How to Make Chiptunes – Hardware or Software: Which is Best?

For anyone who grew up in the 1980s, 8-bit computer game style music can bring back a lot of fun memories. There are music producers these days who actually focus on making retro-sounding music, known as Chiptunes. There are some examples in the following video:

Doesn’t it remind you of the old computer games you used to play?

Well, have you heard about the new pocket synthesizers from Teenage Engineering? They are shaped like a calculator, with a simple LCD screen like the Nintendo Game & Watch handheld games of the 1980s, and they make music that sounds like it belongs on an 80s computer game.

PO-20 Arcade

What I like here is that the sounds definitely have that 80s computer game sound to them, but there is also a modern sound to it in terms of the effects.


PO-24 Office

This one contains samples of office equipment, for something a bit different.


PO-28 Robot

This one is great for lead sounds.


So, what do you think of these fun little musical devices? Do you think they are worth getting, or do you think they are just a silly little toy? Personally, I think they look fun, but would be rather limiting for serious music production. Even if you want to make chiptunes, you are probably better off using Propellerhead Reason and trying to get the 8-bit style sounds in that. At least then you would have more flexibility in terms of sounds, composition, arrangement, effects, and mixing.

How to make 8bit Video Game sounds with Reason:

In fact, this has got me rather excited, and I think I might have a go at making some chiptunes myself…

So, what do you think? Why not let me know in the comments section below.

All the best,

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