8-bit music is closely linked to early video games that most of us loved and enjoyed. If someone has played old games on platforms like the NES, then they have surely experienced loads of games that used 8-bit music in order to make the games more engaging with catchy tunes.
Interestingly, 8-bit music seems to have made a recovery in modern times. People thoroughly enjoy nostalgic trips to older days, and 8-bit music certainly helps with that. New songs are being recreated as 8-bit tracks and some recent games have also used this form of music.
In case you’re wondering, there are several 8-bit music apps that you can use to create either original soundtracks or 8-bit versions of your favorite songs. In this article, you’ll get to know about the 10 best 8-bit music maker apps to recreate the magic from the golden times.
Best 8-bit Music Maker Apps Out There
In this list, you’ll find apps that are compatible with most major operating systems out there. You can choose from in-depth apps that work on your computers, or you can choose a portable solution that you can use to make 8-bit music on the go, using your smartphones.
TonePad provides its users with one of the easiest ways to make 8-bit music on their smartphones. The app has a 16X16 grid, in which you can activate individual cells to generate a tone. The interface is very minimal, and it can be used without any prior knowledge of musical notes.
The app allows you to make 8-bit ringtones also. You can download the app for free, but there is also an affordable paid subscription available, in case you want to save the tones you create on your device.
Download: TonePad (iOS)
With BeepBox, you get a web-based solution to create 8-bit music in your browsers. The user interface allows you to adjust various parameters to customize the sound according to your needs. It also features waveform instruments that you can use to recreate the 8-bit songs from older games.
The included presets should help beginners to get started, and once they become comfortable, they can tweak every aspect according to their needs. You can also export your work in various file formats for free.
SFXR is one of the best apps to make 8-bit music on Android devices. The app has a user interface reminiscent of older games and offers some great features underneath it. You also get a tone randomizer that can generate great retro tunes in seconds.
Once you get comfortable with the advanced features, they can be used to create virtually any type of 8-bit music with relative ease. The app also allows the user to create multiple tracks and edit or mix them together. As an added benefit, the app is also completely free to use.
Piconica allows you to use your android device to make a variety of great 8-bit tunes. Unlike many other apps on this list, you get a keyboard layout with 96 keys to generate tones. Currently, there is support for 8 wave instruments, triangle waves, and square waves with varying duty cycles.
This app also supports exporting your music in WAV format for reasonably good quality. You get MIDI support with this app, so you can connect a physical keyboard in order to create 8-bit tones in a more intuitive way.
Medly brings a free and easy-to-use 8-bit music generator to iOS devices. With this app, you can unleash your creativity even if you’re not experienced in music production. To start off, you simply need to select one of the available instruments, and use the intuitive drag and drop feature to place your 8-bit tones.
There are loads of in-built sound effects and filters to add an extra layer of quality to your creations. There are 16 instruments that you can use in the free version, and the affordable premium version allows much more flexibility.
Download: Medly (iOS)
RetroBoy Plugin for Audacity
Most of the people who have dipped their toes in the world of music production have heard of Audacity. If you’re experienced with audacity, you can directly make 8-bit music from scratch, but for beginners, it can be quite difficult to do this.
You can add various plugins to Audacity, and the RetroBoy plugin is one of the best ways to generate 8-bit music with ease. The app offers an intuitive UI with knobs to control various parameters and waveforms. It is also completely free, and you don’t require much knowledge on this topic before trying it out for yourself.
Download: RetroBoy VST
Nanoloop packs in multiple music creation and editing features into one highly customizable app. You get 8 channels to tweak and generate tones. Also, every channel has 8 patterns to choose from. This can seem a bit intimidating to beginners in music production, but the tools are certainly useful to trained producers.
Also, the song editor included in this package enables the user to trim and join different music clips easily. You will need to purchase the app before using it, and it is compatible with all mobile devices at a very affordable price.
Chrome Music Lab
Google has its own browser-based song editor known as Chrome Music Lab. The website is aimed at complete beginners to music production. Once you are on the website, go to the “Song Maker” tab to start creating 8-bit tones. The user interface provides you with a grid in which you have to click on the notes to arrange them in a loop.
You have the option to choose from many different instruments and you can customize each of them easily. Also, you get the feature to change instruments on the go. The songs you create can be exported in MIDI or WAV formats. Also, this platform is completely free to use.
Visit: Chrome Music Lab
Bosca Ceoil is a desktop-based app with loads of customization to let you create complex 8-bit tunes. You get 13 different types of instruments to choose from, including MIDI. You just have to select the instrument you want to use, change its properties if you want to, and tap on the notes in the grid to structure your music.
It is also easy to change the tempo, BPM, octaves, waveforms, and more from the easy-to-use interface of the app. You get multiple formats that you can use to export your creations, including WAV, XM, MML, and MIDI.
Download: Bosca Ceoil
PixiTracker lets you create 8-bit music in an app with a pixel user interface with 8-bit graphics that will surely give you a nostalgic experience. Every icon in the app is presented with colorful graphics, and they are very simple to use.
You get a pattern-based sequencer in which you can set your tones, and structure them. Also, there are several music packs that you can use to give your songs a unique touch. You can create chiptunes, sketches, and many more types of music using this open-source app.