Hey guys,

How's it going?

I've just returned to making music at the ripe old age of 35 after a layoff of almost 15 years! I used to use hardware (RS7000, RM1x, MPC 2000xl, MS2000, etc) and never could get comfortable on a computer after trying a top end Powermac setup, Windows laptop etc. I spend eight hours a day on a pc so I can't bear to sit on one in my free time. But it was just too frustrating/expensive going back to hardware after getting accustomed to having almost infinite insert effects and synth parts etc.

About a year ago I downloaded Caustic on my IPad for a laugh and I haven't looked back. It has that tactile groovebox feel I like but also allows me much of the freedom of a software DAW. However, I'd like to have a go at making some chiptunes and wondered if a tracker like Sunvox would be more suited. I'm already comfortable with the automation, limiter, sidechaining, effects etc on Caustic so I know there'd be a learning curve.

What are the benefits of using Sunvox? I imagine keyboard shortcuts are not really applicable to an iPad and it's not like I have a history of using trackers/hexadecimal like many people who have come from the Atari etc. Aside from the deep routing possibilities, what else has Sunvox got to offer? I mainly use Caustic for techno of the more Regis/Surgeon variety and it does the job for that, but for chiptunes people seem to refer to trackers. FWIW I'm not really into the true 'authentic' chiptune scene. More the modern incarnations like 8 Bit Weapon etc. I like the production of tracks like Dischipo and The Massacre by FantomenK. Modern production techniques but with a more retrospective soundset.

Sorry for the rambling post. Help a noob, ha...

Last edited by Osc81 (Apr 22, 2016 6:30 pm)

if you're used to an mpc and you wanna use a computer just get a maschine unit. best of both sides and their pads are better than an mpc imo

It's worth giving it a try for a week or two, at least. No need to "switch". Just try it out for awhile.

Inb4 obligatory "sunvox isn't a chiptune tracker"

Last edited by SketchMan3 (Apr 23, 2016 4:22 am)

Sunvox is very powerful. On your tablet, you'll get the same interface as on the desktop. The desktop version (linux, mac, windows) version is free as in free beer, the tablet / smartphone version is not free, but quite cheap. Sunvox can't export to old computer & console format (like Deflemask, goattracker, famitrackrt can do) but I don't think Caustic can either.

I've never used caustic, so I don't know if sunvox can be more suitable at making chiptune like sounds, but you can first try to get the desktop version of sunvox. I think it's rather easy to use and intuitive, even if the interface can look complicated.

Osc81 wrote:

I've just returned to making music at the ripe old age of 35 after a layoff of almost 15 years!

Welcome back to the music scene!

Osc81 wrote:

About a year ago I downloaded Caustic on my IPad for a laugh and I haven't looked back.

Yeah, ain't that a kick? Caustic is very solid and smooth. It's not going to give you the most advanced tools out there. But you can still make music that's good enough for professional quality. I've used it many times and am very satisfied with it, for what it is. Great for tracking ideas on the go.

Osc81 wrote:

What are the benefits of using Sunvox?

The only benefit I can think of is that you get a different set of sounds and gear. It's simply another option at best. And a real hassle to use at worse... for me personally at least. I can't stand the interface on touch screen smart phone. But maybe you will like it. Just give it a free try.

Sunvox only has a 2OP FM synthesizer. This is good for simulating older Adlib OPL2 sounds, or like on Japanese Sega Master System.

Caustic has a 3OP FM synthesizer which will allow you to get sounds that are closer to what can be heard on systems like Sega Genesis/MegaDrive and OPL3.

The subtractive synth on Caustic is great for getting simple square/triangle/saw waves that are common on old school chip tunes. Use the bit-crushing effect on samples to simulate the NES sample channel for instance.

Keep your eyes peeled. I'll Personal Message a track I made in Caustic that sounds like an NES, but a little more advanced sound quality.

Osc81 wrote:

Sorry for the rambling post. Help a noob, ha...

Heh, no worries. Everyone here knows how much I ramble from time to time. What better place than a message board to ramble on?

It's unclear to me if you're saying you want nothing to do with a laptop/desktop setup, but if those are okay for you, I'd recommend giving Renoise a try. It's not free but it's relatively cheap, and the free demo is basically fully functional, except for exporting songs and resampling. It's probably the most "modern" tracker out there, capable of loading VST's and such.

Renoise might be overkill if you just want to make chiptunes though, but I think Sunvox is a little overkill for just chiptunes too. Something like Milkytracker is probably best for just chiptunes, as it's pretty limited in most other areas.



Personally, I tried Sunvox a few times and really never clicked with it. I loved the individual instruments, like the FM synth and the Kick synth, but the workflow/interface and some aliasing issues with the higher pitched synth sounds kept me away. I haven't tried it in years though, maybe some of those issues have been changed or fixed.

Cheers for the replies guys.

marcb0t, yes it's good to be back mate! I don't know if it's the old man in me, but I seem to be more retrospectively focused as of late. In my younger days I was always very forward focused, but lately I've had a real itch to jam out to the sounds I grew up with.

I've just been playing with the 8 bit synth in Caustic and it sounds pretty decent through my dt990s. Albeit nowhere near as grungy as the real hardware, but I think I can work with this...

May your sunvox journey be super awesome!

Heres some nice tutorials to give you a nice start:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?list=PL62F5 … Jh6yiKPqE4

Live long and prosper! QAPLA!

I love Sunvox, but I mostly make ambient music with bits of field recordings I've made and instrument sounds I've recorded + loads of delay. I've not used it in a chiptune sense, but I'm here because I recently got into Nanoloop and I saw your post.
I've been using Sunvox since 2009 and got into it because you could use it on portable devices (I was using a Palm Zire 72 and Jornada 720) and also use it on computers, so it's fantastically cross-platform. Over the years I've spent many a lunchbreak making tunes with Sunvox on portable things and then continuing working on it on my PC when I got home.
Try it out for free on a 'puter and then buy it for portable if you get into it.
I'd say the benefit of Sunvox is that you can pick-up the basics real quick and then when you start getting into it you can go real deep. There's so much you can do with. Plus the forum is pretty good and you can download modules others have posted. I really like the tape delay module someone posted a while ago.
Go for it.

oh, this is an old thread...

it's also working on pocketchip: http://blog.nextthing.co/making-music-w … etc-h-i-p/

Mmm... tasty. I didn't know anything about the PocketCHIP. Could make a nice new toy.