FAQ: VIDEO GAMES LIVE: LEVEL 6 (album & movie!)
For the most up-to-date information about the status of our project, check our project updates on Kickstarter!

You are combining different styles of music for Video Games Live? Have you changed the formula for LEVEL 6 and incorporated new stylistic elements?

For me, I LOVE dynamics. I felt we really nailed that on LEVEL 5. Having a 100 piece orchestra and 60 person choir is HUGE!! But combining guitars and electronics on top of that REALLY bring it to another level entirely. Not for all of them… because it’s also important to just be slow & beautiful sometimes as well. Again… all about the dynamics.

One thing I’m doing differently and taking a new approach to is the Earthbound/Mother arrangement. I’m a fan of the way they approached the “Moulin Rouge” and “The Greatest Show” movie music. I wanted to do something very different like that for one of the tracks on LEVEL 6. Earthbound seemed to be the perfect choice. One of my arrangers (Wayne Strange) translated some original lyrics written by Earthbound/Mother game designer Shigesato Itoi and translated/adapted/interpreted them to English. We want to have unique lead vocalists and famous Italian Opera singers. Something VERY different than every arrangement out there! We put together computerized demos of the first 7 songs right on the project page so please give a listen!

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Is there anything you have done differently this time for LEVEL 6? Anything you have learned from the previous five recordings?

From a production standpoint, I’ve given myself more time to edit the individual tracks before they go to the final mix. I always felt I was always rushed because I would only give myself 4 or 5 days up at Skywalker Ranch to edit. But this time I’m doing 7 or 8 days of just editing and also giving myself an extra 2 days to mix at Skywalker Ranch with the multi-Grammy Award winning engineer Leslie Ann Jones.

From a Kickstarter Project standpoint… I always give the backers at least 3x’s to 7x’s the Reward Value for each amount they spend! I believe it’s a huge reason why they are always so successful. I don’t see Kickstarter as a way to just sell someone an album. They can do that already on iTunes or Amazon. But this amazing platform allows me to give away SO MUCH to our biggest fans who love supporting us. It’s a great opportunity to share with them a ton of new and unique material that no other platform allows me to accomplish. Some of the cool Rewards for this project include visiting Skywalker Ranch, customized voice recordings by original Ash Ketchum/Pokemon voice actor Veronica Taylor, a completely unique Donkey Kong Country piano album with help and input by the original composer David Wise… and so much more.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

What will be the choices for the backer selected tracks?

The backers are going to be deciding what the final tracks on the album are. As we hit more stretch goals, we’ll be adding MORE tracks to the album. So I’m hoping to get the album up to 12 or 13 songs! That being said, as I watch and interact with the project and social media, a lot of people are leaning towads games like Hearthstone, Suikoden II, Fire Emblem, Heroes of Might & Magic, Katamari Damacy, Secret/Legend of Mana, Shenmue, Starfox, Guilty Gear, Nier, Kirby, Cuphead, Ori & The Blind Forest, Super Mario Bros. 2 and Zelda: Breath of the Wild. PHEW!! We have enough to do LEVEL 7 & 8 already! :)

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Which games will be featured on LEVEL 6?

This is going to be our best album yet! I’ve been taking notes from all around the world about what people want to hear us perform and record next. Here are the ones we’ve confirmed so far…

POKEMON - "GOTTA CATCH 'EM ALL!" from the Pokemon TV series (featuring original Pokemon TV show singer Jason Paige). A lot more guitars, orchestra & vocals will be added!

UNDERTALE arrangement with input from creator/composer Toby Fox. We want to interpret the incredible music to a new and unique symphonic & electronic level.

"TO ZANARKAND" from Final Fantasy X. Completely unique Video Games Live arrangement. There are a few elements that I always wanted to interpret into the melodies... acoustic guitar and CHOIR!!

DESTINY - "The Union" written by Marty O'Donnell, Sir Paul McCartney (YES! THAT Paul McCartney from The Beatles!) & Mike Salvatori. Arrangement & Recording input with Marty O'Donnell. The Video Games Live "The Union" arrangement is a never before fully released song from the unreleased "Music of the Spheres" album.

TOMB RAIDER SUITE - Never before performed or released song arranged specifically for Video Games Live by original Tomb Raider composer Nathan McCree.

METAL GEAR SOLID – Although we’ve been performing it since our very first show at the Hollywood Bowl back in 2005, we've never released or recorded our original Metal Gear Solid "Main Theme" & "Encounter" arrangement put together by the original composers and arrangers.

EARTHBOUND/MOTHER - One of the most requested franchises to add to Video Games Live.

The backers of the project will pick the rest!

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:51

I donated to previous Video Games Live Kickstarter projects but can't find my Humble Bundle password or e-mail. Can you help?

