How To Make Chiptune Music In Garageband

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Chiptune music has become an increasingly popular form of electronic music in recent years. Also known as chip music or 8-bit music, chiptune is a type of synthesized electronic music made using the programmable sound generator (PSG) sound chips or synthesizers found in vintage arcade machines, computers and video game consoles. Chiptune has a distinctively retro feel to it and, with its roots in 8-bit gaming, many modern musical artists are now incorporating aspects of chiptune into teir own works.

Making chiptune music can actully be surprisingly easy. One great way to get started is by using Garageband on your Mac or iOS device. Garageband has an array of virtual instruments that can be used to create the classic sounds of chiptune, including both square and sawtooth waveforms. It also supports 16-bit audio files, making it possible to emulate the classic 8-bit soundscape.

The key to creating great chiptune music is getting creative with your use of effects and instruments. Try experimenting with various combinations until you find something that fits your own personal style. Additionally, try to think in counterpoint while composing; this will help you make more interesting arrangements that are more pleasing to the ear than simple monophonic lines.

Lastly, don’t compose your track directly in the tracker at first – instead try using a sequencer or audio editor like Garageband for sketching out your ideas and building the basic tracks before transferring them into the tracker for polishing up and finishing touches! With tese tips in mind, you’ll be well on your way to creating awesome 8-bit tunes!

How To Make Chiptune Music In Garageband 1

Creating Chiptune Sounds

Chiptune sounds are typically made using the programmable sound generator (PSG) chips found in vintage arcade machines, computers and video game consoles. These chips contain a set of basic waveforms (square, sawtooth, triangle and sine), each with its own adjustable parameters. By combining different combinations of these waveforms and adjusting their varius parameters such as frequency, pulse width, amplitude and attack/decay times, a wide range of sounds can be created. Furthermore, by layering multiple PSG sounds together with other effects such as filters or noise generators, the range of possible sounds is vastly increased. Some chiptune artists use additional sound sources such as samples or other synthesizers to create more complex compositions.

Creating 8-Bit Game Music

In order to make 8-bit game music, it is important to take into account the limitations of many vintage sound chips and get creative with implying harmony and effects. Since 8-bit music is typically composed in a tracker, it can be helpful to compose away from the tracker first by sketching out ideas for melodies and chord progressions on paper. Once the basic structure of the composition is established, you can enter it into the tracker. Additionally, cnsider thinking in counterpoint to add depth and complexity to your music. This involves creating two or more independent melodic lines that when combined create an interesting musical texture. Finally, experiment with different sounds and effects that can give your composition its own unique flavor.

The History of 16-bit Music

16-bit music is often referred to as “bitpop” or “chipmusic,” and is a type of electronic music that utilizes the sound chips of older 16-bit computers and video game consoles. In this style of music, compositions are created by programming the sound chips with specific notes, rhythms, and effects. The result is a unique type of music that has its own distinct sound. Bitpop is often compared to chiptune music, but typically employs more advanced sound chips than those used in chiptunes.

What Is The Best Program For Creating Chiptune Music?

The best program for making chiptune music is Super Audio Cart – Retro Game Samples. This powerful software offers a wide variety of sounds and samples for creating 8-bit and 16-bit soundtracks. It also cmes with a built-in tracker, allowing you to easily compose and arrange complex chip tunes. It also has a variety of effects and filters that can be used to customize your music. Super Audio Cart retails for $149, making it one of the more expensive options on the market, but its versatility makes it well worth the price tag. For more budget conscious musicians, there is DefleMask – Chiptune Tracker which starts at $9.99. This program is great for beginners and offers an easy to use graphical interface with everything you need to create awesome chiptunes. There are also some free plugins available such as Nintendo VST by Matt Montag, ChipSynth SFC – 16-bit Synthesizer ($39.95) and RYM2612 Iconic FM Synthesizer ($49).

Creating a 16d Song

To make a 16D song, you will need two separate tracks of audio and a digital audio workstation (DAW). First, link both tracks to a new track and then unlink them from the master. Next, add an equalizer (EQ) to the new mixer track and slightly turn down everything. You can also add a soft clipper to further shape the sound. Finally, pan one channel slightly left and the other slightly right to create the 16D effect. Once you have achieved your desired sound, mix and master your track for an optimal result.

how to make chiptune music in garageband

What Is the Typical BPM of Chiptune Music?

Chiptune is a type of music characterized by its use of synthesizers and 8-bit sound samples. It typically has a tempo of 201 beats per minute (BPM), but can also be used half-time at 101 BPM. Chiptune is often associated with the soundtracks of classic video games, though it has since evolved to include more modern synthesizer sounds.


In conclusion, chiptune music is a unique and creative form of electronic music that has been made popular by its use as background music in video games and arcade machines. This type of music has its own distinct sound and requires composers to be creative with its limited capabilities. By thinking in counterpoint, utilizing effects creatively and implying harmony, the composer can create a truly unique piece that stands out among many othr styles of electronic music. Chiptune is an enjoyable style of music to listen to as well as compose, making it a great choice for those looking for something different.

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Sanjeev Singh

Sanjeev is the tech editor at DeviceMAG. He has a keen interest in all things technology, and loves to write about the latest developments in the industry. He has a passion for quality-focused journalism and believes in using technology to make people's lives better. He has worked in the tech industry for over 15 years, and has written for some of the biggest tech blogs in the world. Sanjeev is also an avid photographer and loves spending time with his family.