From the album Pico & Chill - a collection of seven ambient and lo-fi inspired tracks. (Bandcamp]
The idea for this album started in February 2021, when I posted some lo-fi inspired music, originally written for a Pico-8 game. Comments were encouraging. I was also interested in exploring ambient structures in Pico-8, and thought they would pair nicely with lo-fi music.
Thanks to Zep for the incredibly cute (and meta!) artwork and animation. I love everything about it. There's about 40mins of animation, which can be seen in the YouTube video:
Hope you enjoy!
I’ve been building a kind of music-machine-cart to help new Pico-8 users get a head start in composing their own music.
Using this machine, I composed the above snippet in about 5mins using mostly finger wiggling and button mashing. Here's a tutorial on how to use it:
Feedback is appreciated! Some questions to consider:
- Is this a good/easier way to start a music composition (particularly for users with minimal music experience)?
- Do you like the variation in custom instruments (drums, melody, bass)?
- How would you improve this process?
- Is there a better name for this besides “Music Machine?”
Download the cart here to try it (it's not playable)
Prologue from the Celeste soundtrack!
I remade the entire soundtrack in Pico8. You can hear it all on YouTube. I'll upload a few of the single cart tracks here on the forums over the next couple days.
(artwork by castpixel)
Also, I was able to use some corruption in one of the songs (Confronting Myself). Big thanks to @JWinslow23 and @twotwos for helping me with the code. I admit, my coding wasn't pretty, but it made the sounds I wanted!
Here’s a pack to get you started making SFX for your games. I tried making it as varied as possible.
If you’re interested, I have even more SFX packs and tutorials on how to make your own SFX available on my Patreon.
Here’s the full list, including where they were originally used:
Lasers, Guns and Projectiles
28 Throw (Bombers Run)
29 Laser (Bombers Run)
30 Fire (Dragon Dell)
31 Shoot (Low Mem Sky)
32 Laser Loop (Low Mem Sky)
33 Shoot (Shoot Stuff)
34 Shoot(Super Mario Bros)
35 Shoot (Nanoman)
36 Shoot (Omega Enforcer)
Footsteps / Movement
37 Footstep (Bathos)
38 Footstep (Dank Tomb)
39 Stairs down (Curse of the Lich King)
40 Movement blocked (Curse of the Lich King)
41 Movement blocked (Dragon Dell)
42 Level Up (Curse of the Lich King)
43 Consume Item (Curse of the Lich King)
50 Text / Dialogue (Witch n Wiz)
63 Dog bark (Secret Santa)
You can copy and paste the snippets above, or, if you prefer to download the whole cart (not playable):
@krajzeg and I released Vol. 1 EXACTLY TWO years ago! Vol. 2 has been in the works for a while, so we're excited to finally have this finished.
If you're not familiar with Pico-8 Tunes, the idea was to fill a Pico-8 cart with music that devs can use in their games. Jakub coded some amazing doodles and animations to accompany the music and create a demoscene-like experience. We're also very happy that @castpixel contributed her amazing artwork to Vol. 2. Thanks Christina!
If you're making a Pico-8 game, please feel free to download this cart, use the music in your own games, and check out some of Jakub's wizardry. You can also download all the music from BandCamp (it's all free/pwyc!!)
(Note that if you ARE going to use this music in your games, some of the tracks use the instrument editor. For example, Autumn Wind uses seven SFX. 42, 43, 44, 45, 00, 01 and 02. Be sure to grab all seven, and paste SFX 00, 01 and 02 into those same slots).
Play Vol. 1 HERE
For your interest, in case you haven’t seen it on Twitter, Trasevol_Dog and I just finished a major collaboration on JS Bach’s Two-Part Inventions.
I arranged all 15 of these compositions in Pico-8 (Each required 2-3 carts worth of SFX). And Trasevol_Dog created animated portraits for each.
Write-ups on the how he did the portraits can be found on Trasevol_Dog’s Patreon Page
And all of the music and portraits can be seen/heard in this YouTube playlist
Hope you enjoy!
Introducing Pico-8 Tunes Volume 1!
A collaboration between myself (@gruber_music) and @krajzeg, who did all the coding and animations.
The idea was to create a cart with music that others can use in their games, so please feel free to do so!
About the music: I wanted to challenge myself and see how much music I could pack into one cart. There are 12 tunes here. Each use only 2 channels, and take up 4-6 SFX slots.
Hope you enjoy!
The music editor in Pico-8 only works in groups of 32 counts. This makes using triplets, or writing in triple time (3/4) very inefficient. If you loop a 3-count pattern, the music editor will loop it up to 32-counts, then restart. The only workaround is to not use loops when composing in multiples of three, but this takes up way to much space. For a future update, maybe the ability to edit the number of counts in the music editor? If I could have changed the counts from 32 to say, 24 or 36, it would have saved lots of work and memory. Does that make sense?
Another quick observation, though I don't think it has an easy fix: Gradual, linear tempo changes are also memory hogs. The title music from ALttP required 2/3 of the music allotment, even though it's only 20 seconds long (https://soundcloud.com/gruber99/sets/the-legend-of-zelda-alttp-pico)
Hope this is helpful!
This is my Pico-8 remake of Hyrule Castle from Zelda ALttP (I recreated the entire soundtrack in Pico-8. https://soundcloud.com/gruber99/sets/the-legend-of-zelda-alttp-pico)
I'm happy to upload any other of the cartridges, just let me know!
Having a blast writing tunes in Pico-8. I have a few more carts I'd like to share, but I don't want to overwhelm the forum with music-only carts. I'll wait a few weeks, or wait for a music only section.
Thanks for listening!