Shnabubula Releases NES Jams, Brains Melt

The story picks up immediately where Game Genie ends. A young boy, Tommy, has just defeated his Game Genie, and in its place is a mysterious NES cartridge. Upon placing it in his NES, something wondrous occurs; the message PREPARE TO JAM appears and Tommy approaches his brother’s keyboard. Suddenly, the game and his fingers begin to play music together! Now, this is just a brief summation of the album’s story; the real beauty is the album itself. Just read with me as I take you on an aural tour through the 11 tracks contained on this album. Let us begin.

1. Underwater (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)     2:51

Starts out calm and aquatic sounding… 0:20 brings in some piano work. 0:40 brings in a nice little jazzy part. Pretty nice track; great way to kick the album off. 1:09 kicks off a bit of a calm section, and 1:18 or so is where it really kicks off with some nice arrangement. The piano and the NES accompaniment work phenomenally together. 1:56 or so brings in a series of crescendos. 2:10 is where you can tell the end is coming. Everything keeps on getting better and better until the finale begins at 2:44.

2. Temple (Zelda 2)     3:16

Source kicks off right away, of course. Sam keeps it simple, sticking to the source pretty tightly with minor changes with the accompaniment. 0:29 is where the accompaniment takes off, and the keys follow shortly after. The source is held tightly for the first minute, and then some nice arrangement comes in at 1:09 or so. This is probably one of the best renditions of this theme I’ve heard, and I’ve heard a few. 1:52 brings a breakdown, and it starts to pick up once again at 2:04 or so. 2:16 is where some real awesome piano comes in, and it only gets more awesome from there. The source is loosely held throughout this segment, and comes back in full force with crazy accompaniment at 2:56 or so. Final at about 3:09.

3. Alien Lair (Contra)     3:06

This one starts out kinda tense. 0:17 changes that in an instant; some big stuff is going down somewhere. 0:37 brings even more tension in, with force put into each and every piano note. 1:06 brings a very brief break. This song definitely has a nice feel to it, one that captures quite a few intense emotions in its many layers. 2:04 brings this point home, and even moreso at 2:15. The accompaniment goes pretty nuts from here on out. The end is definitely near at 3:01.

4. Night Sea (Little Nemo the Dream Master)     3:45

And now a well-placed calm spot; don’t be fooled, it’s just the calm before the storm. Shnabubula actually released a video of this track on his Youtube channel as a teaser for the album; it was the second such teaser. 0:32 brings in some nice bass. Nice work on the keys at 0:56 or so, and great accompaniment at 1:04 on. This song definitely has a great flow, one that makes me just want to sway back and forth to the rhythm. Some nice solo at 1:55 or so; back to the source at 2:10 with some embellishments. Naturally; wouldn’t be a Shnabubula track without them. Okay, so maybe not so calm; 2:40 or so brings some pretty crazy piano, and it calms down at 2:56. Very calm at 3:10 or so; it remains this way until the end of the track. The true finale begins at 3:34.

5. Dwelling of Doom (Castlevania 2)     3:16

Funky, just the way I like it! It starts getting even funkier at 0:22 or so. Even crazier parts begin at around 0:56; this song is focused mostly on the keys and the accompaniment only adds to the experience. It starts getting pretty crazy at 1:30 or so; breakdown at 1:50. It really picks back up at 2:07; signature Shnabubula insanity comes in not too long after. I’m still amazed that he can moves his hands as fast as he can; seriously, he must be part machine or something, because this skill is near-inhuman. The finale begins suddenly at 3:10.

6. Kung Fu Alley (NES Original)     4:42

This is completely original, and completely lacks the keys of all the other tracks. Fitting that it’s the middle track; five are before it and five are after it. Very nice rhythm, and very nice to listen to. Apparently, the track was supposed to loop at some point, but it wouldn’t. Ah well, it’s a great song nonetheless. Pretty nice part at 1:32 or so. Short breakdown at 1:58 or so, that goes into another great part; sounds like it could be a stage set atop some cliffs or something. 2:28 brings in some nice duality between dominant parts in the track, and 2:42 brings in some nice backing effects. 3:06 adds in a whole different part that fits in perfectly. Again, the song has some great flow and rhythm to it. Everything fits together perfectly, and it sounds phenomenal. There’s a feeling of something coming at 3:56 or so; probably signaling the finale. And the finale does come in at 4:28 or so.

