Jake Kaufman

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Jake Kaufman
JakeKaufman.jpg
Kaufman in December 2009
Background information
Birth name Jacob Kaufman
Also known as virt
virtjk
Born (1981-04-03) April 3, 1981 (age 35)
Genres Video game music, chiptune
Occupation(s) Composer, sound designer
Years active 2000–present
Labels Big Lion Music
Associated acts Dale North
Website virt.rocks

Jacob "Jake" Kaufman (also known as virt or virtjk) (born April 3, 1981) is an American video game music composer. After starting out creating arrangements and remixes of video game soundtracks, he began his commercial composing career in 2000 with the score to the Game Boy Color port of Q*bert. He continued to compose music for games for the next couple of years, working primarily with handheld video games. In 2002, he set up the website VGMix, which hosts video game music remixes, and continues to administrate it. His career began to take off over the next few years, resulting in him transitioning jobs into a full-time freelance composer by 2005. Since then he has worked on several big-name projects such as Contra 4, Red Faction: Guerrilla, DuckTales: Remastered, and Shovel Knight. In early 2015, he and Jessie Seely formed CSP Industries, and launched a Kickstarter for [NUREN] The New Renaissance, a project that they call "the world's first virtual reality rock opera."[1] In late 2015, Kaufman composed and wrote lyrics for Power Overwhelming, the debut album of parody supergroup Big Bad Bosses.

Biography[edit]

Kaufman was born on April 3, 1981. Kaufman dropped out of high school, with what he describes as "a total lack of work ethic and no concept of timeliness or organization".[2] He spent the next few years composing arrangements and remixes of video game music under the alias "virt". In 2000, Kaufman broke into the video game industry as a composer, with his first work being the Game Boy Color port of Q*bert.[3] Over the next few years, he composed the music to several Game Boy Color and Game Boy Advance games. In 2002, Kaufman was one of the co-founders of the website VGMix, which hosts video game music remixes.[4] VGMix has been described as being just as influential as OverClocked ReMix, the other major video game music arrangement hosting website.[5]

During 2002–2005, his career as a video game music composer began to take off. By 2005, he was a full-time freelance video game composer.[6] He continues to compose music to increasingly big-name projects, such as Contra 4 and TMNT in 2007 and Red Faction: Guerrilla in 2009; he describes composing the soundtrack to a Contra game and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game as his "lifelong dream".[7] Kaufman contributed a track to the official arranged album of music from Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi.[8] He was a full-time employee of Volition, Inc. while working on Red Faction, but in January 2010, he left the company to become the "lead audio guy" for WayForward Technologies, for which he had already composed several soundtracks such as those of Shantae and Contra 4.[9] For WayForward he first composed the soundtrack to Shantae: Risky's Revenge, the sequel to the game he worked on ten years prior.[10] Original Sound Version named Kaufman their Composer of the Year for 2011, based on his work on BloodRayne: Betrayal and Mighty Switch Force, as well as several other soundtracks and arranged albums.[11] Kaufman lives with his puggle Nugget in northern Los Angeles.[7][9]

Jake Kaufman performing at MAGFest 10 in 2012

While working at WayForward, Kaufman composed music for the Shantae series, the BloodRayne series, and nearly a dozen other games. During this time he also composed music for independent games such as Shovel Knight. On November 1, 2014, Kaufman announced that he was leaving WayForward on mutual terms to work as a freelance composer and sound designer from his own studio, in order to be able to set his own schedule and choose his own projects.[12] The last games which he worked on for the company were Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze and Shantae: Half-Genie Hero.

In February 2015, Kaufman collaborated with Jessie Seely, a video game vocalist and professional artist, to launch the Kickstarter campaign of [NUREN] The New Renaissance. [NUREN] was self-described as "the world's first virtual reality rock opera." The project would be a full-length music album, accompanied by music videos that could be experienced using a head-mounted display such as the Oculus Rift. The music and videos would all be set in a post-war future society where androids cater to humanity's needs; two prototype androids named QGK and RIX would feature as the main subjects of the project. On March 16, the project was successfully funded with $76,950 raised.[1] The project was in closed development until Jake started streaming composition sessions on Twitch via his new studio's channel Mintpotion.

