Volume 5 Progress Report

- Posted June 13th, 2016 by

Sup y’all? =) President Hoodie here with a quick update to the progress of ‘Chiptunes = WIN: Volume 5′ along with some interesting thoughts from this year’s judging panel.

First up, as you’ve all probably noticed by now (what with our daily reminders and all〜(꒪꒳꒪)〜), the V.5 submission deadline has been extended from June 12th to June 19th. As of this publication, there’s a little less than a week remaining for all tracks to be finalized and submitted. So everyone, get ’em done and get ’em in! Once that’s wrapped up, we’ll begin the judging period of the project, which’ll likely take a couple of weeks to lock in. Don’t worry, I’ll entertain you with some quality #JudgesTweets during that process. ಠ‿↼

Regarding album artwork, how about a blurry sneak peek of the work in progress?

V.5 album preview

Rest easy, Nate Horsfall is proving himself a badass *YET AGAIN*.

And since I now have the album artwork, I reckon we should probably open up the yearly bonus album artwork contest as well, huh?

Well alrighty then! Consider it OPENED! Full details right here.

That’s really all I personally have to say in this update, except for, of course, GOOD LUCK!!

Let’s get on to those thoughts from our judges!

“Make sure you have a tune in your chip-tune! Songwriting skills are as important as the numbers you put in your trackers/LSDJs/MIDI editors/whatever.” ~Mikhal Ivanov aka streifig of Marshall Art & Dwelling of Duels.

I just had breakfast tacos for dinner and now offer up advice!  Practice makes perfect and what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger and other words of insipid wisdom.  I know everyone puts effort into their art even if they pretend that they don’t.  Making interesting music doesn’t mean simply making it random and chaotic, but chaos can be fun and variety is the spice of life.  My advice to folks who don’t focus on the strict restrictions of a specific console: keep a balance between your chip sounds and the rest.  Things like high quality drum samples and strings and retro synth sounds can expand the atmosphere of your song, but having a single square wave buried in the mix does not a chiptune make.  If you don’t make it onto this (or any other) compilation then do not fret!  Keep writing and experimenting until you melt your own face off a few times.  There; you are ready!“~Langel Bookbinder aka B-knox of Battle of the Bits

I’d say that if you’re currently making chiptunes (especially LSDJ based chiptunes) with four chords throughout, I would branch out a bit – find ways to break through the four chords and really move into a new section of chords to create some drama. It’s very hard to write convincing music that goes on for more than 4 minutes based on four chords. Also, when writing melodies, be sure that your melody has melodic intention – that is – your melody is actually ‘going somewhere’ or ‘saying something’. The listener can tell when a melody has purpose and moves toward a goal – even if the melody itself is unconventional.  True mastery of writing great leads shines through no matter what.” ~Steve Lakawicz aka ap0c

“If your song is forgettable, people will forget it. Try to create something that someone can’t forget (hopefully for a good reason), and you’ll be way ahead of most!” ~Sam Mulligan of Nerd Rock Radio on 8bitx.com

I am really disappointed with the bad tracks this year. None of the bad tracks have truly astounded me with how terrible they are. If people are going to submit awful troll tracks, they need to try harder, search deeper within themselves, and find true wtf-ery-ness. Even being the worst takes true effort.” ~Michael Allen aka Roboctopus

I’m a sucker for a good melody in a track. But a good piece of music doesn’t always need a melody. I’ve fallen for beautiful basslines before, dynamic drums dozens of times and noise tracks now and again.
Make sure your track has a defined beginning and ending and at least two sections between those and you’re on your way to writing something halfway decent.
Don’t submit something you’re not proud of just to hit the deadline or put your name out.  Until you feel that your track is good enough, like, really good enough — and you’ll know when it is! — keep working at it. That’s one of the main reasons I stopped putting out a lot of tracks myself.” ~Sam Wray aka 2xAA of µcollective.org

It’s a fantastic experience to listen through all these submissions. It is also apparent that sticking out of the crowd can sometimes be tough in this genre. Presenting a new sound, style or technique for whichever format you’re writing on is always a big plus for me. Obviously it’s easy to get lost in the technical side of writing micromusic, but focus on composing and do your best to not let the tech stuff get in the way of your musical ideas. I just ate tacos. They were great.” ~Vegard Kummen aka Kubbi

“This is my 3rd year on the judging team and am totally psyched to be doing it again. As others have mentioned, the quality is getting better and better each year which makes our job incredibly difficult. It also means that the difference in score between the final 52 tracks and the tracks 53 – 100 (or whatever) really isn’t that much. Of course there are the outright ‘amazing’ tracks that all judges loved, but the scoring, if graphed, is such a smoooooooth linear line from 0 – 10, I often feel bad for those tracks at position 53+. Which is why there is often the spin of [insert chip label] = WIN secondary compilation, to highlight the talent that ‘didn’t quite make it.’
Regarding the kind of tracks I’ll be looking for: I have to admit I’m a bit of a purist (yes, I know how hypocritical this statement is as I now use GBA and a Pocket Operator as my main set up… We can argue about how pure that is another day though). So if your track was done without the use of high-end synths and other DAW trickery, that really stands out to me and gets bonus ‘fuck yes!’ points.” ~James York aka cheapshot of cheapbeats.net

“If I hear some Dolphins, they’re out. It’s just that simple.” ~Brandon Hood, Founder & Project Manager of ChipWIN

And that’s it for this update! Again, the very best of luck to everyone finishing up their submissions. See y’all on the other side!

Much \m|x5|m/,
Brandon L Hood aka “President Hoodie”
Founder & Project Manager of Chiptunes = WIN

V.4 Logo 1 (text) 250x250

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