“Wut’s a ChipWIN?”
Chiptunes = WIN aka ChipWIN is a project/community/netlabel/blog/THING that began on March 19th, 2011 as a Facebook group dedicated to the wonderfully unique creature that we call chiptune. The Fb group was initially created by Brandon L Hood aka “President Hoodie” as a way for him & a good handful of friends to share & discover chipmusic together. It has since grown into a dynamic international chiptune collective focused on promoting & fostering a more open and interactive
“chipscene” chip community (i.e. 5100+ member level 4 tribe of AMAZEBALLS), & has become best known for releasing MASSIVE yearly chiptune compilations as well other smaller, equally awesome releases in between. This blog, of course, (& the rest of the related social media) also came from the midst of all of that crazy wonderfulness.
“Where does the money go?”
Any & all donations collected from the “name your price” compilations & very fairly priced merchandise go back into the project via a ChipWIN PayPal account. This money goes towards costs for mastering, artwork, promo videos, cloud storage, web dev, domain name, merchandise, shipping, & any other project related expenses that may arise (i.e. does not buy Cherry Wheat for Hoodie. Unfortunately…). Funds may also go toward backing relevant Kickstarters & Patreon accounts, sponsoring chip events/shows, donating to chip charities & chipartists in need, etc. per the discretion of its founder. In essence, it’s a self sustaining project (& has been since Vol.1) that essentially operates like a nonprofit organization (note: hoping to obtain that legal status in 2017), with a primary goal of continuing to do awesome for chiptune, up to & including ChipWIN Live Shows.
“But srsly, where do all da monies go?”
“You mentioned live shows. When are those and/or “ChipWINFest’ happening?”
Frankly, there are higher priorities right now (& have been since the beginning of the community tbh) than a “ChipWINFest/Tour”. In theory, it sounds absolutely dreamy. Logistically speaking, however, it’s an absolute nightmare to pull off with the level of efficiency and excellence that chipmusic fans deserve; it would require decent funding and a well organized staff to properly plan and execute (i.e. far from a one or two person job). If/when it happens, the proper time & effort will be taken to ensure that it is exceptionally organized via a collaborative effort of epic proportions (i.e. WHOLE ASS OR NO ASS AT ALL).
In the meantime, ChipWIN is already directly involved in various other live chipshows/fests (including MAGFest), both via sponsorship and/or direct, hands on organization. As always, stay tuned for details, as they will be shared publicly as it is relevant & timely to do so.
“How do the ChipWIN “Volumes” work (i.e. the open to all participants compilations)?
The idea for ‘Volume 1‘ came about organically within the ChipWIN Fb Group, as simply a compilation comprised of various ChipWIN group members. Once enough interest was piqued to start gathering submissions (i.e. real quick-like!), Hoodie took over the reigns and organized it into its final form. There was no official “judging” on V.1; the final roster (51 tracks gathered total) was a mix of both submissions provided by group members & tracks directly curated by Hoodie.
For ‘Volume 2‘, the project had grown enough in a year’s time that Hoodie decided a “judging” process was necessary to both keep things fair & to keep the “Volume” roster from growing even larger than the already outrageous number of tracks (51). Thus Hoodie recruited the first ChipWIN judge’s panel, comprised of Andrew Kilpatrick, Kubbi, DJ CUTMAN & himself. From there, First Lady Ryn aka Chip Mom created a really BAMF Google spreadsheet, upon which was listed the track names, links to the tracks, a voting space (scores of 0 – 5) & a place for comments. Using that, the judges listened, voted, & commented on the 146 submissions received as fairly & honestly as they possibly could. Hoodie then used that significantly thorough amount of data to choose the best of the best for the final 51 track roster of ‘Volume 2’. This was NOT an easy process, but the end result proved to be absolutely magical.
The same process was essentially utilized for ‘Volume 3‘, albeit a bit more streamlined (Google Forms FTW!!) + a few changes to the judging panel: Hoodie, Dj CUTMAN, & Kubbi remained, joined by newcomers C-jeff of Ubiktune & cheapshot of cheapbeats.net. Of further note about V.3, “rejection e-mails” were done away with in favor of releasing a public list of the final roster as the primary method of informing the participants of who did & did not make the compilation; reception of such was wholly more positive vs the e-mail communication of V.2 (plus way easier to manage). Also, a fun album fanart contest came about (kinda accidentally lolol), & was enjoyed well enough that it’ll likely reoccur with future “Volumes”. While the total number of V.3 submissions was a couple handfuls less than V.2 (125 total), the end result proved no less phenomenal than before.
‘Volume 4‘ proceeded in basically the same fashion as V.3, albeit with some further alterations to the judging panel. A new record of 153 qualifying submissions were received this time, and it successfully released with the same amount of fun and fanfare as usual.
