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Getting Started with VGM Composition in Logic

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I'd like to start learning how to create chiptunes(?) in Logic. The question mark is because I'm not sure if the style I'm aiming for is technically chiptune. I want to create something along the lines of Mother 3, or like the tracks here (http://knifecity.bandcamp.com). I've been playing around with YMCK's Magical 8bit plugin but it seems too limited for the range of sounds I need. I'd like to use Logic because I'm familiar with it, but the stock sounds are too lush.

My questions are:

- How do I get things to sound game-like without going full-on chiptune? (Tips about finding and editing samples)

- If you create music in this style, how did you learn? (Point me to any awesome resources)

- And can anyone share a completed Logic file with me? (So I can poke around and learn)

Thanks :) Hope to post some things soon if I can.

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watched this review, really made me look forward to playing it.

anyway you're aiming for 16 bit era sampler chips.

http://picopicose.com/software.html here's a vsti that loads spc files...it's the best for the snes sound i know of, and gba is somewhat similar to that.

it's a bit fiddly to use though, prepare for a learning curve. on the plus side, you got ample choice in existing sounds via .spc osts, on the minus getting all the sounds from a soundtrack you want is annoying because you gotta browse through them. there's probably a way to organize them though, i haven't done much with it honestly.

good luck!

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Thanks for the feedback, Nase. With your feedback and a little more research I found this page http://woolyss.com/chipmusic-soundfonts.php which contains soundfonts for a ton of SNES games and enough resources to get me started, at least. I have everything working in Logic and I'll just keep playing around and experimenting until things start to sound right.

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yeah, that's a good way to start.

it's really just about taking simple mono lofi samples and playing them across the whole keyboard, if you boil it down. and limited polyphony i guess.

the dedicated vstis or trackers just give you more accurate lofi and polyphony constraints. it may become interesting to you at some point, but just working with the samples and making them sound interesting is the biggest learning experience. have fun

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Also consider ripping samples out of mod files; they will have quite the amount of usable samples.

Other tips: limit yourself to ~8 channels simultaneously, that's more or less what you'd get on a SNES (and Amiga mod files used 4 iirc) and consider that these machines didn't have any built in fx, so no reverbs or delays or even EQ if you want to be very puristic.

When composing drums placing them on a single channel was quite common. Of course it does mean that each sample will cut off as soon as the next starts, but considering you didn't have nowhere near enough sample ram to store that lush reverbed 2 second snare anyway it was never a problem.

So yeah, use a limited amount of 8/16 bit samples (let's give you some luxury and say about 512kb) and a limited amount of channels. That forces you to be creative with the limited stuff that you have, and that's mostly what I have experienced good composers do.

That knifecity track sounded quite FM to me, on a quick listen with crappy ipad speakers. That's another route: go all out fm, including drums for a Mega Drive like sound.

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My questions are:

- How do I get things to sound game-like without going full-on chiptune? (Tips about finding and editing samples)

- If you create music in this style, how did you learn? (Point me to any awesome resources)

- And can anyone share a completed Logic file with me? (So I can poke around and learn)

Thanks :) Hope to post some things soon if I can.

Well, to sound 'game-like', it should fit the context and the intended era; so long as it doesn't sound outlandishly unfitting it's fine IMO. So if you wanted to write something Final Fantasy Tactics-like, something like the Roland SC-88 could give that type of atmosphere, and then you would just need to write something to fit the context given for the game.

Central Bark specifically sounds like a track with a smooth jazz feel (brush snare, e. piano, guitar, pluck arp, synth bass) and a slight chiptune influence to make it somewhat more game-like (but it wasn't necessary, assuming Central Bark is supposed to be like a stroll through a park, which was apparently the goal anyhow, now that I look at it).

The first track does lean much more towards chiptune though. It sounds like a mixdown with a C64 arp, an E. Piano, vibraphone, and probably Roland TR-808/909 drums.

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