Sound Byte: Chiptune Music and OverClocked ReMix

The video game music community is alive and well at PAX as we checked out panels for original 8-bit tunes and game music remixes.

What's nice about the Penny Arcade Expo is that the convention brings together all types of gamers. There really is something for everyone as you see people huddled together with their Nintendo DSs or playing tabletop games. Even video game music fans had a reason to get together and have some fun in the OCRemix panel, where they had a "Name That Tune" contest as well as a quick Street Fighter tournament, using a hilarious version of Street Fighter 2 called Xiang Long.

I also got a chance to learn more about chiptune music. For those of you who have never heard of it, it's essentially original music composed using old video game consoles like a Nintendo, Atari, Genesis, or Game Boy. Traditional musicians may come up with their tunes on a guitar, while these chiptune artists use a Nintendo. This phenomenon is quite popular in the UK and Japan and is slowly making its way across the United States. Cities like New York and Philadelphia have shows where artists will perform their music live, but the chiptune scene is growing in Seattle too.

One thing to note is that chiptune music doesn't necessarily mean it's video game music. It may sound like it, but a lot of the compositions are original melodies. Some artists to look for include Anamanaguchi, KGHB, CCIVORY, MC Firedrill, and Fighter X. There's bound to be something that tickles your fancy.

But if you'd rather listen to tunes that you already know, but remixed in such a way that they're either almost unrecognizable or much more interesting, OverClocked ReMix (ocremix.org) is a video game music community where thousands of remixed tunes are there for you to enjoy--all for free. During the PAX panel, Lloyd announced its 18th album, titled Final Fantasy V: The Fabled Warriors, which is coming out next week and will be one of five albums that feature remixed music from Final Fantasy V. Other albums in the works include Sonic the Hedgehog: the Sound of Speed, Donkey Kong Country 3: Double the Trouble, NiGHTS Into Dreams: Lucid Dreaming, and Mega Man X: Maverick Rising. Did I already mention that this is all free to download? The site is undergoing a redesign, so watch for some new features that are being added. With the new site, you'll be able to pull up an artist and find out all the remixes that they've done, as well as listen to the original video game melody and compare it to the arranged versions. You can stream a lot of the music at last.fm, so check it out!

What are some of your favorite OCRemix tunes? Share them with the rest of us in the comments section below!

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Discussion

13 comments
snes_vs_ps1
snes_vs_ps1

My fav. OCRemix tune is Chocarena!:X

LordAbyssion
LordAbyssion

600 A.D. on Piano OCRemix by kLuTz. This by far.

jinspike
jinspike

my favorite song from the ocremix guys has to be Salsa Snake by Xtormrage. pure win on my book

PMOLLOY17
PMOLLOY17

Final Fantasy VII: Voices of the Lifestream. tribute to one of the finest game soundtracks ever......it had to be said. :P

juna42
juna42

Hmm Terranigma Blue, Ecco the Dolphin Eternal Abyss, Kindred from super Metroid, Dead Sea Tower of Ruin, and Donkey kong stickerbrush symphony. I need to check out chiptune now xD

nintendo-naut
nintendo-naut

There's a really good KH2 arrangement on there called "Duet of the Keyblade Masters." It's a piano version of the final boss track.

ogara0c9
ogara0c9

Penny Arcade featured Anamanaguchi's "Helix Nebula" from his "Power Supply" Album in one of their promotional pieces for PAX East which started my interest in this art form. You can download this album and more from http://www.8bitpeoples.com/

Squirrelatwar
Squirrelatwar

Anamanaguchi is tight! Love the work they did with the Scott Pilgrim game.

dawN84
dawN84

Wintermute and Protricity make sweet remixes from the Donkey Kong Country games. (: Oh yeah, and then there's McVaffe with his Yoshi's Island remixes. For example, I really like 'Yoshi's Island CrystallineCaverns OC ReMix', makes a great tune even better. It's been too long since I last downloaded from OC Remix, so my favorites are from many years ago. :3

Galm-one
Galm-one

Haven't heard much about Chiptune music, but i do a lot from OC Remix. It got my attention this one. i gonna try to find something to listen.

kyari
kyari

Metal Gear Solid - Legend of the Snake 2: Snake versus Dragon Donkey Kong Country 2 - Dance of the Zinger

baystatethrashr
baystatethrashr

I Fight Dragons isn't purely chiptune but many of their songs use chiptune effects and they remix a lot of their songs with pure chiptune