A recording of video game music, spanning 8 bit games to the present, arranged & enhanced for string quartet. Read more
This project was successfully funded on August 28, 2013.
About this project
WELCOME to The String Arcade Project!
The String Arcade is a recording of video game music, arranged for string quartet. This won't be an arbitrary (or novelty) collection of game music, but a well curated collection of music that works together thematically as a completed recording. We also hope to inspire young musicians with this recording by making a connection between video game music and 'classical' instruments such as violin, viola and cello.
What are we recording?
The music we record will be from video games, either game music written by me, (Dren McDonald), or music from some classic video games, all arranged (by me) for string quartet. If you become a backer of ANY LEVEL, you will immediately receive a download link in the 1st update, which includes the 1st four songs of our recording so you can get an idea of the quality recording we intend to create (we hope to record the rest of the music by November for backers at $10 and more.)
The funds we raise will go towards finishing the recordings (musicians, engineers, renting the space to record, mastering the recording), pressing the discs and printing the covers.
The wonderful players you see in the video are:
Alisa Rose, violin
Celia Harris, violin
Robin Reynolds, cello
Emily Onderdonk, viola
recorded by Tim Lindeen, with Barton J. Bishoff as Director of Photography and Barret J. Butterfield, 2nd camera operator on the filming of the quartet recording session.
artwork by Eunjung June Kim, and be sure to note the reward that features her wonderful art!
How do you know I can complete this project?
Over the last several years I've been composing music and creating sound design for video games. I've worked in-house for game developers such as Loot Drop and LOLapps, in addition to running my own game audio company, nerdtracks. Some of the titles I have worked on include, Ghost Recon Commander, Skulls of the Shogun, Ravenwood Fair, Ravenskye City, graBLOX, Pettington Park, and Zombie Farm Battles. I'm also currently acting as Director of Development for the Game Audio Network Guild (GANG) a non-profit organization founded in the name of quality game audio and education, now in its 11th year. I've been working in the music industry since the late-80's, spoken at SXSW, NXNW, GDC (Game Developers Conference), Casual Connect, GameDesignCon and GameSoundCon. As a veteran of the record industry, having run both a record label and music merchandise company, I oversaw the release and or production of over 100 different CDs, DVDs, and records, so rest assured that this project is well within my comfort zone!
We plan to finish the recordings this November (2013) so that we can get our rewards to our backers in December of 2013.
Games we plan to cover, musically...
Altered Beast (you can hear it briefly in the video)
Ravenwood Fair (specifically Ravenstone Mine)
graBLOX (you hear this briefly in the video)
Legend of Zelda (NES)
Ecco the Dolphin
Sonic the Hedgehog 2
Ravenshire Castle (you hear this briefly in the video)
FTL (Faster Than Light)
Monkey Island 2 (LeChuck's Revenge)
and perhaps a few more recent titles..
Cover songs & legality:
If you are concerned over the use of the music we'll be covering, there is no need for alarm. When ZZ Top put Jailhouse Rock on Fandango, they didn't have to ask Elvis' permission (or Leiber/Stoller)...they just recorded it and put it on a record. The record company then paid a 'mechanical license' to release the music and that's just what we'll do by working together with a new organization called LOUDR.FM who specialize in licensing video game cover songs.
Now that our initial goal has been met, we have a couple of days to reach stretch goals. Thanks to some suggestions left by our backers here's what we'll try.
If we reach $7000, we're record 2 more songs that will be available ONLY TO OUR BACKERS!
And if we reach $8500 we'll record video of the recording sessions and offer that downloadable video to you, OUR BACKERS! It won't appear elsewhere, it will be something that just our backers will receive.
Thanks again to everyone!
Risks and challenges
Like any project that involves scheduling several people for a recording session, sometimes the unknown can occur and scheduling can become difficult. We hope to have the recordings complete before the holidays to avoid the worst of these possibilities.
Because of Dren's experience in releasing hundreds of CDs, DVDs and records, we don't foresee any manufacturing issues that couldn't be handled easily. We've seen a lot of strange printing errors over the years, especially with international printers (who we WON'T be using) but we've always found a solution to any issues that arose.
In any event, we've found (thru our years of operating a label and music merchandise company) that honest communication with the customers (or backers) is always the most important factor. If there were a delay of any type, we would address you all to let you know, but even in the worst case scenario, a delay due to scheduling is about the worst setback we could imagine.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
Pledge $2 or more
Friend to The String Arcade!
Thanks for helping out! And you will immediately receive a downloadable 'preview' to the entire recording of the first 4 songs we've recorded in uncompressed CD quality files (not MP3).Estimated delivery:
Pledge $10 or more
Ally to The String Arcade!
DIGITAL DOWNLOAD of the full recording, plus PDF liner notes and artwork available 1 month before official release! (plus the downloadable 4 song preview,which is available immediately!)Estimated delivery:
Pledge $25 or more
81 backers Limited (44 left of 125)
Space Hero to The String Arcade! PHYSICAL CD of the completed recording, signed by dren (composer and/or arranger), as well as digital download available 1 month before official release! (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately!)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $50 or more
15 backers Limited (35 left of 50)
Space Captain to The String Arcade! YOUR NAME IN THE LINER NOTES of both the PHYSICAL CD and the DOWNLOAD. Of course you'll also receive the physical CD, & the digital download 1 month before release (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately!)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $75 or more
6 backers Limited (39 left of 45)
Imperial Space Invader to The String Arcade! STICKER and CARD PACK! We'll send you two 5"x5" postcards (on recycled stock) of the brilliant artwork created by Eunjung June Kim for this project! As well as a four 1.5" high quality, durable vinyl stickers with some of the smaller pieces of her art (various characters, music notes etc). Plus your NAME in the LINER NOTES, the physical CD, and the digital DOWNLOAD (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately!)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $100 or more
4 backers Limited (21 left of 25)
Decider Donkey Kong to The String Arcade! HELP US DECIDE! We haven't decided every last song that we will cover. Be part of a team that helps us decide which game our last song will come from! If the funding is successful we will hold a vote for these backers to help us decide the game soundtrack song that you'd like to hear in a string quartet. Plus your NAME in the LINER NOTES, the physical CD, and the digital DOWNLOAD (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately!) This reward was requested more than once, so we added it!Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $125 or more
8 backers Limited (12 left of 20)
Emissary Galaga to The String Arcade! SIGNED PAPER COPY OF THE MUSICAL SCORE! Plus your NAME in the LINER NOTES, the physical CD, and the digital DOWNLOAD (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately)Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
Pledge $500 or more
2 backers Limited (8 left of 10)
Emperor Robotron to The String Arcade! ATTEND A LIVE RECORDING SESSION! We will be recording the remaining sessions live in a church in Montclair, CA (Oakland hills in the SF Bay Area) and you may attend one of the sessions if your schedule permits. We are not covering travel expenses for you, but we will welcome you to the session and take you out for snacks afterwards if you like. You will also receive your NAME in the LINER NOTES as an ARCADE PRODUCER, the physical CD, and the digital DOWNLOAD (plus the downloadable 4 song preview, which is available immediately).Estimated delivery:Ships anywhere in the world
- (30 days)