Krakozhia

Chiptunes ...?

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That's what we do. :|

Then why not pass Espergirl *_*. It's about one of the best straight chiptune arrangements you're going to get, as an example of a chip arrangement. Whether or not the chiptune is half-assed hasn't come into play yet in the criteria, because it's NO'd by default.

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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.

That's why you let them submit, and you judge it. If it's half assed, you don't pass it :P

This is pretty much all that needed, or needs, to be said... BUT since we're talking...

I think part of the problem is the "purist" version of chiptunes, which adhere religiously to the limitations of X or Y original chip or system. This DOES remove a lot of decisions w/ regards to DSP, EQ, etc., assuming you're doing ZERO external processing.

Remember the site's origins... at the time, MP3 was actually kinda-sorta new, and part of the point was to move away/beyond the standard sound palette & production afforded by General MIDI i.e. vgmusic.com. To the chagrin of semanticists who insist correctly that MIDI is a protocol/data format, people will STILL say that a given track "sounds too MIDI" - it might be wrong technically, but we know what they mean. There's absolutely no reason to give chiptunes any more leeway than mixes that "sound too MIDI", and that's EXACTLY what the standards, as written, are trying to convey. If you want to argue that we should accept purist chiptunes, I have no idea why you wouldn't ALSO argue that we should accept MIDIs - either type of arrangement can be captured in more concise file formats and does not require MP3 (or WAV, FLAC, whatever). So it's not really a question that's limited to chiptunes at all... it's more about what you do with whatever tools you choose to use, how the arrangement makes the best of those tools, what you're trying to say, etc. There are subjective AND objective factors to this equation, but it's mostly subjective, hence we don't want standards that outlaw anything directly, but we DO want to express that if you throw a chiptune arrangement that employs 100% standard NES defaults our way, it's going to be judged similarly to if you had recorded the MIDI output from the default Windows MIDI player.

Interestingly enough Doug.. we kind of spent several pages explaining why chiptune doesn't actually LIMIT production values by any objective measuring stick. They are just as complex in many ways from a production perspective as recording a solo instrument. From timbral shifts combined with all kinds of volume macros, echo techniques a miriad of arpeggiation methods that create entirely new timbres, not to mention how these things are used in conjunction across multiple channels to create unique sounds through combinations etc... I could go on at length.. people have, entire message boards with thousands of users are devoted to nothing other than aspects of chiptunes which have NOTHING to do with composition.

Who am I to debate the great Sam Ascher-Weiss on the subject of chiptunes? ;) I get the point you're making, and thanks for educating us - both through your words and through your music. Yet I think you'll agree, pure chiptunes DO limit production OPTIONS by a pretty objective measuring stick. Production "values" is more debatable, but I don't know how you could argue that pure chiptunes as compared to pure chiptunes + DSP, or chiptunes mixed w/ non-chiptunes, was somehow a more expansive category. It's not - you've eliminated possibilities, intentionally. The point I think you're making is less about limitation and more that there's a LOT of room within a pure chiptune approach to do some amazing things, which fall under the general umbrella of production, and it's a point well made, again by your own music as much as your words. But almost ever since people began recording music, they've been applying EQ and reverb to it, for some pretty good reasons. What's the argument against employing those for chiptunes, other than self-imposed (hence artificial) adherence to the exact same restrictions VGM composers legitimately dealt with at the time?

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DJP you control the spice, you control the rules and laws of OCR. Surely you realize that this civil war against chiptunes and the discrimination against them is entirely unfair. We're not talking any standard chiptune, someone brought up

which is above and beyond the average offering you would get for chiptune.

People keep trying to say "half-assed" as an example or excuse for blocking chip, but that is not the example, the example is

and it is not half-assed nor does it sound bad.

