What is Nightcore?

For Nightcore discussion in general.

What is Nightcore?

Postby Kirby » August 8th, 2011, 9:32 pm

I was extremely disappointed by the lack of validity of Nightcore definitions on Urban Dictionary, highest rated comments, or otherwise. It's clear that there is popular misconceptions about what Nightcore really is, and me as well as others who have been in the Nightcore community since the beginning would like to clear this matter up.

If you don't like reading, the first paragraph will probably be more than enough.
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A song that is labeled as "Nightcore" is a techno/trance/dance song that has been modified from an original song - it differs from that song in that its tempo and pitch has been raised. These levels are usually around 20-30%, and are raised simultaneously. Please note that a song need not be anything more than a speed increase in order for it to qualify as a "Nightcore" song.
A coined term for Nightcore is that it is a raise of speed and pitch. Although this is commonly used, it is not correct, since the very definition of "speed" is a combination of both tempo and pitch. Therefore, "Nightcore" can be seen as a glorified term for "speed edits" of techno/trance/dance songs.

Let me explain where the term "Nightcore" came from. Nightcore is an artist. It is composed of two boys from Alta, Norway; Thomas S Nilsen (a.k.a. DJ TNT) and Steffen Ojala Søderholm (a.k.a. DJ SOS). The group was formed in 2002 and released five known albums of tracks with raised tempo and pitch. These albums were composed of purely electronic tracks with an emphasis on techno, trance, and dance music. However, the tracklistings of these albums are unknown and not all of the songs reached the Internet or were distributed past their hometown. Most of what was known about them can be pulled from their old defunct website, viewable through Wayback Archive: click here.

After 2003, the group disappeared. No news or releases came from them. The only information regarding them came from a fanmade MySpace page easily accessible through Google search. The Bio was copied from the group's aforementioned website before it went down. There was no known way to contact them.
Years passed, and video-sharing sites such as YouTube sprung up. Tracks from the Nightcore group were uploaded on YouTube (it is unknown who first did), and steadily gained popularity. As these videos gained millions of views, Nightcore was "exposed" as having produced none of the tracks themselves, being mere speed edits (the group never openly admitted this). Anyone with basic sound editors could create songs exactly how Nightcore did.

So, that was what people started to do. Electronic (mainly techno, trance, and dance) songs were edited in Nightcore's "style" and uploaded on YouTube, being labeled as Nightcore songs. This practice still continues to this day, and YouTube is now home to tens of thousands of fan-made Nightcore songs.

Recently, in 2011, Nightcore has reappeared with the help of One Vibe Events, who sought them out to appear at a show in Phoenix, Arizona. Nightcore released a new single, Astral Plane and planned to play a new Norwegian song at this show. Unfortunately, Nightcore did not end up appearing at the show due to scheduling issues although, having returned, may appear at other shows in the future. They have an official Facebook page where they interact with their large fanbase that sprouted during the many years they were absent.

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Common questions/criticisms regarding Nightcore are addressed in the spoilers below.
If you are uncertain on certain Nightcore aspects or don't appreciate the practice, you are advised to read on.

QUESTIONS:
Spoiler: show
Q: Did someone named Nightcore produce all the songs labeled "Nightcore" on YouTube?

A: No. As explained above, Nightcore IS an artist. However, they inspired a style of editing songs that extended way past the amount of songs they edited themselves. Not all of their songs have surfaced on the Internet; the ones that did are listed below.

5 Elements
All I Want For Christmas
Another Night
Astral Plane
Breathe Without You
Dam Dadi Doo
Destiny
Don't Say Goodbye
Don't You
Don't Let Me Down
Du och Jag
Fallin'
Feel the Stars
Find My Way To You
Forever
Hater Å Elske Deg
Here In My Heart
History
Into The Sky
Life Is A Mystery
Look At Me Now
Lucky Star
My Name Is Rose
Now I'm Free
Promised Land
Rainbow
Reaching Out
Sending S.O.S.
Stop That Time
Ta Sama Chwila
Take Me
Trip 2 Wonderland
Walk Alone
Where Are You Now
Why
Will My Heart Survive
Without You
Wriemia Agniej

**Field of Dreams is commonly attributed to the Nightcore group, although this is incorrect! This song was made by Force & Styles and has not been modified.
All I'm Dreaming Of has sometimes been thought of to originate from the original group, but it is fan-made. This is confirmed.

