Thoughts on Chipmusic

those pslinckx dances are beyond incrediblement! you can just hear their compositional powervoice unhindered. thank you so much for sharing that!

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this popped into my feed and reminded my of this thread and in hopes of sharing thee bestgoodz™.

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Speaking of Famicom, some folks on here might be interested to try Famistudio. I’m not overly fond of piano rolls, myself, but I know plenty of people find trackers a bit daunting; so I suppose this could prove a smooth entry into chipmusic for many:



I think I’ve come out before on Lines as having an alter ego in “donotrunwithpixels” He’s my evil twin. The Brad Pitt to my Edward Norton.

But yeah, any Chiptunes questions, especially Gameboy related, just hit me up, peeps.


Still need to post a bunch of my favorite chiptune stuff, but this is a new release by Plogue that looks like it would fit very well in the lines community:


Okay, so, here are some really great examples of chip, whether it be true chip, Famitracker work, SNES soundfonts or more! I’ll list what each one was made using, just for funsies.

On the more “ambient” side, this album is to replicate time passing in a fictional seaside town. Compilation of great tracker based chip artists:

Tree of Knowledge,by Coda and Surrashu, is an homage to the Japanese Eroge/dating games from the era of PC-88 computers. These computers used a specific 4 voice (eventually 6 or 8 voice) FM engine. This album is made using samples of these engines, but the vibe is wonderful. The idea is that this album are songs from a long lost eroge game. Good stuff.

Speaking of Surasshu, that might be a familiar name to some. That’s because another collaboration he has taken part of has now made official music for the Stephen Universe show/film! He paired together with a fantastically talented piano play, Aivi. They produced a wonderfully charming album that is an on going duet between tracker based chiptune and traditional piano playing called The Black Box. Pretty melodies and a charming (if inferior) cover of a fantastic track from the Katamari Damacy OST:

FearofDark’s Motorway is a fantastic, jazzy album showing what happens when someone takes the idea of true notated composition in conjunction with something like a Famitracker. This british chap has acheived an album, with a tracker that feels as organic as almost anything else I’ve heard in the world of chip:

Zackery Wilson’s SNESQUE is a fascinating album produced as the artist’s doctorate thesis for a music master’s degree. The idea was to take sound files of incredibly low quality and combine it with modern digital music production techniques and effects to elevate the sound. Each song is made using the soundfonts of a single game. The instrumentalization is top notch and the effects create something quite interesting:

These are sort of “chip adjascat” today, and I’ve run out of time to be posting. Haha. These are all over the board in terms of types. They also all happen to be from a online label, called Ubiktune. Was short on time but wanted to finally start posting some faves. This was a good place to start.


@Simeon these r fucking rad!!! :unicorn:

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I picked up Chipsynth MD because I just feel like Plogue deserves all the support… I love the obsessive research into the gear they emulate and the results are worth all their effort. 4 of the 10 VST instruments I installed on my new computer are by Plogue :grin:

I feel like PortaFM is a little more immediate because of the super simple architecture, but MD is a gem too.


Oh man… I want MD so bad… I don’t know if I can justify it, but I do want it. There’s so many examples that if one can truly tame the Genesis FM system, they are given the keys to the kingdom.

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This is my favorite example of music made with the Famicom and just about my favorite chiptune album of all time:

My most recent favorite:

Otherwise, most of my favorites are pretty standard fare:

Sorry for the long post, but I think these selections demonstrate well the cream of the crop in chipmusic.


Huh, I’ve seen chipsounds but must have missed that one. It’s interesting, for sure.

It was released about 3 days ago. Just got the newsletter about it. If you scoop it, I’m curious to hear your thoughts!

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These are great! Good selection of ‘true chip’ tracker choices!

