Witness an entire Nine Inch Nails album remade on various classic game systems and computers.
I'm much better at music than I am at video editing!
I've hit my goal! Please check out the updates for a few preliminary things like the album front cover and a free download of one of the songs from the album. Don't forget I will be basing my order of "special" items on the number of kickstarter pledges. If you want to guarantee yourself one of the shirts or special edition CDs, be sure to pledge before time runs out!
What's going on here?
First, let's establish that Nine Inch Nails is music that pushes a lot of limits in very interesting, creative ways. And for me, awesome ways. Then there's this other form of music that imposes a lot of limits, and the results are often also very interesting and creative. And that's chiptunes.
If you don't know what a chiptune is, think Nintendo or Atari music. It's music that an old sound chip — like one from an 8-bit computer or console — could reproduce (more about that here).
I'm a big NIN fan. I want to share the impact it's had on me with the rest of the world. I want to introduce chiptune fans to NIN and I want to introduce NIN fans to chiptunes. And if they're already a fan of both, I want to give them a funny feeling in their pants or at least put a smile on their face.
To accomplish this, I'm taking an entire Nine Inch Nails album and doing a chiptune parody/tribute of it. I say parody AND tribute because I aim to stay true to the source material (tribute), but what I do with my songs and titles often ends up feeling rather whimsical/amusing (parody).
To be honest, I hope this Kickstarter might help me get noticed so I can talk to the appropriate parties. Pissing people off is not my goal.
I chose Pretty Hate Machine. I think PHM already sounds a bit gamey and that makes it perfect for my project. That's also what gave me the inspiration to chiptune some of it in the first place. Though some of this is for the challenge, I do want to end up with something that resembles the original music; I don't want to destroy it.
You can see my preliminary front cover here, in my updates.
The plan is to approach each song and find one sound chip that works particularly well with it, and then just go to town, following the appropriate limitations. Since this is a parody, my tradition is to also make a nerdy, possibly corny pun of each track title.
Over half of the audio is already complete.
I know what I'm doing. This isn't my first parody. I've studied tech docs and consulted with people. I'm proficient at tracking. I've already spent months expanding my knowledge to include a number of new systems and practiced with each.
I'll also be printing up a limited-edition T-shirt to pair with the album.
I've checked, and I can license the tracks with no issue. If I can get NIN on-board, though, things become sweeter and cheaper. The long version of this is in my FAQ.
Everyone's favorite part, money.
Funds raised will go towards things like:
- Physical CDs
- Licensing and Royalties
- Assorted computer hardware, laptop battery, cables, etc.
- Video or animation artist(s) for a launch video.
This is where you come in. You can help me confirm this is a viable project and not just a pipe dream. Any extra money beyond my goal will be spent very carefully. If I find I don't need to purchase licensing, for example, that money can go directly into making my printed products (the CDs or the shirts) that much better, or getting some extra goodies for backers.
I'm on-target to ship sometime mid- to late-summer. Hopefully by Nerdapalooza, which is currently my next gig. I'll finish up the regular edition first and the special edition tracks after that. I'm open to suggestions on this, but I was thinking I'll just do two separate bandcamp downloads (one with the regular edition and one with the SE tracks) which will go out to the appropriate individuals as they're completed, and then ship the CDs at the same time when everything is finished.
The regular edition package will feature all of the tracks from the US edition of the album. It will be a high-quality burn with disc printing in a shrinkwrapped jewel case with inserts.
The special edition package will be cooler and have things like alternate takes or other tracks commonly associated with the album. I'm limiting the special edition package to kickstarter backers and a small handful of extras.
I'm not limiting the digital downloads because I want to keep my music accessible but I will try my best to make the special edition something really worth owning.
All rewards for backers include free international shipping. If for some reason shipping prices exceed the cost of what I'm shipping you, I may email and ask for a few bucks.
Don't worry! Once the album releases, you can still get a hold of Pretty Eight Machine. The regular edition will be available in CD and download forms from my bandcamp. The special edition tracks (but not SE CD) will be up there as well. I'll try to print some extra shirts, too.
Pretty Eight Machine is now slated for release on June 14. There will be a listening party immediately before its release (details here: http://kck.st/MhhdP6) and the album will be released immediately afterwards. If you want to hop on the gravy train, preorder any time (even now) before the release at http://inversephase.bandcamp.com/album/pretty-eight-machine and you will get a download link in your email the moment the album releases.
Oh, and there might be a video of another song hidden in the updates.... =]
After you've gotten first-access to the tribute track, I'll probably include it in the special edition album download. It will not go in the physical package.
I'm a bit of a purist in this regard. I will be turning the vocal melodies into part of the chiptune. So, no vocals. Besides, you really really don't want to hear me sing.
Currently planned are:
- POKEY (Atari 400/800/XL/XE/5200)
- 2A03 (Nintendo Entertainment System)
- SN76489 (Sega Master System)
- LR35902 (Game Boy)
- SID/6581 (Commodore 64)
- YM2413 (Japanese Sega Master System, MSX-MUSIC)
- SCC-I (MSX Konami soundchip; went in Metal Gear 2 and Snatcher)
- VRC6 (NES Konami soundchip; went in Castlevania 3 and Madara)
I'd like to do that, but I didn't want to add a bunch of rewards no one would be interested in. Send me a message if you're interested in combining rewards and we'll talk about creating something just for you.
Everything will be legit.
Option #1 is for me to can get mechanical licenses the old fashioned way, through HFA or Limelight or something. This is surefire, but it costs money. I've factored it into the goal, just in case.
I'm hoping for Option #2, though, which is direct permission from copyright holders. From the compositions (I'm not using the original recordings in any way; this is completely from scratch) down to the graphic design/cover artwork (even though my cover is different). I need to contact:
- Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails himself (no contact yet)
- Gary Talpas, artist/designer for many NIN albums (no contact yet)
- Rob Sheridan, current NIN cover artist/designer (permission gotten!)
Hopefully if there are other people I need to deal with, one of these guys can clear any issues up.
I want green lights across the board. If one doesn't work out, I'll do the other. Either way, the album will happen.