Super 8 Bit Ableton Pack Now Available!

Super 8-Bit 

The sounds of classic video game consoles in Ableton Live! 150 Instruments and Effects, built from samples of Nintendo, Gameboy, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis.

Video Game Heaven Inside Ableton Live

The Super 8-Bit Ableton Live Pack has everything you need to get the sound of classic video games into your music.  Sampled from some of the most classic video game systems ever, these instruments will take you back to your childhood days of sitting on the carpet in front of the TV, smashing buttons, trying to rescue princesses. 

The Source of the Magic

The main source of the sounds are the Nintendo Entertainment System and the Nintendo Gameboy.  Both machines featured sound cards that allowed for 4 different Pulse waves, a Triangle wave, a Noise channel, and some crude samples.  The Noise channel is responsible for everything from video game snare drums, explosions, and rocket ship launches.


The Nintendo sounds were sampled using the MIDINES, which is a custom made Nintendo cartridge with a MIDI cable coming out of it.  It's an awesome device, but the internet is plagued by ordering horror stories.  Fortunately, I ordered mine back around 2006 and received it relatively quickly.  Once connected, MIDI can be sent to the Nintendo and the audio is taken straight from the NES output.  There's a beautiful grittiness to the sounds of the NES hardware and I have sampled the daylights out of it for this Ableton collection.


I have the Synthboy to thank for getting the Gameboy samples.  Synthboy is made by Ninstrument, and is pretty much a docking station for a Gameboy.  That docking station receives MIDI and has audio outputs.  There are a few knobs and switches that allow you to control the sounds and interact with the software.  Chris from Ninstrument was super kind to let me borrow a Synthboy for the better part of last year.  There are so many great sounds to come out of the Gameboy, and although very similar to the Nintendo, it has its own unique character and charm.

Sega Genesis and Super Nintendo The rest of the sounds and samples in the pack come from various Super Nintendo and Genesis games.  At 16-bit, they may be a little more advanced, but I felt that the various drums and sound effects fit very nicely in this collection.

What's Inside the Super 8-bit Pack?

I've divided the Ableton devices into a few categories...

nintendo 8 bit afrodjmac ableton nes chip tune


First there are a 10 interesting MIDI FX and Audio FX Racks that were used within many of the instruments to add additional 8-Bit flavor.  Many of them are multi-chained and multi-band devices, which allow you to affect different frequencies separately.  These FX Racks can be used with any Ableton Project regardless of whether or not you need an old school video game sound on your track.

nintendo 8 bit afrodjmac ableton nes chip tune


Next there are 20 Drum and Percussion Instruments. There are 8-Bit snares, toms, kick drums, claps, cymbals, hi hats, and glitch sound drum racks.  There are percussion sounds and strange FX noises.  There are drum racks made up of glitchy pops and clicks, and even collections of drums sampled from video game punches and kicks.  On top of that, there is a really handy Drum Selector Rack that allows you to create patterns and change out the individual drum sounds with the turn of a Macro Knob.  It's great for auditioning samples and getting that perfect sound for your track.

nintendo 8 bit afrodjmac ableton nes chip tune

Simple Waveform Synths

At the core of the 8-Bit Super Pack is a folder called "Plain Instruments."  These 17 instruments are for the purists; they contain looped samples of each of the different waveforms (4 Pulses, Triangle and Noise) on both the Nintendo and Gameboy.  These instruments allow you to easily adjust filters, ADSR (attack, decay, sustain, release) envelops, grit and noise, octaves, pans and volumes with Macro Knobs.  There are also Instrument racks that allow you to change between the various waveforms and even layer up Nintendo and Gameboy sounds together.  You will get the most authentic chip sounds out of these instruments.

nintendo 8 bit afrodjmac ableton nes chip tune

Complex Multi-Layered Synths

Finally, are the Tweaked Instruments.  This is where things get fun.  These 103 Instruments have been painstakingly crafted to deliver just about every 8 bit sound imaginable.  There are pads, leads, basses, arpeggiations, bomb sounds, underwater synths, hover ships, soft keys, stabs… pretty much everything I could think of.  Most of these are made of up many different layers of instrument racks.  I actually spent a lot of time playing through old video games (I know, hard work!) and listening to chip tunes music to find sounds to emulate.  There are rocket synths, singing elves, Mario jumps, space ship sounds, broken chip noises… etc.  And each one of the 103 instruments can be drastically morphed with the turn of a few knobs, giving you even more sonic capabilities.

Observe the Super 8-Bit Pack in the Wild

I created a 10-minute, 7-song EP to demonstrate some of the capabilities of the Super 8-bit Ableton Live Pack.  The songs only contains sounds and instruments from the Super 8-Bit Collection (except "I'm Not Surprised" which I sang on).  Give the EP a listen and then open up folder "Demo Songs and Projects" to view the Ableton Live Sets the songs were created in.  This is a great chance to see how instruments can be used and abused in real life projects.  Each song was created using Ableton's Push, and you can see some of the interesting automation and envelops in action, that helps bring the tracks to life.  Feel free to use these projects to remix and experiment with the instruments.

On Sale Now!

You can make the Super 8-Bit Pack a part of your Ableton production now, click below!

Super 8-Bit 

The sounds of classic video game consoles in Ableton Live! 150 Instruments and Effects, built from samples of Nintendo, Gameboy, Super Nintendo, and Sega Genesis.

Special Thanks!

This collection wouldn't be what it is without the help of a few key people.

First, I must thank Chris from Ninstrument.  He was kind enough to loan me the Synthboy in exchange for "doing something cool with it."  What a great deal!  If you are a true 8-Bit music nut, I encourage you to check out his store for some amazing products, including Synthboy.

Big thanks to Marc for putting me in touch with Chris in the first place.

Thanks to Greg Hodgson for creating the Super 8-Bit box and cartridge art.  Greg also makes some awesome music as a part of YOUMEYOU.

Also, thanks to Tanner Woodworth, who created the box art for 8-Bit Synths and 8-Bit Drums.

Both Greg and Tanner came through after I sent out a call for help on Facebook.  They were both quick, efficient, and professional, and I think their work adds a new dimension of cool to the Super 8-Bit Pack!

And finally, thanks to you for being here, reading this far, and helping to inspire me to keep creating new stuff!  :)

Fine Print! **This Pack requires Ableton Live 9.  The instruments were created using Sampler, but I also created a Simpler version of each one (located in the folder "8 Bit SIMPLER").  The Simpler instruments are nearly identical, but some of the sounds came out a little different than the originals, so I encourage Sampler users to explore them too!