Hey everyone,

Like many of you guys... I'm a composer. I'm not really new to chiptunes, but it has been several years since I have dabbled in this sort of thing.

Now I'm composing for a retro styled video game (or at least the music needs to be retro styled) and I'm trying to figure out how to have a dated sound without going all the way back to the NES era.

There are two main things I want to do...

1.) Find software that will allow me to reproduce sounds from any or all of the following: GBA, Nintendo DS, SNES, N64
2.) Take a sample of an instrument and turn it into a really dated sounding sample library (like samples you might hear on a GBA game)

I know programs like Famitracker exist, but I can't really remember if it has more than NES. I'm hoping to find sounds that are BEYOND the NES and Gameboy era.

Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!! smile

Note: I don't have any special cartridges for any systems, so it probably needs to be for PC/Mac/iOS.

Just for fun here is a track I made in Famitracker 3 or more years ago: … -clipboard

Abandoned on Fire

Plogue's "Chipsounds" and "Chipcrusher" sound like just what you need:

South Korea

Boy Scout is a PC-based tracker for writing GBA songs. I have not figured it out yet, so I cannot really comment on the ease of use, etc sad
DefleMask is pretty good if you want to do Sega Genesis or PCE/TurboGrafix vibes. For SNES or N64, you are probably best off using sounds ripped from games in some sample-based software. Good luck smile

egr wrote:

Plogue's "Chipsounds" and "Chipcrusher" sound like just what you need:

Chipsounds seems too dated for what I'm looking for but.. Chipcrusher looks perfect for what I need. But dat pricetag tho...

I was looking at Boy Scout earlier--I hope to check it out soon. But are there any DS or SNES tone emulators?

EDIT: Actually, after trying the demo that may not be what I'm after (though I only experimented briefly.. Stupid 5 minute trial). That mostly just seemed to generate noise and made it sound like it was coming through a speaker. What I'm actually looking for is a way to take a sample and make is sound as if it was sampled for a gameboy. In other words... I want a way to sample sounds poorly.

In the opening to this track from Wario Land 4, you can hear a vibraphone. But it doesn't sound real because the quality is degraded.

I want to be able to reproduce degraded sounds like that.

Last edited by HaydenDavenport (Mar 18, 2014 12:46 pm)

United States

Piggy ( can downsample and crush bits on samples.


Chipcrusher is exactly what you need, try it a little more. You can turn off the speaker stuff if you want. All the chips you mention are really just sample based, so mess with that some more.

perth, WA

yeah you need to try the different compression algorithms in chipcrusher. you can make stuff sound like it was processed through a speak n spell


Korg Microsampler. Check out how low it will crush the samples. Also you can find them in the $200 range pretty awsome portable daw.


Ok, everyone seems to think chipcrusher is the way to go... Would anyone be able to give me settings to make a high quality sample sound like it was sampled through a GBA? (Without sounding like it is coming through GBA speakers)

From there I'll probably just write down the settings and bounce my audio track every time I complete something (which will be really annoying) because of the 5 minute demo.

But no one has said much about SNES or N64 stuff... Is there anything related to that available?

Last edited by HaydenDavenport (Mar 18, 2014 9:55 pm)


All of that stuff is mostly sample based, so any mod tracker or soundfont type instrument will get you in the ballpark. If you list a specific tune you want to sound like it would probably help us narrow down your direction.

HaydenDavenport wrote:

But no one has said much about SNES or N64 stuff... Is there anything related to that available?

SNES ?, THIS! >> SPC700 Vsti
An accurate Japanese freebie called C700
Accurate BRR encoding / decoding
Accurate LOOP point setting...
FIR filter delay emulation
LOADS samples from SPC files or encode / play your own...etc
Really cool and accurate SNES sound chip emu!

