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I wanted to create a main post somewhere on the internet that collects all audio tools available & designed to make music using NES console.
I got idea for it after I discovered that nes-audio com site belonging to Neil Baldwin, genius who created trackers on NES dissapeared couple weeks ago, and even genius himself went absolutely offline. NES audio homebrew is criminally underappreciated compared to LSDJ, and undershadowed by trackers available on modern platforms. My goal is to to change that, starting here!

Here you will find: [if not right now, then soon!]
-List of available audio tools;
-advantages of each;
-efficient workflow for each;
-tips and tricks to get you started;
-list of their bugs to watch out for;
-links to download NES trackers/emulators;
-NES audio quirks/tips&tricks/problems;
also:
-brief info regarding Special Hardware for NES to make music;
-software tools to aid the homebrew;
-links to software on modern devices (without going into detail);
-SPECIAL WANTED LIST!

-----[NES AUDIO TOOLS]-----

-----NTRQ-----
This is FIRST native NES tracker! runs on any emulator, and despite looking simplistic/archaic, it's very advanced!
I'm planning to take care of manual and bring out the information like controls/commands to the user in much more accesible/quicker way (+ maybe some examples?) + will post Plus Neil Baldwin's tutorials from his blog!

for sure 1st thing I recommend you to do is go to options and enable ALT NOTE ENTRY so changing notes/octaves will function same like LSDJ/Pulsar

-----Pulsar*-----
Basically LSDJ on NES! I could say it's THE most advanced audio-tool homebrew available on NES thanks to it's automation/groove tables, and high refresh rate! Thankfully manual is quite accesible and easy to read/learn from!

› Quick dirty guide of differences going from LSDJ to Pulsar

-----cajoNES-----
It's more of an performance tool rather than tracker to compose regular piece of music. It has randomiser, high modulation rate and quick save/load making it very playable it's relatively easy to grasp!

-----PR8*-----
It's "drum-machine-style synth", sports interesting non-tracker-like design enabling the user to create multi-channel instruments and play live with ease! Compared to Elektron synthesizers like Octatrack for it's automation possibilities, it's extremely powerful tool to create complete tracks!

› WORKFLOW ADVICE:

› PR8 Speed Guide by Neil Baldwin:

› {Advanced}Editing the appearance:


-----SMMM-----
Super Magic Music Maker is an semi-interactive random music generator. You won't be able to compose music on it due to it's generative nature - it will produce itself! Simple controls allow interacting with the scales and sequence, and there are also visuals!

-----Chippy-----
Chippy is very simple piano-roll sequencer and easy to understand instrument design! And has a cat!
I see it as perfect introduction to NES audio for beginners, as it teaches basics like hexademical system (volume goes from 0 to F, and even sequencer starts from 00 rather than 1) also if played from the middle, it plays with default speed rather than the different one we set on start of our composition, teaching user to not forget commands!
(Also small tip: if you want to have swing, exchange 2 close to each other BPM commands every step!)
Instructions are included on same forum where download link is!

-----Plogue Livenes-----
Made as test tool to help understand 2A03 chip, but may be as well used as drone machine!
There are 3 versions available: 2A03 only, 2A03+VRC6 and 2A03+FDS!
Also teaches you how audio chip functions!
Playing around is highly advised!

› How to use & Quickstart

-----droNES-----
droNES turns NES into a drone/noise box by implementing (very) crude frequency modulation (FM) and amplitude modulation (AM) to 3 of the NES's hardware voice: the two square-wave voices and the noise. Geared more towards live experimentation and exploration, able to satisfy any harsh noise fascinate!

----------
*This homebrew needs special emulator supporting NES 2.0 (it's special expanded cardridge type) to function properly.
Rest should work on all standard NES emulators!


-----[COMMERCIAL]-----
---Ikinari Musician(JP, 1987):
Very accessible live jamming app, where you move little blob/cursor on the keyboard within selected scale!
It's extremely fun and playable! This would be first app I'd recommend for young Chiptuners, but I believe anyone will have fun with it!
Also has MULTIPLAYER! (though only one can play at once, interrupting doesn't feel frustrating!)
it has many fun "cheats" that change graphics or slow down the beat, and to make it all beautiful, you can record your jamming live!
[note: recording is still ON until the end-of-song jingle finishes!]
[Looking for proper manual for it to make proper description!]
---Dezaemon(JP, 1991):
music-sheet based sequencer controllable with dpad cursor;
12 bar per song (max 6 songs);
24 different pulse channel instruments;
5 DPCM samples available (kick, snare and 3 toms);
32 different tempo speeds to choose (most of it is in range 20-300, also has 450 & 900!);


-----[DOWNLOADS]-----
https://woolyss.com/chipmusic-chiptrack … s=Nintendo (for NTRQ, PR8, cajoNES, Pulsar)

https://github.com/plgDavid/livenes  (for Proque Livenes 2A03, VRC6, FDS)

https://forums.nesdev.com/viewtopic.php … mp;t=17445 (for Chippy)

I just started asking sites to host Neil Baldwin's tools, will provide more links to each as they appear!

Here's the package including all Neil Baldwin's tools + PocketNES package
>DOWNLOAD HERE<

(Im reuploading and updating this package every week)

Otherwise files from nes audio com should be still reachable by Internet Wayback Machine!

=====POCKETNES FOR PR8 & PULSAR=====
Produced by Dwedit in 2016, this version is able to run NES 2.0 homebrew!
It's quite stable and works well on the actual hardware
(Results on emulators may vary, but you're welcome to try!)
Package contains:
-Updated PocketNES + menumaker
-Original PR8 and Pulsar packages
-Premade .gba files for each one!!

