"hope" (Chiptune WIP)

Today for NaCreSoMo I attempted to make a chiptune version of “hope” from the Japanese sound novelうみねこのく頃に」, usually known in English as “Umineko: When They Cry”.

The novel itself is a somewhat violent combination of mystery, fantasy, and horror. I’ve finished the first in the series and am planning on reading (watching? playing?) the rest; a friend-of-friend recommended it very highly. Apart from the actual story, the music ranges from “all right” to “amazing”. “hope” is one of the most thematic tracks I’ve encountered so far (remember, I’ve only gone through the first episode so far), and today it was in my head despite not having it on my iPod.

I’m still trying to feel out what makes a good chiptune arrangement, though I’m pretty happy with how my previous one came out (from the musical The Fourth Messenger):

My friend Robert once commented that chiptune is an exercise in minimalism; given that I have trouble with any arrangements (especially non-vocal ones), the “enforced constraints” actually help set expectations.

I didn’t used to like chiptune that much (except when it was already a video game theme), but I’ve had a few solid artists come through that have changed my tune (pun intended):

  • Aivi & Surasshu, composers for the cartoon Steven Universe (among other work)
  • Accumulator, actually my coworker
  • and past NaCreSoMo participant Bea!
  • EDIT: and I guess Toby Fox’s Undertale qualifies too

If you want to try making a chiptune track yourself, check out YMCK’s Magical 8bit Plug (though it can be a bit tricky to set up).