News Article

Sound-chip Enthusiast Explains Retro Sound Design

Posted by Thomas Whitehead

NES music gets the treatment

For some gamers there's a particular pleasure to be found in listening to music from previous console generations. We're not referring to the midi-fest of the N64, but going all the way back to the original NES. Technological limitations meant that only certain sounds and compositions could be used, but clever design meant that these restrictions actually helped to create some of the most iconic music in gaming.

A self-confessed sound-chip enthusiast called Bucky has set up a blog on Tumblr to explore the history of video game audio and sound design. With three videos based on NES music already posted, this intrepid blogger has already provided brief explanations of the use of reverb and echo, as well as a fascinating review of the sound channels available on the 8-bit behemoth.

You can check out all three videos directly on the blog, but below is a short overview of reverb in Duck Tales music, because we'll use any excuse we can to listen to some of that music.

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User Comments (17)



bauckster said:

Wow, this is fascinating!! I am a super chip enthusiast so I LOVE that you did a story on this. And you're absolutely right - any excuse to listen to Ducktales music!



bauckster said:

Yes, the moon level music is AMAZING

I would like to take this moment to also request a list of favorite chiptunes from the 8-bit era (as well as retro modern 8-bit music). Could a feature story be done on this with opinions from NL staff? Maybe a top 50 or something? I'm constantly looking for good music from games that I haven't necessariily played.



metafaniel said:

I enjoy a lot to listen to 8-bits music, it's awesome! If you people like it too, you can hear it at Digitalle Imported, an online radio for Electronic Music. This is the Chiptunes channel:
I hope you enjoy it



ogo79 said:

i am glad that lately you guys have been adding more and more retro material, im glad i participated in that survey last year



ouroborous said:

who doesnt love 8-bit music? some of the best tunes ever written EVER were 8-bit NES tracks.



New_3DaSh_XL said:

Cool and Nintendo music is in general pretty good- from mario to zelda to whatever else you like



bauckster said:

For anyone viewing this that is interested: I started a topic in the NL forum under retro for favorite 8-bit music. Please respond to it! I really want to know what people recommend and are listening to!!



SomeBitTripFan said:

CHIPTUNE MUSIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HECK YEAH!!!!!!!!!! I find chiptunes to be among the best electronic music. Chiptune-based music is also great. Whether 8-bitor 16-bit I can't stop listening.

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