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BlueTronic

Drawing Chiptune Drum Samples

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I want to have chiptune drums, but I want to create my own samples so I can get the exact sound I want rather than just using samples to get something somewhat similar. I need a VST that can draw ~1 second waveform samples in 8bit/16bit format

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I find this adorable. :P

In 44kHz audio, you'd have to draw 44 000 samples for one second of audio. To do this in a VST is just ridiculous. I've seen software that lets you draw spectrum, import images and convert them to sound, and stuff like that. Unfortunately I don't remember what it was called. It's also not particularly 8-bit.

Audio editors are DAW functions or separate programs that can let you do this, though. I'd advise against the approach, and instead suggest you make your sounds in synths, export them, import them into an audio editor and mess with them more there. If you start off with a blank file and just draw, you'll likely just draw a bunch of weird, low-frequency junk. You're better off making noise samples and looping them, which is also more authentic since most 8bit audio wasn't particularly long (e.g. the NES had one PCM channel, most of its audio wasn't samples). A quicker way than to mess with samples would be Chip32, which is a free plugin that lets you draw a wavetable 32 samples long and control its amplitude via a regular ADSR envelope. It's not quite so useful for drums, since you can't mess with the pitch.

If you're looking to make your own drums, you should know what makes drums sound the way they do, and simplify that to what you'd expect an 8bit machine to be able to handle. Typically, this means you have an oscillator with a smooth waveform and an envelope that quickly drops the pitch to get the sound of the drum. For cymbals, you'd probably work with a spectrum of noise and mostly just work with its amplitude envelope. For snares, you'd likely have to fiddle with both. This isn't exclusive to old consoles and computers, but is also used in old drum synths.

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why don't you design your own waveforms in another program such as spear, then stick 'em in whatever chip software/hardware you have in mind?

Alternatively, you could always sample off milkytracker and load it into your DAW's sampler, as that's all mt does anyway.

Edited by PROTO·DOME

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Drum sounds are kind of unfeasible to draw given their nature. You should really just be programming them on a synth. Chiptune drums (that weren't sampled) rely mainly on pitch-bending (usually a very quick one for bassdrums and slower decay for snares). C64 drums also switched waveforms mid-sound, usually starting out with a noise.

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Another option would be to make/take drum samples of any kind, load them into the dpcm channel in famitracker, make a drum track, export as WAV and cut that into single samples in your host.

Not the quickest or most surgical method, but completely authentic. It might not sound much like what you feed it tho.

While you're at it you could also make some synthesized drums in ft.

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