Max Gleason, better known by his stage name of Smooth McGroove, is a YouTuber known for recording re-arranged a cappella versions of video game music. His videos feature multiple videos of himself, recording each part, often complemented by a video of the relevant game being played and the appearance of his cat Charl.
Gleason's musical career began when he was eleven years old and began playing the drums. He eventually started teaching private music lessons to support himself. In college, Gleason began recording some MIDI tracks and posting them on MySpace, but never got much recognition for them. Later, he and some friends of his started a rock band, and in addition to being the drummer, he was responsible for the audio mixing. The band fell apart, and a few years later, Gleason decided to do more music. He began rapping about video games, and he gradually moved to auto-tuned cappella music.
Gleason has recorded music from many popular video game series, including The Legend of Zelda, Super Mario, Sonic the Hedgehog, Final Fantasy, Mega Man, and Street Fighter. Gleason's videos have garnered millions of views, and he eventually left his job giving private music lessons to focus fully on his a cappella videos. When asked about working with more modern tracks, he sided against it, stating that "music for video games today serve a more atmospheric role with less of a focus on memorable melodies". He noted that the Elder Scrolls series was an exception.
On January 22, 2015, Gleason was featured on Episode 2 of the Reddit podcast Upvoted. Gleason recounted how his musical career began, and how he suddenly gained the attention and viewers that eventually allowed him to pursue making music as a full-time career.
- VGM Acapella: Volume 1 (2013) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 2 (2013) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 3 (2013) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 4 (2014) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 5 (2014) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 6 (2014) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 7 (2015) 
- Undertale Acapella (2016) 
- VGM Acapella: Volume 8 (2016) 
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- Fenn, Mike. "Smooth McGroove: How a bearded gamer became YouTube's next big star". Daily Dot. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
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- Ponce, Tony (2013-03-03). "Bearded dude performs amazing Zelda a cappellas". Destructoid. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- Futter, Mike (2013-10-21). "Smooth McGroove Leads Us To Final Fantasy VII Victory". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- Vas, Gergo (2013-05-04). "Mega Man X's Spark Mandrill Theme, In An Amazing A Capella". Kotaku. Retrieved 2014-02-16.
- Helgeson, Matt (2014-06-19). "Smooth McGroove Tackles Street Fighter". Game Informer. Retrieved 2014-06-20.
- Cornell, David. "YouTube User Smooth McGroove Talks Quitting His Day Job". The Inquisitr. Retrieved 1 June 2013.
- Hilliard, Kyle (September 9, 2013). "How Smooth Got His McGroove – The Introverted Acapella YouTube Artist". Game Informer. Retrieved 11 September 2013.
- Savage, Phil (19 February 2014). "Starbound patch prepares for daily content updates, adds Smooth McGroove". Future Publishing, Ltd. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Hillier, Brenna (19 February 2014). "Starbound updated, one more universe wipe expected". vg247. Retrieved 11 August 2014.
- Did You Know Gaming? (2014-02-22). "F-Zero - Did You Know Gaming? Feat. Smooth McGroove". Normal Boots. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
- "Episode 2 - The Story of /u/SmoothMcGroove : Upvoted". Reddit. January 22, 2015. Retrieved February 9, 2015.