7. Title (Double Dragon)     3:34

This was the first song Shnabubula released as a teaser on his YouTube channel. Source comes in at the ten-second mark. Very fast-paced, and great to listen to. 0:32 brings a slightly slower part. 0:54 kicks off more source usage and also signals the beginning of some awesome arrangement; check out 1:24. Just when you think the source is gonna kick off again at 1:38, Shnabubula switches it up with a rather beautiful breakdown. It starts picking up again at 2:02. Everything that follows is just pure greatness and insanity, especially at 2:32. Source leaps back in at 2:43, maintaining the same speed from the insanity. The finale kicks off for this song at 3:14. Yes, a 20 second long finale. Great work though.

8. Gemini Man (Megaman 3)     3:57

This is probably one of the more underrated MM3 tracks; let’s see what Shnab can do with this one. Some nice flair comes in at 0:12 or so in the form of source usage. More source usage at 1:06 or so. The accompaniment on this song works so well with the keys, and really helps to set the mood. 1:38 kicks off a nice arranged section. 1:59 brings in a breakdown, and it starts to come together once again at 2:17. 2:51 brings the source usage back into full force, with the usual additions and arrangement. 3:08 is where the accompaniment really adds a feeling of finality to the track; the end is definitely near. 3:24 on reinforces this point, and the finale finally begins at 3:48 or so.

9. Stage 1 (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)     2:59

This kicks off instantly with a great speed and feel. 0:27 makes you just want to yell out HEROES IN A HALF-SHELL! TURTLE POWER! 0:52 has a pretty nice section of keys. 1:12 has the HEROES IN A HALF-SHELL part once again. 1:28 signals the start of a pretty sweet section, focusing on keys with some great accompaniment. 2:14 keeps the speed going with some awesome section, building and building until 2:35 when the finale starts with the HEROES IN A HALF-SHELL part and truly ending at 2:55. Such a great fast song.

10. Area A (Shatterhand)     3:25

In comparison to the previous track, this song is rather slow. But it’s still great; it picks up at 0:17. Okay, maybe it’s not slow; it’s pretty nice. A really smooth section begins at 0:47; 1:14 or so signals another pretty nice section. 1:38 has some more arrangement, and everything’s put together in a wondrous fashion. A sense of finality almost comes in at 2:17 or so; a small breakdown at 2:24 or so also sounds like it is leading up to the end. Some really awesome piano comes in at 2:46 with great crescendos on the accompaniment. The end is near at 3:10, and the song ends at 3:23.

11. Wood Man (Megaman 2)     3:37

Here it is, the final track on this album. Sticks to the source pretty strictly at the start, then takes off at 0:32 with the accompaniment first, and then it really begins with the piano at 0:42. There’s a great breakdown at 1:14, and it continues for some time. This part loosely adheres to the source, keeping the same rhythm but adding in many many more parts. Great work on the keys from 2:00 on. 2:19 keeps the insanity going. I’m surprised his hands aren’t on fire by now; this is such an insane speed. Some source resumes at 2:42 with more crazy piano playing; it normalizes at 2:55 or so. Some nice accompaniment effects begin at the three-minute mark, really adding to the sense of finality. They pick up even more at 3:22 or so. The finale begins at 3:32, and the end of the album is shortly after.

To help publicize the release of the album, Shnabubula organized a listening party on 3/15, hosted on Noise Channel Radio. The show, run by virt’s wife Truestar, peaked at 100 listeners, and the album is currently at #5 on the Bandcamp top sellers list. It’s actually pay-what-you-want, so if you want it free, you can get it for free. But I’m sure that Shnabubula would appreciate some payment on it; he certainly deserves it. The album can be found both on Ubiktune and Bandcamp; it’s well worth the download, and the money if you choose to actually buy it. Stay tuned for an interview with Shnabubula, among other things. Until next time, game on!

In Tha ‘Tube: Dragonlord, Mutherpluckin’ B, DragnBreth, Shnabubula, Cyan

In Tha ‘Tube focuses on ReMix: ThaSauce‘s very own vast database of VGM remixesas a tribute to the appreciation & reinterpretation of video game music. Offering hundreds of free MP3 downloads, ReMix: ThaSauce features artists from popular sites such as OverClocked ReMix and VGMix. This feature offers readers, as music enthusiasts, the opportunity to appreciate what ReMix: ThaSauce has to present in the latest VGM styles and genres. Join us as we upload select ReMix: ThaSauce songs every week on YouTube for your aural pleasure. Have any requests? Shoot an e-mail to [email protected] For the latest exclusive uploads on ThaSauce, be sure to like us on Facebook or follow us on Tumblr. 

