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8 bit / Chiptune music

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Duskling, Dec 25, 2011.

  1. Duskling

    Duskling

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    I'm new to music production is general, and I have looked up alot of stuff on google but I was wondering if somebody here knew more about it.

    My game is 8 bit and I want to make an 8 bit soundtrack for it. I have checked out some software but nothing seems to suit my needs. I'm talking about music like minecraft ( chiptunes ) or music like from old castlevania games. Anyone have any suggestions?
     
  2. Moonjump

    Moonjump

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    For 8-bit sound effects you could try cfxr (Mac), sfxr (PC). As they fulfil similar needs, websites that mention them could lead you to the music software that you seek.
     
  3. mr. wrong

    mr. wrong

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    The term 8-bit sometimes disturbs me because on a real 8-bit computer, C64 was a programmable synthethisizer of sorts. But if you are into Nintendo sounds I think there are services or at least tutorials in the net like this

    I haven't actually tried any of that music stuff.
     
  4. Akuri

    Akuri

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    I do music production well Hiphop and r&b to be more precise. Take the time to learn FL Studio and Reasons. Once you can claim some sort of competent levels with them, use the Synths/ get some plugins and go wild create anything you need./
     
  5. Duskling

    Duskling

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    Well I actually just found this program called "Milkytracker" I am checking it out. Seems like it works very well for chiptunes.
     
  6. c-Row

    c-Row

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    I can only recommend Renoise and the QuadraSID plugin. There should be several other plugins as well, though some of them apparently are PC only.
     
  7. eedok

    eedok

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    I found musagi to be pretty good while being easy to use
     
  8. herpderpy

    herpderpy

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    People think they can just get things instantly in todays world, it's not like that.

    I wouldn't make the music yourself, as it will take a few months for you to come to terms with the production. I could possibly work on some if you want, as I have the necessary software/hardware. PM me if you're interested.
     
  9. hs1S

    hs1S

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    You should take a look at pxtone manual, it's a really nice resource for beginners feel what game music composition is all about.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2011
  10. lion-gv

    lion-gv

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    I think you're on the right track with MilkyTracker. Just use 8-bit samples (you can take any sound and then lower its bitrate to 8 bit) and you'll have your desired aesthetic. Then you can just go ahead a play the file in Unity since unity has mod tracker file format support.

    My personal music composition software of choice is Renoise. It has a similar interface as MilkyTracker but 1) it isn't free and 2) its file format is not natively supported by Unity. and 3) it is overkill if you're goal is to make 8bit music.
     
  11. alverndbl

    alverndbl

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  12. c-Row

    c-Row

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    Or find some chiptune mods and use the samples they used, just like the old days. :)
     
  13. taumel

    taumel

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    Get yourself somekind of VST host, a 8bit/chiptune VST plugin, create the samples, get a tracker whos format is supported by Unity and compose.

    Btw. it would be nice if Renoise would be supported.
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2011
  14. OlaAtKongotec

    OlaAtKongotec

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    As I understand it, you haven't been much in contact with music production at all before? I'll try to be super basic with setup suggestions.

    Unity can play sounds in two ways, one way is playing a whole audio file, like and .mp3 or any other audio format (.wav, .aiff etc etc).
    This way you can use any kind of music and sound in your game. Just drag it in there and it will work fine. Sound files are usually quite large and if you don't compress them lots and lots, your game will grow quickly megabyte wise.

    A different way of playing music inside your game is the .mod format. It's basically a few short sound samples and instructions for the computer when, what pitch and volume to play the samples. This leads to small file sizes, but the sound wont be as flexible as a full mp3 song. more about .mod here http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MOD_(file_format)

    To create a .mod file you would need a "tracker". I used FastTracker 2 but it was a long time since i used "tracker" software, so i don't know which one is the best.

    More about mods in unity http://blogs.unity3d.com/2010/06/29/mod-in-unity/

    You don't really need a specialized program for 8-bit music, any music sequencer that supports vst or au plugins will do.

    Im using Ableton Live, a great program, highly reccomended! But you can use any sequencer, Cubase, Logic, Garage Band, Fruity Loops...

    A free / almost free alternative could be:
    http://www.reaper.fm/

    With a vst host / sequenser, you will need something that generates sounds, a synth or a sampler.
    Great free 8-bit style synth are
    Ultra simple simulated Nintendo 8-bit synth: http://www.tweakbench.com/peach
    Ultra simple simulated Nintendo 8-bit drum machine: http://www.tweakbench.com/toad
    Flexible simulated Nintendo 8-bit synth: http://www.tweakbench.com/triforce

    The 8-bit sound is achieved by lack of effects (no reverbs), super low resolution sounds (down-sample / bit crush) so this particular music style suits the .mod format. But i think its more fun to learn the limitless sequencer stuff.

