Do Chiptune Songs All Sound The Same?

Chiptune as a genre gets a lot of flak for producing a limited range of sounds; outsiders tend to believe that chiptune and VGM are one and the same.

I can say honestly that I had not drawn the line before beginning these interviews.

As you start to explore the music put out by the vast number of artists in the space, you realize that for nearly any genre of music you might enjoy, there is likely an artist using a chiptune toolset to create something for you.

Rainbow Dragoneyes - A Metal Chiptune Artist
Rainbow Dragoneyes – A Metal Chiptune Artist

A common theme I’ve discovered in speaking with members of the community is that the genre draws people who appreciate all kinds of music.

It seems that a lot of the original fans of chiptune music have ties to 8bit gaming and tend to be 20 and 30 somethings who grew up using the game systems chiptune artists use today. But, as the crowd who initially found chiptunes or VGM through a nostalgia for the sounds of their childhood has grown up, a younger generation has been introduced to chiptune regardless of any first-hand familiarity with the sounds.

Right now, perhaps chiptune music is in a transitional period where it is being handed down to artists who never had the chance to play 8bit video games growing up, who don’t have a preconceived notion of what VGM or chiptune should sound like.

SlimeGirls combine chiptune music and Japanese-themed art
SlimeGirls combine chiptune music and Japanese-themed art by Stephanie Shih: http://cargocollective.com/shihlikestodraw

As Anime (Japanese Animation) has become a major influence on American culture, fans of anime have been drawn to the genre for its ties to the 8bit community; both sharing common origins in Japan.

It will be interesting to see how the chiptune/VGM/8bit soundscape looks in 10 or 20 years, when we should start seeing more and more artists who weren’t even around when the Game Boy was released and who will further explore the possibilities of what can be created on the hardware.

An Interview With Mike Bleeds

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Photo Courtesy of www.LaVieEnPhotos.net

For our second interview we talk with Mike Bleeds, a Chiptune Artist out of San Diego, who uses the original Nintendo Game Boy along with the program LSDJ to produce music that’s probably not like any chiptune music you’ve heard. In the session we talk with Mike about his path to creating chiptune music, what the community is like, and how artists interested in creating their own chiptunes can get started.

Music Featured in this Session:
Track: Les Lumieres – Album: Light. Emmiting. Diode (L.E.D.)
Track: Close Your Eyes – Album: Close Your Eyes E.P.

Find All of Bleeds’ Music on www.Bleeds.Bandcamp.com

(Thank you Mike!)

Intro and Outro Music:
Provided under creative commons license.
from www.FreeHipHopBeats.com
Produced by The Passion HiFi

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