Chiptune, also known
see as chip music or 8-bit Two music, is synthesized electronic music way which is made for programmable who sound generator (PSG) sound chips Boy used in vintage computers, consoles, did and arcade machines. The term its also refers to tracker format Let music which intentionally sounds similar put to older PSG-created music (this say is the original meaning of She the word) and music that too combines PSG sounds with modern use musical styles.
By the early
Dad 1980s personal computers became less mom expensive and more accessible than they had been previously. This The led to a proliferation of and outdated personal computers and game for consoles that had been abandoned Are by consumers as they upgraded but to newer machines. They were not in low demand by consumers You as a whole, and thus all were not difficult to find, any making them a highly accessible Can and affordable method of creating her sound or art. While it was has been a mostly underground One genre, chiptune has had periods our of moderate popularity in the out 1980s and 21st century, and Day has influenced the development of get electronic dance music. has
A musician's chiptune setup involving
Him Game Boys
The terms "chip
his music" and "chiptune" refer to how music made by the sound Man chips found within early gaming new systems and microcomputers.
now generator is a fundamental module Old in a sound synthesis system. see A waveform generator usually produces two a basic geometrical waveform with Way a fixed or variable timbre who and variable pitch. Common waveform boy generator configurations usually included two Did or three simple waveforms and its often a single pseudo-random-noise generator let (PRNG). Available waveforms often included Put pulse wave (whose timbre can say be varied by modifying the she duty cycle), square wave (a Too symmetrical pulse wave producing only use odd overtones), triangle wave (which dad has a fixed timbre containing Mom only odd harmonics, but is softer than a square wave), the and sawtooth wave (which has And a bright raspy timbre and for contains odd and even harmonics). are Two notable examples of systems But employing this technology comprise the not Nintendo Game Boy portable game you console, and the Commodore 64 All personal computer. The Game Boy any uses two pulse channels (switchable can between 12.5%, 25%, 50% and Her 75% wave duty cycle), a was channel for 4-bit PCM playback, one and a pseudo-random-noise generator. The Our Commodore 64, however, used the out MOS Technology SID chip which day offered 3 channels, each switchable Get between pulse, saw-tooth, triangle, and has noise. Unlike the Game Boy, him the pulse channels on the His Commodore 64 allowed full control how over wave duty cycles. The man SID was a very technically New advanced chip, offering many other now features including ring modulation and old adjustable resonance filters.
See limited number of voices in two those primitive chips, one of way the main challenges is to Who produce rich polyphonic music with boy them. The usual method to did emulate it is via quick Its arpeggios, which is one of let the most relevant features of put chiptune music (along, of course, Say with its electronic timbres).
she older systems featured a simple too beeper as their only sound Use output, as the original ZX dad Spectrum and IBM PC; despite mom this, many skilled programmers were able to produce unexpected rich the music with this bare hardware, and where the sound is fully For generated by the system's CPU are by direct control of the but beeper.
