and because it was my very first foray into creating my own music, that magic number will always be a part of my alias. Oh dear, I’ve started mumbling.

Anyway, music. The truth be told though, and I swear I don’t see this as my usual pessimism, is that I will never be a known or well recognized chiptuner. This is OK though, because admiration or praise have nothing to do with why I make music. If I cared about that, I wouldn’t still be making music. Anyhow, I’ve listened to alot of chip music over the last four or five years, and I lack both the compositional talent and technique to create thick, complex, finely constructed music. These things are what I call “musical vision.” My tunes, I don’t think, are so terrible that they have no rhythm or discernable beat, in fact I know I have a good sense of those things and believe it whole heartedly, but for chords, for complexity, for any real substance, nada. Back when I was DJ’ing, not once did I ever have anyone say to me I was no good, lame, sucked, etc. Whenever I got compliments from anyone, I was almost elated and I’d hang onto that in my head for quite a while. As someone who has never been anywhere near confident inside, that kind of thing is indescribable. 

I understand music and it helps that I’m incredibly comfortable with turntables and unafraid to be a little unconventional with beats and rhythms. Creating your own though, whole different world, it’s like I can hear it and thoroughly understand it, but to conceive my own let alone bring it to life, I just feel as if I’m missing that part of the brain, or at the least haven’t got the strand of talent that makes that possible, not to mention that in terms of creation, I’m thoroughly uneducated, so I go it alone. At the end of my day though, I still like to consider myself a musician, or more specifically a chiptuner, and I do it because of how much I love the freedom of the genre and the whole premise of it: using machines for things which they were not at all intended for. I love the chip sound, the actual sound of video game hardware. The Atari shit that I did, the Gameboy stuff I’m toying with now, these machines were never ever designed to be musical instruments, they were never designed to be used for this form of creation nor do I imagine that the people who conceptualized, designed and built these things ever would’ve conceived someone buying them for the purpose of making music. Yet here I am, because I love their sound and love using them outside of their intent. It feels magnificent to even be trying. Chiptuners seem a dime a dozen in the here and now, it has become so very large a movement, scattered around the globe. I can hear chiptune after chiptune and even this many years later still be fascinated, absolutely fascinated that these various pieces of hardware are being used that way. One thing I will never do is tell anyone who makes chip music, no matter how it sounds that they suck, need improvement, or etc. I can hear a song and not like it at all because the tune itself doesn’t reach me, but I still respect the maker just because they were willing to try and do something using hardware or software that’s can at the least be labeled unconventional, not to mention I’ve been a genuine tech geek since I was a little kid.

The endless capacity for experimentation, creativity, openness, and as I mentioned already the use of hardware far outside it’s design and purpose are what I admire about chiptune and made me want to be a part of it. Prior to discovering chiptune, I was dead set against producing music. I was far more comfortable with manipulating music already made and bending it as I saw fit, that to me was fun. Chip music and everything that is part of its culture was the first thing that ever made me want to really try to create my own music. Like any form of music, creation should be the sincerest form of self expression. I conceive something from some one of a million feelings or impulses inside of me, and attempt to translate it to a decent beat. Not one song I’ve ever completed was done just to make a sound, even if it’s one of those moments that’s so natural or brief that it wouldn’t be something you normally think about or consciously acknowledge.

Maybe I’m sounding goofy or making no sense, hence the problem with thinking out loud, and I’m only writing this stuff right now to do just that. I’m just a weird fellow, and 10 out of 10 women would probably agree. Ha. So yeah, time to get started and see what’ll happen. My dear LSDJ, ever faithful and ready to work.

–BitPusher

My First Couple LSDJ Tunes…Go Easy.

Posted in BitPusher2600 News on March 2, 2015 by Q

I’ve been meaning to take the time to slap these into my blog but damned if i’m not a tad lazy 🙂

OK, so I have to say first of all that LSDJ is so painfully complicated to learn that I sometimes want to pull my hair out…assuming I had any. Making music in a “tracker” is a totally new thing to me, and generally anything involving numbers means i’m automatically doomed. All that aside, I can’t help myself, I love it, and namely because I have some love for the Gameboy itself. There’s worlds of capability in LSDJ and sadly, I’m not even sure how to really go about learning other than just doing. Watching YouTube videos or reading people’s writeups are just copycatting to me and not teaching very much of the “how”. Still, it is something i’m determined to do, even if it takes me a year or two to really be able to rock that puppy. I am part of the chipmusic.org community so I talk to people and share my pitiful beginnings there. At least there are folks there who are willing to help with answers to questions and so on. So without further adieu:

TUNE #1: LITTLE SOUND CHERRY POP
http://chipmusic.org/bitpusher2600/music/little-sound-cherry-pop

Literally the first tune I completed. A basic hiphop beat I crafted, and utilized a few table commands for certain breaks or sound effects. What is essentially a simple tune seems so damn complicated to me after what I went thru to get it made in LSDJ.

TUNE #2: ITONLYWERKS4ME
http://chipmusic.org/bitpusher2600/music/itonlywerks4me

This one I was playing with the built in drum kits. I’ve gathered from the old web here that alot of chiptuners don’t care for the built in drum kits. As for me, I like them, I mean damn man, they’re being produced from the sound chip of a Gameboy. Anyway, this is a mellow tune and while it’s probably not recognizable to anyone else but me, the style I went for in this one is heavily influenced by Kraftwerk, and anybody who knows me knows how much I love them. Without duplicating a single riff, I essentially blended my own takes of elements from “Musique Non-Stop” (the live one from Minimum Maximum), “Europe Endless”, and “Trans Europe Express.” Believe me, I’m jealous of the 8bit Operators, because if I had a ton more skill and creativity vis a vis LSDJ, I would love to be able to do a few Kraftwerk covers on the DMG01. But to stop rambling here, as stated the tune is surely mellow, and maybe even slightly dark. I had some fun making it and while anyone else would think it’s probably lame, simple, or possibly messy, I love the way it came out, hence the title.

At the time being, i’m sticking to 1xLSDJ and using the real thing, doing very minimal alterations in Audacity (like cleaning up certain pops or clicks I don’t want, very minimal EQ’ing, what have you.) The one and only thing I will say with any confidence is that this is what it’s all about. Enjoying from within the creation, the sounds, the process and it’s end. I felt so awesome to see my first completed tune, let alone my second. I’m still intimidated as hell by trackers though 🙂

Till Later!
–BitPusher