Author Archive

ChipWIN-tern Presents: Timespinner

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I turn 28 this month, in fact a week from today. At this age, I find myself wishing I had the ability to go back in time and change a number of things that led my life to be the way it is today. And honestly, not only that, but there are certain parts of my life I wish I could live over again, like the parts of my childhood I spent playing my Super Nintendo and my friend’s Playstation 1 after school, jamming out to the Castlevania: Symphony of the Night OST.

This will never happen, of course. I don’t have some kind of time machine to go back, and I’ll never be able to experience Michiru Yamane and Koji Igarashi’s masterpiece again for the first time. What I do have, however, is the next best thing: Timespinner, the first game by Lunar Ray games with an amazing soundtrack by Jeff Ball of Tiny Barbarian DX and Steven Universe fame (among many others), which follows the story of Lunais – a woman who must travel between the ancient past and ruined present of her world to put an end to the tyranny her people face from an intergalactic empire. Funded on Kickstarter back in 2014, this was one of those games I backed and hoped and prayed it would actually come to completion, having been burned by a number of other very promising retro-inspired campaigns in the past – and lo and behold, at the end of September of this year I got my hands on my pledge and devoured the game immediately. Instead of my normal “music only” review column this month, I’d like to actually talk about the game as well – and as with my occasional event coverage, I’ll give you the handy #MUSIC and #GAME tags to Ctrl+F back and forth to if you only want to read one of those reviews.

Let’s get spinning!

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ChipWIN-tern Presents: Networking and Brand Management

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Hello everyone. For this month, I decided instead of an album review or talking about a concert I thought that I might perhaps offer some help to the community at large by addressing one of the things I see as a major common weakness: poor brand management. “Wait what,” I hear you say, “why are you teaching me an Intro to Business course here? I just want some dank bleep bloops, bro!” And that’s fine, because at the end of the day is not a man entitled to the bleep from his bloops? But for those of you who are interested in getting senpai to notice you, and by senpai I mean potential fans and friends, then I have some broad and functional advice for you in terms of making sure that what music you have is available to the most people and you can start being that cool kid who wears pastel colored 80’s and 90’s era windbreaker jackets, clear Wayfarer glasses, a geeky Snapback and patterned leggings that all the convention-goers want to throw their parents’ money at. Or whatever it is YOU deem as commercial success, I guess.

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Chip…WIN-tern’s Kitchen #2: Literally The Simplest Macaroons

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Hullo! Due to the Hoods succumbing to human bodily weakness, I’ve volunteered one of my staple baked good recipes – macaroons! (Note the two O’s – I’m talking about the coconut haystacks, not the pastel hamburgers.) While my friends know me most for my cookies, macaroons are my staple for when I need to show up somewhere and make an impression. They can be as simple or as complex as you’d like – this recipe is for the bare bones version, but feel free to get fancy! (more…)

ChipWIN-tern Spotlight: ‘chipsynth PortaFM SONGS’, by ToyCompany

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Over the last few years, for reasons best left to the wastes of time, I’ve dedicated a lot more time on the blog writing about albums that feature FM synthesis, be it on live chips or emulated. It seems like in a sea of Gameboy music, FM often goes by the wayside. Thankfully, some folks in the frozen northlands of Mapleopolis  Montreal are fighting the good fight and have been working to change that. If you’ve used a DAW to make chipmusic in the last 20 years, you’re probably familiar with Plogue and their line of chiptune emulation VSTs. Their latest release, the PortaFM, focuses on the emulation of the YM2413 chip (also known as the OPLL), and the good folks at Toy Company have released a small album to demonstrate just what this baby can do.

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