Leeni: UNDERWORLD and Other 8-bit Goodness

Greetings! I am Reverend Protocol, and here at (M)TDTYSAD, I will be adding to the dorkiness of these ridiculous(ly awesome) posts by allowing yon readers access to the portions of my brain dedicated to the technical, the musical, the nostalgic, the… the, uh… dorky.

That being said, few things activate the pleasure center of my brain better than chiptunes, unless it’s chiptunes combined with some rather genius 8-bit animation.

UNDERWORLD, by Leeni, is a chiptune that carries a bit of eerie ambience with it. It’s a very beautiful song, and Pixel Artists Niina Koivusalo and Ville Konttinen created a very interesting animation to go with the song that has a nice little story of its own.


While I’m discussing chiptunes directly, I’d like to call to attention a subject I’ve thought about a bit myself, but have seen discussed very little.


Among the chiptunes artists I’ve come across on sites like 8bitcollective.com, or 8bitpeoples.com, there seem to be several opinions of whether or not a person can be considered a “real” chiptunes artist if they incorporate anything other than the hardware commonly utilized for that oh-so-chippy sound into their music. Some refer to these people as elitist. I suppose I would have to agree, because my very own music, most of which is chip in nature, lately, uses various different instruments that are in no way related to Gameboys, or Commodore 64’s, or Z80 processors.

That seems to be what people have the most problems with, though, are the people who write their music using DAW’s and VSTi’s, and dare to call their music chiptunes. I, and many others, may not be as diehard abotu using the authentic hardware, but I think there are really two sides to this argument, if you can call it that: Chiptunes as an idea, and chiptunes as a sound.

As an idea, using the hardware is neccessary. It’s where that unique sound which is the basis for the music came from, so making that recognizable sound with the original hardware just goes hand-in-hand. Performing otherwise would be like a painter who loves the style of oil paintings the most using anything but oil-based paints to create their art, and instead using something that can easily simulate that same style. Then again, I haven’t really heard anyone bad-mouth an artist who uses Photoshop to create art that appears to be done using oil-based paints. Mad skillz, yo!

As a style of sound, which is where I stand on the sunbject, chiptunes is a fantastic genre and can be done in a number of ways, any of which is completely up to the artist. I use hardware, as well as many different VSTi’s and a couple of different DAW’s to create my music, and I like the plethora of options I have when working with my music with the confines of the software on my desktop computer. It’s just fun this way.

That’s all I can really think to say about that. So, chiptunes… Sound, or Idea?


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