How to Make 16-bit Music in Less Than an Hour

Learn how to make 16-bit music in less than an hour using this simple guide. You’ll be creating chiptune music in no time!

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1. Introduction

If you love video game music from the 16-bit era, this tutorial is for you. In less than an hour, you can create your own 16-bit-style music using Logic Pro X on your Mac.

What You Need

To follow along with this tutorial, you’ll need the following:

– A Mac running macOS Mojave or later
– Logic Pro X (10.4 or later)
– A MIDI keyboard (optional but recommended)

1. Introduction
2. Setting Up Your Project in Logic Pro X
3. Adding Samples to Your Project
4. Sequencing Your Samples in the Arrange View
5. Adding Effects to Your Samples
6. Mixing and Mastering Your Song

What you will need

The tools you need to make 16-bit music are actually quite simple and easy to get ahold of. Here’s a list of everything you need to get started:

-A computer with an internet connection
-A DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) such as FL Studio, GarageBand, Logic Pro X, etc.
-A MIDI keyboard (optional but recommended)
-Some good virtual instruments or soundfonts

Setting up your workstation

In order to make 16-bit music, you will need a few things:

-A computer with a midi keyboard and soundfont player installed. I recommend using Cakewalk Sonar LE, as it is simple to use and has built in soundfont support. You can download it for free here:
-A drum machine or sampler. I recommend using FL Studio’s Fruity Loops Sampler, as it is very user friendly and has a wide variety of sounds already built in. However, any drum machine or sampler will work just fine.
-An audio interface. This is not strictly necessary, but it will make your life much easier when it comes to recording your music. I recommend using the M-Audio Fast Track USB interface, as it is relatively inexpensive and easy to use.

Once you have all of your equipment set up, you are ready to start creating 16-bit music!

Creating a basic melody

With a basic understanding of music theory, you can create a 16-bit melody in less than an hour. All you need is a good MIDI editor and some basic knowledge of music composition.

Before you begin, it’s important to understand the difference between 16-bit sound and 8-bit sound. 8-bit sound is the kind of sound that was used in early video games, while 16-bit sound is the kind of sound that was used in Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis games. 16-bit sound is richer and fuller than 8-bit sound, and it can more accurately reproduce the sounds of real instruments.

To create a 16-bit melody, you’ll need to use a MIDI editor to create your notes. If you’re not familiar with MIDI editors, they’re simply programs that allow you to create and edit MIDI files. There are a number of different MIDI editors available, but for this tutorial we’ll be using FL Studio.

Once you have FL Studio open, you’ll need to create a new file by going to File > New… In the New File dialog box that appears, be sure to select the “Create new project based on template” option and then click OK.

Now that you have a new project open in FL Studio, it’s time to start creating your melody. The first thing you need to do is add a new track by going to Insert > Add New Track… In the track type dialog box that appears, select “MIDIout” from the list of options and then click OK.

Now that you have a MIDI track added to your project, it’s time to start adding notes. To do this, simply click on the piano roll icon in the top toolbar. This will open up the piano roll window where you can start adding notes by clicking on the grid.

When adding notes to your melody, it’s important to keep in mind the basic principles of music composition. A good rule of thumb is to start with a simple melody and then build upon it by adding harmony and countermelody. In general, it’s also good to avoid using too many repeated notes, as this can make your melody sound monotonous.

Once you have your basic melody composed, it’s time to add some embellishments. One way to do this is by adding chords underneath your melody notes. To do this, simply click on one of the empty squares in the chord track and then select a chord from the list that appears. You can also add or delete notes from your chords by clicking on them in the chord track and pressing the delete key on your keyboard.

Another way to embellish your melody is by adding arpeggiated chords above your main notes. Arpeggiated chords are simply chords that are broken up into individual notes that are played one after another instead of all at once. To add an arpeggiated chord above a note, simply hold down the Shift key while clicking on the note in question. This will open up a menu where you can select from various arpeggiated chord patterns.