Works[edit]

Video games[edit]

Year of release Game Role
2000 Q*bert (GBC)[13] Composer
Drymouth (GBC)[14] Composer
M&M's Minis Madness (GBC)[15] Composer
2001 Tennis Masters Series (PSX)
David Beckham Soccer (GBC/GBA)[16] Composer
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (GBC)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (GBA)[17] Composer
X-Blade Inline Skater (GBA)[18] Composer
2002 The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris (GBA)[19] Composer
Karnaaj Rally (GBA)[20] Composer, sound effects
Godzilla: Domination (GBA)[21] Composer
Shantae (GBC)[22] Composer
Micro Machines (GBA)[23] Composer
Hardcore Pinball (GBA)[citation needed]
Rugrats: I Gotta Go Party (GBA)[24] Composer
2005 Spy Hunter / Super Sprint
Juka and the Monophonic Menace Sound designer
Legend of Kay (PS2) Composer
Rebelstar: Tactical Command[citation needed]
Berenstain Bears and the Spooky Old Tree Composer
2006 Uno 52 Music engineer
Platinum Mahjong (Mobile) Sound designer
Scurge: Hive Sound designer
The OC (Mobile) Sound designer
Miami Nights: Singles in the City (Mobile) Composer, sound designer
Lumines Mobile Sound designer
Lionel Trains: On Track Music engineer
Ibiza Beach Party (Mobile) Composer, sound designer
Brain Challenge (Mobile) Lead sound designer
2007 Contra 4 (DS)[25] Composer, sound designer
TMNT[citation needed] Composer
Cranium Kabookii[citation needed]
Uno / Skip-Bo / Uno Freefall Music engineer
Surf's Up (GBA, DS) Composer
Petz: Catz 2 Composer, sound designer
Elements of Destruction Composer, music engineer
CSI: Dark Motives Sound engineer
Brothers in Arms DS Sound designer
Balls of Fury (DS) Music engineer
2008 Imagine: My Secret World (DS)[citation needed]
Winx Club: Mission Enchantix (DS)[citation needed]
Pokermillion 2009: The Bluff (Mobile) Composer, sound designer
Ben 10: All Out Attack! (Mobile) Composer, sound designer
2009 Red Faction: Guerilla[26] Composer, sound designer
Mighty Flip Champs! Composer, sound designer
Virtual Villagers: Erschaffe dein Paradies! (DS) Composer
Where the Wild Things Are (DS) Sound designer
2010 Shantae: Risky's Revenge[27] Composer
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame[28] Composer, sound designer
2011 DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu[citation needed] Composer
Mighty Milky Way Composer, sound designer
BloodRayne: Betrayal Composer, sound designer
Centipede: Infestation Composer
Mighty Switch Force![29] Composer
Otomedius Excellent[citation needed]
Saints Row: The Third Additional audio
2012 Retro City Rampage Composer
Darkstalkers Resurrection[citation needed]
Double Dragon Neon[30] Composer
Adventure Time: Hey Ice King! Why'd You Steal Our Garbage?!! Composer
Silent Hill: Book of Memories Composer
2013 Adventure Time: Explore the Dungeon Because I Don't Know! Composer
Mighty Switch Force! 2[31] Composer
DuckTales: Remastered[32] Composer
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land Composer
Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge[citation needed]
2014 Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster Composer
Shovel Knight Composer
Boot Hill Heroes: Part One[33]
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse[34] Composer
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze Composer
2015 Adventures of Pip[35] Composer
Supreme League of Patriots[36] Composer, sound design, bass, guitar
Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! Composer
Vanguard V[37] Composer (main theme)
Legend of Kay Anniversary Composer
2016 Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Composer
Pulsar Arena[38] Composer
Crypt of the Necrodancer Composer (alternate soundtrack)
2018 Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night Composer
TBA [NUREN] The New Renaissance Composer

Film[edit]

Other work[edit]