ThaSauce is finally riding the waves of social media once again! In Tha ‘Tube aims to post weekly videos onto YouTube for easier access to ReMix:ThaSauce songs in a convenient preview format. This week, we  serenade you with a varied mixture of ThaSauce featured artists:

Sound Bytes: Shnabubula Covers Double Dragon’s “Title” Theme


Okay, so we might have a habit of hyping up NYC-based remixer and piano prodigy Sam Ascher-Weiss, also known by the moniker Shnabubula. But can you blame us? With over 1,200 subscribers and over 326,000 views on YouTube now, Shnabubula’s reputation for piano improvisation and insane productivity still cannot be denied.

Even with his wonderful Free Play album recently released (which you can preview all for free on his Youtube page), Shnabubula has just put out a new teaser for yet another upcoming album to be released in March, featuring music covers that will only utilize live piano and NES/Famicon samples. We are happy to report that if this teaser is a just sign of things to come, NES Jamz  will absolutely be off the hook. In this video, Mr. Ascher-Weiss really shows off his talent with some good ol’-fashioned Double Dragon. We seriously implore you to give this video a quick listen and see, truly, what the hype is all about.


IGN Releases Metroid 25th Anniversary Tribute Medley Video

 

So you’re probably wondering what could possibly transpire in less than two days to cause us to post not one, but TWO Shnabubula-related articles within a twenty-four hour time frame. Well normally we’d be against double posting, but this time we really couldn’t help ourselves.

IGN has just released a musical tribute video in honor of Metroid’s twenty-fifth anniversary with none other than the humble Sam Ascher-Weiss and Gabe Terracciano, another wonderful YouTube musician who helps to (rather ingeniously) tear up almost all Metroid soundtracks in the span of a ten-minute long video. Two brilliant melodists equals double the awesome, don’t you agree?

Check out Shnabubula’s mind-boggling collaboration with Mr. Terracciano above, or right here for some wholesome Metroid goodness.

Utterly Insane Preview for Shnabubula’s Upcoming Album Game Genie

Music prodigy Sam Ascher-Weiss, more often known as Shnabubula, has remained incredibly productive as of late. With almost 900 subscribers and over 231,000 views on YouTube, Shnabubula’s reputation for piano improvisation and almost deranged time signatures cannot be denied.

Especially displaying his effortless talent with tracks like “Playing Super Mario World While Taking Mushrooms” and the ultimate MagFest 6 hit “Terra’s Got Her Groove Back” here at ThaSauce, we are thrilled to announce Shnabubula’s forthcoming chiptune album Game Genie. “Aqua Fever”, the latest track from the upcoming album, is a breathtaking example of his natural ability to decipher key transitions with a drop of a hat.

Preview Shnabubula’s insane talent on “Aqua Fever” for Game Genie here, out on Ubiktune soon!

Why YouTube is especially important for Musicians

Update: This week we’re going to talk about YouTube, however there have been some important changes in Facebook since the last 2 weeks and I wanted to fill everyone in on those first. First of all, Bing is now using the Facebook API to show what your friends have liked within their searches. What does this mean? Well, Bing has been having a growing in relevance as far as web exposure recently, and this is a huge step towards making it a real competitor to Google. Two weeks ago I talked about how Facebook’s biggest draw is that people are more likely to be interested in what others in their social circle are interested in. By leverage the “Like” data from Facebook, Bing can now theoretically become the most powerful tool for finding searches relevant to your interests. I say theoretically because, despite their pretty video explaining everything, I’ve yet to actually find a search that actually displays Like information. More information on that as it becomes available, but again I absolutely can not stress enough how increasingly important it is to have a Facebook presence.

Additionally: Remember all that stuff I said about setting up an engaging Facebook Page for musicians and using FBML to make a nice custom landing page? Throw that out the window. The new hotness is setting up your landing page using iFrames. Mashable explains it in length better than I could, but to summarize: By using iFrames now for your Facebook Page landing page you can now utilizes languages like PHP, ASP, JavaScript, etc, to give your page some dynamic content. You can still use FBML to make an engaging and effective landing page, but for those who know how to use it the ability to be able to use iFrame to deliver data is incredible.

