Calling all chiptune geniuses, artists, lovers, and admirers!
We are running a one-month contest starting today to win a free modded Game Boy and flash carts (courtesy of Kitsch-Bent!), feedback on your work from chip artist Chipocrite, and promo on Flypaper for your project! Entries will be judged by three of the most beloved chiptune artists on the scene today — glomag, BIAS ONE (f.k.a. minusbaby), and our course instructor extraordinaire, Chipocrite! And all you gotta do is whip up the best 60-second cover of Devo’s classic groove “Whip It” in a chiptune/8-bit style. Hence, we’re calling it:
The “Chip It” Challenge!
Devo’s “Whip It” has held up over the years, in spite of the fact that it’s pretty strange for a pop song. We think it’s because it has all the ingredients of a hit, plus some unique and memorable twists: great riffs, a danceable beat, a great blend of synths and live instruments, wacky but catchy vocals, and, of course, actual whip sound effects. We want to hear your take on all of those elements!
In the newest installment of our free course series, Chiptune Crash Course, Chip It: The Chiptune Cover Challenge, we help students learn to create a chiptune cover using Game Boy emulator, LSDJ.
For the Chip It Challenge, we’re asking you to your inspiration from Devo’s “Whip It” to create a chip cover all your own.
Chiptune Crash Course instructor Chipocrite has created his own “Whip It” cover to help get your creative juices flowing. Take a listen below, and then download his lead sheet and .sav file and use it as a starting place for your own cover (or create your cover from scratch!). You can also join the contest’s Facebook event to get competition updates and hear our judges’ versions of “Whip It”!
Download: .sav file
- Submissions are due by February 15, 2017 and must be received by 11:59pm EST.
- Create your own, original version of Devo’s “Whip It.” Your version can be based on the LSDJ file included above, but originality is one of the judging criteria, so be sure to make it your own.
- Songs must be in a recognizable chiptune style, but not limited to Game Boy sounds — you’re welcome to use any gaming platform or emulator you prefer, and add non-chip elements to your track.
- Your piece have the same structure as Chipocrite’s version. It should include an intro (the first 12 bars of the song, or the first 18 seconds of Chipocrite’s version), a verse (bars 13-29, or from :19 to :41 of Chipocrite’s version), and a chorus (bars 30-46, or :42 to :57 of Chipocrite’s version).
How to Submit
Head over to the Chiptune Crash Course series, sign up for Chip It: The Chiptune Cover Challenge, and submit your track in the course comments. (Signing up for the course is free, and there’s no obligation to join more sections of the Chiptune Crash Course series.)
Additionally, if you share your piece of music on Soundcloud, Twitter, or Facebook tagging us @learntosoundfly and using the hashtag #chipit, we’ll share your work with our followers.
All eligible submissions will be shared on Soundfly’s social media channels and on Flypaper. In addition, three lucky winners will receive:
- Grand Prize: Modded Game Boy and flash cartridge, and personal feedback from Chipocrite on your track!
- Second prize: Flash cartridge, and personal feedback from Chipocrite on your track!
- Third prize: Flash cartridge.
UPDATE: Big news! Our friends at 8-Bit Operators are sweetening the pot for anyone who joins the #ChipIt Challenge!
Now ANYONE who submits a track will get a free download of their Devo Tribute album “Crack That Chip,” featuring songs by contest judges glomag and minusbaby.
Additionally, the three contest winners will each get a hard copy of “Enjoy the Science” their Depeche Mode tribute, as well as free downloads of Beatles tribute “Wanna Hld Yr Handled” Volumes 1 and 2, and Kraftwerk megamix “Pocket Calculator,” mixed by glomag and featuring 8 other chip stars.
What Are the Judging Criteria?
You’ll be judged on the overall originality of your version of “Whip It” (while still being recognizable as “Whip It”), as well as creativity (particularly in your use of chip elements), and overall quality, as decided by our esteemed panel of judges.
The Fine Print
Meet Your Judges!
glomag has been writing music on Game Boys since 2001, working with Nanoloop and Little Sound DJ (LSDJ). It is his contention that his interest in music grew out of an early obsession with Astroboy, coupled with the formative experience of finding a trilobite fossil in his schoolyard, and further ingrained as an adult when he ripped a label from a maple syrup tin to find strange, colorful images hidden beneath. He once pulled a small pile of aluminum cones from a garbage dumpster and attempted to sell them to the Museum of Modern Art. He has performed in and around the U.S. and Europe, and his compositions have been presented at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater, The Whitney Museum of American Art, The American Center in Paris, the Blip Festival in NYC, and on television and radio in the US, Belgium, and France. More recently, he has been writing and directing the video series This Spartan Life, a “talk show in gamespace,” which is videotaped in the game Halo 3 and features his music, along with other chiptune artists.
BIAS ONE (f.k.a. minusbaby)
Richard Alexander Caraballo began his minusbaby project in 1999 to explore the diversity of a lo-fi, compositional aesthetic and has since progressed experimentally in its scope to include elements guided by those roots and a sonic language representative of his influences, namely: the art of bass and how it moves butts. He ended minusbaby in 2016 and is now BIAS ONE. In addition to music, he is a prolific pixel artist who, since 1999, has been helped define the unique aesthetics of the modern 8-bit creative movement. Spearheading the visual identities of 8bitpeoples, Pulsewave, and the Blip Festival has contributed to making his work ubiquitous to the public’s perception of chip music and art.
Combining his love for type, patterns, and limited palettes, Caraballo has developed his own unique visual and musical languages where rather than easing into common trends, he utilizes multiple sources outside of video game culture to broaden both his and the movement’s repertoire so as to expand the canon and avoid Super Mario cannons.
Chipocrite, a.k.a. Paul Weinstein, uses original Nintendo Game Boys, often accompanied by bass, guitar, drums, and/or other lo-fi sequencers, to create complex audio masterpieces. His multifaceted, catchy compositions combine the nostalgic game sounds of his childhood with modern music influences. Since emerging from the Philadelphia chip scene just a few years ago, Chipocrite has taken the stage at numerous performance spaces, events, and conventions, including the Vans Warped Tour, Blip Festival, MAGFest, and AnimeNEXT; provided soundtracks for commercials, including a nationally televised GameStop ad, as well as video games and online videos; released several albums and EPs, including “Hit and Run,” which was named “Best Album — Chiptune” in Square Enix Music Online’s Annual Game Music Awards for 2011, appeared as the musical guest on popular tech-centric web talk show series “On the Verge,” and much more. Chipocrite is currently working on the soundtrack for “EarthNight,” a Rogue-like runner game coming soon to PS4 and other devices.
Weinstein is the creator and instructor of the free Chiptune Crash Course series on Soundfly.
Join Chiptune Crash Course today to get started making your own chip music, and we look forward to hearing your submissions!