For a long time, I had an inferiority complex about making chiptunes with VSTs instead of authentic hardware. I'm so, so relieved to find people who focus on the sonic and compositional constraints (the main appeal for me) and aren't gear elitists. I feel so much better now.
(I also haven't the money, space, nor desire to collect the hardware.)
@fyda there is a certain allure to doing things entirely with hardware — that's why I'm building a hardware chip synthesizer — but I don't hold everyone to that standard. the thing that really grates on me is when people do rulebreaking stuff and call it authentic. or like saying "I write NES music" but then using famitracker and 30 expansion chips at once.
put another way: I want people to call things what they are.
any method is good if your music is good!
@inversephase Thanks - I appreciate your clarification on this!
I only have FL Studio and free VSTs, but I do set them up to limit the note ranges, disable polyphony, make sure all noises cut each other, all that stuff. But at best, I feel I can only call it "NES-like" ("I tried to be 2A03-conformant"); at worst, "fakebit" (this pains me, haha).
So, "chiptune" is what I want to go for, but I've been uncertain whether it's fully the correct term. But I figure if I'm using the term incorrectly, I'll (eventually) get an earful about it. ^^
@fyda as an oldskooler, I would like to posit that fakebit is not a jab, just a nice all-inclusive term for "chiptune aesthetic with no particular platform". I like your "nes-like" description, too.
One thing that's rough and will always be hard to emulate using FL or other non-authentic solutions is specific frequency resolution stuff. You can limit high and low notes but stepping between frequencies exactly the way the original hardware is troublesome.
Most people will never notice.