(3 replies, posted in Releases)

Heya, I recently released my new album, Exit Plan: http://fearofdark.bandcamp.com/album/exit-plan

"Exit Plan" is the fourth LP by Fearofdark. It can be seen as a sequel to 'Motorway.' While 'Motorway' was an album about leaving home, 'Exit Plan' is an album largely about my time at university, and about finding yourself.

My eternal thanks go to Dmitry (C-Jeff) for helping me coordinate this release, and for all the work he's put into Ubiktune. Shoutouts go to STAFF CIRC, Joe, Sam (Shnabubula), Kulor, Danimal Cannon, Chris (cTrix), Brandon and Erin, Joey (nmlstyl), Sam (Nanode), Emily Feder and the rest of the 8static crew, plus a slew of friends, family and other chiptune ppl who have been endlessly supportive.

This album was released via Ubiktune: ubiktune.com/releases/fearofdark-exit-plan


(109 replies, posted in General Discussion)

chunter wrote:
JaffaCakeMexica wrote:

If anyone can find any mistakes or suggest any improvements please let me know.

- "Capital" roman numerals are for major chords in the classical system.

- "Lowercase" roman numerals are for minor chords, though in jazz analysis ii7 and II-7 are equivalent.

- Suspended chords are not used like the others and don't belong on that chart.

- This system is fine for beginners, but ensures that after a point, your music will sound weak and square.

- You don't need to worry about your music being ripped off by anyone.

- Try bringing this subject up after you've had 2-3 more years of study.

- Ignore the advice you've been given at your own peril.

(For the benefit of anyone else) Yeah all of this. Also, Jangler's point about not sticking to the natural minor; I recommend familiarising yourself with the harmonic minor first. I also recommend knowing the definitions of words. And yeah, as many others have said, music theory isn't a set of rules you have to stick to for composition, but it's useful to know so that you can communicate with other musicians as to what you're doing, or understand what a piece of music is doing, enhance your own composition etc. Loadsa useful stuff.

I'll chime out of this discussion now; we're getting nowhere. I'll add that if any cm.org users have any music theory related questions, I'm alright to help out. I've studied this shit for years so I like to think I at least know something on the subject. I'm sure other users will also be willing to help.

using gay stylings in their music and art as a form of cultural appropriation.

Really couldn't care less as to whether people do this or not, for the record. Also I do not like the term 'pseudo-gei.'


(109 replies, posted in General Discussion)

JaffaCakeMexica wrote:

I've heard some music made by students who graduated with 1st degrees in music from the best universities.

They had a lot of quite sophisticated sounding terminology when they were talking about music.

However, when I listened to their recordings it was just a bunch of out of tune sounding squeals and squeaks.

Plus they couldn't even understand gameboys.

I would like to think I'm the exception to this rule, but uhh.. yeah, Gameboy music ain't my forte. I'm more of a NES guy tongue


(109 replies, posted in General Discussion)

music theory wasn't created FOR music, it was created BECAUSE of music

Yeah, this.

Personally I like to think of music theory as "learning the rules in order to know how to break them."

Also yeah, music theory is full of contradictions and confusing things to wrap your head around. Just wait until you get into the world of 'double-sharps' and 'double-flats.'

Having studied it academically for years I still feel like I'm winging it tongue


(109 replies, posted in General Discussion)

JaffaCakeMexica wrote:

Fair enough. They are real chords. Big, huge piano chords...Lol. Some of them are not possible in tracker arp commands because they go above 3 or 4 notes (depending on which trackers arp commands you use). Some of them go beyond F semitones but I'll write the intervals in hex anyway for brevity and relevance to tracking.

C6/9 - C, E, A, D - 0, 4, 9, E

C13 - C, A#, E, A - 0, A, 10, 9

FMaj9#11 - F, G, B, C - 0, 2, 6, 7

Bb11 - A#, D, F, G#, C, D# - 0, 4, 7, A, E, 11

Fm13 - F, G#, C, D, D# - 0, 3, 7, 9, A (for this one I don't see how "/Bb" applies).