>DOWNLOAD HERE<


› (todo:)

=====


-----*[NES 2.0 EMULATORS]----- (for ones with * by the name)
-Nintendulator (Win) https://www.qmtpro.com/~nes/nintendulator/
-Mesen (Win, Linux) https://www.mesen.ca/
-Nestopia (Win, Linux, MacOS) http://nestopia.sourceforge.net/
-FCEUX (Win, Unix) https://github.com/TASVideos/fceux/
--Info regarding NES 2.0: https://wiki.nesdev.com/w/index.php/NES_2.0
I will be contacting various emulator developers asking them to support this format!
And please, do so too! More emails = more motivation for developer!


-----[FLASHCARTS FOR NES 2.0]-----
PowerPak is supported - special file is included in both PR8 and Pulsar's archives!
NT Mini is supported (Source)


-----[USEFUL LINKS]-----
--DPCM pitched sample generator by TylerBarnes and nesdev thread with more info
--NES overclocking mods (Different speeds/pitches for trackers!) by LimitZer0
--WAV to DMC converter by Rushjet1
--Saw wave DPCM IRQ demo in NSF2 by Blargg & Brad Smith
--Triangle wave overtones by Tepples
--"The Compendium of Custom Refresh Rate Techniques in FamiTracker" by Aquellex


-----[HARDWARE NES MUSIC]-----
--FamiMidi: NES MIDI cardridge:
video of it in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5qE-WJzdd6k
available to buy here: https://catskullelectronics.com/famimimidi
--MidiNES: NES MIDI cardridge (not supported anymore)


-----software to make NES music on modern platforms-----
(WIN) 0CC Famitracker http://hertzdevil.info/programs/
(WIN/MAC OS) Famistudio https://famistudio.org/
(WIN, plans for Linux and Android!) NEStudio https://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/2445 … tion-tool/

Last edited by INFU (Jul 11, 2020 1:45 am)

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› Changelog

› Special Thanks

-----IF YOU GOT SOMETHING WORTH INCLUDING IN THE POST I AM REACHABLE ON ALMOST ALL SOCIAL PLATFORMS AS @INFU_AV-----

Looking forward to any music you made with those tools, and if you have any questions or feedback, please ask!

Last edited by INFU (Jun 10, 2020 11:13 pm)

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Thanks for this! been looking for more NES music stuff to emulate on DS. Especially thanks for the reminder about Dezaemon, wanted to try that for years, just googled and found an english-translated rom smile

Aw doesn't look like NESDS supports NES 2.0 tho which is a shame, will have to just try the ones that need that on the computer

Here's an interesting one for the list: http://ploguechipsounds.blogspot.com/20 … venes.html

Last edited by Cementimental (May 25, 2020 1:32 pm)

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Cementimental wrote:

Thanks for this! been looking for more NES music stuff to emulate on DS. Especially thanks for the reminder about Dezaemon, wanted to try that for years, just googled and found an english-translated rom smile

Aw doesn't look like NESDS supports NES 2.0 tho which is a shame, will have to just try the ones that need that on the computer

Here's an interesting one for the list: http://ploguechipsounds.blogspot.com/20 … venes.html

Glad you like it! I think there's no need for translation if you want to make music, menus to reach music editor are in english smile

This is exactly why we need to email developers about NES 2.0 support! Please email NESDS author about that, I will do so too, and the more Chiptuners will ask for NES 2.0 support the more likely devs will agree!
If we will be able to get them working at least on one portable machine, then it's gonna be big success!

I checked Plogue livenes, and it's actually very playable!
There's even source code and more versions! For sure it's going on my list!

Thanks Cementimental!

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Italy

Hey, great post!

You could add Famislayer: http://www.heavyw8bit.com/famislayer.php

Not really a tool to make music but rather to play *.NSF in sync with other platforms, very useful!

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Merutochan wrote:

Hey, great post!

You could add Famislayer: http://www.heavyw8bit.com/famislayer.php

Not really a tool to make music but rather to play *.NSF in sync with other platforms, very useful!

Thanks!
Everywhere is mentioned that it has only compability with Famitracker, so I'm gonna give it a try before including it in the list, will update this post with results!

EDIT: Finally I got to try it out, but couldn't get it to work, even with Famitracker! Really strange.. If someone gets it to work with NTRQ and will provide replicable instructions I will for sure put it on the list!

Last edited by INFU (May 30, 2020 5:19 pm)

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INFU wrote:

-----I AM ALSO LOOKING FOR SOFTWARE CALLED DRONES-----

Here it is being mentioned: https://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/1208 … shopmerch/

I have a copy, here it is. Temporary link so please re-upload if you want to share it, as i might clear stuff from my dropbox in future  https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9scz25h0uhx0 … 0.zip?dl=0

Last edited by Cementimental (May 26, 2020 1:29 pm)

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Cementimental wrote:
INFU wrote:

-----I AM ALSO LOOKING FOR SOFTWARE CALLED DRONES-----

Here it is being mentioned: https://chipmusic.org/forums/topic/1208 … shopmerch/

I have a copy, here it is. Temporary link so please re-upload if you want to share it, as i might clear stuff from my dropbox in future  https://www.dropbox.com/s/s9scz25h0uhx0 … 0.zip?dl=0

Yes, thank you!! That was only missing link from Neil's releases!

I just downloaded it and will put it on my list soon!

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no probs smile

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NES GB land

just a heads up the downloads on wetransfer are no longer available. next time use something like google drive or mediafire.

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djmaximum wrote:

just a heads up the downloads on wetransfer are no longer available. next time use something like google drive or mediafire.

Thanks for the heads up Djmaximum! Just reuploaded it, again on wetransfer, as I'm sorting out my own website to permanently store it, without using my personal google account, or websites full of ads >.<