    Also there is LOTS of youtube videos explaining different setups, and plenty that covers the basics to learn music production.

    Another fun way is to create the music in one of the numerous 8-bit music apps for iOs
    nanoloop, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5NxyXGfdFxI&feature=fvst
    sunvox, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Auiv49gqmQA&feature=related

    Or try http://littlesounddj.com/ inside a game boy emulator! Created by brilliant programmer Johan Kotlinski and I contributed to by making some fonts / design years and years ago...

    Good luck! / Ola Persson

    CONEMAN:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uc05TsDMdFQ
    http:www.kongotec.com/
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/coneman/id484977154?mt=8
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2011
  15. taumel

    taumel

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    I think it's worth to mention that whilst you can use Reaper as a free audio editing tool, it also might be worth considering buying it at least for a discounted $60 licence. I mean it's a lot better than the Audacity crap, crossy (Win, OS X) and without DRM.
     
  16. c-Row

    c-Row

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    +1 vote for this. You can already render plugins to instruments so that problem is out of the way, anyway.
     
  17. lion-gv

    lion-gv

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    How about converting a .xrns to a .mod?
     
  18. bryanleister

    bryanleister

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    This thread is great, I'd really like to make something with .mod format.

    @OlaAtKongotec - The links and info is perfect. Reaper is nice, I might switch to it instead of Reason and Digital Performer, which seem overkill for what I need.

    @taumel - I'm curious, what is your workflow like with tracker software? I have only found MilkyTracker for the Mac and while I understand it, it makes my eyes hurt trying to figure out how to actually make a tune with it.

    I know my workflow with something like Reason, I get out the keyboard, find a synth and play some notes. Rearrange the notes on the timeline. It's not that unlike any other animation software. Trackers are really strange looking to me. MilkyTracker scrolls vertically, like a spreadsheet and it's all numbers. It's really unintuitive...

    Do people write out a tune and compose it in some other software and then transpose to tracker? Or, am I just totally not getting how to make a tune with Milkytracker?
     
  19. taumel

    taumel

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    Oh that's quite simple, i don't have one. :O) Synth related i'm primary using my Nordlead 3 and some own built hardware and software. I use trackers only an occasional basis, the same as certain VST plugins, in order to experiment. Now whilst the composing aspect can feel kind of outdated, i guess in the end Fairlight is to blame for pattern sequencers, the strengths of it are still the replay routines and the fact that you get a lot of music for relatively tiny filesizes. A softsynth with a sequencer would be even better for at least certain types of music. If you want/have to use a tracker then ReNoise feels a lot better than Milkyway, it therefore might make sense keeping the limitations in mind, composing it on ReNoise and porting it then to Milkyway in order to save the data (maybe this converter helps). I have no idea if there exist solutions for transposing music from softsynths/sequencers to the tracker format but i wouldn't be surprised if people thought of trying to accomplish this before, google?
     
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2012
  20. lion-gv

    lion-gv

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    @bryanleister

    vertical scrolling is pretty much how trackers look. Each column is a different track. The default sheet is normally 64 notes long, so that's like four 4/4 measures with 16th notes.

    More so than "performing" I normally place each note. I find this to be much easier for programming rhythms (because you can see the rhythm) but it does make melodies more difficult to write than in a traditional piano roll interface (where you can see the melody).

    Some trackers let you change the note values from hexadecamal to standard names like "C#".

    Also, Milkytracker by default is really low resolution. Make sure you go into its settings and turn up the resolution in the "Config" menu to make working easier.
     
  21. taumel

    taumel

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    Not that it's hard to grasp a tracker, it's more about if you like or dislike the workflow personally but there also exist video tutorials which explain how to use them.
     
  22. bryanleister

    bryanleister

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    OMG! The Config button, that helps a lot! I have fond memories of the Mac Classic, but did not really want to go back there again with the default MT screen. I had not found that at all, thanks!

    Definitely is hard to get used to the vertical nature, but I am intrigued by these 2 min. songs I've found that come in at 24K. I would love my game to have lots of music, but when you start mixing down from Reason it's hard to get any song under a MB or so. I guess it's a matter of its it worth the effort vs. file size...

    Bryan