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Music Production => Tracking => Topic started by: Algotsson on December 06, 2006, 11:33:56

Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: Algotsson on December 06, 2006, 11:33:56
Hello! I've just begun my struggle to become a skilled chip musician, and I have chosen to work with the open source tracker Psycle because of various reasons, but mainly because of the interface (I'm sorry, but the FT2 kind of interfaces really frustrates me. I get nothing done with it).

So. I do want to create chip music, but my main concern is that Psycle is a bit too powerful. What if my samples are too good, or if the effects make my tunes sound like 32-bit tunes? I mean, that tracker is able to create commercially sounding trance songs, and that's not my intent.

What can I do in order to avoid going beyond the chiptune limits? Is it enough to just save my samples in 4-bit quality? Or do I have to read up on all the chip waves (the triangles and the squares..) and then carefully make sure to use only the right kind of waves together with the effects that were used back in the old 4-bit and 8-bit video game era?

What do you guys recommend? Another alternative could be to just create good music, but there is a certain charm in the chip sounds that I would like to achieve.

This is a question from a newbie, I'm sorry for that, but I really don't wanna miss this opportunity to create music.   :D
Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: Saga Musix on December 06, 2006, 17:42:29
IMHO: Thebetter the sample quality, the better the sound. So it doesn't matter if you use 32 bits or 4 bits (but i would prefer the higher ones^^), but you have to use typical chip samples, like square, triangle, and so on... you also have to do slides and vibratos and arpeggios in your patterns to archive a nice chip sound.
this is all i know about chip tunes. maybe someone else can tell you more about this.
Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: Eagle on December 07, 2006, 11:47:48
To create a chip sample, it is not important what sampling rate or bit rate you use, although 1-bit samples only create square/pulse waves in a tracker.

To achieve a chip sample, your sample should use no more than 128 amplitude values. If your sample is 16-bit, it should not be larger than 256 bytes.

For chip techniques, there's Analogik's and Vhiiula's chip technique tutorial for you which basicly teaches how to achieve most of the chip clich├ęs.
Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: zovik on May 20, 2007, 05:40:52
Chip is all about making something that sounds good to *you*. I'm sure by now you've tried making a chip with psycle and maybe even a tracker. There's no reason why you shouldn't use hi res software like psycle to make a chiptune other than your personal preference. Different sounds are easier to make with different pieces of software; if you find psycle facilitates the sound you want, by all means use it. Of course it's easier to make 8 bit music with software designed for that, but you may not want to stay in those limits all the time.

Chipping is not necessarily about a certain sound or style; it's a philosophy, and the usual cliches are artifacts of our history. Computer music is limited. Chipping means trying to do something cool and new that the engineers didn't necessarily design for. For instance, using two channels to create the illusion of a third, or doing strange things with waveforms to make a new sound. That is to say, the only rules when it comes to chipping are the ones imposed by your hardware and by yourself.

Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: Eagle on May 20, 2007, 08:06:05
Well, the actual chip genre has its history from old school computers like the C64 and their SID chip, or the NES sound chip and so on. So basically, sample-based track music is just a mimic. Kind of like when I use PC Speaker samples in a single channel IT to simulate the sound of Pulse Tracker (my own tracker under development).

As a result, what Zovik says ends up as a pretty good description of what modern chipping is all about. With sample-based chipping, we also start to get closer to technically minimalistic music.
Title: Creating chiptunes with modern trackers
Post by: jobro on June 16, 2007, 01:51:54
Psycle is good, but you really should concider utilize MilkyTracker for your chip samples since AFAIK it has a very powerful sample editor that lets you draw the sample straight in the sampler. There is several video clips on their site that can be really nice to watch how to do it.