Basically, Nightcore should only be referred to as an artist when talking about any of those songs. For all other songs, Nightcore should be referred to as a "style".

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Q: What's the difference between Nightcore, Nightcore II, Nightcore III, MT Nightcore, NightcoreRC, etc.?

A: There is no difference. The latter names exist because uploaders would prefer to separate their Nightcore songs from others, but universally they are all created using the same method (raising tempo and pitch).

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Q: Does remaking a song into Nightcore qualify as remixing it?

A: A remix is an altered version of an original song. Nightcore is raising the tempo and pitch of an original song, therefore it is remixing it. The term "remixing" does not imply the amount of effort made into editing a song.
Feel free to disagree with me, though. Remixing seems to be a loose term these days.

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Q: Can record labels/producers file copyright complaints on Nightcore songs?

A: Although Nightcore songs usually get past YouTube's Content ID Program, Nightcore videos can and have been taken down as frequently as all other songs do. Naming these songs "Nightcore" may make the video harder to find, but nevertheless Nightcore has gained some familiarity in the recording industry, and in a negative sense (see Criticism)

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Q: Why does every Nightcore video have an anime/anime-related picture in it?

A: It is unclear how this started - it can only be assumed that whoever uploaded the first Nightcore videos did this, creating a trend. Of course, it's not a crime to use different pictures, although it might be a bit unusual considering it has become tradition.

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Q: Is Nightcore a genre?

A: Some people like to call it an unofficial genre; I believe it can be described better as a style, mainly because not all Nightcore songs share an identical sound or feel. Compare Hymn to Freefalling to see what I mean.
Songs produced by the Nightcore group can be categorized as happy hardcore with distinctive female vocals.

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Q: How can I create my own Nightcore songs?

A: This is very easy to do and there is a tutorial on this forum regarding it, being one of our most viewed threads.

CRITICISM: <- MUST READ!
Spoiler: show
C: Nightcore is immoral because it strips the original artist of their hard work.

A: This is one of the most common criticisms regarding Nightcore. In our defense, Nightcore videos have followed the same naming format for years now and if anyone were to change it to credit the original artists, their videos may become much harder to search up and find. Nightcore has grown to be a very recognizable tag.

Furthermore, the title of a video does not always nor does not have to implicate the artist of the song. Sure, you could argue that the artist of the song should be obvious and not "obscured", but in many other cases, it is. Think of songs included in DJ mixtapes or ones played on radio stations/shows.

There are several videos on YouTube that name the genre of the song and the song title (e.g. Trance - Flying High). Do you see anything wrong with this? I can't for the life of me understand why these videos aren't getting scrutinized in the same manner.
Trance does not refer to an artist. It refers to a genre.
Nightcore does not refer to an artist, either. It refers to a quote-unquote genre.

No one ever thinks Trance, Techno, Hardstyle, Hardcore, etc. is the name of an artist. Some people are so fed up with Nightcore because they think its use implies thievery, when it does not. The actions of the original Nightcore group may be questionable, but it's ridiculous how Nightcore uploaders are getting attacked simply because of the way they name their videos.

There is absolutely no standard in place telling you that you HAVE to include the name of an artist in the video title. There are an immeasurable amount of music uploaders on YouTube who do not do this; XxImmortalmagexX, GilvaSunner, HDSoundI and Spac3Trance just to name a few.
Who are you to be telling people what to do, anyways? There's a good chance that if you're reading this, you are NOT an artist, and thus you're in little right to speak for them. Dozens of producers/labels have commented on Nightcore versions of their songs before and a good amount of them have been perfectly fine with this being done. Others issue take downs on videos regardless of whether the artist name is in the title or not.

It is ALWAYS good practice to leave credit to the original artist in the video/description/tags/annotations so listeners can check out their other work. Sure, there may be Nightcore uploaders that don't do this, but keep in mind that not all of them are like that.

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C: Nightcore sucks! It's made using an extremely cheap method and demonstrates NO talent. Anyone can do it!

A: The reason why songs are remade in the Nightcore style is because people believe that they sound better that way. It's purely for listening pleasure, and in my opinion, this is all that should matter. Furthermore, just because everyone can do it doesn't mean that everyone can do it well. Not all songs sound better that way. Certain songs sound good in the Nightcore style, while others don't. This is why some Nightcore uploaders and songs are more popular than others.

