A Spinterview With PickPig: Beathold Ballads

"pick this article is mid-30s, but its very fun"

The beathold is the final mechanic that players learn for Spin Rhythm XD. Introduced and used exclusively in the game’s XD difficulty, it’s a mechanic that’s easy to pick up but hard to master, both for charters and players. For PickPig, mastery of the beathold is essential.

Recognized for their distinctive style with frequent beatholds, PickPig’s library has evolved quite a lot in a short time. Gaining attention for their early UNDERTALE charts and, of all things, Club Penguin charts, they would catch more eyes with their Sungazer charts before firmly cementing themselves in the SpinShare community with their showcase of Anomalie’s Métropole Part II album – all of which existed alongside some of the highest-effort meme charts such as do it all over again, aint got rhythm but he really aint got rhythm and Thanos Beatbox Solo, among others.

I’ve Had Enough Of You – Daniel Ingram & Michael Kovach | Charted by PickPig

With such a reputation attained in such a short amount of time, PickPig has become a staple of the charting scene, proving themselves capable of creating charts that are full of variety, creativity, and most importantly – charts that are fun to play, and of doing it all over again. I talked with PickPig to understand just what keeps their charts on our minds.

What got you into Spin Rhythm XD? How did you find out about it?

The first time I saw SRXD mentioned was when Lena Raine (Celeste’s composer) put out a teaser of her Beyond The Heart remix that was being put into the base game and immediately thought “Woah… this song is a banger 😳”, so coming from Celeste, I kinda felt obliged to pick up the game.

I had it on my wishlist for a few months until April when one of my friends bought the game and asked me “yo, when are you actually gonna buy this game?”, so I bought it, and it sure has been the best £15 I’ve spent in a while.

What made you decide to chart for Spin Rhythm?

Honestly, I’m not sure. The first chart I ever made was Mayday by TheFatRat (which nobody else has ever played, this was the OLD old version that was never uploaded) because I was active in JayMoji’s community who used that as his stream’s intro/outro music. It took me a while for me to actually get attached to charting. I wish I took better record of how I got myself into this game and community.

What’s your general process behind a chart? What makes you decide you want to chart a song, and what about that song influences the chart’s overall design?

My song selection method is either:

> listens to a song
> has 1100 hours in srxd so cant help but visualise patterns
> "this would make a fun chart"


> doesnt want to spend money on music
> "which game osts do i have that i could chart from"
> *looks at celeste, splatoon and undertale
> "this would make a fun chart"
Scattered and Lost – Lena Raine | Charted by PickPig

90% of the time, the decision of whether a song would make a fun chart or not comes down to how much variety the song has (unless it’s music that makes you poop but those are exceptions). Take Scattered and Lost, it’s a 6-minute song which would normally be a burden to chart, but there’s so
much variety in it that it feels more like charting 3 individual 2-minute songs. When actually charting the song, I hardly ever think about chart structure, which is somewhat of a flaw because it makes my charts very hit-or-miss; once I’m done with a pattern, I don’t touch it ever again unless I come back in a few months to do a clean-up.

Is there any way that you would describe your charting style? What makes it unique, and what makes it similar when compared to other charters?

PickPig 01/14/2020
short answer

Long answer, I use beatholds not only for the common uses such as beathold releases combined with spins for snares, long pad synth sounds and the like, but also cymbals and generally where there’s a point in the song where a beathold into release would give more emphasis than just 2 beats. There’s not really any method to my addiction to the feeling of beathold releases.

Are there any other charts or charters that you look to for inspiration in your charts?

My inspiration changes on a chart-by-chart basis. My One Hope chart drew a lot of inspiration from Darnoc’s Lose My Mind chart, as well as Beat Saber’s Expert+ chart of the song. I really wanted to keep the polyrhythms that KNOWER uses a LOT in their songs. Splattack! (Octo) was me experimenting trying to replicate the 50+ charting styles of PUPA and Satellite, which is way different from what I’m used to charting, and my Anomalie showcase was obviously inspired by juch.’s previous Anomalie showcase.

A fair amount of people, yourself included to an extent, would consider your early charting career to have been rather hit and miss, and then suddenly becoming consistently great. Do you think there was any reason for this, or was it just a simple matter of “i got gud at charting lmao”?

