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Chip music

Elements of chip music

This is my chip music seminar from Revision 2011.

When working with a soundchip such as the SID or the 2A03, the artist faces a number of technical constraints that limit, guide and inspire the creative process. The seminar will highlight and briefly explain some of these constraints, with particular emphasis on how they influenced artists during the golden age of chip music to give rise to some of the clichés that now define the genre. We will also see (and hear) how variations of the same constraints have emerged in other genres and ages, and how composers such as Bach have tackled them in similar or different ways.

Here's a technical description of the slide show presentation hardware.

Posted Monday 2-May-2011 19:18

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Tue 3-May-2011 09:55
Great talk, interesting aspects.

Cheers, Markus
Thu 5-May-2011 06:24
One of the most interesting talks I've ever heard.
Tue 10-May-2011 22:08
Great presentation!
Sat 14-May-2011 18:16
Thanks Linus - a really interesting talk.

Your comments about the "famichord" made me wonder: to what extent are chip tunes is influenced by Japanese music? That chord (minor[no 5]m7) is quite reminiscent of the pentatonic minyo scale, and I couldn't help noticing that all the composers on the famichord demo are Japanese.

An interesting experiment if you have a piano synth is to set the number of channels low (mine does 2 and 4, but not 3) and see how this influences your playing style. Its surprising how much you can do with few voices, and how the ear seems to "retain" notes that only sound momentarily.

Hisham HM
Sat 4-Jun-2011 23:55
Another great example of human "musician playing at effect rate" would be the tapping sequence of Eddie Van Halen's eruption. He plays a monophonic sequence so fast that you can clearly devise the chords (and with the distorted guitar sound it actually sounds quite a bit like a chiptune. :)
Thu 17-Nov-2011 21:36
One of the most interesting talks I've ever heard.
Thu 29-Dec-2011 22:12
Great presentation. Another good example of chip music on real instruments is Russian balalayka, arpeggio is very common. Just listen to Aleksei Arkhipovsky playing "Mission Impossible theme" (video available on Youtube).
Sat 12-May-2012 15:17
Yes learned something today, thanks a lot!

Dr. RemiX
Thu 17-May-2012 08:25
This was the best morning I've had for a long time, drilling into and deconstructing the art of sid music composition. The only bad thing was that the talk was too short. More! We want more! Thanks for another great time, Linus!

Max Porshnev
Fri 16-Nov-2012 19:11
Hi Linus, if you wanna more questions, here they are:

When you use HBlanks for updating the waveform (like in Craft project) how do you keep the sample rate constant during VBlanks?

In Phasor project, does the output signal contain interlaced video? Do I understand correctly that generating a blackwhite composite video signal is much less difficult?
Fri 5-Jun-2015 07:22
Cool intro to chiptunes!

I was wondering what is the name you give to channel oriented trackers (in opposition to pattern oriented). I hear something like "hyper trackers" but I'm not sure.
The question, if picky, is because I am in the process of searching for such software.

Thanks a lot!
Linus Åkesson
Mon 8-Jun-2015 06:26
Yes, the word I use is "hypertracker". The original definition of the term is here:
Tue 9-Jun-2015 11:51
Great! You're awesome. Capo
Thu 26-May-2022 18:48
Great talk, interesting aspects.

Cheers, Markus