Those who insist that Nightcore is "talentless" or "easy" should try creating/popularizing their own Nightcore channel. Utilizing this logic, each Nightcore uploader should be receiving the same attention/acclaim for what they do. Clearly, this isn't the case. If you cannot provide new, original songs that have been improved by a Nightcore edit, you will not get far.

The majority of those who claim that people who make Nightcore are undeserving of merit or recognition have most likely never tried doing it themselves. If it's so easy, we'd like to see you do it better.

If you like a song, why would you care about the methods used to produce it? If it makes the song sound better, why does it matter if it's easy to do? You may think that Nightcore generally makes songs sound worse, but that is a mere opinion; considering the popularity several Nightcore videos have gotten compared to their originals, many people do not feel the same way.

The simplicity of Nightcore edits is where the beauty of Nightcore comes from; anyone with good taste can create unique songs that appeal to a wide audience with little producing knowledge.

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C: Nightcore is chipmunk crap.

A: Keep in mind that when you put Nightcore under the derogatory term of "chipmunk", you are also discriminating against all songs that have been sped up from their originals (speed edits). This would include a vast variety of songs, such as DJ Satomi's "Waves" or DJ Splash's remix of "Flying High," both of which speed edits (although hardly anyone is aware of the fact that they are!) have been uploaded to YouTube and gained several million views.

Nightcore differs from chipmunk songs because Nightcore is a slight raise of tempo and pitch, while "chipmunking" is a much higher raise of merely pitch. Chipmunk-like pitch is frowned upon within the Nightcore community and this is usually an attribute of poorly-done Nightcore edits.

note: I understand some people may not include someone who merely speeds up songs as part of the definition of an "artist." However, the original Nightcore group was referred to in this post as an artist for the sake of ease of explanation.
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby RanmaruKazimaki » August 8th, 2011, 11:05 pm

Wow, that's most definitly stuff I did not know... Nice research Kirb! ^_^

I guess the saying "You learn something new everyday" IS true. ;)
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Maikel631 » August 9th, 2011, 7:58 am

Very through and informative thread. I endorse this thread ;)
I don't really go here anymore. If you wanna talk, catch me on Skype: maikel6311
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Dubstep Girl » August 14th, 2011, 11:47 am

this should defnitely be put like in a sticky or in some FAQ section or something.

it would clear alot of questions up.

and lol i like how you acknowledged the anime/nightcore association question i bought up like over 2 years ago lol. still theres no clear answer, just a trend that started and grew.
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Grizz » August 14th, 2011, 4:56 pm

good job kirby ^^
I think you should also mention that usually techno songs are used for nightcore. This sounds more like you would nightcore all genres but usually rock, rap, reggae ... nightcored songs dont sound good.
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Kirby » September 8th, 2011, 4:03 am

I've been constantly updating this thread; mainly with major refining in the criticism area. Hopefully if this thread goes around it'll be able to stop some of the scrutiny Nightcore gets on a near-regular basis.
I went ahead and created a short link for this page (http://bit.ly/whatisnightcore) -- if any of you could endorse it for me, that would be great. Maikel already has.
Knowledge is power ..
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby jordesu » September 21st, 2011, 9:28 pm

I'm really surprised you had the time (and motivation) to do all this. Nevertheless though I'm impressed.
You've pretty much covered the backstory to Nightcore and answered all the F.A.Q's ~
Last edited by jordesu on February 27th, 2012, 12:11 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Raver » September 21st, 2011, 10:03 pm

I learned almost everything about Nightcore reading this post. ^-^
This forum is really organized.
We feel the rhythm like it is our heartbeat
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby RaveComing » September 22nd, 2011, 7:24 pm

Should of thought of UD before.

Gonna work on an actual referenciable defenition to post there

Although I have to admit that def 1 is pretty good
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Re: What is Nightcore?

Postby Kirby » September 23rd, 2011, 6:08 am

def 1? You mean this? How is it good?

The type of music that started as a subgenre of trance and is still considered so by many people. Trance fans usually call is happy hardcore. However nightcore fans prefer to not be associated with trance and don't like the idea of naming a "nightcore" as anything else.

Nightcore is characterized by a sped-up melody (sometimes), fast rhythmic beat (usually), and ALWAYS higher than normal pitch. Almost all nightcore music are original songs nightcored (remixed into nightcore) by nightcore fans.

Very popular is a belief that nightcore is a nickname of a person who remixes the songs. In reality anyone who knows how to use a computer can nightcore a song and upload it on Youtube.


Thanks guys.
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