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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