Krakozhia

Chiptunes ...?

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My one issue with the argument I'm constantly hearing repeated... to paraphrase "what if he made a remix in the style of Zimbabwe Uyulating, it's a legitimate genre that consists of nothing but recordings of frogs being skinned alive... etc.

I've heard this being used with wind chimes persay, as an example, or yogic rock banging.

This argument falls apart for me a bit because, if the judges heard a remix in one of these genres, and they actually liked it, I don't think they'd reject it solely BECAUSE of its limitations, they'd only reject it if they felt the limitations kept if from being, for lack of a better description, good music... there's the double standard.

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I would of thought that they are discouraged IF the original source is chiptune itself.

Because of regardless of how amazing the remix may be it wont pass due to using the same style as the original.

The issue i see with this however is not due to chiptune itself but all other genres.

If the source is orchestra and the remix is also orchestra would this also be discouraged?

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I can understand the arguments against Gregorian chant and wind chimes and nose flutes and whatever else for being esoteric and outside the scope of the site, but I would have thought as a website devoted to video game music there would be an exception made for chip music, for the sake of being culturally sensitive. I think only a small percentage of the site's audience would be against it if you made it very clear what it meant and didn't let it become a slippery slope. But yes I always found it odd. SHRUGGITY SHRUG.

Spinoff website time: OverClocked Chiptune

genuinely surprised this never happened, supply and demand being what it is!

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So how exactly is zircon's statement wrong if it's "so far"?

There's no point arguing over semitics. The fact of the matter is, you said "There are possible cases to circumvent the rule, they just haven't turned up." This is false. If Shna can't pass with Espergirl 2A03 then no chiptune will ever pass.

On the other hand, I am eagerly anticipating Shnabubula's NES Jamz and I think there's a chiptune/solo piano combo on it that passed the panel. So we'll see when that comes around.

Apparently you can't have chiptune by itself, but chiptune and lead kazoo?

This is why I mentioned that OCR hasn't established chiptune standards. Because it's a factual statement. Sure, plain chiptune = always no. But chiptune with piano can be a yes. What else can you combine with chiptune to get a yes? Only piano? Can it be chiptune and vocal? The standards of chiptunes on OCR have yet to be defined.

Some people (and judges) do subjectively feel that the production style is basic and abrasive

dubstep

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as the rule so far is that pure chiptunes don't get accepted. It's not a majority of cases, so far, it's all cases.

Getting into semantics here.. I didn't say "so far", I was talking about all possible cases. Yes, we haven't passed any pure chip things. But, and Dave could correct me if I'm wrong here, we certainly do not have any kind of hardline rule saying that we'll never pass them. It's possible, that's all I'm saying.

This argument falls apart for me a bit because, if the judges heard a remix in one of these genres, and they actually liked it, I don't think they'd reject it solely BECAUSE of its limitations, they'd only reject it if they felt the limitations kept if from being, for lack of a better description, good music... there's the double standard.

It's not really a double standard, it boils down to subjective preference. Just because chiptunes are popular doesn't mean that the style of production is objectively 'good'. Some people (and judges) do subjectively feel that the production style is basic and abrasive, and that it's sort of an arbitrary restriction. People like you, halc, chthonic/ben briggs (etc) have shown that you can use heavy chiptune elements in a track without being 100% chiptune and those will get happily passed and enjoyed.

If the source is orchestra and the remix is also orchestra would this also be discouraged?

Nope, not at all.

I think only a small percentage of the site's audience would be against it if you made it very clear what it meant and didn't let it become a slippery slope

True, but we don't base our policy on whether it will be popular or not. Almost nobody would mind if we posted cover mixes either, despite that being outside the scope of the site.

There's no point arguing over semitics. The fact of the matter is, you said "There are possible cases to circumvent the rule, they just haven't turned up." This is false. If Shna can't pass with Espergirl 2A03 then no chiptune will ever pass.

Sam is friggin' amazing and probably one of the most talented remixers, composers and performers on the site. Or anywhere, really. But I don't think it is accurate to say that just because a pure chiptune from him didn't pass, that nothing will ever pass. That's a bold statement.

