...I've been trained to make beats that would make a billy goat puke.


Mobile Apps - Neat, but Appropriate?

As I peruse through hundreds of articles in my RSS feed aggregator (good job not checking for a month, Will), the gadget blogs keep catching my eye with posts like "Now anyone can be T-Pain" or "New synthesizer app for iPhone." I always think "Hey awesome" and then dismiss it, because like anyone who spends there money wisely (I'm not saying I'm one of them, but we share certain traits) I do not own an iPhone.
Then I read an article about 8bitone, a new iPhone app that lets you synthesize and sequence 8bit sounds. Of course, all the articles I've read about it share similar cheezeball titles like "8Bitone lets you mix it like Mario!" and these generally irk me. I'm not saying that there's any lack of novelty to chiptune, it's extremely nostalgic and uplifting for me, but to see it popularized in such trivial ways leaves a stale taste in my mouth. Awesome, now millions of hipsters will be making crappy 8bit tracks and remixes of lame acoustic punk songs about riding tallbikes. You know, when I think about scene music, I don't think about tight pants, flannel and vintage tees, I think about DEMOSCENE.
Don't get me wrong, I applaud the author of the app, and if I had an iPhone, I'd most likely grab it, but if I wanted to make a 4 channel chiptune on the go, I wouldn't pick up my phone, but one of several gameboys I have lying around.
These mobile apps are real neat-o, and it's cool to see people making them, I even have a few on my android phone, but at the end of the day they all seem to be just plain obsolete by software that has been around for ages.
Sorry about the rant, but mobile technology has a lot to offer, and it's sad to go into the android app market and see dozens of crappy Jeff Dunham soundboards on the list of popular apps. If developers follow trends, maybe 200 years from now we'll be living on the same dirty planet paying $5 for a virtual Cartman farting soundboard and an updated T-Pain app...WEEEEE


  1. "...if I wanted to make a 4 channel chiptune on the go, I wouldn't pick up my phone, but one of several gameboys I have lying around."

    True, but it would be pretty great to have LSDJ or Nanoloop on a modern device. Chippers have to jump through a lot of hoops to get song data off their device. It's kind of scary to spend hours and hours on tunes that are locked in a walled garden. I love hardcore GB apps, but I wish they facilitated easy transfer of songs and patches.

  2. I can sympathize with you there, but I also feel like all of the limitations and pitfalls are part of the charm of such apps. I mean, I played with Gameboy samplesets for a LONG time. This let me use all the tricks that sequencers like Fruity Loops had at my disposal. My 8bit tracks were incredibly void of inventiveness. Then I moved on to the Project5 gameboy tracker for PC, which brought some well needed fresh air into my tracks. However, it wasn't until I got an actual LSDJ cart that my tracks were really fun to make and neat to listen to. I have to remind myself sometimes that some of my favorite chiptune musicians didn't have even the luxuries that I have in a limited tracker interface. I guess my point is that when it comes to chiptunes, some of the best tracks are made by utilizing restrictive environments with ingenuity rather than making music in your comfort zone.
    As far as exporting song data, there's always RAW audio! :)