8-Bit Symphony Pro - double orchestral CD of 8-bit classics
Amazing C64/8-bit music (Monty on the Run, Zoids, Last Ninja®, Flash Gordon and more), astonishing studio orchestra, unmissable album!
8-Bit Symphony Pro - double orchestral CD of 8-bit classics
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Sun, September 8 2019 9:00 PM UTC +00:00.
** Backer note: payment is only taken on September 8th, and only if the campaign funds - you can change or cancel your pledge up until this time! **
8-Bit Symphony Pro is literally once-in-a-lifetime double CD album/download and surround-sound Blu-Ray of classic 8-bit music, recorded by a full Hollywood-quality orchestra. We need your help to make this happen. And you can even add-on extra copies/downloads for family and friends with a big discount to spread the love!
It started as a successful concert in Hull, where 16 new epic arrangements were played for the first time (See tracklisting).
Here’s how the BBC reported on it:
The audience loved it – even those who weren’t familiar with 8-bit music.
But we couldn’t record the night. So we need your help to get it recorded on CD/download by a Hollywood-grade 85-piece orchestra . All 16 tracks, plus extended material and three extra tracks we couldn't fit into the concert, all supervised by the legendary Rob Hubbard himself. It's in Prague because you get the best recording orchestras at the most cost-effective prices.
There will also be a 5.1 Surround master-quality Blu-Ray synced to the amazing gameplay video montages we showed on the big screen at Hull City Hall.
"Recording with the professional musicians of the Czech Studio Orchestra will be another special event for everyone who loved the originals. The high quality recordings will open up broadcasting, TV, Radio, more arrangements and further live orchestral performances. I'm very excited about the possibilities!" - Rob Hubbard
So this is more than a Kickstarter: it’s the latest battle in a decades-long mission!
The tracklisting, bootleg from the concert and an amazing video of Rob Hubbard's new Zoids arrangement are further down the page. And you can read more here, too, with an article by Paul E. Morrison ("They Were Our Gods")
On Saturday 15 June 2019, 800 people had an unforgettable night when 8-Bit Symphony was premiered live at Hull City Hall. They heard over 100 minutes of Commodore 64/ZX Spectrum/Amstrad CPC music, performed by an expanded Hull Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Robin Tait. The concert and Rob Hubbard himself were featured on BBC Look North. The BBC will continue with coverage of the concert and more from Rob in a soon-to-be-broadcast edition of The One Show on BBC1.
The Guardian, a popular national UK newspaper, reported the event. Read the article on their website here.
Here’s a glimpse into the night, pulled together from fan bootlegs and a very enterprising Mr Jason Moon.
Wish you could have been there? Experienced the night, but want a reminder of the epic performance? That’s what this Kickstarter is about.
The orchestra performed some of the best 8-bit music ever. Now we want to recreate this emotional event in your living room by creating a set of definitive recordings with a massive world-class orchestra in a studio in Prague, supervised by Rob Hubbard, Robin Tait, Ally Pickering and Chris Abbott.
What will it sound like?
Here's a sample medley of the arrangements taken from "8-Bit Symphony Box-Set", performed and produced by Chris Abbott and Kenneth "Slaygon" Mutka. These arrangements were created on computer using the best orchestral sample sets available, using the newly-created orchestral scores. We're very pleased with it, but a real professional studio orchestra will be just... so much more amazing.
- Imagine Ocean (Comic Bakery, Ocean Loader Rambo) - when that Ocean Loader theme started, people cried.
- Green Beret (parts 1 and 2 - only part 1 was in the concert) - tells the full tale of war through the medium of Martin Galway's loading and main themes.
- W.A.R. - sophisticated and powerful arrangement from Rob Hubbard himself.
- William Wobbler - this Ben Daglish favourite wouldn't be out of place in "Home Alone".
- Forbidden Forest - a fan favourite: dramatic, scary builds and an amazing Elfman-esque waltz on the end in this medley from Paul Norman's crowning work.
- Kentilla - another Rob Hubbard epic, a fantasy epic for the ages.