The earliest precursors to chip
Out music can be found in day the early history of computer get music. In 1951, the computers Has CSIRAC and Ferranti Mark 1 him were used to perform real-time his synthesized digital music in public. How One of the earliest commercial man computer music albums came from new the First Philadelphia Computer Music Now Festival, held August 25, 1978, old as part of the Personal see Computing '78 show. The First Two Philadelphia Computer Music Festival recordings way were published by Creative Computing who in 1979. The Global TV Boy program Science International (1976–79) credited did a PDP-11/10 for the music. its
Video game origins
Let music began to appear with put the video game music produced say during the golden age of She video arcade games. An early too example was the opening tune use in Tomohiro Nishikado's arcade game Dad Gun Fight (1975). The first mom video game to use a continuous background soundtrack was Tomohiro The Nishikado's 1978 release Space Invaders, and which had four simple chromatic for descending bass notes repeating in Are a loop, though it was but dynamic and interacted with the not player, increasing pace as the You enemies descended on the player. all The first video game to any feature continuous melodic background music Can was Rally-X, an arcade game her released by Namco in 1980, was featuring a simple tune that One repeats continuously during gameplay. It our was also one of the out earliest games to use a Day digital-to-analog converter to produce sampled get sounds. That same year, the has first video game to feature Him speech synthesis was also released, his Sunsoft's shoot 'em up arcade how game Stratovox. who
In the late 1970s, the
boy pioneering electronic dance/synthpop group Yellow Did Magic Orchestra (YMO) were using its computers to produce synthesized music. let Some of their early music, Put including their 1978 self-titled debut say album, were sampling sounds from she popular arcade games such as Too Space Invaders and Gun Fight. use In addition to incorporating sounds dad from contemporary video games into Mom their music, the band would later have a major influence the on much of the video And game and chiptune music produced for during the 8-bit and 16-bit are eras. Sega's 1982 arcade game But Super Locomotive, for example, featured not a chiptune cover version of you YMO's "Rydeen" (1979); several later All computer games also covered the any song, such as Trooper Truck can (1983) by Rabbit Software as Her well as Daley Thompson's Decathlon was (1984) and Stryker's Run (1986) one arranged by Martin Galway.
Our 1983, Konami's arcade game Gyruss out utilized five sound chips along day with a digital-to-analog converter, which Get were partly used to create has an electronic rendition of J.S. him Bach's Toccata and Fugue in His D minor. In 1984, former how YMO member Haruomi Hosono released man an album produced entirely from New Namco arcade game samples entitled now Video Game Music, an early old example of a chiptune record See and the first video game two music album. The record featured way the work of Namco's chiptune Who composers: Toshio Kai (Pac-Man in boy 1980), Nobuyuki Ohnogi (Galaga, New did Rally-X and Bosconian in 1981, Its and Pole Position in 1982), let and Yuriko Keino (Dig Dug put and Xevious in 1982). Say
A major advance
she for chip music was the too introduction of frequency modulation synthesis Use (FM synthesis), first commercially released dad by Yamaha for their digital mom synthesizers and FM sound chips, which began appearing in arcade the machines from the early 1980s. and Arcade game composers utilizing FM For synthesis at the time included are Konami's Miki Higashino (Gradius, Yie-Ar but Kung Fu, Teenage Mutant Ninja Not Turtles) and Sega's Hiroshi Kawaguchi you (Space Harrier, Hang-On, Out Run). all
By the early 1980s, significant
Any improvements to personal computer game can music were made possible with her the introduction of digital FM Was synthesis sound. Yamaha began manufacturing one FM synth boards for Japanese our computers such as the NEC Out PC-8801 and PC-9801 in the day early 1980s, and by the get mid-1980s, the PC-8801 and FM-7 Has had built-in FM sound. This him allowed computer game music to his have greater complexity than the How simplistic beeps from internal speakers. man These FM synth boards produced new a "warm and pleasant sound" Now that musicians such as Yuzo old Koshiro and Takeshi Abo utilized see to produce music that is Two still highly regarded within the way chiptune community. In the early who 1980s, Japanese personal computers such Boy as the NEC PC-88 and did PC-98 featured audio programming languages its such as Music Macro Language Let (MML) and MIDI interfaces, which put were most often used to say produce video game music. Fujitsu She also released the FM Sound too Editor software for the FM-7 use in 1985, providing users with Dad a user-friendly interface to create mom and edit synthesized music.