I'm all for music theory discussion on cm.org; we don't get enough of it imo.

Fm13/Bb simply means, Fm13 over Bb. So, the Bb would be our base note, but Fm13 would be played over it.

You seem to be conflating what a 'scale' and a 'key signature' is. A scale is a set of notes, where as a key signature defines the tonality of the music. Using the C major scale is not the same as 'being in C major.'

As roman numerals, you'd write Protodome's passage as:

In C major: I6/9 ->   I13 ->  IV9#11 -> bVII11 -> iv13/7 or bVII13*

*(I'm not quite sure about that last one. Fm13/Bb can alternatively be voiced as Bb13 as they contain the same notes... I think.. I am not great at 13th chords admittedly tongue Protodome or some other music theory buff here could clarify me on this one).

But yeah, the B-flats, A-flats and all other notes that are not within the C major scale would be written in as accidentals.
You only change key signature/tonality in a piece of music if a new tonal centre is established (so if it's clear that a passage of music has well and truely resolved to a new key).

Lastly, whether or not a note is written in as a flat or sharp depends on the key signature we're in and the function of the chord.
(To give a basic example, the chord C7 would be written in as C, E, G, Bb. The B, ie, the '7th degree' is flattened in this case. C7 chords often resolve to F. If we're in C major (and the next chord is F major), the Bb would be written in as an accidental as we haven't fully modulated yet). This can be confusing to tracker musicians who haven't studied music theory because everything in a tracker is in sharps tongue C, E, G, A# (on sheet music anyway) would be incorrect because, even though the tones are the same and it sounds the same as a C7, the A# causes it to spell Caug6 instead.


(108 replies, posted in General Discussion)

JaffaCakeMexica wrote:
Fearofdark wrote:

Also C major doesn't have to just be white notes.

erm...I beg to differ.

C Major (ionian):

C, D, E, F, G, A, B

Yes, that's C major the scale. I thought the discussion was on key signature/tonality tho. If a piece of music is in C major, it doesn't have to exclusively use white notes. Key signature refers to the 'tonal centre' of a piece of music. Ie. What key the piece of music gravitates to/resolves to. It is not necessarily the chord or scale the piece of music starts in.

Some major modes deviate from using exclusively white notes. For instance, C Lydian (C, D E F# G A B) is considered a major mode, but the 4th degree is raised. The piece of music would still be written in C major tho (so, no sharps written in). Protodome explained this in further detail.

Despite all of this, 'just using the white notes' and C major are still good enough for Stravinsky: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dgSaHLF7QAs . But I guess that makes him a terrible composer too. Pfft amateur.

JaffaCakeMexica wrote:

B Harmonic minor (B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A)

Also, this is slightly wrong. B harmonic minor is actually: B, C#, D, E, F#, G, A#). You've written the ascending melodic minor/mixolydian mode.


(108 replies, posted in General Discussion)

SketchMan3 wrote:

Fearofdark's mario paint cover of the chorus of Outkast's "Hey Ya"

haha, I completely forgot I made that


(108 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Speaking of Misfitchris, my favourite song of his seems to be almost nowhere on the internet (I did manage to obtain an mp3 of it... somehow tho). It was called "Summoning the Golden Age."

As for all-time fave..... uhhh.... idk it changes from time to time.
I guess if I had to pick just one to be considered "the greatest fave of all time" it'd probably be "Love is Insecurable" by Chibi-tech. It's the closest thing to the 'perfect chiptune' I think I'll ever hear.


Also C major doesn't have to just be white notes.

Feryl wrote:

Getting told to kill yourself online and in real life are two completely different things.

Getting mean comments on your Minecraft Let's Plays and getting physically assaulted by bullies at school aren't the same either.

