Column: The Mags Inside The Mag In The Diskmag
Written by Parsec of Brainstorm
Yes, I want to be uplifted and consumed by this emerging reality. And what is this supposed to mean? It means everything is in motion, everything evolved from previously existing elements. All things, even right now, are blending with other elements and will possibly change into something new. Practical examples? We all pay a ridiculous amount of money to keep up with the actual technology developement as our computer becomes obsolete one fucking week after we bought it. Everything is changing, despite this system's attempt at promoting the idea of a static, motionless reality. The demoscene makes no exception.
So why do we resist? Any attempt at being "static", at remaining what we are, is in obvious denial of the very nature of our reality... so how true to ourselves can we be while embracing any cultural institution or role? How true can any institution be when it claims to be based on immutable ideas? I want to embrace the emerging reality, I will herald the emergent properties. I will ask the obscure divinities of the scene to infuse me with their writing powers: Macno, digital god and protector father of all diskmag editors, bless my typing. So writing also undergoes changes, reflecting the changes happening in the environment we live in. A massive amount of informative elements are quickly and chaotically bombarding us every day. And you're used to all sort of filth coming through your browser, which has lowered your attention span and interest treshold. What we need is many interesting facts of life, many small challenging bits of information with a vague hint of intelligent sarcasm. I think I have what it takes to get the job done. Except perhaps the "intelligent" part.
If I render a long and complex 3d scene with 3dstudio or Maya... and I put some mp3 in the background, that will compete in the "animation" (or maybe "Wild demo") compo, right? It can't be a demo because, like we all know, demos must be realtime squeezed out of our hard earned machines. But why are there mp3s in demos? Isn't that pretty much like the audio equivalent of 3d rendered animations? Think about it... shouldn't we consider 4k, 64k, amiga and other real-time based demomusic... like the one "true" demomusic? Hah. You did not see this one coming, did you?
Let's be clear
According to the "six degrees of separation" theory, you (or someone you know) might be friend to a "Keygenist": someone who really believes that there actually is a music genre called "Keygen Music". Yes. It's like a "Cargo Cult", there is observation of a complex product... but no knowledge about the true purpose behind the reasons of its being. We know about the first cracktros. We know why they made use of chiptunes in those intros, we know that this sound created an “habit” in musicmaking. Young generations, having no clue about the history of chiptunes, just stumbled upon the modern “new-school” chiptunes in cracks and keygens... they, correctly, identified a “genre” but they identified it with the only source they were aware of. So the word “Keygen-music” was born. They are released into cracks and keygenerators... must be "Keygen-music". Let me tell you, calling newschool chiptunes “keygen music” is a bit like calling all MIDI files "ring-tone music", if you see what I mean. You don't believe me? Go open youtube and look for "Keygen Music"... you'll be surprised. Let's defend the good name of chiptunes by fighting this gross misunderstanding. If you have some keygenist friends... help them.
It makes sense
The way you move the camera around a demo, makes sense. I was talking about this with Axel/Brainstorm, some time ago... and it made me realize this is a topic worth spending some words about. What you show on screen, from what angle you show it, it all makes sense, it all creates a specific impression on the audience, it implies a visual language, pretty much the same that is actually used in movies. Like with movies, an author might not be aware of this language and use random “words”... but the brain will still decode these according to the big, secret book of psychological rules leading the movie business. A camera slowly moving around is perfect when you want people to perceive that "things are happening". On the other hand, you can keep objects in the middle of the screen and it will be read as "THIS is the shit"... if you look from above you're either god-like or watching something very small... and of course, when you look up from below you're looking at titanic objects... the fish-eye effect is also... Hm. I should probably do a seminar at Evoke about this. It could have an enormous impact if this only was half as interesting as it sounds.
Kebby, the eclectic scenegod, protector of all 64k-musicians, flail of the north, recently admitted to be slightly annoyed by the traditional "Amigaaa" shout you so often hear at demoparties. That's what I mean when I say "emergent reality". Yesterday it was a scene must, today it's annoying. Why is that? "A lot of good stuff is done today on PC", he explains, “there is no need to be nostalgic” ... and I must agree with him, it honestly makes no sense anymore. On the other hand, for the sake of this article, I asked myself: why would people do this if it makes no sense? At this point I presume it probably became just a mere habit, not aimed at expressing any specific statement or at making any comparison... but really just a way to "belong" to a group which happens to use that specific call. So I'd say both Kebby and the people shouting "amiga" are right, in some way. Or better, Kebby is right... but the people shouting "amiga" are not truly, entirely wrong.
Since you mentioned Kebby... You might not know but V2 is a special (and not-so-userfriendly) VSTi synth used to create the music you've heard in almost all 64k demos released in the last 15 years. Did you know Kebby was about to change all the rules again by releasing a new VSTi plugin to follow the in/famous V2? Its name was, unsurprisingly, supposed to be "V3". He listed some of the features to me but I was too scared and I forgot most of them. Among the few I still remember, the v3 was supposed to deliver:
- 512 osc instruments
- Multiband dynamic parametric granular synthesis blindfolded with one hand tied behind
- Reasonable artificial intelligence
- Time travel
Unfortunately the V3 will have to wait as Kebby has decided to temporarily stop its development. 64k demos are now doomed to have the same sound for another 15 years.
Note to Fathers
How do you tell when your little spawns are ready to face the world? How do you balance freedom and safety? Well, demoscene-wise, your kids will be ready to face the world when they will spontaneously use the line "Fucking compofillers" to comment on a democompo. At that point you will know your job is done. Think about it.
Lycan / Lnx
The sexy French graphician has recently disclosed some details about her next picture. "I'm playing a bit with 3d for a new experimental aproach”, she said with her sensual French accent. “I can't say too much right now about the subject, I don't want to spoil the surprise but... there will be a sexy girl in it" she admitted. We sort of expected it.