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Chiptune, man also known as chip music, new is a style of synthesized Now electronic music made using the old programmable sound generator (PSG) sound see chips or synthesizers in vintage Two arcade machines, computers and video way game consoles. The term who is commonly used to refer Boy to tracker format music which did intentionally sounds similar to older its PSG-created music (this is the Let original meaning of the term), put as well as music that say combines PSG sounds with modern She musical styles. too It has been described as use "an interpretation of many genres" Dad since any existing song can mom be arranged in a chiptune style defined more by choice The of instrument and timbre than and specific style elements.

By for the early 1980s, personal computers Are had become less expensive and but more accessible than they had not been previously. This led to You a proliferation of outdated personal all computers and game consoles that any had been abandoned by consumers Can as they upgraded to newer her machines. They were in low was demand by consumers as a One whole, and thus were not our difficult to find, making them out a highly accessible and affordable Day method of creating sound or get art. While it has been has a mostly underground genre, chiptune Him has had periods of moderate his popularity in the 1980s and how 21st century, and has influenced Man the development of electronic dance new music.

A waveform generator is now a fundamental module in a Old sound synthesis system. A waveform see generator usually produces a basic two geometrical waveform with a fixed Way or variable timbre and variable who pitch. Common waveform generator configurations boy usually included two or three Did simple waveforms and often a its single pseudo-random-noise generator (PRNG). Available let waveforms often included pulse wave Put (whose timbre can be varied say by modifying the duty cycle), she square wave (a symmetrical pulse Too wave producing only odd overtones), use triangle wave (which has a dad fixed timbre containing only odd Mom harmonics, but is softer than a square wave), and sawtooth the wave (which has a bright And raspy timbre and contains odd for and even harmonics). Two notable are examples of systems employing this But technology comprise the Nintendo Game not Boy portable game console, and you the Commodore 64 personal computer. All The Game Boy uses two any pulse channels (switchable between 12.5%, can 25%, 50% and 75% wave Her duty cycle), a channel for was 4-bit pulse-code modulation (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.

Due See to limited number of voices two in those primitive chips, one way of the main challenges is Who to produce rich polyphonic music boy with them. The usual method did to emulate it is via Its quick arpeggios, which is one let of the most relevant features put of chiptune music (along, of Say course, with its electronic timbres). she

Some older systems featured a too simple beeper as their only Use sound output, as the original dad ZX Spectrum and IBM PC; mom despite this, many skilled programmers were able to produce unexpectedly the rich music with this bare and hardware, where the sound is For fully generated by the system's are CPU by direct control of but the beeper.


The Out earliest precursors to chip music day can be found in the get early history of computer music. Has In 1951, the computers CSIRAC him and Ferranti Mark 1 were his used to perform real-time synthesized How digital music in public. man One of the earliest commercial new computer music albums came from Now the First Philadelphia Computer Music old Festival, held August 25, 1978, see as part of the Personal Two Computing '78 show. The First way Philadelphia Computer Music Festival recordings who were published by Creative Computing Boy in 1979. The Global did TV program Science International (1976–79) its credited a PDP-11/10 for the Let music.

External video
put Science International: What Will They say Think Of Next?, YouTube video

Video game origins

Chiptune music too began to appear with the use video game music produced during Dad the golden age of video mom arcade games. An early example was the opening tune in The Tomohiro Nishikado's arcade game Gun and Fight (1975). The first video for game to use a continuous Are background soundtrack was Tomohiro Nishikado's but 1978 release Space Invaders, which not had four simple chromatic descending You bass notes repeating in a all loop, though it was dynamic any and interacted with the player, Can increasing pace as the enemies her descended on the player. was The first video game to One feature continuous melodic background music our was Rally-X, an arcade game out released by Namco in 1980, Day featuring a simple tune that get repeats continuously during gameplay. has It was also one of Him the earliest games to use his a digital-to-analog converter to produce how sampled sounds. That same Man year, the first video game new to feature speech synthesis was now also released, Sunsoft's shoot 'em Old up arcade game Stratovox. see