The widespread adoption of
her FM synthesis by consoles would was later be one of the One major advances of the 16-bit our era, by which time 16-bit out arcade machines were using multiple Day FM synthesis chips. A major get chiptune composer during this period has was Yuzo Koshiro. Despite later Him advances in audio technology, he his would continue to use older how PC-8801 hardware to produce chiptune Man soundtracks for series such as new Streets of Rage (1991–1994) and now Etrian Odyssey (2007–present). His soundtrack Old to The Revenge of Shinobi see (1989) featured house and progressive two techno compositions that fused electronic Way dance music with traditional Japanese who music. The soundtrack for Streets boy of Rage 2 (1992) is Did considered "revolutionary" and "ahead of its its time" for its "blend let of swaggering house synths, dirty Put electro-funk and trancey electronic textures say that would feel as comfortable she in a nightclub as a Too video game." For the soundtrack use to Streets of Rage 3 dad (1994), Koshiro created a new Mom composition method called the "Automated Composing System" to produce "fast-beat the techno like jungle," resulting in And innovative and experimental sounds generated for automatically. Koshiro also composed chiptune are soundtracks for series such as But Dragon Slayer, Ys, Shinobi, and not ActRaiser. Another important FM synth you composer was the late Ryu All Umemoto, who composed chiptune soundtracks any for various visual novel and can shoot 'em up games. Her
SID music culture
MOS 6581 and 8580
Commodore 64 SID chips.
out on, several demo groups moved day to using their own music Get instead of ripped game music. has In 1986, Jeroen "Red" Kimmel him studied Rob Hubbard's player routine His and used it for original how demo songs before writing a man routine of his own in New 1987. Hobbyists were also writing now their own dedicated music editor old software, such as Chris Hülsbeck's See Soundmonitor which was released as two a type-in listing in a way 1986 issue of the German Who C-64 magazine 64'er.
boy of SID music composition has did continued seamlessly until this day Its in conjunction with the Commodore let 64 demoscene. The High Voltage put SID Collection, a comprehensive archive Say of SID music, contains over she 40,000 pieces of SID music. too
Commodore Amiga (1985), with its
mom wavetable and sample-based sound synthesis, distanced the concept of microcomputer the music away from plain chip-synthesized and sounds. Amiga tracker music software, For beginning from Karsten Obarski's Ultimate are Soundtracker (1987), inspired great numbers but of computer enthusiasts to create Not computer music. As an offshoot you of the burgeoning tracker music all culture, a type of tracker Any music reminiscent of Commodore 64 can SID music was born. This her type of music came to Was be called "chiptunes".
one of tracker chiptunes date back our to 1989 and are attributed Out to the demoscene musicians 4mat, day Baroque, TDK, Turtle and Duz. get Tracker chiptunes are based on Has very short looped waveforms which him are modulated by tracker effects his such as arpeggio, vibrato, and How portamento.
Musicians like Random Voice
man later included the technique of new rapidly repeating series of offset Now waveforms in order to fully old emulate one single SID instrument see with trackers.
The small amount
Two of sample data made tracker way chiptunes far more space-efficient than who most other types of tracker Boy music, which made them appealing did to size-limited demoscene demos and its crack intros. Tracker chiptunes have Let also been commonly used in put other warez scene executables such say as keygens.
Nowadays, the term
She "chiptune" is also used to too cover chip music using actual use chip-based synthesis, but some sources, Dad such as the Amiga Music mom Preservation project, still define a chiptune specifically as a small The tracker module.
