Power Player #28: Bitman
Power Player #28: Bitman
Bitman is an all-round regular user on noichan and hangs out with us in chat. The guy gets involved. As a change from the usual interview, we put out the bit-signal and had a group chat between the staff of noichan, Freque, idevourstatic, myself and Bitman to see what’s cracking with our crime-fighting, party-starting-artist. You can download his EP released on noisechannel here: NC015 – Bitman – Ten Day EP
Bitman: OH snap
idevourstatic: dine and dash
Bitman: Gang’s all here.
Mikee: Ok guys, I am so excited I made the chat pop out. I’ll edit the typos, later.
idevourstatic: geddon b
Freque: OK so we’re gonna ask Bitman a bunch of questions. As many serious ones as possible.
Mikee: So Bitman, I had some loose questions and we’ll freestyle it from there.
Freque: OK, Mikee’s up first :p
Mikee: So when did you first start listening to and writing chiptune?
Bitman: I used to be super active in the Sonic the Hedgehog hacking community, and I was interested in people who ported songs to the YM2612 chip (SMPS sound driver) for their Sonic hacks. I loved the FM sounds, and I played a lot of hacks (Sonic Megamix by Team Megamix, the S Factor by aquaslash, and Sonic 1 Brother Trouble by Markey Jester, mainly). From there I got into Megadrive modding, the benheck forums, met bibbin, saw his Gameboy modding stuff, then sort of stumbled upon 8bc. Listened to a few tracks, then it left my mind for two years until I met a classmate in my high school band who had a modded DMG (cerealkilla, he’s on the forums here at NoiChan). I saw his EMS cart, backlit DMG, and I was intrigued. A few months later I had my own EMS cart and I was begging him to teach me everything lol.
I guess you could say I got interested in chiptune once I saw that you could do original stuff with it anywhere, including a school bus. Cerealkilla’s approachability and kindness are almost completely the reason I started using LSDJ.
Mikee: Do you think it helps to have a partner when learning?
Bitman: I don’t know lol Cerealkilla and I always start talking about LSDJ, I go over to his house, and we start a collab and order some pizza. This has happened at least four times in a year thus far. What always has ended up happening is me watching him be admin on his insane Minecraft server, and we never finish our song.
In all seriousness, I see benefit and negativity in having devoted mentors. The benefit is having someone go-to for questions and help, as well as getting CC on tracks without getting flamed on forums. The drawbacks I had to deal with was limiting myself to the commands and techniques I learned from my “teacher” and I didn’t really read the manual until much later.
My opinion is that it is never bad to have people to refer to, but leaning too heavily on them like I did can dampen your thirst for knowledge.
Edit that all as you wish it’s a bit wordy.
Mikee: It’s cool, we want you to take your time
idevourstatic: Agreed longer interviews = more human/interesting
Bitman: Make friends in this community, just about everyone is willing to help you out or tell you their life story.
I’m ready for more questions. :p
Mikee: Electronics? You’re into your mods. What was the first one/how did you start?
Bitman: Um, my first mods were done with Cerealkilla. He basically did my first mods (backlights, prosounds). It wasn’t until about a year ago I started doing them all myself. Basically, my lust for custom Gameboys was satiated by using basic guides. Lately I have been using my accumulated knowledge to work on larger projects, one being a replacement flashcart that has an integrated CPU for native MIDI use in LSDJ (with a patch that doesn’t exist) via the mini USB port used for flashing.
All I have currently for that is EagleCAD stuff, no working code or parts, lol.
Otherwise, I am looking at working on bluetooth DMG audio, as well as better external controller support for DMGs. Flashcart design is something i picked up from the Sonic community and Megadrive demoscene.
Mikee: Your BRKfest set was only missing the rest of the brass band. How did you get into wind?
idevourstatic: I Keep blowing in my Gameboys cart slot, but no jazz comes out…. halp?
Bitman: Um, in middle school I was a fairly lost child. I got into band so I could go on a field trip that they had every year, and I ended up being really good at my primary instrument (euphonium) In high school I got put on tuba for marching band (sousaphone, specifically), and when I wanted to play in the jazz band, my options were to learn trombone or trumpet.
I ended up going with trombone and doing very well for myself, and later I was a top player on all three of my instruments at school. Decided to pursue music in college, and I have been into composition, I used to write and arrange stand tunes for football games and jazz tunes for the jazz band.
Mikee: Dude, did you go to bandcamp for the trips and girls? I thought this only happened in American Pie.
Bitman: Bandcamp is an interesting thing, it’s more of a fraternal experience than one that reeks of spring flings.
Mikee: This has saddened me.
Bitman: Besides, I play the euphonium. It’s the other brass players who have exciting love lives. :p
Bitman: Also – Static – you need to drop it in purple drank to put the funk in your cart.
Mikee: I thought you said you play the euphemism, so if I’d have known I’d have given you one.
Freque: how was performing at BRKfest?
Bitman: Beyond frightening. I spent my morning working on DMGs and dealing with real life drama, after having very little sleep on Solarbear’s tile floor at his house. I was totally blown away by the other sets, and I have a history of stage fright. Thankfully, even though I messed up my I-hate-chipmusic.org lyrics, I sort of recovered. Then, PANDAstar got onstage, pulled people on, and instantly things got better. My other songs went well, I danced a bit, and people slow danced and made out to my dark jazz tune. Pretty exciting feeling lol. Needless to say, my “one more song” encore killed, and Mikee in his game of “snag the shirt” with my trombone was hilarious.
