How To Make 8-Bit Music: An Introduction To FamiTracker

nes-systemIn this post, guest author Joe E. Allen takes a look at making 8-bit music with FamiTracker  – a free windows tracker for producing music for the NES/Famicom-systems.

How To Make 8-Bit Music:
An Introduction To FamiTracker

In this series, I’ll be introducing programs that you can use to make music on old video game consoles, or more specifically, the sound chips found inside these machines.

Each of these programs can be learned using information and tutorials found online – so through this series, I hope to simply offer an overview of the software/hardware in question and the artists that use it. Perhaps this will whet your appetite and encourage you to learn more in your own time.

SONY DSC

One of the best places to start is the Nintendo Entertainment System, above, or the Famicom, right, as it was known in Japan.

The NES redefined the home console experience when it was rolled out across the globe in the 1980s, and these days its sound chip (commonly known as the 2A03) enjoys a prominent role as one of the most popular tools for making chiptune/8-bit music. And one of the most popular ways to program this chip is with FamiTracker. Continue reading

A Charlie Brown Synthmas

a-charlie-brown-synthmasBlockhead Synthmas, by the Blockhead Trio,

Here’s what they have to say about the album:

“This is a hypothetical (and anachronistic) “best-christmas-ever” where I get a brand new KORG 770 synthesizer, a brand new YAMAHA MR-10, and the Charlie Brown Christmas Soundtrack on Vinyl.

And what’s more – I USE THEM! I revel in all the possibilities each thing offers.

Continue reading

Dr. Sunshine’s ‘A Rainbow Kitten Christmas’

From the land of WTF comes the holiday cheer of Dr. Sunshine’s A Rainbow Kitten Christmas.

The album offers Dr. Sunshine’s unique take on Christmas songs, featuring 8-bit chiptune sounds, lo fi vocoder goodness and a heaping helping of weirdness.  Continue reading

Chip64 Rack Extension For Propellerhead Reason

Ochen K. has introduced Chip64 – a chiptunes Rack Extension for Propellerhead Reason.

Chip64 includes mathematical modeling of 5 chips:

  • the TIA used in the Atari 2600;
  • the SID chip used in the Commodore 64;
  • the TA0x series used in the NES and Gameboy;
  • the Vic-I used in the Vic 20; and
  • the SN76489 chip used in the ColecoVision and Sega consoles.

It also offers an on-board sequencer, as well as a multi-mode filter, LFO, modulation envelope, and more,  Continue reading