8bit Chiptune Workshop @ LABoral
A couple of weeks ago I attended an 8bit chiptune workshop at LABoral in Gijón in the Asturias region Spain. The workshop was part of series of such running alongside LABoral’s Gameworld exhibition (a Second Life workshop had taken place earlier that week).
The teachers were Glomag and BubblyFish from New York and ‘Yes, Robot‘ and Rabato from Barcelona. These guys are big names in the chiptune scene and over the course of two days provided great hands on training making tracks on the oldschool Nintendo Gameboy using Little Sound DJ and Nanoloop.
LSDJ uses a text based tracker interface, you adjust the sound parameters by changing binary values. Nanoloop is more visual and you create sounds and sequences through by selecting icons and applying them to a 4 x 4 grid of squares. Both have their pros and cons but ultimately do the same job, directly controlling the Gameboy’s unique 4 channel sound sound chip.
The 8bit maestros also performed live on stage at LABoral backed up by Barcelona VJ duo Entter, who complemented all the music by syncing up pixel graphic visuals through their own custom built flash applications. A news reporter from Madrid described the show as “Beautiful” and I’ve got to agree. I’ve been into 8bit video game sounds and graphics since I was a child, but hearing this style of music blasting through a concert PA while watching huge pixel graphic projections was on another level of greatness altogether.
Both the workshop and live show were filmed for an upcoming documentary by Lionel Brouet, who made 8 Bit Generation, so that’s going to be very interesting to see. Anyway’s I’m back home now and starting to mess with the special cartridges, the Gameboy is plugged into my Micro Cube amp and I’m beginning to make some simple loops, will post whatever happens on my myspace page. Bleep!