The No.1 Website for Pro Audio
 Search This Thread  Search This Forum  Search Reviews  Search Gear Database  Search Gear for sale  Search Gearslutz Go Advanced
mastering chiptune/8bit material Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 21st November 2009
  #1
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
mastering chiptune/8bit material

Has anyone had any experience doing this?

I have a little job for someone, which I am doing for free so I can play the tune out..

I think Transition mastered a Hyperdub 12" by Quarta330 which is a chiptune dubstep record
Old 22nd November 2009
  #2
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
96 views and no ones had a shot?
Old 22nd November 2009
  #3
Lives for gear
 
Cellotron's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I've mastered a bit of dubstep stuff - but I don't know what "chiptune" is. Are you mastering audio for a game or embedded device?

Best regards,
Steve Berson
Old 22nd November 2009
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Axon's Avatar
 

I wasn't even aware that chiptune ever gets mastered.
Old 22nd November 2009
  #5
jdg
Lives for gear
 
jdg's Avatar
 

Verified Member
i've done some.
its not anything different then "regular" mastering.

if they're recording from their gameboy/nes/etc, watchout for DC offset
Old 22nd November 2009
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
Chiptune is music created only on 8bit sound generators/sequencers.

There are occasions where chiptune is played alongside normal material and therefore the volume, sonic content and dynamics do have to be dealt with for DJing purposes.

Plus there are chiptune EPs and Albums so consistency and flow are just the same.

Im mostly interested in how the bottom end will sound, as the hamonic structure of an 8 bit waveform is rather different and layers of such can sound very cool but very confusing.

Also another stumbling block is the lack of "real" ambience in the tunes, as the only front to back depth can be created by very simple release times and psuedo delay
Old 22nd November 2009
  #7
Gear Addict
 
JTransition's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
Has anyone had any experience doing this?

I have a little job for someone, which I am doing for free so I can play the tune out..

I think Transition mastered a Hyperdub 12" by Quarta330 which is a chiptune dubstep record
Yes I have mastered some for various formats,Having read your posts i am not sure what your question is.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #8
I have also mastered some 8bit stuff by an amazing artist called DOTAY.

we played around a bit with adding some mastering reverb to give it "nicer" feel but ended up ditching it to keep it true to form.
level matching
slight compression
bass tightening and extension
.... the usual stuff

nothing really different about it - not much in the way of dynamics in the music.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #9
Lives for gear
 
Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by DominicWyeth View Post
nothing really different about it - not much in the way of dynamics in the music.
yeah it really depends on what is used. piggy tracker (lpgt) for instance can kick out some pretty good quality tunes, it's essentially a hardware sound-chip enhanced sampler.

to Joe:

don't be afraid to position the sound slightly on the "too warm" side, with the low mids and mid-bass. if there's one thing to never screw up in an amazing chiptune it's to keep a lot of warmth and meat there. other than that, make sure not to add too much up top above 10kHz, or the attacks/percussion can become harsh. and of course for dubstep you'll want the bassline to be flat & fat all the way down to the bottom notes.

final thoughts... if it's already low in dynamics, and you get it sounding amazing, don't compress/limit it more than 1-2db total, if that. i'm guessing it already sounds quite loud, and your EQs will take you the rest of the way.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fat larry View Post
Yes I have mastered some for various formats,Having read your posts i am not sure what your question is.
Not a specific question, more an interest in how people found tackling something without any natural ambience and very stark harmonic content
Old 23rd November 2009
  #11
jdg
Lives for gear
 
jdg's Avatar
 

Verified Member
it has no ambience because its not supposed to.

make sure you ask before you add reverb
Old 24th November 2009
  #12
Gear Addict
 
JTransition's Avatar
 

Verified Member
8 bit

Quote:
Originally Posted by Joe_caithness View Post
Not a specific question, more an interest in how people found tackling something without any natural ambience and very stark harmonic content
heh
Try and solve the problems that the mix presents in a given time, bearing in mind that somtimes the cure is worse than the problem.
It took me a few years to learn the last bit.
Old 25th November 2009
  #13
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
My main concern when mastering true chiptunes is to remain as true to the source as possible. In fact many chiptunes do not need any processing apart from maybe a HPF and gentle peak limiting and volume matching.

The exception is when the chiptune was created using an emulator. The SID 6581 for instance has an analog filter, not a digital one, and that's very hard to replicate in an emulator. The filter has a special S shaved curve and also adds a bit of distortion. While you can not match the filter in the actual channels (which would have to be programmed) you can try to add a bit of overall analog distortion and make a slight top roll off to avoid the harshness of an emulator.

