Search Results

Friday, February 4, 2011

SunVox - A Cross-Platform Music Creation Program

Hey, there. So, since this is a game development blog, I thought that it would be useful to talk about a key part of a game - sound and music. There are a lot of different programs out there for making music or sounds - one of them that I personally like and will talk about today is called SunVox.

SunVox is being actively developed by Alex Zolotov, also known as NightRadio. SunVox is what is called a tracker-type music sequencer software.

A screenshot of SunVox 1.6.
Trackers are a class of music sequencer software meant to edit module files; they allow the user to arrange notes (pitch-shifted sound samples from the module) stepwise on a timeline across several monophonic channels.
A tracker's musical interface is traditionally numeric: both notes and parameter changes, effects and other commands are entered with the keyboard into a grid of fixed time slots as codes consisting of letters, numbers and hexadecimal digits. Separate patterns have independent timelines; a complete song consists of a master list of repeated and concatenated patterns. (taken from Wikipedia)

Almost all other trackers (OpenMPT, MilkyTracker, Little GP Tracker) take this line-based approach only. However, SunVox also has a powerful pattern editor, much like a more professional audio workstation program like Reason or Fruityloops. In this editor, a user can put down any number of patterns on a grid (or not on a grid, if they so choose) to make up a song. This approach puts a much needed refreshing spin on tracker-based music creation, making it far easier and more fun to put together a song that you like.

SunVox also is a modular tracker, which means that rather than the user simply putting specific effects onto a pattern, the user can run sounds and music through effect modules to be processed. An example would be putting a bassline and a lead synth through a filter module and then connecting that  to the output. This way, you have complete control over how synths and samples sound at each stage of the process. If you feel the need for free cross-platform music creation, take a look at the homepage here. Also, I've started a SunVox song archive where users can post songs for everyone to hear and download. You can check it out here.


  1. Oh dear. What mighty software! If only there were some mighty knight of musicness that could create a tutorial on basic use of Sunvox. But where would one find such a person?

    (In simple terms: How about you make us a tut on basic use of sunvox! :D(Used google/youtube/authors site and didn't find much on basic use(AKA: Sunvox for N00bs(Wow...that's quite a lot of parentheses, eh?))))

  2. Alright, this might be the next tutorial. Thanks for the feedback!

  3. Fair enough - I'll see about getting it out soon.