Hi all

This is my first post, so apologies if it's on the wrong topic of the forum.

I've been recording live rock music for most of my life and now getting into producing chipmusic renditions of baroque music.  I'm quite well-versed in using DAW software so played with Audiothing Minibit to produce the following recordings...

Vivaldi - Winter (Largo) - YOUTUBE
Bach - Violin Concerto in E Major (Allegro) - YOUTUBE

I had fun making them and now interested in going for a more authentic approach.  What are the main advantages/disadvantages I would expect from approaching usage of a tracker given my background?

Many thanks

UK, Leicester

>subjectively nicer synth sounds
>you can play it on your chosen console/hardware theoretically

>less channels - you have to be more creative
>less dynamic range

>no traditional automation - you have to do it way more by hand/ear than just linking a curve to a track, you incrementally add in the numbers for release/volume decrease etc, although I personally really like the depth of control
>interface is somewhat really different - trackers dont look like daws, you get strips of channels going down which you place individual notes and their commands (automation) in

Salt Lake City, UT

add to 'advantages'
>extremely fine-grain control over sounds and individual notes.

For example, lets say you have a plunky, piano-like sound. Quick attack, quick decay, long release, no portamento.

BUT for just this one part you want this note to fade in, then slide up to this note, then vibrato, the pitch bend down quickly. You want the next few notes to have a filter (or PWM) envelope, a longer decay with a quick arp sequence applied to them.

In MIDI, this would be a considerable amount of automation, possibly multiple instruments needed.

In a tracker, it's just a few commands in a column and one table.


Thank you both for your replies.  I will definitely be looking deeper into this over the Christmas period.  It looks like an interesting/challenging set of advantages and disadvantages.  If it proves not to my taste, then I'll carry on with Minibit.  Out of all the chipsets I've heard, the SID excites my taste buds the most!  Maybe it has something to do with my young childhood playing on my Commodore 64!

montreal, qc

Grab goattracker2.

People won't take you seriously unless you use the right trackers.

I'd first try out something like renoise or schism tracker or OpenMPT to get a feeling for the tracker workflow... or Klystrack or Deflemask even.
Look at the demo songs they come with, etc., and work on making the mental shift towards thinking of measures vertically instead of horizontally.

Once you get the general concepts of sequencing within a tracker down, you can look into "hardware specific tracker emulators" and "trackers that produce files able to be run on 'retro' hardware". It will go a long way into making these interfaces less daunting.


Your music is nice, but it doesn't really sound 8-bit or chiptune to me, rather more like some midi rendering. I don't know Audiothing Minibit and I haven't played the music at high volume, maybe that's the reason. I love baroque music too smile

If you enjoy the SID sound, and your musics are in midi format, you should consider using SidWizard, as it can convert from MIDI to its format. On the other hand it's quite archaic because you have to use it inside a c64 emulator. But it's great and well done.

You can also use Deflemask which can handle several old gaming systems (megadrive/genesis, NES, gameboy) and you can switch between them for the same score. It can't import so you'll have to retype everything. I did this for an old renaissance piece ("Belle qui tiens ma vie") which you can listen to there: … llequi.ogg

This man is doing carol-inspired chiptune music and it's awesome:

Last edited by garvalf (Dec 7, 2017 10:46 am)


Thanks again for your replies.  More interesting options to consider.

Yes, the recordings I've done so far aren't necessarily pure chiptune as I used lofi bitcrushed drum samples on a couple and reverbs etc.  It's hard to let go of those aural sweeteners!  ha

One thing that will probably be decisive is how easy/intuitive it is to tweak sounds.  The workflow in the Minibit plugin is very intuitive and it's easy to tweak to taste pretty quickly.  I have some time off work over Christmas to dive in to the unknown!