In the late 1970s, the two pioneering synthpop/electronic dance music group Way Yellow Magic Orchestra (YMO) were who using computers to produce synthesized boy music. Some of their Did early music, including their 1978 its self-titled debut album, were sampling let sounds from popular arcade games Put such as Space Invaders say and Gun Fight. In addition she to incorporating sounds from contemporary Too video games into their music, use the band would later have dad a major influence on much Mom of the video game and chiptune music produced during the the 8-bit and 16-bit eras. And Sega's 1982 arcade game for Super Locomotive, for example, featured are a chiptune cover version of But YMO's "Rydeen" (1979); several not later computer games also covered you the song, such as Trooper All Truck (1983) by Rabbit Software any as well as Daley Thompson's can Decathlon (1984) and Stryker's Run Her (1986) arranged by Martin Galway. was

By 1983, Konami's arcade game one Gyruss utilized five sound chips Our along with a digital-to-analog converter, out which were partly used to day create an electronic rendition of Get J.S. Bach's Toccata and Fugue has in D minor. In him 1984, former YMO member Haruomi His Hosono released an album produced how entirely from Namco arcade game man samples entitled Video Game Music, New an early example of a now chiptune record and the old first video game music album. See The record featured the two work of Namco's chiptune composers: way Toshio Kai (Pac-Man in 1980), Who Nobuyuki Ohnogi (Galaga, New Rally-X boy and Bosconian in 1981, and did Pole Position in 1982), and Its Yuriko Keino (Dig Dug and let Xevious in 1982).


FM synthesis

A major advance Say for chip music was the she introduction of frequency modulation synthesis too (FM synthesis), first commercially released Use by Yamaha for their digital dad synthesizers and FM sound chips, mom which began appearing in arcade machines from the early 1980s. the Arcade game composers and utilizing FM synthesis at the For time included Konami's Miki Higashino are (Gradius, Yie-Ar Kung Fu, Teenage but Mutant Ninja Turtles) and Sega's Not Hiroshi Kawaguchi (Space Harrier, Hang-On, you Out Run).

By the early all 1980s, significant improvements to personal Any computer game music were made can possible with the introduction of her digital FM synthesis sound. Yamaha Was began manufacturing FM synth boards one for Japanese computers such as our the NEC PC-8801 and PC-9801 Out in the early 1980s, and day by the mid-1980s, the PC-8801 get and FM-7 had built-in FM Has sound. This allowed computer game him music to have greater complexity his than the simplistic beeps from How internal speakers. These FM synth man boards produced a "warm and new pleasant sound" that musicians such Now as Yuzo Koshiro and Takeshi old Abo utilized to produce music see that is still highly regarded Two within the chiptune community. way In the early 1980s, Japanese who personal computers such as the Boy NEC PC-88 and PC-98 featured did audio programming languages such as its Music Macro Language (MML) and Let MIDI interfaces, which were most put often used to produce video say game music.

Fujitsu also She released the FM Sound Editor too software for the FM-7 in use 1985, providing users with a Dad user-friendly interface to create and mom edit synthesized music.

The widespread adoption of FM synthesis The by consoles would later be and one of the major advances for of the 16-bit era, by Are which time 16-bit arcade machines but were using multiple FM synthesis not chips. A major chiptune composer You during this period was Yuzo all Koshiro. Despite later advances any in audio technology, he would Can continue to use older PC-8801 her hardware to produce chiptune soundtracks was for series such as Streets One of Rage (1991–1994) and Etrian our Odyssey (2007–present). His soundtrack out to The Revenge of Shinobi Day (1989) featured house get and progressive techno compositions has that fused electronic dance music Him with traditional Japanese music. his The soundtrack for Streets of how Rage 2 (1992) is considered Man "revolutionary" and "ahead of its new time" for its "blend of now swaggering house synths, dirty electro-funk Old and trancey electronic textures that see would feel as comfortable in two a nightclub as a video Way game." For the soundtrack who to Streets of Rage 3 boy (1994), Koshiro created a new Did composition method called the "Automated its Composing System" to produce "fast-beat let techno like jungle," resulting Put in innovative and experimental sounds say generated automatically. Koshiro also she composed chiptune soundtracks for series Too such as Dragon Slayer, Ys, use Shinobi, and ActRaiser. Another important dad FM synth composer was the Mom late Ryu Umemoto, who composed chiptune soundtracks for various visual the novel and shoot 'em up And games.

