The Game Music Making Factory: Blips and Bloops

Hey guys! I make music in my spare time as a hobby and recently I’ve decided to try my hand at making music that is video game themed in nature. Please feel free to post your own music and give constructive criticism (or just jam to the tunes, if that’s more your style).

To start off I’ll post something I feel gained inspiration from playing a lot of FFXV lately. The old soundtracks have me thinking of those arpeggios from years ago!

Dungeon 1

I look forward to hearing all of your creations!

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I like your track. I get a horror FMV vibes from it.
Do you prefer using software or hardware synths for retro game tunes? Here and there I’ve been experimenting with the Teenage Engineering PO range of synths and those scratch the chiptune itch for me. Here’s a piece I did for a podcast for which I do soundtrack music, and it’s using a PO-20, PO-24, PO-28, and a Korg Vulca Bass.

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I’m trying to learn to compose, what would be some software and places to look at to start? I know basic music theory.

Some software that I really like for composition is Sibelius. They have a 30-day free trial:

Beyond that kind of depends on what kind of music you want to do. What are you interested in?

I’m mostly interested in chiptune/ SNES-style music, to try and make soundtracks for games and things like that

Famitracker is a pretty good tool in that case:

I also like They have a pretty good list of free and affordable resources.

Those two links are probably the best places to start. VST4Free has some good plugins, but they are all (legally) free and community-made, and you get what you pay for.

I guess it also depends on your desired workflow. For the piece I posted above, I programmed everything into physical synths that were chained together, and ran the line straight into a DI box. It sounds like hardware because it is hardware. The one I’m going to post below this was composed in Sibelius, exported from that as midi into Acid Studio, and I assigned a variety of different plugins from VST4Free to the parts, so it was all software. It doesn’t sound as authentic, but done in that manner there’s a lot more flexibility, and you can jump to any sonic palate you like

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I typically use software synths for production in Ableton Live 9, but every once in a while I’ll record in an old synth I have lying around or plug up a guitar for various effects. If I’m lucky and make it over to my brothers place, I jump on the MOOG and have a grand old time.

I tried to learn pxtone Collage for the simple reasons that it’s free, I knew where to find it, and I don’t have a MIDI controller, but it’s still pretty tough to learn. Is there something easier to work with? If a keyboard would make things less difficult, what’s affordable with basically zero budget?

A good DAW and soundfonts will get you far in making SNES style sounds. A lot of game soundfonts are available online, it’s pretty much how tobyfox made Undertale’s soundtrack, using sounds from Earthbound, FF6 and Chrono Trigger.

If you are just looking to play around a bit is a decent in browser chiptune program that a friend of mine does a lot of fun stuff with.

Does anyone have any experience with Sunvox? It’s a chiptune like tracker thing that I just started to look at.

I haven’t messed with trackers or chiptune stuff before so it looks like I’ll have to watch a few videos because ha the screen is a bit confusing right now.

Just thought I’d mention that I got Super Audio Cart and it does chiptune sounds very well. Lots of samples, all the classic systems are there and you run it with Kontakt Player.

And this is seriously a testimonial on the site:

Testimonial - Grant Kirkhope (Donkey Kong 64, GoldenEye, Banjo-Kazooie, Civilization: Beyond Earth)
“Super Audio Cart is without doubt the best plugin for all your chiptune needs, it’s got the lot and they’re all glorious! Having all these authentic sounds in one place is the best idea since someone said, ‘Let’s put a rap in Donkey Kong’ … oh wait.”

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I’m definitely interested in Super Audio Cart. I’ve just been noodling with magic8bit for what feels like forever. i’ve never been the technical type to tweak knobs, I just like to notate! Anyway heres my music:

I really like you’re sound. Also thanks for mentioning magic8bit it seems like something to for me to use when before I upgrade to a full Super Audio Cart purchase