7 Best DAWs for Producing Chiptune Music in 2023

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This article will discuss the best DAW software options for producing chiptune music.

Chiptunes are an essential component of the music industry. They’re all over the radio, video games, and movies.

Chiptune music creates music using audio samples from retro video game consoles such as the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) and Game Boy. Because of its retro sound, it has steadily grown in popularity over the years.

Chiptunes have steadily grown in popularity due to its retro sounds.

Some people use browsers to make chiptune music through trial and error.

However, DAWs are the best way to create chiptunes because they have more synthesis options.

Some DAWs are straightforward, with only a few basic features.

Others are massive monsters with practically every feature imaginable. But, which DAW is best for producing chiptune music?

Let us dive in.

7 Best DAW for Producing Chiptune Music



GarageBand is a surprisingly powerful music production software for Mac users. It lacks the advanced features of FL Studio and the other DAWs on this list.

Nonetheless, its virtual instruments and effects have enough tools to produce some impressive chiptunes.

The best thing about GarageBand is that it comes with most new Mac computers. This means you can start making chiptune music without spending a dime on new software.

FL Studio

FL Studio

FL Studio (formerly FruityLoops) is a powerful tool for creating chiptune music.

It includes virtual instruments, effects, automation tools, and creative plugins you can use to take your chiptune production to the next level.

You can use it to make chiptune music for the NES/Famicom, SNES/Super Famicom, Game Boy, and Commodore 64.

The free version has limited features and functionality. It does, however, provide you with access to all the software’s basic sounds and instruments. The interface is very user-friendly and straightforward to use.

Ableton Live

Ableton Live

Ableton Live is a music creation platform that provides an impressive arsenal of tools to help you realize your chiptune musical vision. It’s easy enough for beginners and professionals to master.

Ableton Live includes a slew of virtual instruments, sequencers, and effects to help you take your chiptune hits to the next level.

It is, however, more than that. A DAW is only as good as its workflow, and Ableton Live excels in this department.

Its Session View provides a clear overview of the structure of your project, with dedicated areas for mixing, recording tracks, adding virtual instruments, and so on.

You have instant access to all the elements without searching for them.



Reason by Propellerhead is yet another full-fledged DAW for creating chiptune music on a computer.

It includes some pretty cool instruments that give you access to everything you need to compose music, mix tracks, and master them.

The interface is simple to use and has few buttons, which means you’ll fiddle less with your mouse trying to figure out how to do something and spend more time making chiptune music.

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X

Logic Pro X is a full-featured sequencer explicitly created for Apple products. It has robust mixing controls, many effects, automation tools, and an extensive library of loops and samples to enhance your chiptune music production.

Logic provides one of the best MIDI editing experiences among its competitors.

It comes with various built-in instruments and effects, but you can also expand your library with third-party tools, effects, and plug-ins for chiptune production.

Overall, Logic Pro X is an excellent choice if you want a well-rounded DAW you can use for more than just chiptune music.

Steinberg Cubase

Steinberg Cubase

Steinberg Cubase is a user-friendly DAW for creating music in various genres, including chiptune.

The interface is intuitive and user-friendly, so you can get started right away without spending much time on tutorials or training.

Cubase also integrates well with other software applications (such as Ableton Live) and hardware devices such as synthesizers and MIDI controllers.

Cubase has a plethora of audio editing and sequencing tools, making it an excellent choice for those who want to get started in chiptune production but have little experience.



Renoise is Windows, macOS, and Linux digital audio workstation (DAW). Renoise, unlike other DAWS, uses tracking to create chiptune music.

Tracking refers to the old-school way of producing music without MIDI but with many samples and effects from the 1990s.

Renoise includes all the tools you need to create chiptune music, including drum samples and virtual synthesizers.

The program’s functionality is limitless because it allows you to write macros, which automate specific actions in your projects.

Renoise even allows you to create your VST plugins, making them highly versatile and adaptable.

Wrap Up

There are many DAWS that you can use to produce chiptune music. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, and which one you use the most is primarily determined by your preference.

However, a few DAWs stand out for their chiptune capabilities, and we’ve highlighted seven of the best in this article.

As you can see, there are a plethora of excellent options available. Even if you already have a favorite, it’s fun to look into other options and see what’s available.

They might have a different chiptune VST with a distinct sound, so it’s a good idea to keep your options open.

Here are our top three picks.

  • Fl Studio: Comes with superb VSTS for making Chiptune music.
  • GarageBand: Readily available to all Mac users with excellent features.
  • Renoise: You can create chiptune music by tracking.

Each DAW has its strengths and weaknesses, and it’s largely down to personal preference, which gets the most use. Let us know your favorite DAW for making chiptune music.

Jennifer Max


Hi, I’m Jennifer I’m a passionate singer and an audiophile from Detroit, MI. 

I’m on a mission to help music creators to create fine music that help them position uniquely in the saturated music space.

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