SPC archive >> … mp;limit=0

On the other hand If you need something more raw and crunchy like playing samples on the volume register of a PSG chip ( particular 4bit logarithmic scale)
or even raw 1bit PWM, my SuperPSG VST (win) can do that.
If you need to make some crazy sounds there is also an YM / AY (Atari ST) emulated hardware envelope you can mess with!
It is like having the Sega Master System Chip with the Atari ST MusicMon features...(, SID voice, Buzzers, Sync effect etc...) even wavetables are possible!
The concept was to reproduce perfectly the Master System Chip and push the limit of what have been done in the past with it.
Every parameters are also automatable in your DAW of choice in real time.
Needless to say that all of this has been tested on real hardware and works.
Chip for cheap wink
check for SuperPSG (all the infos you may want are in the manual) >>
thread here >> … -extended/
Still, I need to find the time to make more demos of the special features!

NC in the US of America

Convert samples to 16bit 22.050kHz PCM or lower, maybe. Load them into milkytracker and set the sample quality to 8bit. tongue

Or grab some samples from this little gem: (Piano roll sample-based module sequencer). If you Insert Voice then write a note and export the song as wav the quality is better than if you export the Instrument as wav from the "View>Instruments" screen.

Boy Scout is a PC-based tracker for writing GBA songs. I have not figured it out yet, so I cannot really comment on the ease of use, etc

It only uses the DMG Legacy channels, so not what OP is looking for.

Last edited by SketchMan3 (Mar 19, 2014 3:33 am)

Aly James wrote:

SNES ?, THIS! >> SPC700 Vsti


However... Reusing sounds from a game would be illegal wouldn't it? Or were these all just sounds from the chip? (This answer to this question is really important to me so if anyone can answer it, please help me out! big_smile)

Also, after using chipcrusher I see what people were talking about. Still though, I'm not 100% satisfied with it. Back in the SNES days, what software were the devs using to sample audio?

Is there a way I can use this C700 plug-in to load in a wav and then compress and crush it like the samples were compressed back then? What I mean to say is that I would rather not run this software through an effects processor like chipcrusher. Instead it seems like it would be better (and easier) to just load a sample into piece of software and have that software attempt to create an instrument based on one audio sample.

EDIT: Maybe soundfonts are what I am looking for? At this point I just want the ability to create dated sounding samples out of high quality sound recordings. If this is the route I need to take I'll be using this software: … -by-cwitec

I'll check it out tomorrow... Time for bed for now. If anyone knows anything about soundfonts, please let me know! smile

Last edited by HaydenDavenport (Mar 19, 2014 10:17 am)


soundfonts are just a bundle of samples put together so you can play them as an instrument/set of instruments. they have nothing to do with snes or low quality or "low bit" music. in their heyday they were really regarded as being pretty high quality

if you just want to trash some samples "offline", any audio editor will do. resampling to 8khz or so will sound pretty crap already and if you want to go further you can try converting to some dpcm format or reducing the bit depth (16 bit to 8 bit)

original: … iginal.wav … iginal.wav

8khz: … d_8khz.wav … d_8khz.wav

4bit 8khz ima adpcm: … s_mono.wav … s_mono.wav

i use goldwave which is cool and easy and has a batch convertor so you could do all your samples in one go, it costs money though, for free you could probably do the exact same stuff in audacity, or if you are technically minded use sox

the other thing that often sounds crap is to disable any form of interpolation but if youre using a DAW that option is quite often not available. maybe best to stick with that c700 vsts if youre not using a tracker

Youngstown, OH
HaydenDavenport wrote:

Reusing sounds from a game would be illegal wouldn't it? Or were these all just sounds from the chip?

I use a lot of SNES sounds in my music/game soundtracks and I've come to this conclusion:

I don't think these sounds are Nintendo proprietary, and so the only issue I can see them having is with the cracking of their ROM's to extract the sounds. And this is something I don't think you would be accused of if you just found the soundfont online and happened to like it. A lot of the sounds you hear in SNES games are generic synth patches which have been reduced in quality to fit on their games, I believe. Anyway as someone who has used and built many SNES soundfonts publicly for years (my music using these sounds has been featured by the likes of Kotaku and Destructoid, I can't really imagine me going much more public than that), I wouldn't worry.

Last edited by sleepytimejesse (Mar 19, 2014 9:50 pm)


Ok, thank you sleepytimejes! big_smile