We have compiled a list of the 6 best free chiptune music software in this article. Chiptune is also called chip music, a form of synthesized electronic music made using programmable sound generator sound chips or synthesizers.
If you have played old retro games like 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 software that 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 look at what precisely these software are and how they work.
Best of all, some are portable and available for Linux and Mac systems.
6 Best Free Chiptune Music Software for Windows 10
Getting started with these 6 best free chiptune music software is pretty straightforward. You must download them from the link provided and install them on your Windows PC.
After that, you can review 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 you are still using Windows XP.
Nonetheless, all these software do the job, and you will surely enjoy creating chiptune music with them. Let’s explore these free software to create chiptune music without further ado.
BeepComp is a powerful chiptune music creator software that is simultaneously quite simple to get the hang of. Instead of complex menus and many 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 tell 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 the key, speed, volume, etc.
To export the audio track, 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.
The controls are laid out at the top; the editing area is below. Similar to every other software from this list, you can run multiple channels at the same time. That’s why there are not many columns in the editing area.
There are a few ways to create chiptune tracks using this software. You can write notes using the keyboard or load the 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 use the top menu options to change setup loops, speed, and more. 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 does a good job.
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 effectively creates chiptune music. This friendly NES emulator software lets you compose original chiptune scores directly into your DAW.
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OpenMPT is a chiptune music software that is rich in features. After installing and running it, you will go through a short setup phase. You might be overwhelmed with many options and menus when opening it.
However, you need not worry; detailed documentation on the website link below will help you get started. Even without relying entirely on the documentation, you can figure out some things yourself.
You can create chiptunes by changing the four tabs above the right editing area. They are “Patterns,” “General,” “Instruments,” and “Samples.” In the “Samples” tab, you can 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 various formats, such 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 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 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; the editing area is at the top, while the menus are 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 underneath the channels to create music.
Musical notes are added to the chiptune in the same way as the text is added to a document. The cursor automatically jumps to the next empty box when adding a note.
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You can now start and enjoy creating music using the above 6 chiptune music software from the list above. However, make sure you spend time with the documentation to discover all the features and tools to figure out how things work.