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Lack of VGM capture/export is unfortunately my dealbreaker when it comes to VSTs and other emulation-based approaches. What I desperately need is a convergence between the capabilities of Deflemask and those of the growing plethora of VSTs available (i.e., full MIDI support with any sort of VGM capture, whether under the hood or derived from a tracker sequence upon which MIDI commands might be committed in malleable form), although a hardware/VST combo would be even better.

I would certainly be more open and eager if I didn’t already have hardware, or if there were a standard fare of MIDI commands shared between different VSTs and MIDI controlled hardware. Currently, my interest in these is more academic, I suppose.

I have been enjoying this conversation and have enjoyed chip music for a long time. One of the best times I’ve had was at Blipfest in NYC (many years ago, I do not remember the year) where Cory Arcangel displayed some of his remixed Mario pieces.

Anyway. Here is my modest contribution to the genre. All authentic chip sounds sampled into a Machinedrum.

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Blip Fest was always such a joy. It’s a shame that the organizers just kinda burnt out on it. I will upload a fantastic set by Ctrix some time to soundcloud so folks can hear it here. In the final year of Blip, Monodeer had a fantastic set as well. His stuff is currently on Spotify

I’m becoming interested in the OPL3, of late, and dug up this old thread:

I also found this recent piece of hardware for playback of VGM tracks on that particular piece of hardware:

And then it occurs to me that it’s this chip that ALM uses in its Akemie modules:

I knew those modules used a new-old-stock Yamaha FM chip, but it hadn’t occurred to me that it was the chip in the old Sound Blasters. Very cool. It would be nice to see something like this with a MIDI expansion and maybe VGM playback (or even capture?) from an SD card.

Also, I was not even aware of the OPN2L until watching this:

The work Plogue is doing is truly unique. Thanks to @kasselvania for bringing them up.

Oh, and sorry for the rapid-fire posting, but for anyone looking for interesting hardware approaches to chipmusic, there’s a plethora of options these days.

On the Mega Drive side of things, I think the best way to tap into the YM2612 (or YM3438) and make best use of its 6 channels, as well as tinker with the actual instrumentation, the DAFM’s probably the best option:

If you’re fine with single FM presets in polyphony and want to throw in the 2612’s 8bit counterpart (SN76489) for good measure, Mega MIDI 5 might be a good option:

Otherwise, I believe the best way to tap into the complete sound capabilities of the Mega Drive is with the GenMDM:

For my part, I only have experience with the DAFM from among these devices, though I’d be very interested to hear if anyone’s used a GenMDM with Analogue’s Mega SG; I can’t imagine that it wouldn’t work as expected and would be especially compelling once Analogue releases the DAC:

I’ve been really getting into Modern Chair’s stuff, lately. He’s got a a pretty broad range in his approach to chipmusic, but so far his tone (sometimes somber, sometimes edgy as all hell) really jives with me and what I’ve been after in chipmusic for a good while, now:


So I’ve really just been blown away by what sorts of sounds I’ve encountered in the SID (well, SwinSID via the SID Guts module) in my efforts, lately, and wanted to share a little bit of it. The following use only the SID Guts for the voice with, at most, a VCA and a cyclic skew (as EG, LFO, etc.) providing additional embellishment of that voice (though some very minor circuitbending was involved in the second video):

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I’ve had this machine for years and now use it with my eurorack setup. It is basically the C64 plus a MSSIAH cartridge. Integrated into my eurorack setup via a Beatstep Pro. The MSSIAH uses midi in and has various instruments you can load from the cartridge directly to communicate with the SID chip (no coding required!). It’s only fifty bucks and has sooo much to offer. Great extensive manuals and other info:


I used to have a Sidstation but I sold it. I really wish I hadn’t - that’s my biggest gear regret. There was a lot of menu-diving on that thing but the sounds were so great and full of character. I hope that Plogue’s upcoming SID VST recaptures some of that magic.

Also, Plogue is apparently going to be making hardware chip synths to go along with the VSTs they’ve been doing. I’m very interested to see what they come up with.