A few weeks ago we told you about how we had used BFXR to create some retro 8-bit style game sound effects. The tool is a fantastic way to quickly generate useful tones that are not only ideal for games, but have a whole range of uses. We have even managed to get some good science fiction sound effects from it which we have posted here.
But there is another, just as useful free tool out there…. introducing Chiptone.
Chiptone is the work of Tom Vian of SBF Games which to be fair, has a lot more packed in the BFXR. His highly useful little tool also comes with a sampler, vocoder and sequencer, although at the time of this writing we’ve yet to fully test them. However the tool is, like BFXR, a sound effects generator primarily for producing game sounds.
There are some obvious differences to Chiptone over BFXR. The main one that hits you right away is the interface which is much cleaner, more modern and easier to navigate. There is a large keyboard which makes setting the pitch for the sound being produced not only easier, but more intuitive for this type of tool. There is a standard ‘generator’ with presets for game sounds such as ‘jump’ ‘zap’, ‘1-up’ etc. It must be said, I find these presets much better than BFXR, not only in style but also quality. Within seconds I came up with more than five decent sounding sound effects whereas with BFXR I would probably have to play around a lot more.
There are several parameters for you to play with that adjust the sound you are creating. Vibrato harmony, FM synth and arpeggio all feature which to me also suggests this tool is much more suitable for musical applications, especially when combined with the sequencer and they keyboard.
At the bottom of the panel are some basic effects and then EQ. The great thing about free tools like this is their simplicity. Even those who have an advanced knowledge of sound design, synthesis and programming often need to dive in to quickly grab the correct sound and some sounds just don’t require a deep level of designing. This is where tools like these stand out and can be used quickly to create some fantastic sounds.
Go to http://sfbgames.com/chiptone to use this great tool.