‘Volume 5‘ is the most recent open comp, and what a helluva process it was! Outside of adding three new members to the judging panel, making it the largest panel thus far, the only difference to that part of the process was an alteration to the score limitations; 1 – 5 vs the previous 0 – 5, which provided a bit more concise dataset for the roster to be formed. We also received 169 qualifying submissions for it, which is 16 more than Volume 4’s previous record! Speaking as objectively as possible, it’s the strongest Volume yet; in both the variety of styles and overall quality of submissions. Definitely one helluva inspiration to keep it moving ever forward!
“How about the collaborative expansion releases like ‘Pxl-Win’,’CheapBeats = WIN’, & ‘µWIN’?”
These special side releases are comprised primarily of “Volume” submissions that just barely missed being featured on their related “Volumes” (i.e. submissions that still warrant a chance at a compilation release beyond the “Volume”). Thus far, they have also been the result of a collaborative effort between one of the associated “Volume” judges & Hoodie, with the final track roster being decided by the chosen judge. Gives a completely different flavor to the end result + collaboration is fun yo! All four instances thus far (‘Pxl-Win‘,‘CheapBeats = WIN‘, ‘µWIN‘ & ‘Forest = ВИН!‘) have been well received & damn good; enough so that some folk look forward to these collaborative expansions just as much (if not more!) than the ‘Volumes’.
“What about the other releases? How are those put together?”
Everything else is curated solely by Hoodie & are generally invite only. As much as we’d like all of the releases to be open to everyone, it’s simply too great a task to manage for each release; it also serves to keep the yearly “Volumes” & their related expansions unique. Regarding the invites themselves, they are typically sent out to a variety of chipartists from varying different genres, composition methods, & regions of the world to ensure as much creative diversity as possible.
While there’s no surefire guarantee, the best ways to increase your chances for an invite = make awesome chipmusic and interact regularly in the ChipWIN community!
“But srsly, how are the tracks chosen?”
These children actually do it for us (& write all the music too):
“There’s all forms and fashions of chipmusic on your compilations. What’s up with that?”
Simply enough, we love it all. Seriously, it’s that simple.
If you want it less simple, check out my “What *IS* chiptune?” page here. I share a few thoughts on the matter more in depth there.
“Can I livestream the comps while playing games & such?”
Yup, as long as you credit us properly. Info on how to do that here.
“What otherworldly being of AWESOME crafts the absolutely fantastic CW merch?”
“Who’s the incredible BADASS that designs all the CW artwork?”
That title is solely held by the extraordinary BADASS Nate Horsfall aka Foxxdragon of lightningarts.com. Learn more about him via this enjoyable interview here! Purchase his artwork directly here and here!
“The compilations are all obviously mastered, and wonderfully at that. Who in the ‘verse does that?”
I highly recommend all of these cool cats for their mastering services; they #DontFuckAround.
“What’s this ‘#DontFuckAround’ nonsense really all about?”
While Theory of N is the guy to hit up for the true origin story of #DontFuckAround (which is hilarious btw), we basically just use it as a mantra of sorts for getting work done. That’s it.
Things #DontFuckAround does not mean:
- That we’re not about having fun and goofing around. Anyone who knows us at all knows better than that.
- That we’re taking any kind of stand on the sexual proclivities of any our members. Because we’re not. Because that’s dumb. Y’all do you.
- Anything else at all. It’s really just a goofy catchphrase born from internet ridiculousness. #EndOfStory
“Why in the world is Hoodie so enamored with dickbutts?”
“Is Sam Adams Cherry Wheat ale truly as delicious as Hoodie says?”
No. It’s terrible, so much so that it has become outlawed on the whole of planet Earth. If you encounter any in the wild, please report it to Hoodie for immediate disposal, as the world’s governments have banded together and given him the authority to be in charge of such. DO NOT try to dispose of the Cherry Wheat yourself, as it is incredibly dangerous. Get it to Hoodie. He’ll handle it. He’s just a swell guy like that.
“You folk are kinda silly & ridiculous at times. I’m not sure I’m okay with chiptune being portrayed in such a way. Honestly, what’s your deal?”
In general, we are a pretty fun-loving, goofy collective of varyingly ridiculous folk, it’s true. Maybe even overmuch sometimes, I’ll admit it. That said, while we do not take ourselves all that seriously, we do take what we do (this project in its entirety) QUITE seriously. That balance will undoubtedly continue to wax and wane as we grow and evolve, but you’d be hard pressed to find a more passionate, active and engaged group of chipmusic loving individuals anywhere else in the world. Of that much I can assure you. =)
“That answers most of my questions, thanks, but I’d still like to know _______?”
No problem. Shoot us an e-mail via firstname.lastname@example.org & we’ll get back to you first chance we get. =)