You control the spice and if you wanted to say "Yes chiptunes, NO midi files, NO covers or mashups" then that's your call. Just because you allow chiptunes doesn't mean you have to allow everything. The people who may be clamoring for straight covers don't even use the OCR Site, they are all on Youtube, disliking the videos. :lol:

Here's another example of amazing, not half-assed Chiptune: http://mazedude.bandcamp.com/track/cohens-8-bit-masterpiece-bioshock

The site will miss out on these amazing works of art because of some arbitrary rule... And the misguided belief that chiptune production is "bad". I've fiddled with chiptune sounds in a couple remixes and they were quite loud, with a very clean tone that was easy to fit into a mix. Unlike 90% of instrumentation in the world. z___z

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but we DO want to express that if you throw a chiptune arrangement that employs 100% standard NES defaults our way, it's going to be judged similarly to if you had recorded the MIDI output from the default Windows MIDI player.

So by what criteria could one pass the panel? And for the record, while general midi is certainly a popular format, and there are websites devoted to it, you don't have:

general midi artists touring the world (Jeremiah Johnson, Joshua Davis etc.),

being featured on late night with Late Night Carson Daily,

Wired, Time

[to name a few]

Holding international festivals, one of which was covered by MTV here in the sates

having more than 2 MILLION scrobbles combined amongst just THREE musicians....

reaching number one on bandcamp in sales with a FREE ALBUM

maybe it's time to stop using the "it's the same as .mid" justification.

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maybe it's time to stop using the "it's the same as .mid" justification.

It's not that it's the same, it's that it CAN be, and I do want to make that distinction. My personal intention was to discourage mixes that simply employed what I would refer to as "chiptune defaults" - is there a better term for that?

Also, if everyone else jumped off a bridge, would you? You don't need to tell us chiptunes are huge... we know that. It's obviously in anyone's best interests, including our own, to be more inclusive and embrace something popular. That, in and of itself, is not a fantastic argument though, because popularity is a shitty metric of quality, and popular music is not a meritocracy.

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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!
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 [of old-school game computers and consoles]. 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 [compared to old-school game computers and consoles]. Founder's discretion, and that's the way it's been done.

Fixed. Which you'd think was implicit and understood, but ah well. :lol:

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Fixed. Which you'd think was implicit and understood, but ah well. :lol:

Fair enough...however, If chiptune artists were composing using the NESDEV tools, then I'd agree with the "traditional limitations" rule. But considering Famitracker created nsfs can exceed the 32kb limit and the "traditional limitations" [this is not just about song length but the level of detail and complexity as well adds to the filesize] not to mention the amount of fine tuned control we're given that the NESDEV tools did not possess by any accessible means.

and as far as gameboy chiptunes, LSDJ is so far beyond the available devtools for the old gameboy that it's pretty ridiculous. Just the use of the wavetable channel alone.

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Then why not pass Espergirl *_*. It's about one of the best straight chiptune arrangements you're going to get, as an example of a chip arrangement. Whether or not the chiptune is half-assed hasn't come into play yet in the criteria, because it's NO'd by default.

This may have been a mistake, or may have pre-dated the standards revision. I leave it up to the judges whether a re-evaluation makes sense; maybe it does?

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This may have been a mistake, or may have pre-dated the standards revision. I leave it up to the judges whether a re-evaluation makes sense; maybe it does?

For the record, I feel I've learned a lot about chiptunes and chiptune technique to the point where I'd be slightly embarrassed if that song were ever posted... however, I'd love to give it another shot with perhaps a VRC6 arrangement using far greater detail and variety of sound than I was capable of with espergirl

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For the record, I feel I've learned a lot about chiptunes and chiptune technique to the point where I'd be slightly embarrassed if that song were ever posted... however, I'd love to give it another shot with perhaps a VRC6 arrangement using far greater detail and variety of sound than I was capable of with espergirl

I'd say go for it - at worst, it'll maybe create some temporary drama or hurt feelings, but at best, it'll help clarify our policy, set a precedent, and result in a great track that peeps will enjoy, no matter where it gets posted.

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I'd say go for it - at worst, it'll maybe create some temporary drama or hurt feelings, but at best, it'll help clarify our policy, set a precedent, and result in a great track that peeps will enjoy, no matter where it gets posted.

I am really glad to see this thread come out to this kind of conclusion and I wish Shnabubula and anyone else who makes chiptunes the best of luck with setting a precedent and leading the standards to a brighter future. *_*

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There are quite a few things in this thread that I don't necessarily like or agree with, but I'm going to gloss over all of that because...

