Best Chiptune Music and Snd. FX Makers. Do you create music?

  • Hey all. I curious what everyone uses to create chiptune music, sound effects and music in general. Which one would you recommend for a beginner? Right now I'm sort of interested in MilkyTracker. There seems to be a bit of tutorials online for it. Is Pulseboy any good? How does everyone create sound effects? I've been using the bfxrt tool at http://www.bfxr.net/. Works pretty well.

  • For chiptunes, trackers are pretty much the way to go. While you could write one on any modern DAW, but the tracker interface is really great for chiptunes. Milkytracker is great and will do whatever you need and more but will have a steep learning curve and you'll have to prepare and load your own chip samples into it. Haven't tried Pulseboy but it will probably also do what you need. If you want something out of the box you could try famitracker - which can be used to create tracks for the NES - if you want a pretty 'authentic' chiptune sound - your typical saw/triangle/noise - it's quite robust though and quite useful for sound design once you understand it.

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  • Thanks for your comment! I heard famitracker was another great one. I'll look into it. Something with lots of youtube tutorials and online documentation would be helpful.

  • One very good way to learn how to track is to open up music modules in a tracker. This is how I learned many years ago. If you open up other people's songs and you will see how they are put together - it's a good way to see what the different tracker effects do as well, as to newcomers they can be very daunting - often they are programmed in with obscure hexadecimal values that won't make any sense at first - when you can see a track layed out visually though and isolate channels and instruments etc and generally just play around with it, it will start to make sense. There are thousands of tracker modules available online in places like http://www.modarchive.org - if you do a search for chiptune on there you will find a bunch of modules to download, then if you open those up with Milkytracker you will be able to see how the music is put together.

  • I love this one.

    https://terrycavanagh.itch.io/bosca-ceoil

    its pay what you want.

  • Learning by deconstructing other people's chiptune music sounds like a brilliant idea! Thanks for the suggestions, I'll definitely be doing that.

    What do you think about music and chiptune creators on the smart phone? I found this program called 8 Tones on the Google play store and it seems pretty awesome. I'd love to be able to quickly make tracks on the go. Presumably, all these chiptune creator programs kinda play the same way and with the same beats, right?

  • Just downloaded 8 tones and had a quick play, it looks pretty ok - quite basic, but should cover your chiptune needs and get you started. There are a couple of different tracker paradigms, they do share similarities but there could still be quite a learning curve when switching between software once you're used to one. Another suggestion I have for you if you're interested in creating this kind of music on your phone is http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/sunvox/ - Sunvox is basically a modular synthesizer built into a tracker - if you keep the settings simple you have everything you need to write chiptunes, but it also has a lot of cutting edge features and you can write very polished modern music with this thing if you need to. The huge advantage of something like Sunvox is that you can start a project on your phone and then polish it up on your PC, or vice versa. It's really handy having a desktop version as well as a mobile version, as while it's fun to write stuff on the go on mobile, it's more tedious and sometimes you just want to jump on to a mouse and keyboard and get stuff done! The guy who wrote Sunvox also has a bunch of other really cool software - could check out his pixitracker as well http://www.warmplace.ru/soft/pixitracker/

  • heyguy I use FL Studio. I tend to mix genres quite a lot, and there are many chiptune synths and bit crushes to choose from, and lot of them are free. But, go with Milkytracker (or any other by that matter, they're all the same) if you want to go the cheap route. Trackers are awesome, simple software that make music making a breeze.

  • justifun Bosca it's free..no need to pay

    http://boscaceoil.net/

  • I've been using LSDJ (Little Sound DJ) for 5+ years now. It's solid.

    http://www.littlesounddj.com/lsd/

    Here is the music I've made with it: https://bclikesyou.bandcamp.com/

  • bclikesyou Great stuff on your page! Thanks for the links. LSDJ seems like another great choice. Lots of good software out there apparently.

    @signalhighjacker Sunvox sounds perfect! I actually heard about sunvox and looked at it a little bit but never tried it. Thanks for downloading 8tones too.

    Thanks for all the suggestions folks! I wonder, does anyone happen to use a midi keyboard for their music creation? I feel like having an actual physical keyboard would help me in a bunch of different ways. I should still learn the music/software basics and create tracks before getting one but I think I would really like one. There are so many different music creation software it's sort of hard which to choose. Right now I'm in the beginner stages of using famitracker, going through tutorials on youtube and trying to deconstruct some songs.

  • Having a midi keyboard is great to visualise notes and construct things like chords, generally though unless you're a keyboard player it's not that necessary when writing computer music - useful for sure, but not mandatory by any stretch. I started out writing using my pc keyboard and I often find myself reaching for that instead of the midi - once you learn the mappings it's fine - actually often faster if you're using a tracker just to use the PC keyboard. If you want something to visualise the notes better though, a small midi keyboard is great - you can often get 25 key versions that easily fit on your desktop with your pc keyboard - they're cheaper and good for workflow.

  • For tracking, nothing beats Renoise, IMO. renoise.com

    For making game sounds, I like to use VST plugins and stuff. I just created a YouTube video about this, and I'm not going to spam you with the URL unless you ask nicely <img src="{SMILIES_PATH}/icon_e_smile.gif" alt=":)" title="Smile" />

    For free, you could do a lot worse than OpenMPT (formery MODPlug Tracker) openmpt.org/features

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