Johannesburg, South Africa

Hi all. This is my first track posted here. It's a work in progress called Dichotomy and it experiments with major and minor tonalities as well as some quick changing sections and chromaticism.

Not quite completed yet but i felt I would like to get some feedback from some people who are more familiar with chiptunes than me. I have made quite a few in my time but never gotten  any constructed feedback and would like to start improving myself.

Let me know if you have any thoughts. … y.wav?dl=0

My Soundcloud is unfortunately full right now that's why a Dropbox link. I'm nervous of deleting any of my old stuff right now so don't wanna upload to SC.

Johannesburg, South Africa

I forgot to mention I used Milktytracker to make this and headphone are recommended for the bass. The bass response is fine on some Rockit monitors but not off built in pc speakers tongue The IMac I'm using at work you can't hear the bass on at all....

Johannesburg, South Africa

After some testing on  other monitors I remixed a bit. I'll remove the previous is the most recent one: … y.wav?dl=0

Nottingham, UK

While you have some interesting compositional ideas, its all very undynamic and everything is kind of the same squarewave sound. Try using different pulse widths, envelopes and arps to distinguish the voices. Also embellishments wouldn't go amiss, a bit of vibrato and slides in and out could breathe some life into it.

Last edited by ForaBrokenEarth (Apr 5, 2016 3:02 pm)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Ok cool. Thanks for the input, I'm pretty much using mosly sine that the undynamic sound you are reffering too? I'm still a bit of a noob with Milky Tracker so how would I go about editting pulse-widths and envelopes. I use quite a few arp commands (037 057 etc) to get some of the cool glitchy sounds. Is that the kind of arp you are referring too? When you say embellishments you mean in the individuals lines of melody or embellishments on repeats of sections? I start messing around a bit with slides at the end buy I don't use much vibrato. I'll try that now! Thanks!

Johannesburg, South Africa

Aha i remember the vibrato setting now in Inst Editor...

Lake Titicaca

in milkytracker, dont forget you have the generate waveform option in the sample can then use draw to roughen or smooth the waveforms a bit...or use draw to create "noiseish spikes" in your generated SCWF (single cycle waveform), then use the smooth option in the sample editors dropdown menu to round them off.

Also, in terms of ARP commands the following may be of use to you:

0, 3, 7 - minor

0, 3, 7, 10 - minor 7

0, 3, 6 - diminished

0, 4, 7 -  Major

0, 4, 7, 9 - 6th

0, 4, 7, 10 - 7th

0, 4, 7, 11 - Major 7

0, 5, 7 - sus4


0, 4, 8 - augmented

0, 4, 8, 10 - 7#5

0, 4, 6, 10 - 7b5

0, 4, 7, 9, 14 - 6add9

In milkytracker you only have 3 notes per arp command while some of the chord structures above have 4 or even five notes, so say you wanted to use a 6add9 chord you might start with 047, then on the following lines do 049, then 0,4,14 and so hexadecimal (the way i wrote the chords above is just, number of half steps / semitones up from the base note)

As for milktrackers envelope section, its basically a crude custom LFO for amplitude and panning...just remember that milkytracker is set to 6 ticks per line by default so dont make the mistake of spacing your envelope points in multiples of 4 ticks only (use multiples of 3, 6, 12 or 24 instead for straight beats, multiples of 4, 8, 16, 32 gives you triplets). You can build up interesting rythms by using the envelope section as an might have the same waveform over many instruments in which the envelopes are different looping lengths...all together they make one awesome instrument...(use them all in one track / channel) ....much rythmic possibilities...zoom in fully in the envelope editor to see tick by tick.

Also, resampling is possible in milky by rendering some double / quadruple speed sequence or single pattern with (muchos high speed arps and stuff) to wav...then looping what you have in the sample editor to make a more complicated instrument / interesting sounding when transposed 2 octaves down / up....

Milkytracker is actually frickin awesome, but I switched to Sunvox now because it does everything that milkytracker can and much more.

Also, just straight up use draw to draw your own waveforms for interesting textures when layered ontop of the standard generated waveforms...make sure the drawn waveforms are the right length in samples (usually 128).

Use high BPM, If I remember correctly, when I was using milky I used to always write in double BPM (so if the song should be 140BPM I would use 280, or 560) for faster, more impressive sounding, LGPT table - like arps and glitchish sequences.

Use the vibrato, slide to note, slide up and slide down pattern effect commands.

For longer samples, use the sample offset command to jump to different regions of the sample. Maybe you have a long tone with a filter sweep down...using offset you can use all the cutoff levels from the different regions of that filter sweep....kind of a crude grain time stretch for vocal samples as well. 

Damn, you made me want to break out my old HpiPAQ again now...but there is no point because sunvox does all that ish anyways. But I'm still convinced that milkytracker has its own unique character to the (very digital, aliasing and stuff) sound...also you can choose what bit depth you render out into....changes the character of the sound....