For the record, I feel I've learned a lot about chiptunes and chiptune technique to the point where I'd be slightly embarrassed if that song were ever posted... however, I'd love to give it another shot with perhaps a VRC6 arrangement using far greater detail and variety of sound than I was capable of with espergirl
FUCKYEAH ESPERGIRL VRC6!

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I have no idea why you wouldn't ALSO argue that we should accept MIDIs - either type of arrangement can be captured in more concise file formats and does not require MP3 (or WAV, FLAC, whatever.

Not to belabor the debate, but for the record, I also had a problem w/ this decision.

I know it's old, but it really hit a point with me, especially back then, when the audio standards weren't quite as formidable. (as samples have progressed quite a bit since then) I appreciated the arrangement a TON, and while I know dave (blitzlunar) has moved on since then musically (just like Sam has w/ Espergirl), and they can both obviously do better... For the time, they were their best feet they put forward, and that has since been lost and not experienced by the people that would have enjoyed knowing of its existence, which certainly can happen in other arenas and forums (youtube, thasauce, etc.), but would have a much wider general audience at OCR. Anyway, at that time I was extremely disappointed. It's not that I don't understand the criteria completely, it's just that when I look at the song, I am seeing it in a different light. It was trying to adhere to OCR standards, and on a lot of good points it did.

It's an arrangement, and a damn good one.

It's enjoyable to listen to.

One of the better possible arrangements of a greatly appreciated, but little remixed tune.

I just felt that all of the positive points would outweigh the one real negative aspect you guys had against it, and from the looks of it, most people did really appreciate the positive aspects. But even when acknowledging this, the song was ultimately turned away, midi-esque production resulting in disqualification. The skill behind the actual midi production notwithstanding - which I understand, again, and get that trying to implement a standard is hard, especially w/ a watchdog mentality (because music does create a lot of emo). BUT, isn't that kind of what having a judges panel would be for, can't (and I am getting that vibe lately more) there be a lean more towards "exceptions" to the rule, and let the grey area of a decision be more defined by the actual merits of the song itself individually, more than creating precedents and standards themselves. I know it's seen as gesture to keep it "fair" to everyone, but not everyone is writing the same song, using the same samples, or recordings, with the same skills. That's always been a kind of internal question I've had about the entire system. So I guess my point would be, having a balance between maybe a HARD set and a SOFT set of criteria.

The one really large thing Pentagon Path had going against it in the panel was that it was midi-ish, had issues with the samples, and that pushed it over the edge. But was that really detrimental to the song, or did the song capture that feel and atmosphere that Mario Kart in general has conveyed? I feel it was the latter, and again, should have been an exception to the rule, not because I disagree w/ the standards and what judging and OCR is all about, but because I think it could have been left more for the audience to decide. I know so many people like me that would have enjoyed it, and not necessarily "despite" the production. The subjective part came more IMO w/ the opinions on the actual arrangement, from complex and incredible to disjointed... The point being, that wasn't the deciding factor. Some people are going to appreciate it, others are not, but the skill involved wasn't really called into question.

Anyway, it's certainly nice right now to talk about it though, and I'm not insisting on anything, just something I've thought about.

Edit: Oh yeah and for reference of the song I'm talking about:

keep in mind, it's from 2005.

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Monobrow, you're arguing (or pressing) that OCR should pass something just because it's good music.

However, something doesn't pass OCR just because it's good music. As stated probably one hundred times before, just because they reject something doesn't mean it isn't good. It just doesn't meet OCR vision.

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So I guess my point would be, having a balance between maybe a HARD set and a SOFT set of criteria.

That is what we already have. There are almost no 'hard' criteria at all actually, the only one I can think of is that the music has to be originally written for a game. Other than that, stuff like arrangement and production is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and though we try to be objective about it, ultimately it is subjective. You can't quantify "good production", so we don't. Not sure what more we can do there. Ultimately you're just saying you disagree with the majority opinion on the panel, which is fine (and understandable, we disagree with each other frequently), but it's not a hard standards issue.

