Posts Tagged ‘Nintendo’

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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Glenntai Got: “Don’t Wait” by mal4m

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Let’s face some hard truths, no matter how popular chiptune gets (as a niche medium), there have always been a lot of people thinking it’s starting to fade away. The reality, though, is that isn’t even close to true. There will always be jaded people; this is inevitable. However chiptune, much like synthesizers in the 80’s, has helped many people evolve their tastes in music beyond just what they expected. A lot of expectations were the concept of the nostalgia and limitations of the sound of a single console or a few combined. It has brought people into a whole new perspective of appreciating composition, sound design, and genres they never expected to find growing on them. People who haven’t explored their music tastes before chip music are exploring the wide variety of music that’s out there. We have people continuing to put chiptune elements and chip music influences in their music, whether it’s strictly hardware, strictly software, or somewhere in between. This is exactly where mal4m’s EP, “Don’t Wait,” comes into play.


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What’s On Tap – Hide Your Tigers

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Hello friends and welcome to the chilliest What’s On Tap? in recent memory. Here in the barren wastes between the midwest and east coast of the United States, we have gone from an unseasonably warm weekend to ‘holy crap I forgot how much cold hurts’ literally overnight. But never fear, this month’s tunes are guaranteed to set fire to your speakers while the beer style is sure to warm the heart of even the coldest Grinch.

This month I have the pleasure of reviewing ‘Run From Reality’, the latest release from Hide Your Tigers on the Pterodactyl Squad netlabel. Las Vegas chip musician Cheyne Shirley is the mastermind behind this project, as well as being one half of the duo Decaying Tigers. This album is loaded from start to finish with dance/trance/EDM bangers, and Cheyne’s weapons of mass construction are a pile of Game Boys running LSDJ. Each track has layers upon layers of bass, with just enough room in the spectrum for percussion, backing pads, and the occasional melody. The album is an easy, lighthearted, and happy listen. ‘Run From Reality’ might be is best summarized by the following 15-second ad in the style of a stereotypical commercial voiceover:

Hate the cold? Seasonal Affective Disorder got ya down? Cure the holiday blues by treating yourself to some bangin’ dance tunes from Hide Your Tigers!


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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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