Creating chip-tune music

Way01:
I tried but failed to find a software capable of converting mp3s to 8bit retro style.
But, I found a program that can play midi’s and produce exactly that old days style.
Here it is: http://www.geocities.co.jp/SiliconValley-SanJose/8700/P/GXSCCB236/indexE.htm. It outputs WAV, which (even converted to mp3) is larger than most tracker music files.
And there are software products capable of converting mp3 to midi, so I still have a chance to do easy chiptunes 🙂

Way02:
Using modern sequencers and emulating synthesier instruments implemented as vsti instruments.
Have not tried them yet. So you get wav/mp3 but it sounds like 8bit.

Way03:
Real old days trackers. For windows I recommend: Milky tracker, Modplug tracker, Renoise(modern/cool, commercial + you need to use a tool to convert its native format to *.mod). They are hard to work with, you’ll have to get used to their interface. And it looks and feels more like programming than composing..
As a result you get small tracker file formats: mod,xm,ym,it…

Way04 (which I use at the moment):
– download/create/rip samples.. ripping is bad! 🙂
– load them into you DAW, which is FLStudio in my case
– compose your musical track(song); you can use your midi keyboard and all those benefits of modern DAWs
– Select Tools/Macros/Prepare for midi export (Save your project before that)
– assign each of your samples/tracks a midi track number and a midi patch number
– export the whole song as a midi file; and export project data files (samples you used)
– open this midi in Modplug (OpenMPT) or Renoise (+converter tool on forums)
– and now you’ll have to do some manual work; you have your notes stuff imported; each note referencing its instrument, but you have to edit/create instruments so that they have proper samples.. just those you were using while in FLStudio;
– when instruments are fixed.. you can save and get a *.it file in OpenMP or *.xrns in Renoise (see how to convert it to *.mod below) 🙂

Cool, no painless inputing notes by hand and you get real tracker music which is very compact. There are cool tracker effects that you might want to add to your song after importing it to OpenMP. Vibrato, glissando.. all give your song a feel of 8bit chiptune (these effects should be set manually per note, just as tracker composers do it).
There is also one drawback I have to mention: when you import midi into tracker it aligns imported notes to its own grid.. kindoff.. at least I think its like that… and some notes may get shifted a bit here and there..

This might all look like a cheat, but it saves time for those who are used to using midi-keyboards and other midi tools.
Still the best way to create tracker music is to use a tracker… 🙂

Playing chiptunes in your flash games:
The lib that allows playing tracker music in flash as3 is Flod. Its free but you need to make a donation >5$ if you are going to use it for commercial things. And you will have to convert the *.it files that OpenMPT produces to *.mod or other formats supported by Flod. I use MilkyTracker to convert *.it to *.xm and then use FlodXM to play those. And likewise if you used Renoise you will have to convert *.xrns file (renoise format) to *.mod. There is a tool xrns2xmod you can use, just load a version that supports you Renoise.

I will keep this post up to date, and add additional links if I happen to find any. Hope it was of any use to you.

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