In this article, we have compiled a list of the 6 best free chiptune music software. Chiptune is also referred to as chip music, a form of synthesized electronic music made using the programmable sound generator sound chips or synthesizers.
If you have played old retro games such as Tetris or Pokemon Yellow, you already know about chiptune music. If you want to create chiptune music for free, you can use any software listed in this blog.
This article will focus on this software, which can help you compose music from the generated 8-bit sounds. So here is a list of 6 of the best free chiptune music software for Windows. Let’s have a look at what precisely these software are and how they work.
Best of all, some are portable and are available for Linux and Mac systems too.
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6 Best Free Chiptune Music Software for Windows 10
Getting started with these 6 best free chiptune music software is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is download them from the link provided and install them on your Windows PC.
After that, you can go through their documentation and learn how to create some excellent chiptune tracks. Some of these chiptune music generators have modern UI, but some are old and can make you feel that you are still using Windows XP.
Nonetheless, all of these software the job, and you will surely enjoy creating chiptune music with them. Without further ado, let’s start exploring these free software to create chiptune music.
BeepComp is a powerful chiptune music creator software that is at the same time quite simple to get the hang of. Instead of relying on complex menus and lots of options, BeepComp relies on code.
For creating chiptune music, it uses its syntax, which is HTML. The only difference is that you describe chiptune music here to describe a website layout with the code.
After you fill out the editor on the left, you need to press the “Play” button from the right sidebar to listen to the composition. You can change key, speed, volume, etc.
To export the audio track, you need to click on the “Export” button. The supported output formats are MP3, OGG, and WAV.
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MilkyTracker is a simplistic chiptune music software that creates chiptune music for Windows. The interface looks somewhat dated, but then everything works just fine.
While you can find the editing area down below, the controls are laid out at the top. Similar to every other software from this list, you can run multiple channels at the same time. That’s why there are not a whole lot of columns in the editing area.
There are a few ways for you to create chiptune tracks using this software. You can either write your notes using the keyboard or load the actual audio track samples. The formats which it supports are 8OSVX, IFF, WAV, etc.
To start writing notes, you need to double-click on a particular channel. You can change things like setup loops, speed, and more, using the top menu options. You can find the detailed instructions for creating music at the link below.
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3. Nintendo VST
Coming across software like the Nintendo VST is rare. This generous chiptune software emulates just one console, and it does a pretty good job at that.
The Nintendo VTS is designed to emulate the 8-bit sounds of the original Nintendo NES console. It remains explicitly at par with the console’s 2A03 sound chip.
Matt Montag built this software. Pick this plugin up as it comes free and is quite effective in creating chiptune music. With this friendly NES emulator software, you can finally compose original chiptune scores directly into your DAW.
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OpenMPT is a chiptune music software that is rich in features. After you install it and run it, you will go through a short setup phase. When you first open it, you might be overwhelmed with a large number of options and menus.
However, you need not worry as there is detailed documentation on the website link down below, which will help you get started. Even without relying entirely on the documentation, you will be able to figure out some things yourself.
You can create chiptunes by changing settings in the four tabs above the right editing area. They are “Patterns,” “General,” “Instruments,” and “Samples.” In the “Samples” tab, you will be able to load up to 8-bit samples.
In the “Patterns” tab, you can manually write musical notes into the score using the keyboard. Each letter key will act like a different note.
It supports a whole range of formats as input/output, MP3, WAVE, VORBIS, FLAC, OPUS, and MIDI. You can use the MPTM format if you want to save editable scores.
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5. Schism Tracker
Schism Tracker is chiptune music creator software, which works on various platforms like Windows 10, Mac OS, and Linux. When it comes to appearance, this software has a dated look like the MilkyTracker.
It also includes simple tracks to help you get started. Creating chiptunes is done in the same way as it is done on all the other applications that we have covered. You can create a new file using the menu at the top.
Pattern editor containing vertical channels opens up at the bottom. Then you can use the keyboard to start creating music notes. It lets you open the third-party samples as well. The menu options can be activated using the function keys (F1-F12).
Available tweaks include tempo adjustments, octave tuning, speed changes, and more. It supports all the usual audio formats.
SunVox looks like a flipped version of MilkyTracker. The layers look similar; only the editing area is located at the top, while the menus are down below. When compared with MilkyTracker, SunVox has a more modern interface.
It is the most sophisticated chiptune music creator software for Windows that we have found. Here also, the chiptunes are created using just the keyboard. First, you need to select the music channel from the top.
You can add the new ones using the menus, which are down below. You can access the main menu from the top right corner. Besides the keyboard, a virtual synthesizer is located underneath the channels you can use to create music.
Musical notes are added to the chiptune in the same way as the text is added to a document. When you add a note, the cursor automatically jumps to the next empty box.
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You can now start and enjoy creating music using any of the above 6 chiptune music software from the list above. They all worked fine. However, make sure that you spend some time with the documentation to discover all the features and tools to figure out how things work.