Authentic Chipmusic Soft Synth Emulation: Plogue Chipsounds Scoop from NAMM

  From top: ComputeHer, 8 bit Weapon. You’ve heard the chip hype. But there’s something behind it: vintage digital chips can make wonderful sounds. And I’m thrilled that someone has painstakingly reproduced those sounds in an upcoming package. Emulating analog circuitry, from amps to classic synths, has been long understood. But we’ve finally reached an age when people begin to appreciate the odd idiosyncrasies of digital technology, too. There hasn’t ever been a comprehensive attempt to emulate each detail of a range of 80s sound chips before – until now. Plogue (makers of the highly underrated Plogue Bidule patching environment) …

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Chip on the Go: SID Player for iPod Touch, iPhone Plays C64 Tunes, Says Something

One chip to rule them all: over a quarter century later, the sounds of this chip are reborn in the newest mobile devices. Photo (CC) Dejdżer / Digga. Take a look at the long view of history, and the Commodore 64 fares nicely. It remains the most popular computer of all time. And this newfangled iPhone thing? Well, it now just catches up to the C64, giving people what they really want – a C64-like music player in their pocket. How else to explain my inbox packed with tips about the new SID Player for iPod Touch and iPhone? Who …

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Chiptune Rockstars: Videos from Blip 08, And What You Can Learn From the 8-Bit Scene

For the best of 8-bit/chip music extravaganza Blip Festival 08 without leaving your computer screen, video editors have completed their dark craft and gotten some documentation online. Our friends over at 2 Player Productions are working on more long-form documentary, but they already have this cover of “Atomic” by Glomag and stealthopera for your enjoyment. "Atomic" cover by Glomag f. stealthopera @ Blip Festival 2008 in NYC from 2 Player Productions on Vimeo. Glomag, here’s an idea for your next set: I stand nonchalantly at your side, edging ever closer until you punch me in the face with one of …

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8-bit and Retro Holiday Cheer: Advent Calendar Albums, Casio and Coneheads

Kasio Kristmas from Jim McKenzie on Vimeo. Feeling a warm, holiday glow – or is that just nostalgia for simpler times, times when less digital information was needed to capture sound? Bits were real bits; sampling rates were low enough you could count to the top of them. Kids walked uphill through the snow both ways to buy a new Casio keyboard, and they didn’t yet believe Nintendo’s R.O.B. was a gimmick. They had none of your Grand Theft Audio nonsense: they hummed along to annoying tunes and watched sprites dance across the screen like a derezzed Sugar Plum Fairy. …

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Sega Master System, NES as Audio Effect; Videos Coming from Blip Fest

8-bit audiovisual party Blip Fest started last night here in New York, so it’s only natural we celebrate game systems used for music through the weekend in its honor. (Reminder: come meet up with me and Boing Boing’s Joel Johnson tonight, 6-8p, if you’re going to Blip. Facebook event / CDM post) Sega Master Bitcrunch The promising new – and music-savvy, I might add – Boing Boing Offworld gaming blog points to a Sega Master System II that’s been turned into a bitcrush/digital overdrive effect. It sounds absolutely terrible. You know – in a good way. Bender / chip artist …

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A MIDI-Ready Nintendo Game Boy, with Help From Arduino

Arduinoboy mGB from trash80 on Vimeo. Lovers of the sound of the original Nintendo Game Boy, the Minimoog of game systems with its distinctive, rich 8-bit sound, this may be the best solution for integrating it with other music gear. Our friend trash80, aka Timothy, has completed a project with open-source code for the affordable, easily-programmable Arduino electronics platform. To make it work, he’s built his own custom cartridge, adding standard MIDI communication with other devices. An 1/8” minijack plugs into your Game Boy cart, but you get standard MIDI DIN on the other end for connecting to keyboards, computers, …

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Reformat the Planet, 8-bit Music Documentary, Free for a Week

The appeal of newer music apps for phones, current-generation mobile game systems, and PDAs is portability first. But for the Game Boy music scene, it’s as much about a distinctive sound, and acquiring Game Boys as a kind of unique synthesizer. Our friend and mobile game musician Peter Swimm points us to the new documentary Reformat the Planet. It’s available for a week free on pitchfork.tv, with screenings to follow. It’s a pretty nice survey of the New York corner of the scene, at least. I’m personally getting increasingly interested in tools like PSPSEQ, which have a distinctive sound all …

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Nintendo to Block Homebrew Game Hardware; Leaked DS-10 ROM Inspires DS Music

A hacked DS, as photographed by BAMCAT. Homebrewed game music has an uneasy relationship with the mainstream game industry. Running or developing DIY music software isn’t possible on the Nintendo DS without special hardware – hardware that’s also favored by pirates. Nintendo is now suing the makers and sellers of that hardware, because they (correctly) point out it’s being used to pirate — but that could impact the homebrew music software scene, as well. And against that debate, we have a major leak of the Korg DS-10 cartridge, the one cartridge that is official and runs like a normal DS …

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We Are Hacks: Music and Visual Performance at HOPE, NYC – Preview

8-bit and robots and odd Max and Reaktor patches and custom visual software and visualizations of data packets and sound made from plants and mutant trumpets and gloves for DJing and laptop music – we’ve got quite a lineup here in New York this week. Friday night, a live audiovisual lineup from the worlds of createdigitalmusic.com / createdigitalmotion.com invades the HOPE conference, aka Hackers on Planet Earth, the three day-long convergence of tech hacking. $10, open to all, 11-2a Friday July 18 at the Hotel Pennsylvania in New York. It’s a live digital, technological variety show in a doomed NYC …

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Handmade Music is Tomorrow Night in NYC; Gestural DJing in Videos

View Larger Map A reminder to those in the NYC area: CDM again joins up with Etsy.com and Make Magazine for Handmade Music night, a relaxed meet-and-greet of music technologists and people who make noise with things they’ve made. Currently expected: Chiptune / game music stuff, including Peter Swimm’s littlepiggytracker setup, Harsid4U SID (a la Commodore 64) synth Wii control (I’m bringing a Balance Board) Gian Pablo Villamil’s DIY synths, including the brand-new Mutation Synth. (See the previous Rhythmic Synth causing all manner of havoc with Nancy Garcia at the helm, playing with Thurstom Moore at NY’s No Fun Festival. …

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