slama.dev

Chiptunes

music music Icon, released 19. 1. 2024[edit]

As a part of the holiday brake (mostly to prevent me from playing Factorio), I decided to get into making chip music. The goal is to, at the very least, grasp the concepts and produce an original piece of music that sounds. No qualifier, just sounds.

This (short) post is both a write-up and a place for notes as I learn. Since I am a complete beginner, take everything written here with a huge grain of salt.


  1. day: spent comfortable with Furnace; playing around with inputting notes
    • the target device is the NES since it’s channels are pretty limited
  2. day: figured out a simple progression that sounds interesting
  3. day: fleshed out the progression and added fluff around to make it interesting
    • here are the results (it’s pretty bad): First.wav (10 seconds), First.fur (Furnace file)
    • also thinking about the next, longer song I’d like to work on
  4. day: work on the second song, which will be a Waltz
  5. day: again some more work, this is pretty hard

A long time ellapsed here, during which I did nothing. The work during days 4. and 5. gave me a good idea of how much work it actually is to create a good-sounding chiptune (which, to some extent, was the goal of the project), so I’m going to leave it here for now. Who knows, maybe I’ll return to make more chiptunes some other time 🙂.

  1. day: finishing touches on the (start of the) Waltz

Terms and definitions

Chiptune music [wikipedia]:

Tracker [wikipedia]:

Using the Furnace tracker

Pattern window (bottom left) is where we’ll be doing the sequencing

Tempo (top right) is determined by the tick rate, which determines TPS

Pattern window (top left) determines the order the patterns in the song are played

Edit window (top left-ish) has things for editing the composition

Chip manager window can be used to define the PSGs used in the composition

Controls