An Interview With Chiptune Composer Alex Mauer


8-bit-composer-alex-mauerIn this post, guest author Joe E. Allen interviews composer Alex Mauer. Mauer is well-known within chiptune, with popular releases such as Blast 1 and 2, 9999 and Vegavox – the first album ever released on a NES cartridge – to his name.

Recently he’s been able to turn his passion for chiptune and synth music into a living, soundtracking the 2013 movie, Motivational Growth, using the Commodore 64 and NES. He’s also currently heading up the soundtrack for Starr Mazer, a Kickstarter-funded indie game.

Read on to learn more about his gear and how he graduated from chiptune to writing movie and game soundtracks… Continue reading

New App, SidTracker64, Turns Your iPad Into A Commodore 64 Chiptunes Music System On Steroids

sidtracker-64
Daniel Larsson has introduced SidTracker64, a new app that turns your iPad into ‘the ultimate chiptune production package tool’.

SidTracker64 emulates the classic SID sound chip from the Commodore 64. The app is a retro-style music creation tool and synthesizer, combined with modern features such as MIDI keyboard and controller input, Audiobus 2 and Inter-App Audio for recording in your favorite DAW-app.

MIDI clock in lets you sync to other apps and hardware drum machines and synthesizers.

Here’s a quick demo from the bathroom at Musikmesse 2015: Continue reading

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