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8 bit music sequencing - recommendations?


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I'd like to be able to write some 8 bit music for my next game. Ideally I'd like to be able to do this by finding a VSTi that can generate 8 bit sounds. My audio set up is a bit outdated, I'm on a Windows XP desktop thats something like 8 years old, running Cubase SX 2. 

I've tried having a quick look for 8 bit VSTi's on KVR but it returns so many home made rubbish synths that it is too hard to search through them all to find something decent. Can anybody recommend either a good 8-bit sounding VSTi or a way of being able to sequence 8 bit music? I've tried just running a normal synth with a bitcrusher on it but the bitcrusher plugin I have is too processor intensive for my poor old machine really.

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Tracker-wise, MilkyTracker is probably the best bet: http://www.milkytracker.org/

VST wise, the Magical 8bit Plugin is supposed to be good: http://www.ymck.net/en/download/magical8bitplug/ though I've never got it to work on my Linux box.

Ones I have used and recommend are the ymVST: http://www.preromanbritain.com/ymvst/ for that Atari ST sound, 38911 Bytes is a good C64 VST with a ton of presets http://freemusicsoftware.org/1521 .. there's actually a few versions of 38911 with slightly different presets, which are worth looking for. Finally, Icecream: http://www.megavst.com/synth/icecream/ is a fun one to play about with as well.

Those three I've personally used under Linux with LMMS and they work pretty well.

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I don't make pure 8-bit music but I like adding all these retro touches, also often using raw saw/square wave for a lead 



My tool of trade is FLStudio which comes with 3xOSC instrument - that is great for simulating 8-bit square bass, arps and leads


Now to give your song REAL 8-bit feeling you want these two VST's:


Unknown64 pro - C64 SID chip emulator + sequencer:

Not easy to understand but totally worth paying time to learn it.



Awesome package of fat c64 drums


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  • 2 weeks later...

Ha ha that supermario example is amazing!

I wouldn't try to use something like that on a game targeting mobile devices though, even if I thought it would work on most devices I'd surely want to preserve all my processing power for my game rendering and logic.

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