Just to clarify things for EVERYONE:

We don't have anything against chiptunes, just like how we have nothing against covers. Just because the site has guidelines and standards doesn't mean music that falls OUTSIDE those standards is 'bad', or that we don't like it. I've personally voted 'NO' on music I really liked. This isn't a failure of the system or the site. If you try to be everything for all people you get YouTube or Soundcloud or whatever. OCR is not meant to be the ultimate source for all video game music or VGM arrangements. Please try to keep this in mind and don't get angry about things in our standards, as they are not value judgements on your music.

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Yet another "where do we draw the line" argument.

I thought it was fairly evident that the main intent of this rule was to prevent the kind of half-ass, 'auto-pilot' production that - you can argue against it if you like - is ridiculously easy with 'chip' sounds. Any amateur programmer can do it. Production and engineering effort is mostly unnecessary. And even a single live violin or piano rises above the 'basic tone' description. Not everyone can perform, engineer, record and mix live strings and Gregorian chants. You bet that would get consideration, but see how far you get with one-second samples of strings and Gregorian chant piled together without any regard for the usual mixing techniques. Bottom line is, if the OP even has to ask the original question, he/she is someone, or knows someone, or wants someone, who's willing to try and is not likely to succeed looking for that one 'magic bullet' exception or loophole. That's what we're discouraging.

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I would argue there is plenty of production involved in chiptune music. The prinicpless are instead transfered to the sequencing itself, where you add faked echo, reverb, etc into the actual composition. Skilled chiptune musicians like virt use clever tricks such as adding faked reverb/echo inbetween notes but in a different key, which is a great way to "trick" the listener and add more harmonics to the music.

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I would argue there is plenty of production involved in chiptune music. The prinicpless are instead transfered to the sequencing itself, where you add faked echo, reverb, etc into the actual composition. Skilled chiptune musicians like virt use clever tricks such as adding faked reverb/echo inbetween notes but in a different key, which is a great way to "trick" the listener and add more harmonics to the music.

But it's a different kind of production that it looks to me like Dave didn't want to have on this site. There's lots of work that goes into creating a chip arrangement. There's also a lot of work that goes into super medley covers and such. But they're not for OCR is what I think the joojes are trying to say.

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I'm not really contesting Dave's point of view. I was arguing against the notion that you'd want to take the chiptune route because it's supposedly simpler to create a full-fledged song that way. There have been so many techniques discovered over the decades which has raised the bar tremendously compared what you'd hear from, say, Zelda.

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It's not really a double standard, it boils down to subjective preference. Just because chiptunes are popular doesn't mean that the style of production is objectively 'good'. Some people (and judges) do subjectively feel that the production style is basic and abrasive, and that it's sort of an arbitrary restriction. People like you, halc, chthonic/ben briggs (etc) have shown that you can use heavy chiptune elements in a track without being 100% chiptune and those will get happily passed and enjoyed.

Okay, the difficulty I have with this is, if rejecting chiptunes is based on a 'subjective' preference, because of what 'some people' feel, then there's a lot of material which could be rejected with the same 'subjective' reasoning (some people find orchestral music boring etc.). You're saying that chiptune production is not 'objecitvely' good, does this mean it IS objectively bad? if it is, then why reject them on a 'subjective' basis... you see why this gets confusing? So speaking subjectively, people in this community and the overclocked remix listening audience I would say are more predisposed to appreciate the chiptune genre then almost any other scene out there... and as far as being 'basic and abrasive', again.. speaking subjectively, there are plenty of 'acceptable' genres that fall into that category.

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I only meant that we don't look at or consider ANY genres to be objectively good, or bad. That's one of the high-level principles of the panel. I've definitely passed remixes I didn't really enjoy stylistically, and rejected stuff I did enjoy. Ultimately it's the catch-22 of having human beings evaluate music. We can try to be as impartial as possible but some people will listen to a drumkit and say it sounds good, others will say it doesn't. Some people listen to chiptune production and say it's great, others (like GrayLightning) think it is needlessly lo-fi.

At the end of the day it's up to Dave to shape the standards, so I think he can clarify his position (which ultimately becomes our position, as judges) better than anyone.

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If the judges enjoy the chiptune and its arrangement, and the vgm fans enjoy it, and chiptune is accepted as a legitimate form of music and art, then what's the point of denying it over some arbitrary and subjective opinion of whether the production is "good" or "bad"? What is at the core of the discrimination against chiptunes, because there are a lot of other genres that are subjectively pretty terrible, some of which even get DP'ed.