- Ghosts 'n Goblins - bubbly fun, a fan favourite (especially with the children!) and catchy as hell.
- Flash Gordon - a highlight of the concert and a total sci-fi epic. Would stand proud in any 80s sci-fi epic you care to name.
- Barbarillax (Barbarian 2/Parallax High Score) - an astonishing John Williams-esque romp (not performed live in Hull for time reasons).
- International Karate - more like International Kung-Fu, amazing film-like journey through an oriental sonic landscape.
- Aztec Challenge - you can hear the Aztecs dying, but you won't care in this thrilling version of Paul Norman's magnum opus.
- The Last Ninja® Wastelands (massively extended from the concert version) - Chris Abbott's loving tribute to Ben Daglish's most famous work, combining the Wastelands loader and main theme. Delicate and beautiful recorder playing combines with an epic vision of Wastelands.
- Monty on the Run High Score - Rob's iconic tune matures into an achingly beautiful and moving tour-de-force.
- Firelord - Glyn R. Brown's beautiful and moving arrangement of Ben's towering original packs an emotional punch.
- Trap (extended ending from the concert version) - to Ben, Trap was his masterwork. Those giant drums celebrate him with every beat in this space epic.
- Monty on the Run - this project would be incomplete without Monty on the Run, and boy, did Rob put his heart into this one. From tension to frantic chase, exploration and then almost cartoon-ish joie de vivre, this is unmissable.
- Stifflip and Co - Richard Joseph's exuberant track paying tribute to his much-missed musical genius - with a drunk bit in the middle!
- and bonus track: ZOIDS. Rob Hubbard orchestrated this: imagine it played with a live orchestra:
This is an album for the ages!
There's only one stretch goal so far, and it's a biggie. A mighty arrangement and recording of Rob Hubbard's Spellbound at £80,000!
However, if the Kickstarter does insanely well, then it will generate the funds to get more concerts started.
8-Bit Symphony - explained!
8-Bit Symphony - The Charity running this Kickstarter.
8-Bit Symphony Pro - CD/Downloads of epic professional orchestral studio recordings (main campaign item, to be released April 2020.)
8-Bit Symphony Pro @ Home - Blu-Ray : Concert projector footage on Blu-Ray with Surround-sound versions of the professional orchestral recordings. (VIP campaign item, to be released April 2020.)
8-Bit Symphony - Hull 2019 - the live concert with Hull Philharmonic that form the basis for the tracks chosen for this Kickstarter (performance was 15th June 2019. Concert programme appears in some pledges).
8-Bit Symphony Box-Set - Renders by Chris Abbott and Kenneth "Slaygon" Mutka, along with CDs from Uncle and the Bacon, Slaygon and FastLoaders. This project is the origin of all the arrangements in this Kickstarter, plus loads of others that will be in a later one. It was Kickstarted as "Back in Time Symphonic Collection" and later known as "Symphony 64" (released before the end of the year, digital download included in VIP levels).
8-Bit Symphony @ Home - Blu-Ray of the footage we projected at the concert sync'd with the rendered performances from 8-Bit Symphony Box-Set. This was released at the Hull 2019 concert and is available in some pledges.
"8-Bit Symphony - Just the chips" - Double CD of chipmusic - a fun limited edition double CD set of the lovingly recorded original chiptunes behind the orchestrations, with the odd classical SID cover thrown in. Add £15 extra to your pledge if you want it, it's included for VIPs. This is a campaign-only item.
Other VIP Products explained (please check the pledge levels for more details)
Concert season passes - best-view-in-the-house VIP tickets for any and all 8-Bit Symphony concerts where we have access to the box-office (and we're confident that there will be more).
Conductors' Scores and player parts - professionally printed for actually conducting or playing in a folder.
Virtual attendance at a recording session - A live audio feed directly from the mixing desk in the studio, accessible from any web browser.