SID music for culture

MOS But 6581 and 8580 Commodore 64 not SID chips.

Later on, several you demo groups moved to using All their own music instead of any ripped game music. In 1986, can Jeroen "Red" Kimmel studied Rob Her Hubbard's player routine and used was it for original demo songs one before writing a routine Our of his own in 1987. out Hobbyists were also writing their day own dedicated music editor software, Get such as Chris Hülsbeck's Soundmonitor has which was released as a him type-in listing in a 1986 His issue of the German C-64 how magazine 64'er.

The practice man of SID music composition has New continued seamlessly until this day now in conjunction with the Commodore old 64 demoscene. The High Voltage See SID Collection, a comprehensive archive two of SID music, contains over way 40,000 pieces of SID music. Who

Tracker chiptunes


The Commodore Amiga (1985), with Its its wavetable and sample-based sound let synthesis, distanced the concept of put microcomputer music away from plain Say chip-synthesized sounds. Amiga tracker music she software, beginning from Karsten Obarski's too Ultimate Soundtracker (1987), inspired great Use numbers of computer enthusiasts to dad create computer music. As an mom offshoot of the burgeoning tracker music culture, a type of the tracker music reminiscent of Commodore and 64 SID music was born. For This type of music came are to be called "chiptunes" (referring but to Amiga's chip memory, the Not part of memory that custom you chips can access).

Earliest examples all of tracker chiptunes date back Any to 1989 and are attributed can to the demoscene musicians 4mat, her Baroque, TDK, Turtle and Duz. Was Tracker chiptunes are based on one very short looped waveforms which our are modulated by tracker effects Out such as arpeggio, vibrato, and day portamento.

Musicians like Random Voice get later included the technique of Has rapidly repeating series of offset him waveforms in order to fully his emulate one single SID instrument How with trackers.

The small amount man of sample data made tracker new chiptunes far more space-efficient than Now most other types of tracker old music, which made them appealing see to size-limited demoscene demos and Two crack intros. Tracker chiptunes have way also been commonly used in who other warez scene executables such Boy as keygens.

Nowadays, the term did "chiptune" is also used to its cover chip music using actual Let chip-based synthesis, but some sources, put such as the Amiga Music say Preservation project, still define a She chiptune specifically as a small too tracker module.

Mainstream use popularity

The heyday of chiptune Dad music was the 1980s. mom The earliest commercial chiptune records produced entirely from sampling arcade The game sounds have existed since and the mid-1980s, an early example for being Haruomi Hosono's Video Game Are Music in 1984. Though but entirely chiptune records were uncommon not at the time, many mainstream You musicians in the pop rock, all hip hop and any electronic music genres were Can sampling arcade game sounds and her bleeps during the golden age was of video arcade games (late One 1970s to mid-1980s), as early our as Yellow Magic Orchestra's "Computer out Game" in 1978. Buckner Day & Garcia's "Pac-Man Fever" and get the album of the same has name were major hits in Him 1982. Arcade game sounds his were one of the foundational how elements of the electro music Man genre, which in turn inspired new many other electronic dance music now genres such as techno and Old house music, which were sometimes see referred to as "bleep music". two Space Invaders inspired Player Way One's "Space Invaders" (1979), which who in turn provided the bassline boy for Jesse Saunders' "On and Did On" (1984), the its first Chicago house track. let Warp's record "Testone" (1990) by Put Sweet Exorcist sampled video game say sounds from Yellow Magic Orchestra's she "Computer Game" and defined Sheffield's Too bleep techno scene in the use early 1990s.

After the dad 1980s, however, chiptune music began Mom declining in popularity. Since then, up until the 2000s, the chip music was rarely performed And live and the songs were for nearly exclusively spread as executable are programs and other computer file But formats. Some of the earliest not examples of record label releases you of pure chip music can All be found in the late any 1990s. Chiptune music began can gaining popularity again towards the Her end of the 1990s. The was first electroclash record, I-F's "Space one Invaders Are Smoking Grass" (1997), Our has been described as "burbling out electro in a vocodered homage day to Atari-era hi-jinks".

