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SNES Music Contest

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Welcome to the SNES Music Contest!


To celebrate the release of chipsynth SFC by Plogue, I am hosting a contest to see who can create the most authentic-sounding SNES music for a chance to win chipsynth SFC & more!


So, what is it? chipsynth SFC is a bit-accurate emulation of the Super Nintendo Entertainment System’s (SNES) sound chip capabilities. But that is only scratching the surface. You can find more information about it by clicking here. I remade MEGALOVANIA using chipsynth SFC if you're interested in hearing what it sounds like in action.


PRIZES


Runner-ups will receive a year of honorary supporter status.


If the community would like to donate for a cash pool, let me know!


JUDGES

iu_168164_5003874.jpg

We reached out to these guys for their advice and overall knowledge in retro game audio. I'm pleased to announce that they're also special guest judges for this contest--we cannot thank them enough!


  • David Wise – Donkey Kong Country, Yooka-Laylee
  • Grant Kirkhope – Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle, GoldenEye 007
  • Alexander Brandon – Deus Ex (original), Unreal Tournament
  • Mathew Valente – Chrono Resurrection, 16-bit aficionado


RULES

1.)  NO COVERS/REMIXES/PREVIOUS WORKS. We want you to create a new song! Any works that predate this contest are not eligible for consideration. Your entry must be made specifically for this contest.


2.)  ONE ENTRY PER PERSON. While we do not discourage collaborations, please keep in mind that each prize tier only comes with one license. If your entry wins, it will be up to you to decide who keeps the winnings. That also means if you collaborate with someone, that counts as your entry.


3.)  NO MODERN FX. The idea is to create a song that you would hear in a SNES game. Compression and EQ on the master bus are allowed but refrain from using any other modern effects on individual instruments. You are, however, allowed to use delay plugins to replicate the SNES' famous "reverb" FX (the delay time cannot deviate from a multiple of 16ms if you want to create an authentic sound). Mathew Valente explains it best in this video.


4.)  INSTRUMENTALS ONLY. This is for the sake of authenticity. Vocal FX and one-shots are allowed.


5.)  YOU MUST SUBMIT YOUR ENTRY ON NEWGROUNDS. While this will not apply for many of you, there will be some folks who are not already a part of the NG community wanting to participate. 


While we want to make this contest approachable for everyone, entries that adhere to the limitations of the SNES will catch our attention. Here are some additional rules for those who want a challenge.


HARD MODE

1.)  8 VOICE/NOTE LIMIT. The SNES can only play 8 voices at a time. Make sure you are careful with chords as they can take 3+ voices at a time. Get creative with it!


2.)  SHORT SAMPLES. David Wise sampled his Roland Alpha Juno for Donkey Kong Country. Because of the SNES' limitations, he created single-cycle loops that he interchanged in the middle of a song to fake different filter positions. That is just one example. Feel free to try out different techniques to see which one works the best for you!


YOU MUST UPLOAD YOUR ENTRY ON NEWGROUNDS BY OCTOBER 9th, 2020 TO BE CONSIDERED. We are NOT allowing any late entries, sorry!


Please use #SNESMusicContest when tagging your entry so we can easily find it.


Feel free to use this forum for discussion and questions. If you have any specific questions, my DMs are open.


Special shoutout to

  • Our guest judges, who are taking time out of their busy schedule to participate in this contest.
  • Plogue, for graciously providing prizes for this contest.
  • @TomFulp, for being so helpful and letting me host my first contest on here!


Good luck, and have fun!


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-15 12:11:45


Hello. I made something real quick. I don't think this is gonna win any awards but it's a cool exercise to work within SPC limitations.


BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-15 14:20:12


So exciting! <3


BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-15 16:04:27 (edited 2020-09-15 16:05:23)


Oi @RealMrSnuggles @Mackievellian This sounds like your domain, this...

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-15 16:05:48


At 9/15/20 04:04 PM, Troisnyx wrote: Oi @RealMrSnuggles @Mackievellian This sounds like your domain, this...


Re-mentioning @Mackievellian since you won't have gotten the ping.

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 08:24:21


Extremely cool idea, and those are some legendary guest judges!


I think I need to tidy up my desk and try my hand at this.


Cheers!