Once you have your arpeggiated chords added, it’s time to add some countermelody underneath your main melody line. Countermelody is simply another melodic line that runs parallel to your main Melody line but with its own unique rhythmical twist; think of it as an accompaniment for your main melody line. To add countermelody underneath your main Melody line, simply hold down the Ctrl key while clicking on one of the empty squares in the second half ofthe piano roll grid (the half closest tothe bottom). This will open up a menu whereyou can select from various countermelodypatterns

Adding percussion

In this section, we’ll add some percussion to our 16-bit music. Percussion instruments are typically defined by their loud, sharp sound, which is produced by quickly striking a instrument or object. The most common type of percussion instruments are drums, but percussion can also be made by clapping your hands, clanging two pieces of metal together, or even stamping your feet.

To add percussion to our 16-bit music, we’ll need to use a sound effects generator (SFXG). SFXGs are special pieces of software that allow you to create any kind of sound you can imagine, from the simplest beep to the most complex explosion. For our purposes, we’ll use the “noise” function in the SFXG to create a drum sound.

First, let’s open up our SFXG and create a new noise. To do this, click on the “Add Instrument” button and select “Noise.” A new window will pop up with various options for our noise. For now, we’ll just leave the default settings and click “OK.”

Now that we have our noise instrument set up, it’s time to start adding notes. In the main window of the SFXG, you’ll see a grid with 16 columns and 12 rows. The rows represent different pitches (how high or low a note sounds), and the columns represent different beats (how long a note lasts).

To add a drum sound on the first beat of the measure (the first column), simply click on the cell in the first column and first row. A small circle will appear in that cell to indicate that a note has been added. If you want to hear what your drum sound sounds like so far, press the “Play” button at the top of the window.

Creating a lead instrument

Now that you have your drum track laid down, it’s time to add a lead instrument. This is the part of the song that will carry the melody and be the most memorable (hopefully). The most important thing to remember when creating a lead is that it needs to be 16-bit.

There are a few ways to create a 16-bit lead:

1) Use an external program such as Cakewalk or Anvil Studio. These programs will let you create and export your music as a 16-bit WAV file.

2) Use FL Studio’s built-in soundfont player. This method is a bit more complicated, but it will allow you to create and export your music as a 16-bit WAV file.

3) Use Audacity. This is the easiest method, but it will only work if you have the VST plugin installed. Once you have Audacity open, go to “Generate >silence.” Set the duration to 1 second and click “OK.” Next, go to “Generate > pink noise.” Set the duration to 2 seconds and click ” OK.” Finally, go back to “File > Export > Export as WAV.” Make sure the “Use custom filename” box is checked and type in “16-bitmusic.wav” or something similar. Click “Export” and you’re done!

Finalizing your track

Assuming you have all your samples set up and your DAW project ready to go, it’s now time to start finalizing your track. The first thing you’ll want to do is add a little bit of reverb to your drums. This will help them sound less dry and give them more body. Next, add a low-pass filter to your bassline. This will make it sound smoother and help it sit better in the mix. Finally, add a bit of delay to your lead synth line. This will add some depth and dimension to the sound.

Exporting your track

You’ve spent hours meticulously crafting the perfect 16-bit soundscape, and now it’s time to share your creation with the world. But how do you go about exporting your track so that others can enjoy it?

The process is actually quite simple, and all you need is a computer with a sound card and an internet connection. Here’s a step-by-step guide to exporting your 16-bit music:

1. Open your audio editing software and locate the file you want to export.

2. Select the file format you want to use for the export. The most popular format for 16-bit music is MP3, but you can also use WAV or AIFF.

3. Choose a bitrate for the export. A higher bitrate will result in better audio quality, but also a larger file size. 128 kbps is a good starting point for MP3 exports.

4. Click on the “Export” button and save the file to your computer.

5. That’s it! Your 16-bit music track is now ready to be shared with the world.


Now that you know the basics of how to make 16-bit music, it’s time to get creative and see what you can come up with on your own. If you need some inspiration, check out some of the classic 16-bit soundtracks for games like Super Mario World, Sonic the Hedgehog, and Street Fighter II. With a little practice, you’ll be able to create catchy tunes that will transport listeners back to the golden age of video gaming.

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