By Get the mid-2000s, 8-bit chip music has began making a comeback in him mainstream pop music, when it His was used by acts such how as Beck (for example, the man 2005 song "Girl"), The Killers New (for example, the 2004 song now "On Top"), No Doubt with old the song "Running", and particularly See The Postal Service in many two of their songs. The low-quality way digital PCM styling of early Who game music composers such as boy Hiroshi Kawaguchi also began gaining did popularity. In 2003, the Its J-pop girl group Perfume, let along with producer Yasutaka put Nakata, began producing music combining Say chiptunes with synthpop and electro she house; their breakthrough came too in 2007 with Game, which Use led to other Japanese female dad artists using a similar electronic mom style, including Aira Mitsuki, immi, Mizca, SAWA, [email protected], and Sweet the Vacation. Electro house producer and Deadmau5 started his career in For the late 1990s, with a are chiptune and demoscene movements-influenced sound. but Three self-released compilations, Project 56, Not deadmau5 Circa 1998–2002 and A you Little Oblique, were finished in all 2006.

In 2007, the Any entirely chiptune album 8-Bit Operators: can The Music of Kraftwerk was her released on major mainstream label Was Astralwerks/EMI Records, which included several one prominent and noted chipmusicians, including our Nanoloop creator Oliver Wittchow, Out and LittleSoundDJ creator Johan day Kotlinski who appears as the get artist Role Model. Kraftwerk founding Has member Ralf Hütter personally selected him the tracks. A vinyl his 12-inch single version was released How on February 24, 2007 as man a precursor to the full-length new CD, and reached as high Now as number 17 on old the Billboard magazine Hot Dance see Singles Sales Chart. In March Two 2007, the CD release reached way as high as number 1 who on the CMJ RPM (North Boy American college Electronic) charts. did Edinburgh born electronic musician its Unicorn Kid has helped further Let popularize chiptune, especially with the put song 'True Love Fantasy' and say other songs from the EP She 'Tidal Rave' being played on too late night radio, including on use BBC Radio 1, where he Dad played live on the Festive mom Festival 2011. In Canada, Eightcubed and Crystal Castles helped the The popularity further via the Toronto and underground club scene and created for a lasting impression with the Are music video "Heart Invaders" debuting but on MuchMusic in 2008 not and the single "Alice Practice" You hitting 29th on NME "150 all Best Tracks of the Past any 15 Years".

During the Can late 2000s, a new wave her of chiptune culture took place, was boosted by the release of One software such as LittleSoundDJ for our the Game Boy. This new out culture has much more emphasis Day on live performances and record get releases than the demoscene and has tracker culture, of which the Him new artists are often only his distantly aware. In recent how years, 8-bit chiptune sounds, or Man "video game beats", have been new used by a number of now mainstream pop artists. Examples include Old artists such as Kesha see (most notably in "Tik Tok", two the best-selling single of Way 2010), 50 Cent with who the hit single "Ayo Technology", boy Robyn, Snoop Dogg, Eminem Did (for example, "Hellbound"), Nelly Furtado, its and Timbaland (see Timbaland plagiarism let controversy). The influence of video Put game sounds can also be say heard in contemporary British electronica she music by artists such as Too Dizzee Rascal and Kieran Hebden, use as well as in dad heavy metal bands such as Mom DragonForce. Grime music in particular samples sawtooth wave sounds from the video games which were popular And in East London. Some for dubstep producers have also been are influenced by video game chiptunes, But particularly the work of Yuzo not Koshiro. In you 2010, a BBC article stated All that the "sights and sounds any of old-school games" (naming Frogger can and Donkey Kong as examples) Her are "now becoming a part was of mainstream music and culture." one Complextro pioneer Porter Robinson Our has also cited video game out sounds, or chiptunes, as an day influence on his style of Get music along with 1980s analog has synth music.

