One of my biggest hobbies is producing "9-bit" electronic chiptune music. Take a listen to one of my albums to hear what I mean!
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So what exactly is "9-bit" music anyways? The term was first coined by halc--it's not in widespread usage, but I've adopted it as a succinct way to describe my music for lack of a better term. To me, 9-bit music is music that mixes together chiptune sounds with more modern, non-chiptune elements. Contrast this to normal chiptune music or "8-bit" music, which is written using only sounds created by sound chips of old video game consoles, and "fakebit", which is written using modern software and synthesizers but designed to closely emulate the sound and limitations of those chips. 9-bit music does away with the restrictions of normal chiptune music and uses chiptune sounds merely as a starting point, so you'll hear things like pulse wave leads on top of modern electronic drums, or rapid pulse-wave arpeggio chords put through filters and echo effects.
Like any broad musical categorization, there's quite a lot of diversity within 9-bit music--some may choose to overlay dry chiptune sounds with vocals or piano accompaniments, while others will take a more liberal approach and only vaguely resemble chiptune music in their choice of instruments and usage of arpeggios. My own flavor of 9-bit tends to incorporate modern drum sounds along with a lot of echo and reverb effects to form a much more lush soundscape than you would find in traditional chiptune music. At the same time, a lot of my instruments and sound effects are rooted in simple waveforms like pulse waves and triangle waves, so the chiptune flavor still carries through.
Some other good examples of 9-bit music are Big Giant Circles' The Glory Days and Impostor Nostalgia, the Dustfall OST, 9-bit Records releases, and the FEZ OST. Plus, of course, most of the music I write myself!
The distinctive 9-bit sound that I achieve is largely in part to the 3xOsc presets that I utilize throughout my music. I've made these available for everyone to use, along with some other assorted samples that you may find useful, including lots of NES noise channel samples! (Ever wanted to slice up drum loops from Shovel Knight in your songs?) Download below!
To ensure that the 3xOsc presets load correctly, please unzip this file into the Data/Patches/User directory!
My production skills were largely developed by a ton of practice that I got by doing One Hour Compo, a weekly event where you write a song in one hour based on a random prompt.
Looking for sheet music?