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 08:26:39


At 9/16/20 08:24 AM, AlexanderJoshuaDavis wrote: Extremely cool idea, and those are some legendary guest judges!

I think I need to tidy up my desk and try my hand at this.

Cheers!


We'd love to have you! :D


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 13:10:07 (edited 2020-09-16 13:14:53)


I have a question about the rules: Do tunes made with trackers such as OpenMPT and ImpulseTracker count? Because I do that and make SPC files that can and do actually play back on a Super NES (I've tried and they work).

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 13:52:40 (edited 2020-09-16 14:21:05)


While we want to make this contest approachable for everyone, entries that adhere to the limitations of the SNES will catch our attention. Here are some additional rules for those who want a challenge.

HARD MODE
1.)  8 VOICE/NOTE LIMIT. The SNES can only play 8 voices at a time. Make sure you are careful with chords as they can take 3+ voices at a time. Get creative with it!

2.)  SHORT SAMPLES. David Wise sampled his Roland Alpha Juno for Donkey Kong Country. Because of the SNES' limitations, he created single-cycle loops that he interchanged in the middle of a song to fake different filter positions. That is just one example. Feel free to try out different techniques to see which one works the best for you!


If you want to follow HARD MODE Rules, I suggest using a tracker like OpenMPT because it supports VST. You'll be able to follow to these rules easily. Plus, limitations spark creativity and innovation! You can also use Schism (Impulse) Tracker, but it doesn't have VST support.


For the delay FX, check out chipcrusher v2. It also has that famous "reverb" effect built-in. Here's an example by Mathew (while this technically violates HARD MODE rules because it uses more than 8 channels, it gives you an idea of how you can use it within OpenMPT): https://drive.google.com/file/d/1EkE0cvVXzy7onxahhUAKJk_D54Y3GH03/preview (Newgrounds doesn't allow Google Drive embeds at the moment)



John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 13:54:07


At 9/16/20 01:10 PM, IronCurtaiNYC wrote: I have a question about the rules: Do tunes made with trackers such as OpenMPT and ImpulseTracker count? Because I do that and make SPC files that can and do actually play back on a Super NES (I've tried and they work).


Answered in a PM. Look at my above post for my suggestion on easily creating authentic sounding SNES music. :)


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 16:20:58


Pretty interesting contest! I've got the soundfont and the player, if i get to understand how to make it work out properly, i can think about joining this =)


Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 19:44:31 (edited 2020-09-16 19:47:56)


Thanks for the ping @Troisnyx. What an awesome contest idea!


Guys, anyone keen on doing this, you should check out Snesverb, recreates that echo pretty much spot on. Also SPCPlayer (Japanese plugin, it's been translated, and it's more or less that chip as a plugin) is cracking if you can be bothered with .brr files, it also has built in ADSR and a spot on echo setting, panning, all within the plugin. If anyone wants to use that method please fire me a DM and I can point you to a tutorial I made a few years ago, would be willing to talk through it if you need it!


Edit: I made these with SPC Player ages ago for an example of how it sounds:



Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 20:04:21


I love the sound of this contest, but I hate the "instrumentals only" rule. If Down the World and Tales of Phantasia could do full vocals on the SNES in 1994, surely the participants of this contest should be allowed to as well?

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 20:20:24


At 9/16/20 08:04 PM, sergiocornaga wrote: I love the sound of this contest, but I hate the "instrumentals only" rule. If Down the World and Tales of Phantasia could do full vocals on the SNES in 1994, surely the participants of this contest should be allowed to as well?


To be completely honest with you, I had no idea that was a thing! I should’ve researched that before making it a hard rule.


This is my very first contest so I’m learning as I go. I really hope to host this contest again, maybe next year? I’ll include it next time. :)


My sincerest apologies! Thank you for bringing that to my attention!


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 20:26:13


Hey, this is incredible for a first contest! The prizes and judging panel impressed me thoroughly. "Hate" was probably too strong a word for a restriction I didn't feel was necessary. I didn't know if it was too late to turn a hard rule into a suggestion, but I'm glad to hear you're considering changes for next time.

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 20:35:55


At 9/16/20 08:26 PM, sergiocornaga wrote: Hey, this is incredible for a first contest! The prizes and judging panel impressed me thoroughly. "Hate" was probably too strong a word for a restriction I didn't feel was necessary. I didn't know if it was too late to turn a hard rule into a suggestion, but I'm glad to hear you're considering changes for next time.