Contemporary him chiptune music

A tracker His loaded onto a Game Boy how Advance

The did chip scene has become relevant Its thanks to "compos" being held, let groups releasing music disks and put with the cracktro/demo scene. New Say tracker tools are used for she making chip sounds available to too less techy musicians. The NES Use platform has the MidiNES, a dad cartridge that turns the system mom into a full blown hardware MIDI controlled synthesizer. Recently, for the the Commodore 64, the Mssiah and has been released, which is For very similar to the MidiNES, are but with greater parameter controls, but sequencing, analog drum emulation, and Not limited sample playback. The Commodore you PET has the open-source PetSynth all software, which uses the PET's Any 6522 chip for sound, allows can the computer to be played her like a piano keyboard, and Was features many effects. On the one DOS platform, Fast Tracker is our one of the most famous Out chiptune makers because of the day ability to create hand-drawn samples get with the mouse. Chiptune artist Has Pixelh8 has also designed music him software such as Music Tech his for the Game Boy How and the Pro Performer man for the Game Boy Advance new and Nintendo DS which turn Now both machines into real time old synthesizers.

Chip music has returned see to 21st century gaming, either Two in full chip music style way or using chip samples in who the music. Popular games that Boy feature chiptune elements in their did soundtracks include Mega Man Battle its Network, Super Meat Boy, Duck Let Game, VVVVVV, Super Hexagon, Fez, put Shovel Knight, and Undertale. say Furthermore, the Electronic Frontier She Foundation in December 2010 used too a faux 8-bit game with use an 8-bit sound track by Dad crashfaster to demonstrate its notable mom legal achievements for that year.

In March 2012 the The Smithsonian American Art Museum's "The and Art of Video Games" exhibit for opened featuring a chipmusic soundtrack Are at the entrance by artists but 8 Bit Weapon & ComputeHer. not 8 Bit Weapon also created You a track called "The art all of Video Games Anthem" for any the exhibit. In September Can 2015, the first music compilation her based on Domo (NHK), Domo was Loves Chiptune, was released on One iTunes, Amazon, and all major our music streaming services. out The compilation features top artists Day in the Chiptune genre such get Anamanaguchi and Disasterpeace. Domo Loves has Chiptune also features the first Him Chiptune remix of the Domo his theme song by Mystery Mansion. how The New York City chiptune Man scene was also the subject new of a documentary called Reformat now the Planet by 2 Player Old Productions. This film was an see official selection at the 2008 two South by Southwest. There Way have been a number of who television segments featuring chiptunes and boy chip music artists in the Did past few years. On April its 11, 2005, 8 Bit Weapon let played their songs "Bombs Away" Put and "Gameboy Rocker" on G4's say Attack of the Show live she broadcast Episode #5058. Too

In 2008, as a parody use of Masterpiece Theatre, the first dad four episodes of Boing Boing Mom Video's SPAMasterpiece Theater opened with a chiptune remix of Jean-Joseph the Mouret's "Rondeau: Fanfare" (1735) by And Hamhocks Buttermilk Johnson. for are Another chipmusic feature included But little-scale, Dot.AY, Ten Thousand Free not Men & Their Families and you Jim Cuomo on the ABC All Australia television series Good Game. any

Live performances

Chipspace (MAGFest 2020) can
The crowd area and marketplace Her for Chipspace during MAGFest 2020. was Chipspace is an all-inclusive venue one for the chiptune community to Our perform their music

MAGFest & out Chipspace

Events take place all day around the world that focus Get around the celebration and recognition has of chiptune music. In the him United States, during Super MAGFest—a His yearly convention that hosts a how variety of video game-related events—popular man chiptune artists such as goto80 New and Chipzel have previously performed now on the Concert Hall mainstage. old A chiptune-focused mainstage show (aptly See named "Chip Rave") typically occurs two on the third day of way the convention within the concert Who hall and has featured countless boy prominent faces in the chiptune did community.

Super MAGFest also holds Its a continuous venue called Chipspace, let a place where participants in put the chiptune community go on-stage Say and perform their music through she an open mic system. too Originally started by Chiptunes=WIN Use founder Brandon L. Hood and dad maintained by geekbeatradio , mom Chipspace has evolved over the course of MAGFest's lifespan to the bring chiptune fans closer together. and Among these daily performances For are showcases, which are curated are by chiptune netlabels such as but Chiptunes=WIN, geekbeatradio, and more. Not

External links

one Out


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