Listen to Atari 8-Bit Computer Chiptunes (10-15 minutes)

Task: Listen to Atari 8-Bit Computer Chiptunes

Needed: Web Browser

Time: 10-15 mins


Sound on the Atari 8-bit computers was produced using the Pokey chip which output four channels each with a square waveform. Emulators of the Pokey chip have allowed modern Atari sound enthusiasts to create music known as chiptunes. The chiptune scene is fun to explore and they have produced some really impressive music.


The best way to find Atari 8-bit chiptunes is to do a google search. You will find content on YouTube, SoundCloud, and other platforms and personal web pages. It will take just 10-15 minutes to get a flavor of what the chiptunes are like.

Here is the chiptune that won the sound competition at Silly Venture 2021 Winter Edition.

Here is some content on YouTube.

Here is some content on SoundCloud.


It would be really fun to learn how to do this. Most chiptune artists seem to use the Raster Music Tracker (RMT) software. However, the learning curve for the software and the technical aspects of making music seem pretty steep if you are a novice. Would love to find some time to dive into this.

Note that some artists provide executable files for listening to the tunes on real hardware.

Here is a recent AtariAge thread on chiptunes.

De Re Atari has a chapter covering sound with some technical details.