PickPig 01/14/2020
the latter

Your charts tend to incorporate quite a lot of beats, whether they’re constant beats, or complex beat-tap patterns; you’ve probably broken at least one or two spacebars by now. Is there any particular reason you’re drawn to beats?

Surprisingly, my keyboard is still entirely intact, actual trooper. As for the reason why I chart so many beats, its mainly just that I want to represent as many parts of the song as possible in my charts, which is why you rarely see me release a chart below 30 difficulty. It has to be a VERY relaxed song for me to make it easy.

And of course, we couldn’t forget about the beatholds. That hexagon’s top left corner is almost always maxed out on your charts. Why the fascination with beatholds?

Checkpoint VII – Megadimension Checkpointia VII – Nitronia Fun & Hyperdimension Potions | Charted by PickPig

PickPig 01/14/2020
pressing the X key down for beats is cool and all
but the real satisfaction comes from lifting it back up again. feel that RELEASE!
it’s like yo finger dancin on the keyboard.
this is an open request to every charter to chart more beatholds.

Your meme charts are honest to god, the stuff of legends. Me, juch., and Jimbo tend to operate on a “quantity over quality” mindset, which seems to be the opposite of yours. You put so much effort into your meme charts that the line between meme chart and regular chart gets increasingly blurred. Why do you put so much effort into meme charts?

PickPig 01/14/2020
the contrast between what feels like a normal chart and 💩 makes it all the more funny
if my normal charts are trying to make the chart feel like the sounds in the song, my meme charts are just the next evolution of that

Continuing from the previous question, you’ve even made tournament edits from some of these meme charts. What motivated these edits – wha – why blur the line between meme and regular chart even further with these tournament edits?

Thanos Beatbox Solo (Tournament Edit) – Verbal ASE | Charted by PickPig

PickPig 01/14/2020
“wouldn’t it be funny to see thanos beatbox solo in a tournament”
and then it all went on from there.
Thanos beatbox solo tournament edit is honestly one of the charts I’m most proud of just because the chart fits the beatbox SO WELL its uncanny, if you play with note tick sounds on its almost 1:1

I think the charts that really put you on people’s radars early in your charting career would be your UNDERTALE and A Hat In Time charts. What made you want to chart the soundtracks to these games? Looking back at them, how do you feel about these charts nowadays?

At the time of charting them, I was so proud of them but now… I’m kind of embarrassed to think that I was proud of them LOL like, there are so many CTM unfriendly patterns in all of them apart from ASGORE which is the only one which I saw hope in, at least that one is actually really damn fun. I think a few weeks back I unlisted most of the Undertale and Hat in Time charts. A lot of new people to SpinShare probably look for Undertale charts, and I’d hate for someone’s first impressions of the customs community to be Death Wish 🙁

PickPig 01/14/2020
it’s not a good first impression

One of your biggest projects is the Metropole Part II showcase, part I of which had previously been charted by juch.. Anomalie’s music is also known for the slight imperfections in his music, which generally translates to unquantized / offset notes for that MIDI accurate charting – often in stark contrast to the general tone of the music. How did the showcase come to fruition? What made you decide to chart the full album, knowing full well of the challenges associated with charting Anomalie?

Fun fact, when I just got into charting, I was going to chart the entirety of Metropole Part I but just as I started the charts, juch. started uploading his charts, so I had to drop that idea, but I still really wanted to chart Anomalie, because I was listening to probably too much of his music around that
time. I think I listened to Daybreak 50 times one day, absolute banger.

Odyssée was the first Anomalie song I charted, probably due to it being a midpoint between more regularly timed EDM and the rest of his discography, so it was the easiest one for me to chart at the time. That got me ready to tackle the improv piano-heavy album that is Metropole Part II.

ΛII 05 – Notre-Dame Ouest – Anomalie | Charted by PickPig

Looking back at the showcase now, I’m only proud of a few charts. Most of the songs were kinda rushed… if I remember correctly, I was charting 2 songs a day, so they definitely need a clean-up.

In the same vein of jazzy-influenced music, you’ve also done a fair number of Sungazer charts. Much like Anomalie, there’s an interesting challenge in charting accurately and charting with…interesting time signatures. Again, what about Sungazer appealed to you for charting, in spite of the challenges associated with this type of music?