When using the broader definition of chiptunes or when dealing with chiptune remixes, normal mastering practices apply of course.
Old 25th November 2009
  #14
Lives for gear
 
Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

GS mastering forum is probably the last place I would expect to be talking about chiptunes, especially with established producers and MEs.

Good on ya.

I've seen quite a few new VSTi lately for the genre too, and some of them are good enough to cause controversy with the purists. That can't be a bad thing.
Old 25th November 2009
  #15
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncajesse View Post
GS mastering forum is probably the last place I would expect to be talking about chiptunes, especially with established producers and MEs.

Good on ya.
One of my best selling songs was inspired by a chiptune from the C64, and it was indirectly part of how I got a Danish Grammy nomination as producer of the year. I owe a lot to the SID chip and the amazing composers like Rob Hubbard, Martin Galway, and Jeroen Tel.

In fact the two types of music I listen to most when I'm at home are classical music and chiptunes. What a contrast!
Old 25th November 2009
  #16
Gear Maniac
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
The exception is when the chiptune was created using an emulator. The SID 6581 for instance has an analog filter, not a digital one, and that's very hard to replicate in an emulator. The filter has a special S shaved curve and also adds a bit of distortion. While you can not match the filter in the actual channels (which would have to be programmed) you can try to add a bit of overall analog distortion and make a slight top roll off to avoid the harshness of an emulator.
To go al nerdy on this.. there are 5 different revisions on that chipset alone.. R4 I find the best. It still has the 'bug' used to have that distortion on leads but that's what made it so cool. And the +3db on the filter makes it really 'warm' sounding.

Oh, yes I did master chip tunes and try to model it after the sound of the R4 but kept is as dry as possible to keep the character of the genre.

Anyway continue
Old 25th November 2009
  #17
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
R4 is everybody's favorite..:-) or was it Martin Galway who actually preferred another version? Something to do with the filter not closing properly or mayb I'm thinking of R5. Maybe I'm mixing up the revisions, there's also another R4 version I believe.

Do you know which one was in the C64C model?
Old 25th November 2009
  #18
Lives for gear
 
macc's Avatar
 

Verified Member
Bloody ell, Rob Hubbard. There's a name from my younger days!
Old 26th November 2009
  #19
Lives for gear
 
aof21's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
In fact the two types of music I listen to most when I'm at home are classical music and chiptunes.
heh Awesome.
Old 26th November 2009
  #20
Lives for gear
 
macc's Avatar
 

Verified Member
I never thought this would be ON topic on this forum heh but in case you ain't seen it;

Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue
Old 28th November 2009
  #21
Here for the gear
 
Mintelligence's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by macc View Post
I never thought this would be ON topic on this forum heh but in case you ain't seen it;

Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis' Kind of Blue
Excellent tribute!

We've done some chip-sessions a couple of years ago, mostly fully productions all the way from recording the Nintendo Gameboy to the final release candidate, including albums, remixes and Kraftwerk tributes.

As for most sources, it's interesting to play around with different preamps sometimes, even on a GBoy...and sampling frequencies...96k really catch the nasty transients from the Nintendos. A great GB-tweak is to change the master oscillator to one with half the normal clock frequency. GB goes screw...

From a mastering perspective there're no special treatments to this lo-fi-genre, just watch out for lo-end freqs from lo-fi hell...
Old 29th November 2009
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Do you know which one was in the C64C model?
Sorry for the late reply. The C64C has the 8580R5 chip.. They fixed all the cool flaws the R4 had (I'm not aware of any other R4 chips though) and sounds more.. well like a real synth.
Old 29th November 2009
  #23
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
This is from Wikipedia

6581 R1 - Prototype, only appeared on the CES machines, has a datecode of 4981 to 0482 or so. Has the full 12 bit filter cutoff range. An unknown number were produced, probably between 50 and 100 chips. All are ceramic packages.
6581 R2 - Will say "6581" only on the package. Filter cutoff range was reduced to 11 bits and the MSB bit disconnected/forced permanently on, but is still on the die. Made from 1182 until at least 5082. First 10 weeks or so of chips have ceramic packages (these usually appear on engineering prototypes but a few are on sold machines), the rest have plastic packages.
6581 R3 - Will say "6581" only, "6581 R3" or "6581 CBM" on the package. Had a minor change to the protection/buffering of the input pins. Made from before 2083 until 0486 or so.
6581 R4 - Will say "6581 R4" on the package. Silicon grade changed to HMOS-II "HC-30" grade, though the manufacturing process for the chip remained NMOS. Produced from 4985 until around 2586.
6581 R4 AR - Will say "6581 R4 AR" on the package. Minor adjustment to the silicon grade, no die change from R4. Produced from around 1986 (week 30) until at least the year 1990.
6582 - Will say "6582" on the package. Typically produced around the years 1989 and 1990.
6582 A - Will say "6582 A" on the package. Typically produced around the year 1992.
8580 R5 - Will say "8580R5" on the package. Produced from the years 1986 to 1992.

