Chipsurf Pipeline is our first album and represents the melding of the surf and chiptune genres into a new genre we have simply called chipsurf. Part of what makes this album special is that sound. To that end, we thought it would be fantastic to release the album on vinyl - both to pay homage to the vintage styling of both chiptunes and surf; but also because, well, just the idea of hearing chip-music and surf guitar on vinyl is hauntingly intriguing.
We decided to try to approach this in a realistic way. Our minimum goal is to be able to press a 7" single and we think that, with a little help, we can do that. If we end up getting a lot of help, we will do a full 12" LP instead. If we somehow surpass that, we will add fancy things like colored vinyl, limited edition t-shirts, or maybe a chiptune EP on a real NES cartridge!
We think our fans should have a say in what comes out of this as well. So anyone who pledges support to the project will be able to vote on which two 2 songs make it on the 7" single, or any songs (totally 18 minutes per side) for the LP should we be able to press an LP instead. Votes are based upon pledge amounts, so the more you pledge, the more your votes count!
We think it's an exciting and awesome project and we hope you do too! That said, regardless of whether you opt to participate in this project, we want to say a heartfelt Thank You to all our fans for your support!
We decided to provide the digital copies of the album immediately instead of waiting on the completion of project (funded or otherwise) for anyone that pledges more than $5.00.
If you have yet to receive your download code, give us a few days (as these are done manually). After that, if you still have not received a download code, give us a polite poke and we'll be sure to take care of it!
There are actually a few reasons:
First is that we wanted to continue with the vintage theme of the album and do something decidedly vintage with a physical release.
Second, CDs just are not relevant anymore - you can grab our music off Bandcamp in much higher quality than a CD could ever offer. And most folks just grab the CD and rip it anyway. That plus the case cracks almost all the time. It's just not a very good collectable.
Third, the experience. You can hold a vinyl in your hands, see the grooves that make up the music. Putting the record down on the turntable, brushing off the dust, lifting the needle and placing it on the record. Looking at the artwork on the sleeve. It's an intimate experience. Vinyl demands care, respect and love. We think that ends up giving a deeper connection with the artist. Certainly it does for us when we listen to artists we like on vinyl.
Fourth is the sound. It's debating on why vinyl sounds good and that debate will rage on forever. That's because music is subjective and that includes how we like to hear it. Digital can often come off as harsh but fairly accurate. Vinyl does not have the clarity of digital but has what is often called warmth (sciency guys call that harmonic distortion) that is often sought after. It's also arguably more natural sounding. Some folks also just don't like playing music that requires a computer; it's pretty awesome to listen to music coming from these tiny grooves causing a needle to vibrate.
Vinyl is also greatly influenced by how things are setup - the turntable and needle choice, the pre-amp, the speakers. There's lots that can go into the sound and some folks really eat that up because it's a very personal choice.
Part of your pledge includes shipping and anything over that we have decided to eat the costs on. This includes international shipping. But if you are worried you can pledge a bit more to help cover those costs for us.
Do keep in mind International folks may have to wait a bit longer to get the physical goods but we will definitely get them to you!
We are thinking about ways folks can contribute post-Kickstarter that still want to. It's fairly certain we will have extra records and will likely put the black records on sale via Bandcamp once we have finished with everything.
We have decided not to sell any additional colored records, at least conventionally. Those who contributed directly to Kickstarter during the funding cycle really deserve something special. But we will, instead, save these for special occasions. We may be doing contests in the future where the prize is a colored record, for instance. So stay tuned for that!
If you just want to help us financially (as we did have to come up with funds on top of Kickstarter to do what we want), you can simply buy the digital album off our Bandcamp page (http://music.victimcache.com/) and put in whatever amount you want for the album.
And, of course, help spread the word about us to your friends that like chiptunes or surf! That, in many ways, is the best help of all!
First we will determine if we will be pressing a 7" or a 12" LP (depending on how much we end up raising) and what sort of fancy things we can end up doing (colored vinyl, full color sleeves, etc.).
After that, it is your turn! We will be sending our a survey to every backer to put down which songs you want on the single or LP. After that we will start work on the actual release.
Quite a bit! On the music side, we will need to pre-master the chosen songs for a vinyl release. Then we will have another dub-plate cut by Aardvark Record Mastering so we can make sure all is well there. Once we are happy with the results, we will have have the master formally cut and sent to United Record Pressing.
We will also be working on final artwork for the release. We know basically what we want to do there but still have to go through the work of getting artwork to look good on the record label and (if we end up having the funds for it) sleeve or jacket.
After both of those are done, URP can start pressing our records! Starting with some test pressings so we have a good idea of the final product. If that goes well, they will do the full run!
After that, the records get to us so we can sign them, pack them up, and send them on their way!
A dub-late is a lacquer coated aluminum disk that is cut into by a special cutting head making grooves similar to what is seen on a vinyl record. Normally these are used to create stampers used by the pressing plant to make the actual vinyl records. A dub-plate is, instead, meant to be played on a standard turntable. This is most often used to get an idea of how things will sound on a real record without having to go through the full expense of pressing the vinyl (to make sure everything sounds as it should, for instance).
Dub-plates tend to sound better than a vinyl record initially, but degrade much faster than vinyl. As a result, beyond reference playback, they are mostly a collector's item.
A test pressing basically just a normal record made to test the quality of the finished product before proceeding with the production run. Primarily it checks for the audio quality of the pressing itself and is the final, and last, point to make any changes or corrections.
Very few of these are made and they include a special test pressing label. They are also the very first records to be pressed by the stampers, so assuming there are no issues, these pressing will likely sound the best. Because of these reasons, test pressings are often coveted by some vinyl collectors.
In our case, United Record Pressing (the folks that will be pressing our record) will give a free test pressing to anyone that pledges $50 or more.
Basically, we had some ideas and songs left over from Chipsurf Pipeline that, for whatever reason, just didn't fit the album. We want to take those longs, along with some new originals, and put them into a normal NES cartridge you can plug directly into your NES and listen to.
It's a super fun idea and one that we would pursue if we surpassed our expectations on being able to press the full 12" LP. If not, we still want to do the project, but will do it separately, optionally via another Kickstarter.
We know the costs in the hardware - it's more the software that is a question block at this point. We need some help working on an interface to select and play the songs, along with being able to do some art and animations. Some stuff is available already but we may need to enlist some outside help for that part.
We really want to do it so if it doesn't work out this time around, keep an eye out for something later on down the line!
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