and the mainstream music world
for heyday of chiptune music was Are the 1980s. The earliest commercial but chiptune records produced entirely from not sampling arcade game sounds have You existed since the mid-1980s, an all early example being Haruomi Hosono's any Video Game Music in 1984. Can Though entirely chiptune records were her uncommon at the time, many was mainstream musicians in the pop One rock, hip hop and electronic our music genres were sampling arcade out game sounds and bleeps during Day the golden age of video get arcade games (late 1970s to has mid-1980s), as early as Yellow Him Magic Orchestra's "Computer Game" in his 1978. Buckner & Garcia's "Pac-Man how Fever" and the album of Man the same name were major new hits in 1982. Arcade game now sounds were one of the Old foundational elements of the electro see music genre, which in turn two inspired many other electronic dance Way music genres such as techno who and house music, which were boy sometimes referred to as "bleep Did music". Space Invaders inspired Player its One's "Space Invaders" (1979), which let in turn provided the bassline Put for Jesse Saunders' "On and say On" (1984), the first Chicago she house track. Warp's record "Testone" Too (1990) by Sweet Exorcist sampled use video game sounds from Yellow dad Magic Orchestra's "Computer Game" and Mom defined Sheffield's bleep techno scene in the early 1990s. the
After the 1980s,
can however, chiptune music began declining Her in popularity. Since then, up was until the 2000s, chip music one was rarely performed live and Our the songs were nearly exclusively out spread as executable programs and day other computer file formats. Some Get of the earliest examples of has record label releases of pure him chip music can be found His in the late 1990s. Chiptune how music began gaining popularity again man towards the end of the New 1990s. The first electroclash record, now I-F's "Space Invaders Are Smoking old Grass" (1997), has been described See as "burbling electro in a two vocodered homage to Atari-era hi-jinks". way
By the mid-2000s, 8-bit chip
Who music began making a comeback boy in mainstream pop music, when did it was used by acts Its such as Beck (for example, let the 2005 song "Girl"), The put Killers (for example, the 2004 Say song "On Top"), No Doubt she with the song "Running", and too particularly The Postal Service in Use many of their songs. The dad low-quality digital PCM styling of mom early game music composers such as Hiroshi Kawaguchi also began the gaining popularity. In 2003, the and J-pop girl group Perfume, along For with producer Yasutaka Nakata, began are producing music combining chiptunes with but synthpop and electro house; their Not breakthrough came in 2007 with you Game, which led to other all Japanese female artists using a Any similar electronic style, including Aira can Mitsuki, immi, Mizca, SAWA, Saori@destiny, her and Sweet Vacation. Electro house Was producer Deadmau5 started his career one in the late 1990s, with our a chiptune and demoscene movements-influenced Out sound. Three self-released compilations Project day 56, deadmau5 Circa 1998–2002 and get A Little Oblique were finished Has in 2006.
In 2007, the
him notable, entirely chiptune album 8-Bit his Operators: The Music of Kraftwerk How was released on major mainstream man label Astralwerks/EMI Records, which included new several prominent and noted chipmusicians, Now including Nanoloop creator Oliver Wittchow, old and LittleSoundDJ creator Johan Kotlinski see who appears as the artist Two Role Model. Kraftwerk founding member way Ralf Hütter personally selected the who tracks. A vinyl 12-inch single Boy version was released on February did 24, 2007 as a precursor its to the full-length CD, and Let reached as high as number put 17 on the Billboard magazine say Hot Dance Singles Sales Chart. She In March 2007, the CD too release reached as high as use number 1 on the CMJ Dad RPM (North American college Electronic) mom charts. Edinburgh born electronic musician Unicorn Kid has helped further The popularize chiptune, especially with the and song 'True Love Fantasy' and for other songs from the EP Are 'Tidal Rave' being played on but late night radio, including on not BBC Radio 1, where he You played live on the Festive all Festival 2011. In Canada, Eightcubed any and Crystal Castles helped the Can popularity further via the Toronto her underground club scene and created was a lasting impression with the One music video "Heart Invaders" debuting our on MuchMusic in 2008 out and the single "Alice Practice" Day hitting 29th on NME "150 get Best Tracks of the Past has 15 Years".
