Compo Status :: Round 86 Voting :: Ending 2014-09-22 00:00:00 *CST () :: 5 Votes

Voting for Round 86

Instructions: Listen to each entry in the current round, keeping track of those you like best. Using the Top 5 Vote menu below, choose your top 5 favorites and assign them each a rank.

Round 86 Entries
Author Title
chunter We Make the Future
ballacr75 aspirina c64
Ahornberg Super Mario Plays A Real Chiptune
A-Lin Crazy
Carbonthief Too Much Effort
directionless Chip Salad
Author directionless
Title Chip Salad
MP3 Link
Filename sdc86_directionless-ChipSalad.xrns
Comment Leave a Comment

Authors' Notes

Thanks to the VSTi creators, organic_io for putting this round together, and ballacr75 for some final suggestions.

nonsense lyrics:

i'm finding it hard to express myself
like a rich man departs life without his wealth
it would be easier to believe
you're the only one in this world that I need

spending my time compressed down to 4 bits
tracking sequence til I hit time limit
could this be why the whole world is shit
neverending stream of conscienceness

i can't even believe
commodore 64 is 30 years or more
nes is still alive
keep a pack of roms always by my side

atari st
means more to me than ibm PC
piracy is a crime
still it made the greats of all time

if i could make it work with only 4 tracks or more
i'll have to load it up and play it in a C 6 4

if i could crush my sound down to 4 bits and forget this
would I even find out that I am the culprit

if i could crush myself down to 4 bits and forget this
would I even find out that I am the culprit

spending my time compressed down to 4 bits
neverending stream of conscienceness
could this be why the whole world is shit
sequence til I hit time limit


Comment by ballacr75 on 2014-09-15 03:33:54

Great, wonderful track, wonderful chord progression! good luck friend!

Comment by Ahornberg on 2014-09-15 05:59:51

for me, this is a complete pop-ballad

the tension by pitch-shifting at 2:42 fits very well and adds some interesting variety

"if i could crush myself down to 4 bits ..." - maybe there is some deeper sense in this words

Comment by A-Lin on 2014-09-15 09:50:57


- It starts very well. Sounds and arrangement.
- You sing very well!
- The drumming is interesting (like those little stuttering bds)


- The voice melody does not always match the musical background.
- The 4-bit crushing is bit too noisy (but that was the rules). Maybe you could have amplified them more before crushing, and then filter, but then what is the point of crunching...


Enjoyable, good work.

Comment by directionless on 2014-09-15 10:47:32

Thanks for the feedback. It would have been nice to control the noise level on the bit-crush more but the rules were that bit-crush had to be the last effect in the chain. In retrospect, I may have tried to make the vocal track mono so the static didn't interfere with the stereo arrangement.

I agree, the vocal probably doesn't always match up. It would be interesting to try different methods to achieve this. I know if I had sequenced a lead melody, it would have matched better. But this was a method where I composed the arrangement and then just made up some vocals while recording in Adobe Audition.

It is a pop-ballad, Ahornberg. I was going to call it chip ballad, but I changed it to a not so obvious or clever salad. :P

Comment by A-Lin on 2014-09-16 03:52:07

Oh yes, I had forgotten that it was supposed to be the last in the chain. Although on Renoise bit-crusher you've got some post-filter (little button on the right-upper corner).

I've never written any vocal melody, so I can't provide any tip from my own experience. Personally, I write everything on an old acoustic piano (I don't even have a midi keyboard), following 300 year old contrapuntal theories. Then once I'm happy with the music I track the whole stuff. If I were to write vocals, I guess I'd do the same, but again I've never tried.

Comment by A-Lin on 2014-09-16 04:29:02

Re-listening to it a few times... Most of the time everything is really well on place, the composition is definitely solid. There's just a few times it's too dissonant between the voice lead and the instruments. But I think I'm especially sensitive to that. Still very well done!

Comment by directionless on 2014-09-16 08:59:13

I know you are! I recall you didn't like that one note in Skeleton Escape! haha :D its all good. My pop sensibilities come from a lot of alternative rock listening when I was younger and I probably didn't mind making dissonance. Whether it makes sense or is musically accurate is something else.

I agree that if I actually wrote the vocal melody in sequence first, then I could pattern singing after it and that could make it more cohesive. Although this method I used is kind of like musically throwing darts and that suits me. I don't know the allusive secret to composing, but I know for plenty of the bands that I listen to, their music is a grower. It doesn't always makes sense on first listen and then I find myself enjoying it more the more times I listen. I usually prefer music that way, as opposed to mainstream stuff on the radio that is so readily accessible that I feel like it is all the same and I don't like it. But that is just a philosophical point. It is no justification for sloppy songwriting and I'm sure that happens with me.

I like to look at music making as something that I am not sure how I am doing it, and I just keep working at it on the long progression (with each song) until it hopefully starts connecting as the 'skill' develops.

But that is the great thing about it, that we can approach the desired output from different vantage points. Another reason that certain band members or collaborators have become greater than the sum of their parts when they worked together.

The upper-right button on the bitcrusher had a spline and a square filter. But the spline just sounded to my ears as too much hiss. The distortion of the square was too much, but it was a more preferable sound to my tastes than a prominent analog tape white-noise.

Comment by organic_io on 2014-09-16 13:06:47

John! What's going on my friend? Really liking the intro, the way you play with the chords makes it sound almost like it is in an alternate time signature, but I'm pretty sure I counted 4/4. DUDE!!! When the vocals come in I had a big grin!!! So glad I chose the 4 bit vocals for this round. Awesome crunchy goodness :) Once the drums and bass get heavier along with the vox, this is greatness! I hate that I didn't make an entry now :(
Commodore 64 was 30 years or more.. I know, isn't it crazy. We're getting old :) Awesome tribute to all the old systems! Except you're wrong about Atari ST, because IBM PC > *. Piracy is a crime??? What about "backup copies"? :P

Awesome John, just awesome. All I can say is: Thank you for writing this :)

Comment by directionless on 2014-09-16 14:45:59

Glad you liked it. The great thing about stupid ambiguous lyrics is that they can be interpreted any number of ways. "you're the only one in this world that I need" could be a reference to an inanimate object, like an old computer. :P Intel-based IMB PC hardware is of course, THE computer to rule them all these days. Perhaps if this was viewed in the context of the 80's however, when I loaded up my PC version of Mega Man on my IMB XT and it played like shit in 4-color EGA with no music and a crippling frame-rate, then IBM not-so-much and C64 and NES dominate. In all honesty, I threw Atari ST in there because it was one of the chips and it is old school. I didn't ever have one, although I recall having various Atari PC/Game systems at different times (there were so many). Piracy is a (obligatory-reference) crime but it made the greats including, arguably, everything that we are doing here. Since the distribution of cracked software by cracker groups in the early days catapulted those systems to massive popularity and gave rise to the demoscene as the evolution of the cracktro.

Who knew all these things could be derived from these shitty lyrics? :P

Comment by chunter on 2014-09-17 12:41:12

It's funny how things work, even before Windows PCs happened, Microsoft was in the soul (BASIC ROM) of every home computer. The original IBM PC and PC Jr were farcical, I didn't know anyone who owned them. Despite that, IBM clones came to dominate and Apple were pronounced dead in the 90s more times than I can remember. Then Apple became the big darling, I wonder who or what comes next?

This song sounds great of course, good job.

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