Line out from milkytracker into korg mini kaosspad2 = good times

One of the best portable, battery operated sampler sequencers out there IMHO (not forgetting LGPT  and SUNVOX of course). Sunvox has synthesis as well as sampling while LGPT is like a L33T version of milkytracker with all its fancy schmancy table structures, plus it also has filter cutoff and resonance commands among other things, it can also scan a small looping section across a longer sample for morphing waveform sound (like the monowave compo).

Milkytracker has no filters, no reverbs, no echo / delay....but you could always sample a tone at 4 different filter cutoff levels then make 4 versions of the instrument and switch instruments to change the level of filter cutoff....or use old skool tracker tricks to create pseudo delay / echo....use external effects box ( kaoss pad mini is pretty sweet, portable, battery powered)....the sky is the limit...its better equipment than herbie hancock had anyway....better than fairlight sampler sequencer.

You could achieve the 12.5%, 25% and 50% pulse widths on your generated sqaure waves by choosing number of cycles to generate = 8, then using draw to flatten (all the way to the top or bottom) from the peak of the first cycle, the second cycle, the third cycle you 12.5% divisions...then you flatten the rest out from where you want...infront and behing the "pulse". Its weird to explain, just try it...youll see....

As you use milkytracker you have an advantage over LSDJ, Pulsar, NTRQ, nanoloop (gameboy cartridge versions) users because it works in true BPM instead of framerate based speed...whatever you render out from milkytracker will line up easily in any DAW without using rubberband warping or something similar. LGPT and SUNVOX also have this advantage...Of those three, milkytracker, LGPT and SUNVOX...sunvox is the most advanced, most mature software (Its a modular synth and tracker style sequencer, with a very unique and versatile song timeline arranger), however LGPT's tables are really, really cool.

One more thing, use the delay command (delay the note event by number of ticks) to emulate strumming and nice on chords, one note event with a delay command per build up the strummed chords ish..


Last edited by JaffaCakeMexica (Apr 5, 2016 6:23 pm)

Johannesburg, South Africa

JaffaCake thanks so much! I just saw your post and gonna read through it properly now! Some really nice tips there so thank you!

You reckon Sunvox is better though? I found when mixing down from Mt and then exporting to Ableton I found after a minute or so the parts would go out of time..but you say that shouldn't happen. Should I be bouncing it down differently?

I still need to read through your post properly which I will do now... probably more questions to come tongue

Johannesburg, South Africa

The arp functions are just semitone steps as far as I can tell right? That's what I have been assuming up to now

EDIT: I see now you said that tongue I'm fine of the music theory side, I lecture music theory at a University so it's more the MT commands I'm trying to learn!

Last edited by Bacon Rageelr (Apr 6, 2016 8:38 am)

Johannesburg, South Africa

I see changing the pulse width legnth changes the pitch of the notes. I'm gonna leave that experiment for the next piece as its gonna be too hard to rewrite all the melody notes. I'm trying to add a few more slides and tremelo to the melodies I have no but I dont really notice the tremello. Is it quite subtle ? I'm using 406, 400, 406, 460 etc...those kind of commands. Is that right? Fianlly in terms of ticks, if I use EC4 then that is till the next (tick/beat?) I've been using ec1 or 2 to cut notes and I keep noticing a break in the melodies...

Lake Titicaca

Hi Bacon, sorry for my long rant above...its only because i loved the milkytracker for a long time in the past. But yeah, i would switch to sunvox now if i was you...its basically the same stuff as milkytracker , just WAY more advanced...because in sunvox you are tracking with a modular synth whereas in milkytracker you only have samples to work with...

As for changing pulsewidth of a square wave,  it shouldnt really be possible in milkytracker. The way I mentioned above is just a workaround...but it should not change the pitch of the sample, only the timbre. in the sample editor hit menu - new - length in samples = 128 or 256...then generate waveform...highlight all..loop highlighted s3ction...root note = can then go and draw directly into the waveform to make different timbres. use the envelope section to create ADSR, or looping LFO style envelope as mentioned above.

its a good idea to read the pattern effect commands many times so you remember or just print them out and keep by your PDA / laptop while your tracking.

here are some single cycle waveforms (they are tuned to D octave two, plus two cents. You will have to retune them to C yourself). … waveforms/

or you could just set the root note to D2 in each instrument, then use use finetune to tune down by 2 cents ( 1 cent is 1% of one semitone).

maybe this will be useful too: … ipping.txt

greetings from london. Happy tracking!

Last edited by JaffaCakeMexica (Apr 6, 2016 7:46 pm)

Johannesburg, South Africa

Thanks dude! Appreciate all the help. I think I will try out Sunvox for my next track. Redoing stuff and editing in Milkytracker is more of a mission than it should be haha! I have read through the MT manual and worked with most of the commands but the literal application of what some of the instructions do is whats stumping me...but I'm getting there... if you reckon sunvox is better then I reckon I'll move to that! And again thanks for all the helpful feedback!