Some of the judges have said mellotrons are "low quality samples" with "no articulations"

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Yes, we haven't passed any pure chip things. But, and Dave could correct me if I'm wrong here, we certainly do not have any kind of hardline rule saying that we'll never pass them. It's possible, that's all I'm saying.

I'm really out of my depth on this, but I do want to make one small comment, for what it's worth. I was under the (apparently false) impression that there already were a few pure chiptunes on the site. With so many songs on the site with significant chip-elements, it would be quite a leap to completely ban pure chip songs. There are some very talented chip artists on this site, so I'm sure it's only a (short) matter of time before a pure chip song is posted.

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The point is that when Dave started the site in 1999, there were other chiptune and MIDI enthusiast sites, but no sites focused on MP3 arrangements of all games, so a specific point was to use more modern sounds and productions applied to older game music to explore it in ways outside of those traditional limitations. So that's why, if you use MIDI or chiptunes stuff in OC ReMixes, it has to be paired with more modern sounds and modern production techniques. Founder's discretion, and that's the way it's been done.

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The point is that when Dave started the site in 1999, there were other chiptune and MIDI enthusiast sites, but no sites focused on MP3 arrangements of all games, so a specific point was to use more modern sounds and productions applied to older game music to explore it in ways outside of those traditional limitations. So that's why, if you use MIDI or chiptunes stuff in OC ReMixes, it has to be paired with more modern sounds and modern production techniques. Founder's discretion, and that's the way it's been done.

because chiptune technique as it stands today, a field that is still constantly being innovated and revolutionized, is clearly not modern while, using virtual analog synths and 808s based on completely outdated hardware, common place in synth based remixes, clearly is. What if somebody submitted a remix in the style of a 70s rock song...or worse yet, something classical. Modern all the way!

EDIT:

I apologize for my tone, and I realize that it's not quite that simple, however I don't think this issue can, or should, be so easily dismissed.

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The point is that when Dave started the site in 1999, there were other chiptune and MIDI enthusiast sites, but no sites focused on MP3 arrangements of all games, so a specific point was to use more modern sounds and productions applied to older game music to explore it in ways outside of those traditional limitations. So that's why, if you use MIDI or chiptunes stuff in OC ReMixes, it has to be paired with more modern sounds and modern production techniques. Founder's discretion, and that's the way it's been done.

But nowadays, I feel like there aren't really those sites anymore, at least not as prominent as OCR or with the same goal as OCR. It seems the site should grow, not be limited by it's roots.

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I would argue there is plenty of production involved in chiptune music. The prinicpless are instead transfered to the sequencing itself, where you add faked echo, reverb, etc into the actual composition. Skilled chiptune musicians like virt use clever tricks such as adding faked reverb/echo inbetween notes but in a different key, which is a great way to "trick" the listener and add more harmonics to the music.

Absolutely agreed, but that kind of thing can't be 'half-assed', can it? I love it when people do that: it clearly shows they care, which goes back to my point that if you're gonna 'chip' us, absent certain production elements, that level of craftsmanship would probably be a minimum requirement.

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But nowadays, I feel like there aren't really those sites anymore, at least not as prominent as OCR or with the same goal as OCR. It seems the site should grow, not be limited by it's roots.

Completely agree. That seemed like an ok idea in 1999 but times have changed, along with music, the site, hopefully the site again (new site version!), etc. It makes 0 sense to cling to a rule made because there were 'other sites at the time' that doesn't even really apply today.

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If the judges enjoy the chiptune and its arrangement, and the vgm fans enjoy it, and chiptune is accepted as a legitimate form of music and art

The same exact thing could be said of covers, or mashups. Those aren't what the site is about. Defining what the site IS about is Dave's job, because it's his site.

Completely agree. That seemed like an ok idea in 1999 but times have changed, along with music, the site, hopefully the site again (new site version!), etc. It makes 0 sense to cling to a rule made because there were 'other sites at the time' that doesn't even really apply today.

Well, one could argue that you don't need a site like OCR to get your music out there. Look at YouTube, Soundcloud, etc. There are WAY more ways to get your music out there, free of charge, to the same audience, so why do we need to change OCR and make it redundant with those other sites?

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I have a feeling that if OCR posted some Shnabubula, virt, or Rushjet chiptune arrangements, those poor kids on YouTube that take OCR as the be-all end-all of game music remixes would have their minds outright BLOWN and their faces MELTED.

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