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Jacob 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 the Shantae series, Contra 4, Red Faction: Guerrilla, DuckTales: Remastered, and Shovel Knight.

Jake Kaufman
JakeKaufman.jpg
Kaufman in 2009
Background information
Birth nameJacob Kaufman
Also known asvirt
virtjk
Born (1981-04-03) April 3, 1981 (age 38)
GenresVideo game music, chiptune
Occupation(s)Composer, sound designer
Years active2000–present
LabelsBig Lion Music
Associated actsDale North

BiographyEdit

Kaufman was born on April 3, 1981. He dropped out of high school, with what he describes as "a total lack of work ethic and no concept of timeliness or organization."[1] 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.[2] 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 hosted video game music remixes.[3]

 
Kaufman at Notacon in 2009

During 2002–2005, Kaufman's career as a video game music composer began to take off. By 2005, he was a full-time freelance video game composer.[4] He continued to compose music to increasingly big-name projects, such as Contra 4 and TMNT in 2007 and Red Faction: Guerrilla in 2009; he described composing the soundtrack to a Contra game and a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles game as his "lifelong dream".[5] Kaufman contributed a track to the official arranged album of music from Ketsui: Kizuna Jigoku Tachi.[6] He was a full-time employee of Volition while working on Red Faction, but in January 2010, he left the company to become the "lead audio guy" for WayForward, for which he had already composed several soundtracks such as those of Shantae and Contra 4.[7] For WayForward he first composed the soundtrack to Shantae: Risky's Revenge, the sequel to the game he worked on ten years prior.[8] 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.[9] Kaufman lives with his puggle Nugget in northern Los Angeles.[5][7]

 
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.[10] 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 was planned to be a full-length music album, accompanied by music videos that users would experience using a head-mounted display such as the Oculus Rift. The proposed music and videos were set in a post-war future society where androids cater to humanity's needs; two prototype androids named QGK and RIX were planned as the main subjects of the project. In March 2015, the project was successfully funded with $76,950 raised.[11] The project was slated to arrive to Kickstarter backers in February 2016. In his August 2016 Kickstarter update, Kaufman cited "contracting work" and a "ridiculous client workload" as obstacles to completing [NUREN]. Kaufman now broadcasts bi-weekly live development sessions via his Twitch channel.[citation needed]

WorksEdit

Video gamesEdit

Year Game Role
2000 Q*bert (GBC)[12] Composer
Drymouth (GBC)[13] Composer
M&M's Minis Madness (GBC)[14] Composer
2001 Tennis Masters Series (PSX)
David Beckham Soccer (GBC/GBA)[15] Composer
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire? (GBC)
Atlantis: The Lost Empire (GBA)[16] Composer
X-Blade Inline Skater (GBA)[17] Composer
2002 The Scorpion King: Sword of Osiris (GBA)[18] Composer
Karnaaj Rally (GBA)[19] Composer, sound effects
Godzilla: Domination (GBA)[20] Composer
Shantae (GBC)[21] Composer
Micro Machines (GBA)[22] Composer
Hardcore Pinball (GBA)[citation needed]
Rugrats: I Gotta Go Party (GBA)[23] 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)[24] 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[25] 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[26] Composer
Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame[27] Composer, sound designer
2011 DoDonPachi DaiFukkatsu[28][29] Composer (Black Label Arrange)
SpongeBob SquigglePants Composer
Thor: God of Thunder (DS) Composer
Mighty Milky Way Composer, sound designer
BloodRayne: Betrayal Composer, sound designer
Centipede: Infestation Composer
Mighty Switch Force![30] Composer
Otomedius Excellent[31][32]
Saints Row: The Third Additional audio
2012 Retro City Rampage Composer
Darkstalkers Resurrection[33] Composer
Double Dragon Neon[34] 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[35] Composer
DuckTales: Remastered[36] Composer
Regular Show: Mordecai and Rigby in 8-Bit Land Composer
Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge[37]
2014 Wonder Momo: Typhoon Booster Composer
Shovel Knight Composer
Boot Hill Heroes: Part One[38]
Shantae and the Pirate's Curse[39] Composer
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Danger of the Ooze Composer
2015 Adventures of Pip[40] Composer
Supreme League of Patriots[41] Composer, sound design, bass, guitar
Mighty Switch Force! Hose It Down! Composer
Vanguard V[42] Composer (main theme)
Legend of Kay Anniversary Composer
2016 Pulsar Arena[43] Composer
Crypt of the Necrodancer Composer (alternate soundtrack)
Shantae: Half-Genie Hero Composer
Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche[44] Composer
TBA [NUREN] The New Renaissance Composer
Cyber Shadow[45] Music producer

