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Music and sound!

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Gruber Jam #4!

My new challenge is to always start the next song using a fragment of the previous. All of the jams I upload here are free to use in your games. Feel free to do so! :)


Cart #busybeetoe-0 | 2023-06-07 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Here’s my first session:

Patrons can watch the entire process: https://www.patreon.com/Gruber99

P#130642 2023-06-07 12:14 ( Edited 2023-06-07 12:16)

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Gruber Jam #3!

Started as a challenge of repurposing parts of my previous jam, Space Lizards


Cart #lizardlandscapes-0 | 2023-04-25 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | No License

Here's my first session writing this:

P#129027 2023-04-25 20:43

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The 2nd song from my Gruber Jam series. Based on a challenge to write something in an odd time signature (this is in 29/32).

Available to use in your game!


Cart #spacelizards-0 | 2023-03-22 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Here's the first episode of me starting to write this from scratch:

P#127472 2023-03-22 17:27

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I’ve started a new YouTube music series called “Gruber Jams”

My idea is to dedicate at least 30mins a week to recording a raw, unedited video of me writing Pico-8 music.  Like Bob Ross’s The Joy of Painting (but less cool obviously!).  These will be very spontaneous, sometimes productive, sometimes less productive, but will capture my process as purely as possible.

All of the music I write I’ll upload here to the forums so that others can use in their games, so please feel free to do so! This is the first one, Happy Frog Dance!


Cart #happyfrogdance-0 | 2023-02-24 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

If you’re interested in watching me write these from scratch, here’s the first episode. I'll be releasing some of these videos publicly, but all of them will be available on Patreon ($5+)

P#126240 2023-02-24 16:17 ( Edited 2023-02-24 16:31)

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Cart #picochill-1 | 2022-03-18 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

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!

P#108652 2022-03-15 12:47 ( Edited 2022-03-18 18:59)

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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)

Cart #musicmachine-0 | 2020-09-15 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#81857 2020-09-15 13:59

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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!

P#68759 2019-10-11 12:34 ( Edited 2019-10-11 12:51)

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All the Giant Steps I could fit in a single Pico-8 cart. Includes three choruses of Coltrane's solo :)

P#65256 2019-06-18 13:52

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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:

00 Bathos
01 Bombers Run
02 Kid Bludd
03 Nanoman
04 Shoot Stuff
05 Witch n Wiz
06 Secret Santa
07 The Lair

UI Scroll
08 Alpine Alpaca
09 Kid Bludd
10 The Lair

UI Select
11 Alpine Alpaca
12 Bombers Run
13 Witch n Wiz
14 Kid Bludd

UI Appearence
15 Menu Open (Low Mem Sky)
16 Menu Closed (Low Mem Sky)
17 Slipways

18 Alpine Alpaca
19 Bombers Run
20 Bombers Run
21 Low Mem Sky
22 Shoot Stuff
23 Shoot Stuff
24 Shoot Stuff
25 Witch n Wiz
26 Spaceman Splorf
27 Rey's Scavenger Run

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)

44 Enemy Death (Witch n Wiz)
45 Enemy Death (Curse of the Lich King)
46 Enemy Death (The Lair)
47 Enemy Stomp (Super Mario Bros)
48 Player Death (Bombers Run)
49 Player Death (Dragon Dell)

50 Text / Dialogue (Witch n Wiz)

Error / Wrong
51 Wrong (Bathos)
52 Nope (Dragon Dell)
53 Alarm Loop (Secret Santa)

Items / Chests
54 Item Drop (Bathos)
55 Item Pickup (Bathos)
56 Item Pickup (Bombers Run)
57 Coin Pickup (Super Mario Bros)
58 Open Chest (Dragon Dell)
59 Open Chest (Shoot Stuff)

Attacks / Hits
60 Attack (Curse of the Lich King)
61 Hit (The Lair)
62 Hit (The Lair)

63 Dog bark (Secret Santa)

You can copy and paste the snippets above, or, if you prefer to download the whole cart (not playable):

Cart #sfxpack-0 | 2019-05-29 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

P#64837 2019-05-29 16:52 ( Edited 2019-05-30 12:27)

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Cart #picotunes2-0 | 2019-03-20 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

@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


Compositions - Gruber ( @Gruber)
Animations, Coding - Jakub Wasilewski ( @krajzeg)
Album Artwork - Christina-Antoinette Neofotistou ( @castpixel)

P#62911 2019-03-20 14:00 ( Edited 2019-03-20 15:36)

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Hey friends,

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!

P#50747 2018-03-23 16:41 ( Edited 2018-03-24 11:16)

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Cart #38440 | 2017-03-20 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

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!

P#38442 2017-03-20 08:59 ( Edited 2018-11-22 19:04)

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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!

P#17892 2015-12-17 18:06 ( Edited 2016-01-17 09:51)

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Cart #17888 | 2015-12-17 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

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!

P#17890 2015-12-17 17:42 ( Edited 2015-12-21 23:38)

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Cart #16677 | 2015-11-15 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

Very different from my first one. Hope you enjoy! Thanks for listening!


P#16681 2015-11-15 18:26 ( Edited 2015-11-17 05:13)

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Cart #15666 | 2015-10-21 | Code ▽ | Embed ▽ | License: CC4-BY-NC-SA

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!


P#15669 2015-10-20 20:41 ( Edited 2015-10-27 21:27)

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