Posts Tagged ‘development’

Progression: Music Theory 110 – Development, Motifs, and Repetition

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Hey dudes and dudettes,

I’m back in the writing room organising music theory tutelage for you folks, and it just dawned on me that I’ve been writing for this website for more than a year now. Life is good.

Last month we covered the idea of pivoting into seemingly unrelated key areas. As I’m sure you are all aware I will strongly advise you to go back and read through my previous articles as they will help contextualise what we know by this point. This month is an interesting one. This isn’t a music theory topic per se, but rather a skill for musical architecture. We’ll be covering the idea of motific development and creating music that cohesively builds on its musical material.

Let’s jam.

I’ve got a weird feeling that I’m clutching at straws with this whole “weird photos of sheet music” thing.

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Paul’s Pantry: Chip Tanaka – ‘Django’

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[Editor’s note: I nearly un-retired from review writing to cover this magnificent new release composed by one of my original childhood inspirations; Tanaka-san’s Metroid OST is largely responsible for initially engaging my interests in both VGM and chip, if not music in general! I’m glad I didn’t, however, as Paul has done a marvelous job conveying his own enthusiasm and appreciation for ‘Django’ as a chipmusic composer himself. Regardless, please enjoy this lovely take from a member of the new chiptune generation on one of the forefathers of chipmusic’s latest works! ~Brandon L. H.]

If you’ve read any of my previous reviews, you know how laudative and enthusiastic I can get. But today is a bit different. Here I am, listening to this album again, reading up on Tanaka-san’s bio to research the article, recalling the mind-bending experience that was seeing him live at Square Sounds Tokyo last September. Here I am, writing about the article, instead of the album or the artist, trying to sound meta and smart, keeping my composure, because I don’t want you to know that words are failing me.

I don’t want this article to be a string of enthusiastic platitudes and generic descriptions of the music. I love this album and I want my review to do it justice, beyond the fact that I’m still starstruck and not in any fit state to be objective.

And even if this album refuses to fit nicely in a traditional 2k-word album review, which it probably will, I’m still gonna give it my best shot. Here we are. Let me tell you about Chip Tanaka, and his album, ‘Django’.

This beautiful cover art shows the many qualities of Chip Tanaka’s music: Eclectic, goofy, organic, multi-facetted and good for your health.

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Paul’s Tech Talk – LSDJ 5.3.5_4x Part 2: Sandpaper vs Eardrums

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Hello all and thank you for reading Paul’s Tech Talk on The ChipWIN Blog!

This article is the second part of an issue on the spicy topic of PSG Chip Overclocking. In the first part, we tackled the basic theory behind what overclocking could achieve on an NES when ticks sped up enough to reach into the audio range. Today, we’re going to try and be more specific, and try out some practical examples on Gameboy.

While audio range speeds can be achieved at high tempos on stock LSDJ, we’re going to try and venture beyond that, thanks to the very unique test build of LSDJ: 5.3.5_4x, which multiplies tempo by FOUR.

Let’s dive in!

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Paul’s Tech Talk – LSDJ 5.3.5_4x Part 1: Overclocking and dual oscillator theory

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Hello beautiful people and thank you for reading Paul’s Tech Talk on the ChipWIN Blog!

Today we’re going to talk about a very special version of LSDJ, and a tracking method that cannot often be used on Gameboy, but flourishes on other platforms such as NES: ~ OVERCLOCKING ~ ♪♫

During the avalanche of updates that gave light to this column in the first place, the community was hard at work trying to sniff out bugs and offer feature suggestions of their own. Some were very daring, seemed almost impossible, but were still considered by Johan for integration. One of them was actually the notion of underclocking. Why make the gameboy even slower than it is, you will undoubtedly ask? Well there is one limitation of the Gameboy hardware that theoretically could have been overcome with this method: its note range.

Gameboy Pocket featuring a Variable Clock Mod

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Paul’s Tech Talk – LSDJ 5.1.0, Civil War Part 2: The new L command, and KICKS

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Hello all and thank you for reading The ChipWIN Blog!

In the last issue of this column, we tackled the infamous 5.1.0 LSDJ update and dwelled on the theory of what it brought to the table. To cut it short, it all boiled down to a complete redesign of Pitch behaviour. What the community did not expect, was all the ramifications and ripples it would have, and it ended up being a highly controversial update, to which many would actually choose to turn a blind eye.

If you haven’t already, I suggest reading the first part of this article before delving into this one, just to get familiar with what’s at stake. In this second part, I will first spend some time going over the specifics of the all-new L command also introduced in 5.1.0. Then I will go over how I view the anatomy of Kicks. And then, finally, I will try to get more practical, and give several examples of how to work with LSDJ 5.1.0 and above to utilize all these new features to the fullest.

Let’s dive in!

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Paul’s Tech Talk – LSDJ 5.1.0, Civil War Part 1: “Linear” Pitch

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Hello beautiful people and thank you for reading Paul’s Tech Talk on The ChipWIN Blog!

Today we’re going to tackle one, if not THE most groundbreaking update that happened to LSDJ in the midst of all its crazy transformations. With 5.1.0, Johan Kotlinski decided to rewrite the entire pitch behaviour in LSDJ from scratch. For the sake of this article I’m going to try and keep an unbiased point of view. Even though I am pretty partial to the newer versions, I still use the older ones as well. But it’s safe to say that this update was probably the most controversial of all, and it ruffled a few feathers in the community.

In music in general, but more particularly from a software perspective in LSDJ, Pitch is a solid foundation on which a lot of elements are built. And even though LSDJ is a shining example of software ergonomics and accessible design, its complexity still gives it a bit of a learning curve. The 5.1.0 update shook things up so much that artists would either have to relearn a lot of tried-and-true techniques that would now work just as well but very differently, or refrain from upgrading altogether, deliberately missing out on later updates and bug fixes.

Long story short, for a lot of people, upgrading to 5.1.0 and above would break songs from older versions and render quite a few staple sound design techniques obsolete. Let’s take a quick look at what has changed and get a better grasp of the situation.

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