Obviously harassment is harassment in any form, but there's a trend to take the average 10-year-old Internet troll way too seriously these days.

PLEASE STOP. Lets end this discussion before it begins,

...ahem... so, favourite moments in chiptune history guys? Idk mine was accidentally discovering 8bc and the chiptune community through getting my music stolen smile *thumbs up*


(66 replies, posted in General Discussion)


Just started a PhD exploring idiosyncratic chipmusic compositional techniques. I say this as it might be pretty cool to get some community input at some point.

whaaaaatt! Let all of us know how that goes! big_smile

As for me I'm trying to learn how to code and every now and then I add a couple of patterns on to this new album I've been working on.


(8 replies, posted in General Discussion)

Teknosis wrote:

Hey guys! What's the easiest way to get noticed in the chipmusic industry? I've been making chiptunes since I was 13 (I'm 15 now). So can someone please help?

Join competitions (battleofthebits has one going on right now, hehe), make things for compilations, make albums, work on projects, hit up net-labels, promote yourself via social media, be social and talk to people... do gigs if that sort of thing is possible for you??

Basically give people a reason to listen to your music rather than just post stuff and pray that the listeners will come to you. This is general "music industry" advice, rather than specific to chipmusic but it still applies for the most part. 'Getting noticed' isn't something that happens overnight unless you're really, really lucky - otherwise it's the result of years of work.

Feryl wrote:

Wow guys! There's no 8BC to go to, all we have is this and BandCamp.

Sometimes I check out a track or two, mostly if I recognize the artist. But I do look pretty regularly.

There's also uCollective and Soundcloud.

(I actually don't get why more people don't use uCollective; seems the only thing it's missing is "more people")

Also yeah, the rating system is really flawed here.

I haven't listened to much music on this site, and I feel the same way about the music section; nowadays, I almost always ignore it cuz it's shoved right up there in the top.

Also half the time it doesn't work.

5:14 is Hexaprism Hall by Kulor (he made an .nsf arrangement which is the one used in this vid)
7:51 is "Butterscotch Drops of Lime" by Kulor.
25:16 is "Cough Syrup Overdose" by Tony Thai.

I'm guessing a lotta these are Kulor's and/or pulled from the Famicompo series

My short answer is: No, it's not necessary... (necessarily).

Music theory can give you an understanding of how music can work. Learning about music history can be pretty useful because simply knowing bits of trivia and exposing yourself to all kinds of different music is great for inspiration. However you don't need institutionalised education for either of those things.

Just keep writing, listen to lots of music, and get feedback on your stuff. Most of it is getting comfortable with the medium and finding your own "voice."

1-Down wrote:

I have a BS in music and I tell everyone this. Learn everything up to secondary dominants, which in college curriculum is most likely just Music Theory 1, a single semester. After that it gets into the weird stuff that you'll never use as mentioned above.

Hmm, I don't completely agree. Augmented 6ths, jazz theory, alternative scales/modes, rhythmic tension/resolution - there's some pretty neat stuff to learn from those things, even if you don't end up using any of those techniques in your own compositions.

Anyone looking to start really exploring music theory beyond the basics (particularly harmony), I point them in one direction: J. S. Bach... and then work your way along from there.

EDIT: OH, the writing down thing... uhh, well if you don't know music notation, record yourself singing, jot down the idea some other way (using just the note names, or the shape). Have something readily on you at all times (yeah this sounds a bit obsessive, but ideas can come at you at any point). I used to always keep a notepad on me (tho nowadays I just use my phone and make notes).

I'm not too sure about the second question. But, as far as ZX tracking on PC goes:

Vortex Tracker II is pretty alright. I've used it a couple of times and it's not too hard to get the hang of.
For ZXBeeper tunes, I'd personally recommend Beepola as it has a fairly good range of engines now, and it's very easy to pick up.

ZXSpin is a decent playback emulator but iirc it does add an artificial reverb that you might wanna disable.