In just 2 weeks things that I have talked about have changed pretty drastically from a marketing perspective. The internet, Google, Facebook, Microsoft, all change like the wind, and can get difficult to keep up with, and that’s absolutely why I write Just the Tips.

So back on track:

Why YouTube is Especially Important for Muscians

So immediately I’m going to give you a pretty powerful stat: What do you think the 2nd most powerful search engine on the internet is? Bing? Yahoo? Facebook? Well you can probably guess by the context: It’s YouTube. Not only that, but Google now embeds YouTube search right into it’s dynamic search. That’s pretty incredible stuff if you’re looking to get exposure. By why is it especially important to musicians?

  • Videos have sound. GASP! It’s no brainer that you can upload a video with your music in it to YouTube. People do it all the time. This gives fans and fans-to-be a way to listen to your music without having to dedicate any hard drive space or time into download an MP3. Users and listen to it on the go, fans can pull it up on their iPhone and play it for a friend, or stream it at work; the amount of applications are endless.
  • Videos have VISUALS. Well…they should anyway. Your video doesn’t have to be playing guitar, or sequecing a song live (though it could!). You don’t have to do a whole AMV to post your music on YouTube. You can simply just have a static image, or a loop video like OCReMix does. You make something like this pretty simply in iMovie or Windows Movie maker, and it doesn’t have to be all sorts of flashy. My advice to you is to put as much information about yourself as you want people to know, without over doing it. I’ll go over this in much more detail in the upcoming weeks.
  • Talented artists get a A LOT of exposure on YouTube. Have you heard of Justin Bieber? I mean, you probably have, but did you know he got discovered on YouTube? I don’t hate the kid. I don’t care much for his fan base, but he got where he is today by having some degree of talent, and a YouTube account. Be warned: This isn’t the last time I’ll bring him up in my discussions of YouTube, either. So be ready.
  • To combat plagiarism. As I’ve said before in the OCR Plagiarism thread: You absolutely can not control whether or not you or your music will get onto the internet, because it absolutely will. It will not necessarily be what you want to end up on the internet, and it will not necessarily be in the places you want it to be on the internet. You can’t stop it, however you can control it. How? By making sure that all the information you do want to show up shows up first, more often, and more relevant. If you get popular enough, it is certain beyond a reasonable doubt that someone will post your music on YouTube. It may have an innocent omission of information about you, or they may be trying to pass it off as their own. You can search down every iteration of your song on YouTube, and flag all of them as inappropriate, and how YouTube takes action against them eventually or you can post your music yourself, with all your legitimate information, so that there’s absolutely no question what the official source is. I can guarantee you that if you post a video of “Zelda Ocarina of Time/Chrono Trigger: Eponapoch (Guitar Remix)” posted by Willrock07 with a video about you, and links to your Facebook Page, and website, and all kinds of info, it will get more hits on YouTube than some kids “ZELDA KRONO TRIGGR GUITAR MIX” with a picture of a dancing storm trooper by coolkid0009 with 30 videos of the same thing and bad spelling, and hopefully yours will show up in the “Related Videos” sidebar when that DOES happen. Optimizing video titles, tags, and descriptions will be important for this as well, and will also be discussed in the upcoming weeks.
  • People can’t stop watching YouTube. The thing is addicting. I go to watch my own video of Shnababula‘s amazing live Terra remix, end up clicking on the Batman playing Terra in Black Video, then I see Terra in Black in Guitar Hero, then I see You Are Not Alone from Final Fantasy 9 in Guitar Hero, then I find You Are Not Alone on Classical Guitar, then katethegrate’s Roses of May from Final Fantasy 9 (love her, by the way), and then…crap I’m supposed to be writing a column here. SEE WHAT I MEAN? Powerful stuff. You want your video to show up on YouTube, because people will find it, and they will watch it. Hopefully they’ll like it and know where to go to find out more about you and your music!

So there you have it. As mentioned about, in the weeks following I’ll be explaining how to optimize your videos themselves, your profile, your titles, tags, and descriptions. I’ll also go over some other ways to drive traffic to your profile, and get yourself some more exposure: namely covers. Pretty huge, but that’s for another time!

As always if you have questions about anything discussed, or suggests on what you might hear about in future articles, post a comment!