No worries at all. :) I really appreciate it! You’re helping me so much. When I wrote that rule, I kept thinking to myself that surely there was at least one song with vocals. I keep underestimating the SNES! Next time, for sure. I’d love to hear a Mega Ran style rap or something. :)


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 21:16:53


Woah, that tool looks awesome and this sounds like a lot of fun. Im in!

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 21:17:15


At 9/16/20 08:20 PM, JohnMontoya wrote:
At 9/16/20 08:04 PM, sergiocornaga wrote: I love the sound of this contest, but I hate the "instrumentals only" rule. If Down the World and Tales of Phantasia could do full vocals on the SNES in 1994, surely the participants of this contest should be allowed to as well?
To be completely honest with you, I had no idea that was a thing! I should’ve researched that before making it a hard rule.

This is my very first contest so I’m learning as I go. I really hope to host this contest again, maybe next year? I’ll include it next time. :)

My sincerest apologies! Thank you for bringing that to my attention!


Not to mention Clay Fighter: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsTJh0fSh6Q

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-16 21:18:15


I know a specific someone who isn't going to be in this contest!


This game sucks turkey dick!

Best Toon

For the love of GOD don't click on this!

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-17 11:11:16


At 9/15/20 12:11 PM, CzySzy wrote: Hello. I made something real quick. I don't think this is gonna win any awards but it's a cool exercise to work within SPC limitations.
https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/964657


I created something quickly as well! Check it out!

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-18 18:40:18


oct09 is my birfffday


(~};}SCHMELY2020

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-18 21:04:40 (edited 2020-09-18 21:08:47)


So, this may not be eligible for entry, but this is a remix of some old works that I had laying about. I haven't truly made an original piece since 2015. I'd like for you guys to still hear it anyways. I figure this is my only shot to get any sort of validation from some of my favorite composers lol. RIP me.

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-18 22:03:12


This competition is sick bro! Good luck to everyone competing!!!!!!

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-18 22:04:15


At 9/18/20 10:03 PM, LaBread wrote: This competition is sick bro! Good luck to everyone competing!!!!!!


I also made a track, take a listen if ya wanna!


Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-18 23:14:34


I've only been making game music for 6 years... I still need some more training before I do anything like this and embarrass myself


I'm like nelson mandela... every time you punish me, I only get stronger......

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-19 12:35:13


At 9/18/20 11:14 PM, MeatMaster wrote: I've only been making game music for 6 years... I still need some more training before I do anything like this and embarrass myself


I say go for it! It'll be a great learning experience. :)


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-19 14:26:21 (edited 2020-09-19 14:31:18)


At 9/18/20 09:04 PM, HoboKa305 wrote: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/965443
So, this may not be eligible for entry, but this is a remix of some old works that I had laying about. I haven't truly made an original piece since 2015. I'd like for you guys to still hear it anyways. I figure this is my only shot to get any sort of validation from some of my favorite composers lol. RIP me.


Huh, couldn't find the EDIT button for the initial response post. Anyways, I decided that I won't be submitting this the snes music competition. But I'll keep it up here for people to view. May as well use the venue to promote myself. Maybe some other time I'll concoct something 100% new. Now is not a good time.

Response to SNES Music Contest 2020-09-19 14:52:37


At 9/19/20 02:26 PM, HoboKa305 wrote:
At 9/18/20 09:04 PM, HoboKa305 wrote: https://www.newgrounds.com/audio/listen/965443
So, this may not be eligible for entry, but this is a remix of some old works that I had laying about. I haven't truly made an original piece since 2015. I'd like for you guys to still hear it anyways. I figure this is my only shot to get any sort of validation from some of my favorite composers lol. RIP me.
Huh, couldn't find the EDIT button for the initial response post. Anyways, I decided that I won't be submitting this the snes music competition. But I'll keep it up here for people to view. May as well use the venue to promote myself. Maybe some other time I'll concoct something 100% new. Now is not a good time.


No worries at all! I really appreciate you interest! :) I'll definitely host more contests on here. :D


John Montoya - Composer & Voiceover Casting Director

Website | IMDb | Bandcamp

BBS Signature