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Monobrow, you're arguing (or pressing) that OCR should pass something just because it's good music.

However, something doesn't pass OCR just because it's good music. As stated probably one hundred times before, just because they reject something doesn't mean it isn't good. It just doesn't meet OCR vision.

That's a bit of an oversimplification. You can keep saying they are "stating" their argument etc., but you need to acknowledge that this is a debate that is happening for a reason, getting people to understand, and also being open to criticism is a good thing. Dave's response has been very honest and appreciated. Do you really think I don't "get it" or do you think I might be trying to have a discussion about the actual merits of the previous criteria? In other words, these kinds of interjections into debates are detrimental and exactly why having conversations can be difficult in the first place.

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That is what we already have. There are almost no 'hard' criteria at all actually, the only one I can think of is that the music has to be originally written for a game. Other than that, stuff like arrangement and production is evaluated on a case-by-case basis, and though we try to be objective about it, ultimately it is subjective. You can't quantify "good production", so we don't. Not sure what more we can do there. Ultimately you're just saying you disagree with the majority opinion on the panel, which is fine (and understandable, we disagree with each other frequently), but it's not a hard standards issue.

I think I understand what you're saying, but I am not sure if you got what I meant in my post. Ultimately, the subjectivity and disagreement is what it BOILS DOWN TO, but the perspective going into the "standard" is what I'm taking issue with. I don't really think it felt that way from observation though. Dave did bring up the point about MIDI, and that was a MIDI submission that I disagreed with, so my problem really was more about the bar being set against a REALLY GOOD MIDI submission in the form of a standard mp3. To me that's more of a hard standards issue.

Of course, yeah I feel that way about the song if I like it, but I am also speaking from a perspective that I think I've heard songs from 2005 with audio quality issues that (again imo) are more pressing and kind of sound awful now (such as outdated sample sets, bad quality recordings, etc) that were posted, with so much less skill involved (imo) in comparison to Pentagon Path. I do feel like it was treated a bit differently in the end because it was MIDI, and how good it was for MIDI ultimately didn't matter because it was in a way setting that precedent.

It was written for OCR (from what I have gathered), and was an attempt to adhere to the standards. So to answer Dave's question about MIDI earlier, I'm just here saying that even though it was in 2005, I'm gonna take issue with it to a certain extent, even if I understand the point.

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Not to sound like I'm being antagonist to the debate going on in this thread, but I was sure it was about a guy asking what the requirements were for getting a chiptune on the site, not a debate about the merits of standards that have been established for more than a couple years now.

That's just me, I'm not saying the debate should cease; I'm just saying that my statements, while detrimental to the conversation, were made for a reason. If the new topic of this thread is "what should OCR's vision be", then I'll cease commenting, because I really don't have a clue on such a thing.

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Not to sound like I'm being antagonist to the debate going on in this thread, but I was sure it was about a guy asking what the requirements were for getting a chiptune on the site, not a debate about the merits of standards that have been established for more than a couple years now.

That's just me, I'm not saying the debate should cease; I'm just saying that my statements, while detrimental to the conversation, were made for a reason. If the new topic of this thread is "what should OCR's vision be", then I'll cease commenting, because I really don't have a clue on such a thing.

The conversation has evolved into a discussion of OCR's stance on chiptunes and whether or not there should be an adjustment. It doesn't really help to just keep saying "well that's how it is guys that's what they keep saying."

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The conversation has evolved into a discussion of OCR's stance on chiptunes and whether or not there should be an adjustment. It doesn't really help to just keep saying "well that's how it is guys that's what they keep saying."

Which is exactly what I needed clarification on, thanks.

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Every time I think about OCR vs. production values and chiptunes, this song comes to mind. Granted, it is a very old example from 2003, but even at that time the standards were typically higher for production (which is mentioned in the write-up.) However, BottledMetro is allowed to continue to be on the site due to its creative and enjoyable arrangement, and I feel that there are a number of chiptune remixes that fit within the same criteria, like Espergirl. It's hard to know where the line should be between production and arrangement, but there's been precedence where the lack of one can counteract the other.

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