Sungazer was actually a lot easier to chart than Anomalie. Whereas Anomalie is improvised piano, Sungazer takes one core rhythmic idea and sticks with it, sort of like a unique gimmick for each song. It makes charting a lot easier when you know that say, the entire song is in straight 9/8, or 15/16 in 4/3/4/4 subdivisions. It’s also just fun to chart Sungazer, irregular time signatures are cool, and Shawn Crowder’s drumming has a lot of complex rhythms that make really fun beat-tap patterns, like in Bird on the Wing.

There’s also the occasional sprinkling of songs from other video games. The three I’m interested in are Club Penguin, Splatoon, and Celeste. Celeste is easy to understand your interest in given your history in Celeste speedrunning. Splatoon has a ton of fantastic bangers as well. Club Penguin sticks out because it’s such an out-there choice. What about these games stood out for you to chart their soundtracks?

I speedran a bit of Splatoon 2 too! Octo Expansion speedruns are really fun 🙂 and I’ve been in a lot of Splatoon content creator’s communities, so the OST is completely embedded in me.

imfallinfree 01/14/2020
please answer the club penguin one
i really want to know

Penguin Band Boogie – Club Penguin OST | Charted by PickPig

How the Club Penguin charts came about is a long story. I think it came around due to an argument I had with my friends over which colour was the best puffle, and then it devolved into stanning puffles and making fancams for them, and I guess while we were looking for music to use, I was reminded of the tracks you could mix in the DJ minigame and play in the Stepmania minigame, and they kinda slap, so y’know, “hey this would make a good chart”.

PickPig 01/14/2020
we stan white puffle btw 💅

Credit to @sajiarts on Twitter.

imfallinfree 01/14/2020
why are there puffle fancams

PickPig 01/14/2020
we stan white puffle 💅

Are there any other artists or songs that you love outside of Spin Rhythm? Any that you want to chart, but just haven’t gotten around to yet – or you just don’t think their music would be a good fit for Spin Rhythm?

Most of the Celeste OST!!!!!!!! I’m sad that so many of the songs are way too low energy for speen 🙁 but if [they] would fit I would absolutely chart them. The Golden Ridge and Reflection B-Side remixes by in love with a ghost and Jukio Kallio are so good but I don’t get any immediate pattern inspirations from listening to them.

Alright, now let’s finish up. Of your charts, are there any that you’re particularly proud of? Which one was the most fun for you to chart?

ASGORE – Toby Fox | Charted by PickPig

Unironically, I love Thanos Beatbox Solo. Other than that, ASGORE is the chart that probably means the most to me, it was the first chart of mine that actually got a lot of attention and made people aware of me and my charts. Even Metal made a showcase video of it 🙂 that was a big ego boost lol

Any charts that you consider your favourite, or any that you feel got overlooked?

smb’s Turn Around chart kinda got slept on tbh, that chart is so good. smb’s charts in general get somewhat slept on, probably because he releases them so quickly, so nobody gets the chance to play them all lmao

Are there any patterns that you’re fond of charting or playing?

PickPig 01/14/2020
the patterns i’m fond of charting

As for patterns that I’m fond of playing, now that I’ve picked up a turntable, any pattern involving spins (unless its really fast spins, looking at you g4 :smileHD:) feels REALLY fun to play on turntable, and I can see why smb is so insistent on people playing turntable, because it is honestly by far the most fun playstyle. There’s not really any pattern that isn’t fun on turntable…well, apart from movement after liftoff and really fast movement into taps, but it’s rare even for freewheel players to chart them now.

Anything that you have to say about the SpinShare community?

I’m so glad I started to chat in the Discord server, this is by far the most community involved I’ve ever been in a game community, I care y’all 🙂

Any advice that you’d like to give for charters?

Don’t stress about whether your first charts are your magnum opus. If you look back on them in a few months and realise that they’re terrible, that’s ok. We’re happy to playtest charts if you need a second opinion on something.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?

PickPig 01/14/2020
play celeste

One last thing: one pattern must be made illegal. Which pattern is now illegal?

Earthlevel background. not even a pattern, but in all seriousness that background is so much brighter than the rest of them.

imfallinfree 01/14/2020
I lied, just one more thing I want to ask – Squid Sisters or Off The Hook?

PickPig 01/14/2020
(the one from splatoon not bazinga guy)

imfallinfree 01/14/2020
thank you for clarifying


Spin Rhythm XD charter and SSSO Playtester. Interviewer for SpinShare.

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