BTW, my sample cd includes a full range of C64 drums by Jeroen Tel (Maniacs of Noise), sampled from his very own C64. I think he did the best drum sounds on the '64.
Old 30th November 2009
  #24
Gear Nut
 

I am having a lot of trouble with this honestly. I have just completed a complete 8 bit album, but due to timing I need to release it quickly. I've spent a lot of time on the mixes and the only way I can get it to sound "loud enough" in a play-list is to compress the hell out of it. This is partly because I am piss poor at mastering.

The mixes sounds good to me but I seem to have to squash all life out of the songs to get them at the "right" volume. All the delicacies are gone. If anyone has any ideas or wants to master some 8-bit songs, PM me if you can knock this out in a day or two (yeah I know, I know, everyone wants everything now) and let me know what you'd charge.

Also, I am using Plogue Chipsounds which is God's gift to users of traditional DAW's rather than trackers. I was in the middle of making an Arduinoboy when Chipsounds came out. It really is amazing.
Old 30th November 2009
  #25
Lives for gear
 
Llitsor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mrnemo View Post
the only way I can get it to sound "loud enough" in a play-list is to compress the hell out of it. This is partly because I am piss poor at mastering.

The mixes sounds good to me but I seem to have to squash all life out of the songs to get them at the "right" volume. All the delicacies are gone.
Thats what mastering engineers do Squash it to kingdom come in order to get the mixes commercially loud enough. Not that any mastering engineers here would do that of course.. Oh no..

------

While im here...
Have you chaps seen this? The WTPA 8 bit sampler kit.
WTPA bendable sampler - Hack a Day
Where's the Party At: Nerdy Embedded Systems Design Wizardry

I built one, and it's really very good. It sounds unbelievable! Thats if crunchy 8 bit stuff flicks your switch. For something so basic, it's actually pretty flexible. He's sold out of the first run now, but he's working on a new version..
Old 30th November 2009
  #26
Gear Maniac
 

Verified Member
@mrnemo: Sent you a pm

@holger: Thanks for the rev's didn't know that there were SO many revisions! Yeah, JT rocks.. One of my best friends still today :-)
Old 30th November 2009
  #27
Audio Alchemist
 
Lagerfeldt's Avatar
Were you part of the scene? You have any SIDs in the HVSC? I'm Facebook friends with JT by the way ;-)
Old 30th November 2009
  #28
Gear Maniac
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lagerfeldt View Post
Were you part of the scene? You have any SIDs in the HVSC? I'm Facebook friends with JT by the way ;-)
Yes, I was. Pretty deep also :-) I have some in the HVSC as well but more experimental sample related playback tricks I did at the time (two channels! haha)
Old 2nd December 2009
  #29
Lives for gear
 
Jesse Graffam's Avatar
 

Personally I'm partial to NES.
okfox - gully set live 11-2008.mp3
This is just one NES, with the MIDINES cart, and an fx unit (delay/reverb though almost all of the delay was done compositional) on the output... a friend of mine from the tundra of Fargo.
Old 2nd December 2009
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

Verified Member
Quote:
Originally Posted by uncajesse View Post
Personally I'm partial to NES.
okfox - gully set live 11-2008.mp3
This is just one NES, with the MIDINES cart, and an fx unit (delay/reverb though almost all of the delay was done compositional) on the output... a friend of mine from the tundra of Fargo.
Link doesn't work at the moment. I'm getting a time out.
Post Reply

Welcome to the Gearslutz Pro Audio Community!

Registration benefits include:
  • The ability to reply to and create new discussions
  • Access to members-only giveaways & competitions
  • Interact with VIP industry experts in our guest Q&As
  • Access to members-only sub forum discussions
  • Access to members-only Chat Room
  • Get INSTANT ACCESS to the world's best private pro audio Classifieds for only USD $20/year
  • Promote your eBay auctions and Reverb.com listings for free
  • Remove this message!
You need an account to post a reply. Create a username and password below and an account will be created and your post entered.


 
 
Slide to join now Processing…
Thread Tools
Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Similar Threads
Thread
Thread Starter / Forum
Replies
GrooveToad / Mastering forum
12
Ldizzy / Electronic Music Instruments and Electronic Music Production
20
ar10003 / So much gear, so little time
0
Lucin Niega / Mastering forum
30
cynic one / Rap + Hip Hop engineering and production
4

Forum Jump
Forum Jump