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East Coast USA

I recently downloaded a really nice drum machine off the DSiWare store called "Music on: Drums" and it got me thinking about what counts as "authentic" chip music. Traditionally, Chiptune music is about challenging yourself to work within the limitations of the sound chips in vintage computers (or at least that's my understanding of it), but systems like the NDS and PSP use the CPU to drive all the sound, so musically they are more similar to using a standard PC. Authenticity to any genre or aesthetic isn't really a big deal to me personally, but I'm still interested to what you guys think.

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Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Authenticity doesn't matter. Use the tools you enjoy.

EDIT: As an example, I made this comparison a while back. I can't even remember which is which but the first and second half of the clip are done with real hardware and then with modern software, or vice versa. The fact that I can't even remember or tell the difference is pretty telling.

Last edited by jefftheworld (Feb 23, 2016 2:41 am)

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This is literally addressed in the FAQ. (not directly, in these words, but still.)

buuut that's a cop-out response, so I guess I'll add my two cents on the subject.

I think that the existence of limitations is an intrinsic part of "the aesthetic" of chip music. That being said, I don't think that what those limitations actually are is all that important. If that distinction makes any sense?

So it's less about using any particular set of limitations—number of channels, kinds of sounds being used, hardware—and more about coming up with some constraints, and sticking with them. Using "vintage" hardware just happens to be a straightforward way of setting "hard" limits (ha), in a communally-consistent way.

The rest is extra credit.

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New Albany Indiana

Personally to me it doesnt matter, just make cool stuff.

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Taichung, Taiwan

Chiptune, Fakebit, VSTs, good music is good music in the end regardless of what you use to make them.

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East Coast USA

I suppose I should have specified that 'Music on: Drums' is an entirely sample based drum machine app sorta like a really lo-fi version of something you'd find on the iPhone appstore. It has some really nice and crunchy 808 samples and cheesy 90's bass synth samples, but nothing about it really resembles what I'd consider the 'chiptune aesthetic.'
I'm not trying to make the argument that chiptune style music made with emulators or DAWs and plugins is any less worthwhile, I'm more just interested in what people think of programs like 'Music on,' DS-10, and PSP Rhythm that still run on video game consoles, but they don't have the sounds and limitations you'd find when working with vintage hardware

Last edited by Dolby-Z (Feb 23, 2016 3:50 am)

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Melbourne, Australia

Just thought I'd comment that littlegptracker is a program that runs on more modern consoles with far less limitations than a vintage console would have (although they do still have some similar limitations). It's a really powerful tracker that lots of people in the chipscene use.

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i think the older devices appeal to me more because you can more often hear and tell when you are breaking new boundaries / doing something new with them. that said it is also really fun to play with tools like dsn-12 and iphone stuff since they also have their own software limitations

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Geneva, NY
Dolby-Z wrote:

I suppose I should have specified that 'Music on: Drums' is an entirely sample based drum machine app

IIRC, the actual term "chiptune" was originally coined to refer to sample-based music made on the Amiga (with mostly single cycle waveforms) that sounded similar to stuff being made for video games, etc. So fakebit was basically there from the beginning. Which means that...

Panda Chan wrote:

Just thought I'd comment that littlegptracker is a program that runs on more modern consoles with far less limitations than a vintage console would have (although they do still have some similar limitations). It's a really powerful tracker that lots of people in the chipscene use.

...this is totally chiptune. wink

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if you dont do bit shifter remixes youll be laughed out of the chiptune support meetings

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NC in the US of America

Others 'opinions don't matter. What matters is whether you as the artist want to classify it as chipmusic or not, and that the music itself is genuine and/or good.

That being said, in my opinion "video game music" does not automatically equate to chipmusic, and vice versa

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using modern devices for chip music kicks ass smile

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Detroit, Michigan
herr_prof wrote:

if you dont do bit shifter remixes youll be laughed out of the chiptune support meetings

Yeah, I still haven't made mine yet hmm

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San Diego, CA

my microbrute is the best chipmusic purchase I've made in the last 5 years

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IL, US

results are much more important than the tools used... when i first started using chip stuff in my music, i was sampling nanoloop into a korg electribe esx-1 and using that along with numerous other non-chip samples...

Last edited by e.s.c. (Feb 23, 2016 6:23 pm)

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Madriz, Supain

Chiptune doesnt exist. Its actually your mum and dad who put the gifts under the tree.