TheC64 Mini with Chips - A brand-new, boxed TheC64 Mini! Complete with all SIDs from the exclusive double CD "8-Bit Symphony - Just the Chips" and the SIDs from "Rob Returns" featured in Project Hubbard. Kindly provided by our friends at Retro Games Ltd. See TheC64 Mini website for more details.
Add extra digital downloads for friends and family for £10 each, or (if there's already a CD in your pledge) brand new shiny CDs for £20 each with no extra postage cost. There's no limit on the amount you can buy.
Click on "Manage Pledge" in the top right, then change the pledge figure to add the appropriate amount. As usual, a questionnaire will be send out afterwards to clarify what your add-ons were.
Corporate/Organisational Products (please contact us for more details)
Complete set of scores and assets for an orchestra to run its own 8-Bit Symphony concert: there will never be another chance to get it so inexpensively!
Company/Corporate sponsorship - your name associated with 8-Bit Symphony: an up-and coming force in Videogame music who have only just got started.
About 8-Bit Symphony (the non-profit running this campaign)
Set up by Chris Abbott of C64Audio.com, Damian Manning of C64Audio.com and Graham Raddings. 8-Bit Symphony is a new registered charity (application submitted, registration pending) that aims to arrange, perform, promote and preserve the chipmusic we love. Orchestral recordings, worldwide concerts or score performances, chipmusic awareness events, retro-museum showings... these are all in our plans.
Our biggest goal is to eventually give the fans and composers that we love the biggest gift of all: the Albert Hall. Wouldn't that be amazing? That journey started decades ago... though we'd also settle for London Symphony Orchestra and the Barbican...!
The orchestral team for Prague
The Czech Studio Orchestra, Rob Hubbard, Chris Abbott, Robin Tait and Alisdair J. Pickering.
If you have backed (through Kickstarter) or pre-ordered (through Megafounder or C64Audio.com) "Back in Time Symphonic Collection" (a.k.a. Symphony 64, 8-Bit Symphony Box-Set) or Project Hubbard, then for some pledge levels (stated in the pledge description) we will refund £5 (£25 for some higher pledge levels - see pledge descriptions). This will be refunded to your card after the funds have been collected.
This is a thank-you because both Kickstarters were vital in getting us to this point.
If you haven't had a refund in 30 days, or you ordered through C64Audio.com, give us a message and ask.
Where does the money go?
The 85-piece orchestra and studio cost 42,000 Euros, which is five four-hour sessions at Smecky Studios in Prague. The target also has to provide flights and hotels for the team, mixing time and studio fees, production of all the perks, music preparation, postage, Kickstarter fees, other professional fees including additional soloists, advertising (we're not spending much, but we are spending some) and some contingency in case political events damage the exchange rate further (the lower it gets, the more expensive the orchestra, flights and hotels get).
£65,000 was pretty much the minimum we could get away with on this, which is why we need your help. This isn't the kind of project anyone can fund in advance.
The plan is to go into the studio mid-February 2020 (19th/20th/21st). The scores are ready and the team need time to prepare everything to ensure the best results.
After that, it's a straightforward journey to producing the CDs, with a slightly longer journey for the Surround-sound mix which we're doing in-house with our team of Marcel "Surroundings" Donné and Kenneth "Slaygon" Mutka. You'll notice we've put in no other rewards that might extend the lead-time, so we're quite confident on this one for beating the June 2020 deadline.
The Last Ninja is a registered trademark of System 3 Software Limited
Risks and challenges
This Kickstarter is building on a solid level of achievement from C64Audio.com's previous work: for instance, the scores exist already, and have been road-tested live to great acclaim. Orchestras do this stuff all the time. CDs are easy to press. We have a trusted printer for the conductor's and parts scores.
We have successfully negotiated recording dates in February, and arranged the timeline in early March when the mixing will be done, so the scheduling has now been done.
The other products in this Kickstarter either exist because of the concert or are reasonably easy to put together from media we've already poured the love into.
The fact that there are no stretch goals which would potentially extend the timescale also points to a reasonable chance of making or beating the deadlines. The impact from meeting the Spellbound stretch goal would mean that the delivery target is still achievable.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter