You may have heard about 8-bit music or even know a lot about it already. For those in the
former to the clueless categories, 8-bit is one term for music that is created using sound
chips from older computers and vintage video consoles. It may also be known by its other
names such as chip music or chiptune music. Whichever term you use, the style of music
is electronically synthesised music.
The relationship between any music and gaming has always been known. After all, games
like the ones seen at PartyCasino or video games for the Playstation and Xbox rely on
music to make the experience even better, inciting emotion in us as we play. Gaming also
helps the music industry by highlighting unknown artists and promoting music in releases
such as Guitar Hero. That relationship has always been known but this physical
relationship between the PGS sound chips of game consoles and music may be new – and
Examples to Jog Your Memory
You can usually tell a modern game apart from a retro game in a lot of ways. Graphics,
controls and the console you are using are the obvious giveaways. Yet, music is one of the
even more obvious. Consider the music you would hear playing on an arcade game
compared to the music you would hear on World of Warcraft or any first-person shooter
The Commodore 64 console’s SID chip started things off and is still admired today. SEGA
then followed suit and made their arcade games with the also-admired YM2151 chip – not
to forget the five-channel audio unit mastered by Koji Kondo of Nintendo! All of these chips
are some have created some of the best retro music in gaming today and are still
embraced by current gaming developers wanting to get a characterful feel for their games.
Get Help to Make 8-Bit Retro Sounds
If you are a musical developer, an aspiring game developer or just interested in creating 8-
bit music, you are in luck. Although creating this sort of music is never easy, just like many
other music types and genres, there is a way and tools you can use.
You are best using Deflmask Tracker. This product can help produce chiptune music on
different platforms from Windows to Apple Mac. Once created, your work can even be
downloaded to your actual hardware. It’s the go-to resource for anyone wanting to create
those retro sounds from the early gaming days. We’re thinking Super Mario and Pacman!
Difficult BUT Worth It!
Understanding the technicalities of 8-bit music is by everyone’s standard a little bit of a
head-scratcher. However, when you get into the heart of making chiptune music you soon
learn that it is worth it and adds real value to the gaming industry. Chiptune music is unlikely to go away and all game developers will benefit from understanding it and having
it in their arsenal.