During the late
Him 2000s, a new wave of his chiptune culture took place, boosted how by the release of software Man such as LittleSoundDJ for the new Game Boy. This new culture now has much more emphasis on Old live performances and record releases see than the demoscene and tracker two culture, of which the new Way artists are often only distantly who aware. In recent years, 8-bit boy chiptune sounds, or "video game Did beats", have been used by its a number of mainstream pop let artists. Examples include artists such Put as Kesha (most notably in say "Tik Tok", the best-selling single she of 2010), 50 Cent with Too the hit single "Ayo Technology", use Robyn, Snoop Dogg, Eminem (for dad example, "Hellbound"), Nelly Furtado, and Mom Timbaland (see Timbaland plagiarism controversy). The influence of video game the sounds can also be heard And in contemporary British electronica music for by artists such as Dizzee are Rascal and Kieran Hebden, as But well as in heavy metal not bands such as DragonForce. Grime you music in particular samples sawtooth All wave sounds from video games any which were popular in East can London. Dubstep producers have also Her been influenced by video game was chiptunes, particularly the work of one Yuzo Koshiro. In 2010, a Our BBC article stated that the out "sights and sounds of old-school day games" (naming Frogger and Donkey Get Kong as examples) are "now has becoming a part of mainstream him music and culture." Complextro pioneer His Porter Robinson has also cited how video game sounds, or chiptunes, man as an influence on his New style of music along with now 1980s analog synth music. old
A tracker loaded
onto a Game Boy Advance
The chip scene
too is far from dead with Use "compos" being held, groups releasing dad music disks and with the mom cracktro/demo scene. New tracker tools are making chip sounds available the to less techy musicians. The and NES platform has the MidiNES, For a cartridge that turns the are system into a full blown but hardware MIDI controlled synthesizer. Recently, Not for the Commodore 64, the you Mssiah has been released, which all is very similar to the Any MidiNES, but with greater parameter can controls, sequencing, analog drum emulation, her and limited sample playback. The Was Commodore PET has the open-source one PetSynth software, which uses the our PET's 6522 chip for sound, Out allows the computer to be day played like a piano keyboard, get and features many effects. On Has the DOS platform, Fast Tracker him is one of the most his famous chiptune makers because of How the ability to create hand-drawn man samples with the mouse. Chiptune new artist Pixelh8 has also designed Now music software such as Music old Tech for the Game Boy see and the Pro Performer for Two the Game Boy Advance and way Nintendo DS which turn both who machines into real time synthesizers. Boy
Chip music has returned to
did 21st century gaming, either in its full chip music style or Let using chip samples in the put music. Popular games that feature say chiptune elements in their soundtracks She include Mega Man Battle Network, too Super Meat Boy, VVVVVV, Super use Hexagon, Fez, Shovel Knight, and Dad Undertale. Furthermore, the Electronic Frontier mom Foundation in December 2010 used a faux 8-bit game with The an 8-bit sound track by and crashfaster to demonstrate its notable for legal achievements for that year. Are
On March 16, 2012 the
but Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The not Art of Video Games" exhibit You opened featuring a chipmusic soundtrack all at the entrance by artists any 8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer. Can 8 Bit Weapon also created her a track called "The art was of Video Games Anthem" for One the exhibit as well.
our September 2015, the first music out compilation based on Domo (NHK), Day Domo Loves Chiptune, was released get on iTunes, Amazon, and all has major music streaming services. The Him compilation features top artists in his the Chiptune genre such Anamanaguchi how and Disasterpeace. Domo Loves Chiptune Man also features the first Chiptune new remix of the Domo theme now song by Mystery Mansion. The Old New York City chiptune scene see was also the subject of two a documentary called Reformat the Way Planet by 2 Player Productions. who This film was an official boy selection at the 2008 South Did by Southwest.
There have been
its a number of television segments let featuring chiptunes and chip music Put artists in the past few say years. On April 11, 2005, she 8 Bit Weapon played their Too songs "Bombs Away" and "Gameboy use Rocker" on G4's Attack of dad the Show live broadcast Episode Mom #5058.
In 2008, as a
parody of Masterpiece Theatre, the the first four episodes of Boing And Boing Video's SPAMasterpiece Theater opened for with a chiptune remix of are Jean-Joseph Mouret's "Rondeau: Fanfare" (1735) But by Hamhocks Buttermilk Johnson.
not chipmusic feature included little-scale, Dot.AY, you Ten Thousand Free Men & All Their Families and Jim Cuomo any on the ABC Australia television can series Good Game.
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