  • FX (2001) [39]
  • FX 2.0 (2002)[40][41]
  • FX3 (2006)[42]
  • Kwakfest (compilation album, 2008)[43]
  • FX4 (2012)[44]
  • FX3 Remastered (2013)[45]
  • Choice Nuggets (compilation album, 2013)[46]
  • Power Overwhelming (2015)[47]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "[NUREN] The New Renaissance". Kickstarter. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  2. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music - Stuff I've Done". Big Lion Music. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  3. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music - Q*Bert (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  4. ^ Mieszkowski, Katharine (2002-03-18). "Hot Salsa Tetris". Salon.com. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  5. ^ Maragos, Nich (2005-10-12). "Gaming's Rhapsody: Fifth Movement". 1UP.com. Retrieved 2010-01-04. 
  6. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music - Game Soundtracks". Big Lion Music. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  7. ^ a b Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music - About". Big Lion Music. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  8. ^ Carl, Larson (2009-10-06). "CAVE Music Interview With KETSUI Arrangers". Original Sound Version. Retrieved 2010-12-11. 
  9. ^ a b Kaufman, Jake (2009-11-20). "Big Lion Music - Wessiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide". Big Lion Music. Retrieved 2009-12-27. 
  10. ^ Greening, Chris (2010-09-28). "Jake Kaufman Releases Shantae: Risky's Revenge Album". Square Enix Music Online. Retrieved 2010-09-28. 
  11. ^ Napolitano, Jayson (2012-02-23). "OSV Composer of the Year Award 2011: Jake Kaufman". Original Sound Version. Retrieved 2012-02-23. 
  12. ^ Greening, Chris (2014-11-01). "Jake Kaufman becomes freelance composer and game designer". Game Music Online. Retrieved 2014-11-15. 
  13. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Q*Bert (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  14. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Drymouth (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  15. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "M&Ms Minis Madness (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  16. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "David Beckham Soccer (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  17. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Atlantis - The Lost Empire (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  18. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "X-Blade Inline Skater (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  19. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "The Scorpion King - Sword of Osiris (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  20. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Karnaaj Rally (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  21. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Godzilla: Domination (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  22. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Shantae (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  23. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Micro Machines (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  24. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Rugrats: Gotta Go Party (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 18 January 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  25. ^ Kaufman, Jake (29 June 2007). "d:\virt\work\contra\ds\". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  26. ^ Kaufman, Jake (21 June 2009). "Happy Father's Day!". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 24 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  27. ^ Kaufman, Jake (27 September 2010). "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Original Soundtrack". Bandcamp. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  28. ^ Kaufman, Jake (15 September 2010). "Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Videogame: The Release!". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 22 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  29. ^ Kaufman, Jake (22 December 2011). "Mighty Switch Force OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  30. ^ Kaufman, Jake (11 September 2012). "Double Dragon Neon". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  31. ^ Kaufman, Jake (14 June 2013). "Mighty Switch Force 2 OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  32. ^ Sarkar, Samit (22 March 2013). "DuckTales Remastered announced by Capcom, launching this summer on XBLA, PSN, Wii U eShop for $15". Polygon. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  33. ^ Kaufman, Jake (11 April 2014). "Boot Hill Heroes OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  34. ^ Kaufman, Jake (24 October 2014). "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  35. ^ Kaufman, Jake (11 June 2015). "Adventures of Pip OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  36. ^ Kaufman, Jake (16 March 2016). "Supreme League of Patriots". Bandcamp. Retrieved 18 March 2016. 
  37. ^ Moravetz, Justin (8 October 2014). "Jake Kaufman creates another musical track for Vanguard V". Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  38. ^ Kaufman, Jake (14 May 2015). "PULSAR ARENA OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved 1 September 2015. 
  39. ^ "Virt – FX EP {mtk060} Netlabel Archive". Monotonik. Retrieved 20 June 2016. 
  40. ^ "FX 2.0". Monotonik. Archived from the original on 16 July 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  41. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "FX 2.0". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on 9 July 2009. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  42. ^ "Virt: FX3". 8bitpeoples. 2006. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  43. ^ Kaufman, Jake (16 November 2008). "Kwakfest". Bandcamp. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  44. ^ Kaufman, Jake (1 March 2012). "FX4". Bandcamp. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  45. ^ Kaufman, Jake (4 June 2013). "FX3 Remastered". Bandcamp. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  46. ^ Kaufman, Jake (28 August 2013). "Choice Nuggets". Bandcamp. Retrieved 21 August 2015. 
  47. ^ "Big Bad Bosses: About". Big Bad Bosses. Retrieved 1 February 2016. 

External links[edit]