If you lose or forget the link, you can just contact Humble Bundle directly and they'll tell you what it is. You can do it by following the instructions of this link: https://www.humblebundle.com/resender Make sure to give them the e-mail address that you use to Login to Kickstarter.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

What about making FLAC versions?

I'm giving you the most pure version available, but feel free to create your own from the .wav files if you'd like.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

What is the big deal about the 24-bit 96KHz .wav versions vs the .mp3?

I record, mix and master the music at 24-bit 96KHz. Then I master for CD, MP3 and 24-bit. That alone costs $10k-$12k. When you start at the top, you hear all the dynamic range of what you can only hear at 24/96 version. When you downgrade, to CD (16-bit 44.1 KHz) you cut almost all the quality and range in half. You lose a lot of the dynamic range like high range instruments and the lowness of basses, percussion, etc. Once you cut it in half, you want to run it though a spectrum analysis and put some of the dynamic range back in to "cheat". And .mp3's are cut even worse! So again... we master just for .mp3 to ensure the highest quality possible at each level. But when listened side to side... NOTHING matches 24-bit 96KHz! Not the CD and certainly not the .mp3's.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

What are "Bonus Round" albums?

Those are special albums we do for our Kickstarter projects NOT sold in stores or online. Only for the Kickstarter project! They consist of tracks that are remixes of video games songs by video game cover bands and/or unreleased tracks that game composers themselves donate that never made it into a game (because the level was canceled, etc.)

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Will we get a say in what songs make it to the album?

Yep! You sure do! The backers will choose at least 3 songs for the LEVEL 6 album (via Survey/Poll after the project is complete). Also... every additional song from the Stretch Goals will be voted on by the backers as well!

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

How do I know if my name will sound correctly for the customized ASH KETCHUM recordings?

We will have a survey with details to make sure it's recorded correctly. In certain unique cases (for really tough names!) we will also provide a way to send us an audio recording of your voice saying your name to ensure it is correct.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Will there be Add-On items made available at the end of the project?

Yes! See Update 5 for full details! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1916334303/video-games-live-level-6-album-and-movie/posts/2125446

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Why is VIP Experiance at $500 tier instead of $250 tier like last year?

I wanted more people to have the opportunity to get the Veronica Taylor customized ASH KETCHUM voice recording as it was a new feature this year! I couldn't put both the VIP EXPERIENCE and the customized recording in the same tier so I picked the recording. I may decide to make the VIP EXPERIENCE an Add-On at the end of the project to certain backers at a slightly reduced price.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Don't you have enough money to do this without doing a fourth Kickstarter? You're a well-established successful tour/show and Tommy has a massive resume from his career. You should have more than enough resources to do this without crowdfunding.

It's a great and fair question! And here are the simple answers...

  1. It costs hundreds of thousands of dollars to record a 100 piece orchestra and choir, create new arrangements, orchestrations, sheet music, copying, proof-reading, etc. and to keep the highest quality possible by mixing at Skywalker, mastering with THE BEST, etc. For the last Kickstarter project I put in over $50,000 of my own money just to make it happen. And then there's the creation and mailing of all the other things associated with the Kickstarter, etc. This isn't just one album and that's it... it's TONS of Rewards and things that need to be created, licensed, etc.

  2. Another GREAT reason to do a Kickstarter is because of all the amazing and unique things I'm able to offer and give to everyone! It's much different than just selling someone an album for $9.99 on Amazon or iTunes. It's a fantastic way to give to people a lot of incredible value of things that wouldn't even exist if not for the Kickstarter.

  3. Please remember... not a single major artist funds their own albums. Not Aerosmith, not Katy Perry, etc... there is a reason for that. It's because a lot of money needs to be spent and then there's marketing, PR, manufacturing, distribution, etc., etc... it's a huge infrastructure that I (and most every independent musician, composer, band) just don't have... and no record company is willing to give me the money I need to create the quality I want and the fans expect. I'm just not willing to sacrifice quality.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:50

Is there a tier if I backed previous projects and only want the new stuff?

Yes! The $75 "SMART BOMB" all-digital tier will get you all the new stuff in digital format. And the $100 "I CHOOSE YOU!" tier will get you most of the physical items as well.

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

I've backed multiple projects and are receiving multiple e-mails from you about the new project. Is there a way I can stop this?

Absolutely! You can unsubscribe from getting those. Go into your profile > Notifications (under Settings) > Account Notifications > Un-check previous projects. Please keep Level 6 checked so you only get one notification if we ever do a Level 7! I'm sorry you got bombarded, I've actually been getting a lot of pledges from backers using the URLs I've provided in those previous projects so it's important to let older backers know about the new one. :)

Last updated: March 11, 2018 11:49

Shipping Updates
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