Words can’t describe the nine pairs of manboobs supporting me on the stage that night. <3 all of you guys
Mikee: I’m sorry I touched it, that was rude of me.
Bitman: It’s okay. I got it for $100, total steal xD
Freque: lol. How did you feel about your set at the afterparty? People went nuts for your solo during kkrusty’s set.
Bitman: Hahah. The afterparty was an interesting thing. I don’t know kkrusty’s first name. I just called him k-krusty IRL. But he was playing a Final Countdown cover and I was up next. I was warmed up. I figured out that the song was in C minor, a key i was extremely comfortable soloing in. So, during the breakdown, he and I locked eyes and it just sort of happened. I don’t remember much after that: it was 4am, I was tired, and at 5am I was due to ride home with Shanebro. XD
Oh wait.. My Foo Fighters cover went over well, I guess lol. Playing along on trombone was cool.
Mikee: I like how if we didn’t know anyone’s name, we called them by their artist name or would attempt to pronounce it poorly. AndaruGO said “I’ve been calling SKGB Skiggabitzle or something” – so that’s what I called him for the whole weekend.
Freque: Yeah, I called Solarbear “fuckface” all weekend even though I know his name.
Freque: if you had BRKfest to do over again, would you do anything different?
Bitman: I would rehearse my set. And make sure my intro track had singable lyrics. Otherwise, I would have made sure to have the patchbooklets.
For those of you reading this who don’t know, I am working on making a miniature book you can buy or print at home and fit into a cartridge case for Gameboy games. It would have a couple of pre-made patches, but basically it’s a bunch of blank pages for instrument presets, tables, etc. I was working on hand-making the first batch for all the artists at BRKfest when I realized I had some super embarrassing spelling errors. Like misspelling my own name, “pulse,” and “patch.” I am a sorry typist lol. The book was meant to be super useful for festivals, meetups, and to keep hardcopies of patches in.
But yeah, rehearsing my set and bringing the booklets are on top of the list for sure.
Freque: You are trapped in a high school gymnasium and you only have a backpack with supplies. What’s in it and what would your strategy be?
Bitman: Define “trapped”
Freque: [Mikee’s] prolly watching the Lion King somewhere
Mikee: Well..trapped. Whatever the apocalypse has brought has wrought some evil on you. You can’t leave.
Bitman: Are we talking “box canyon” from Red vs. Blue season 1, or mindless scene girls skipping gym class in such a quantity that there is no solid escape route?
Mikee: You can make up the evil, fuck it man, go wild
Bitman: Well, firstly, my typical backpack is the one I carry when I work at the local Christian gym, fitness center, and daycare that shall remain unnamed. They do however have a song with their name in it by the Village People.
Anyways, in this bag I always keep rope, duct tape, a smiley faced beachball (not Wilson from Castaway), a basic first aid kit, and a clipboard. Seeing as the standard gymnasium has basketball goals, I would hoist myself up using a lasso over the rim, and I would shimmy up the shank of the goal until I got to the rafters/ceiling. If it is like my high school gymnasium, the ceiling is cardboard tiles with beams you can skitter across to the air-conditioning unit. Seeing as these tubes for the AC unit are huge, I would need a cutting tool
Mikee: So far this plan is solid.
Bitman: My clipboard is made of ceramic plastic, and since all hard ceramics tend to break into sharp shards, I could use it to cut the giant hose open, and crawl out the top of the exhaust vent. Chances are I would have to kick down the grate, but beyond that my challenge is running across the roof, finding some bushes to jump into,then bandaging myself up with my own first aid kit.
And playing wallball with my ball as a sort of victory ritual.
Freque: lol, is that everything, Mikee? XD
Bitman: No interest about my coming album? lol
Freque: Yeah by all means, tell us about your next album, good sir.
Mikee: I was gonna ask about your djing and releases
Bitman: Well, seeing as I write in two styles, grungy-dubstep stuff and jazzier things, I am looking to combine the two for one epic album. I am aiming for a 2 CD release, with lots of bonus tracks/covertunes on the second disc that fit the style of the first disc
Expect to see DnB, dubstep, dark jazz, bebop, funk, second lines, and honkytonk styles, among others, on this release. Should be out sometime in the next 5 months or so.
Freque: I understand you DJ too, any up and coming events you want to shout out?
Mikee: Is god really a DJ? I mean come on
Bitman: No events planned atm, haven’t really thought about it yet. Getting ready for college band camp for marching band, and trying to keep my grades up. DJing will take a backseat this semester.
God is indeed a DJ. You know the Great Flood with Noah’s Ark?
Mikee: He let two decks in only? (and one DMG)
Bitman: He totally train-wrecked the soundtrack for mankind, and that flood was an airhorn clip essentially.
Bitman: Wiped the whole thing clean. BOOM
Mikee: Like Compycore?
Freque: The remix.
Bitman: More like Compyhorn, lol
Mikee: God deletes his .savs, starts over again. I like it.
Bitman: Yup. Anything else? xD
Freque: oh? Who’s got the football?
Bitman: ESPN ain’t got no balls on CCDM.
Bitman has left.