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FamiTracker playing a song.

FamiTracker is a free open source audio tracker developed and published by Jonathan Liss for Windows on 2005-12-02. It was last updated in 2015. The program allows for the creation of music and sound effects which can be played on a Nintendo Entertainment System, Famicom, Famicom Disk System, and various other hardware in that family. When run in Windows, the program emulates the video game hardware, but, when programmed into a game that runs on the consoles, uses the actual audio hardware. Audio is stored in the tracker's native FTM format, but can be exported into NSF for inclusion into a game. Songs can be composed with the keyboard, or through any MIDI controller. The tracker supports all of the audio chips used on the system including Nintendo's APU, MMC5, and Famicom Disk System, Konami's VRC6 and VRC7, Namco's N163, and the Sunsoft 5B.


I discovered FamiTracker while researching for the Video Game Music Preservation Foundation. I've played around with it a little bit, and found it to be a lot of fun and definitely a useful learning experience on how the NES handled audio. However, lacking any musical talent, I haven't been able to compose anything with it.


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