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Old 22 August 2010, 13:06   #24
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Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Hult / Sweden
Posts: 4,501
Originally Posted by goto80 View Post
@photon: if a definition of chipmusic does not include protracker chip modules, i am a bit sceptical. apart from the difficulty of defining it in terms of hardware/software, chipmusic has expanded during the past decade to become a pop phenomenon, where technology/history is often irrelevant. ie, it's a socially constructed genre like any other. perhaps it always was.
Yeah, popular names for things, especially names of musical genres are often (mis)labeled or (mis)used by people that go by other things than definitions. For example, a studio producer would go "Are you crazy? This is not 'disco'. this is not 'eurodisco'. this is house!" because he is more experienced and hear the telltale signatures. Or old people calling all pop music since 1995 'techno'

In normal music it's quite a bit more fuzzy than in the scene, though.

I'm having a hard time conceding that a PT module is a chip tune because it has very short looped samples. It could be just a size-optimized regular module. At which point does it become a chiptune, or even a chip module? The protracker playroutine is not a chiptune player, like the SIDmon etc players, nor is it a module player "that can also play chiptunes". It has zero extra or special code in it to facilitate waveforms, noise, envelopes, filtering, and other features of sound-chips.

The alternative way to making sense of it is to make chiptunes a full-blown, regular genre, of course. But then you must go only by the sound of it and not by any technical features in it. And then if someone makes a track with SIDmon that doesn't "sound like a C-64 song/chiptune" but just uses SIDmon to get that lovely lead guitar sound and the rest is great drum and string samples for a kickass metal song (for example) - is NOT a chiptune Which seems weird.

Galway, Rob Hubbard et al made classical, pop, rock, synth etc genre songs as best they could using the SID chip - still at least I would call every single one of them a chiptune. Nah, I'm still supportive of the definition that there must be code in the editor/player to support the creation and playback of instrument 'envelopes', ie. either code to program a real chip or code to emulate what such a chip can do.

There's a third way - to go by the composer's intent. If he set out to emulate a sound of a chiptune using whatever features the music editor supports, it's a chiptune. If he knows enough to put in the cues the audience expect from the chiptune genre, otherwise it's something else...

Making definitions that hold up under scrutiny is hard Usually it depends on how big an a$$hole the scrutinizer wants to be

You could relax and make it easy and say, "I know a chiptune when I hear one", but that's not a definition

For discussion (if you like): When does a chiptune stop being a chiptune?
Size? (Is a 2 MB tune that sounds like a chiptune a chiptune? 90KB?)
Adding a sampled instrument or effect? (Is f.ex. an .mp3 made in Reason with synth sounds sampled from a C-64 or Roland synth a chiptune, if it sounds like one?)
Adding vocals? (Ie. chiptune in protracker with sampled rap phrases, is that a chiptune?)
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