FilmEdit

TelevisionEdit

Other workEdit

  • FX (2001) [46]
  • FX 2.0 (2002)[47][48]
  • FX3 (2006)[49]
  • Kwakfest (compilation album, 2008)[50]
  • Kind of Bloop (2009), the track “Freddie Freeloader”[51]
  • FX4 (2012)[52]
  • FX3 Remastered (2013)[53]
  • Balance and Ruin (OC ReMix Final Fantasy VI cover compilation album, 2013)[54]
  • Choice Nuggets (compilation album, 2013)[55]
  • Power Overwhelming (2015)[56]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music – Stuff I've Done". Big Lion Music. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  2. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music – Q*Bert (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  3. ^ Mieszkowski, Katharine (March 18, 2002). "Hot Salsa Tetris". Salon.com. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved December 27, 2009. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  4. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music – Game Soundtracks". Big Lion Music. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  5. ^ a b Kaufman, Jake. "Big Lion Music – About". Big Lion Music. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  6. ^ Carl, Larson (October 6, 2009). "CAVE Music Interview With KETSUI Arrangers". Original Sound Version. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  7. ^ a b Kaufman, Jake (November 20, 2009). "Big Lion Music – Wessiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiide". Big Lion Music. Retrieved December 27, 2009.
  8. ^ Greening, Chris (September 28, 2010). "Jake Kaufman Releases Shantae: Risky's Revenge Album". Square Enix Music Online. Archived from the original on August 15, 2012. Retrieved September 28, 2010. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  9. ^ Napolitano, Jayson (February 23, 2012). "OSV Composer of the Year Award 2011: Jake Kaufman". Original Sound Version. Retrieved February 23, 2012.
  10. ^ Greening, Chris (November 1, 2014). "Jake Kaufman becomes freelance composer and game designer". Game Music Online. Retrieved November 15, 2014.
  11. ^ "[NUREN] The New Renaissance". Kickstarter. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  12. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Q*Bert (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  13. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Drymouth (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  14. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "M&Ms Minis Madness (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  15. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "David Beckham Soccer (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  16. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Atlantis – The Lost Empire (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  17. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "X-Blade Inline Skater (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  18. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "The Scorpion King – Sword of Osiris (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  19. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Karnaaj Rally (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  20. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Godzilla: Domination (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  21. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Shantae (GBC)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  22. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Micro Machines (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  23. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "Rugrats: Gotta Go Party (GBA)". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on January 18, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  24. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 29, 2007). "d:\virt\work\contra\ds\". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  25. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 21, 2009). "Happy Father's Day!". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on August 24, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  26. ^ Kaufman, Jake (September 27, 2010). "Shantae: Risky's Revenge Original Soundtrack". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  27. ^ Kaufman, Jake (September 15, 2010). "Batman: The Brave and the Bold: The Videogame: The Release!". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on August 22, 2014. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  28. ^ http://store.steampowered.com/app/550382/
  29. ^ http://vgmdb.net/album/23844
  30. ^ Kaufman, Jake (December 22, 2011). "Mighty Switch Force OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  31. ^ https://www.destructoid.com/otomedius-x-s-soundtrack-features-28-artists-120-tracks-195024.phtml
  32. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wH8RTXAVJJ0
  33. ^ Jimenez, Rey (March 23, 2013). "DuckTales Interview: How Do You Improve Perfection? – PAX East 2013". IGN. 3:40. Retrieved April 9, 2017.
  34. ^ Kaufman, Jake (September 11, 2012). "Double Dragon Neon". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  35. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 14, 2013). "Mighty Switch Force 2 OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  36. ^ Sarkar, Samit (March 22, 2013). "DuckTales Remastered announced by Capcom, launching this summer on XBLA, PSN, Wii U eShop for $15". Polygon. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  37. ^ Rasa, Chris (October 12, 2015). "Ultionus: A Tale of Petty Revenge". Hardcore Gaming 101. Retrieved April 22, 2019.
  38. ^ Kaufman, Jake (April 11, 2014). "Boot Hill Heroes OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved December 14, 2015.
  39. ^ Kaufman, Jake (October 24, 2014). "Shantae and the Pirate's Curse OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  40. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 11, 2015). "Adventures of Pip OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  41. ^ Kaufman, Jake (March 16, 2016). "Supreme League of Patriots". Bandcamp. Retrieved March 18, 2016.
  42. ^ Moravetz, Justin (October 8, 2014). "Jake Kaufman creates another musical track for Vanguard V". Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  43. ^ Kaufman, Jake (May 14, 2015). "PULSAR ARENA OST". Bandcamp. Retrieved September 1, 2015.
  44. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 5, 2016). "Cat Girl Without Salad: Amuse-Bouche – Extra Crispy or Original Soundtrack". Bandcamp. Retrieved March 9, 2017.
  45. ^ Doolan, Liam (March 28, 2019). "Yacht Club Games Reveals Cyber Shadow, A Thrilling New 8-Bit Ninja Platformer". Nintendo Life. Nlife Media. Retrieved April 19, 2019.
  46. ^ "Virt – FX EP {mtk060} Netlabel Archive". Monotonik. Retrieved June 20, 2016.
  47. ^ "FX 2.0". Monotonik. Archived from the original on July 16, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  48. ^ Kaufman, Jake. "FX 2.0". Big Lion Music. Archived from the original on July 9, 2009. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  49. ^ "Virt: FX3". 8bitpeoples. 2006. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  50. ^ Kaufman, Jake (November 16, 2008). "Kwakfest". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  51. ^ Baio, Andy. "Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue". Wayback Machine archive of KindOfBloop.com. Archived from the original on August 28, 2009. Retrieved September 13, 2017. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown (link)
  52. ^ Kaufman, Jake (March 1, 2012). "FX4". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  53. ^ Kaufman, Jake (June 4, 2013). "FX3 Remastered". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  54. ^ Hamilton, Kirk. "Hell Yes, It's OC Remix's Mondo Musical Tribute To Final Fantasy VI". Kotaku. Retrieved July 28, 2017.
  55. ^ Kaufman, Jake (August 28, 2013). "Choice Nuggets". Bandcamp. Retrieved August 21, 2015.
  56. ^ "Big Bad Bosses: About". Big Bad Bosses. Retrieved February 1, 2016.

External linksEdit