Levelling up chiptune: nostalgic retro games console sounds for the ROLI Seaboard

Hermes, K. 2024. Levelling up chiptune: nostalgic retro games console sounds for the ROLI Seaboard. in: Jan-Olof Gullö, Russ Hepworth-Sawyer, Justin Paterson, Rob Toulson and Mark Marrington (ed.) Innovation in Music: Technology and Creativity Focal Press. pp. 237-251

Chapter titleLevelling up chiptune: nostalgic retro games console sounds for the ROLI Seaboard
AuthorsHermes, K.
EditorsJan-Olof Gullö, Russ Hepworth-Sawyer, Justin Paterson, Rob Toulson and Mark Marrington
Abstract

In the seventies and eighties, special chips were built that could transform electrical impulses from a computer into analogue sound waves. From the technological restriction of these old devices emerged “chiptune”, a lo-fi style of electronic music. In juxtaposition to the technological restriction of this old hardware, modern electronic music instruments are becoming ever more complex, offering fine control over sonic parameters both live and in the studio. MIDI polyphonic expression (MPE) expands the expressive power of traditional MIDI controllers by allowing individual modulation data to be sent for each musical note in a chord. This paper explores the question as to whether the nostalgia of chiptune can be translated to MPE performance instruments, given the fact the hardware aspects of chiptune music and the importance of authenticity play an important role in the identity of the genre. The research underlying this paper combines a literature review with a practice-led case study where the author reflects on her preset pack “Chiptune Bubblegum” for the “Equator 2” MPE software synthesizer, which was published by ROLI in 2021. The argument is made that nostalgia can be a useful springboard for innovation and new creative expression.

Book titleInnovation in Music: Technology and Creativity
Page range237-251
Year2024
PublisherFocal Press
Routledge
Publication dates
Published27 Mar 2024
ISBN9780367633370
9780367633363
9781003118817
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.4324/9781003118817-17

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