Yerzmyey Proves the Raspberry Pi as a Chiptunes Production Platform

If you’re not familiar with the term, chiptune is a genre of music that is created with programmable sound chips—usually the ones found in vintage personal computers and video game consoles. Chips from the era were only capable of creating a limited range of sounds, which give modern chiptunes a distinctly retro sound. But, as musician Yerzmyey demonstrates on his new album RPI Zwei, the Raspberry Pi can also produce some pretty great chiptunes.

Yerzmyey is no stranger to more traditional chiptune production, and he first dipped his toes into the genre way back in 1989 on a ZX Spectrum. Throughout his career, Yerzmyey has also used an Amiga 500, an Atari ST, an Amiga 1200, and an Atari Falcon 030. For his new album, however, he decided to prove the worth of a Raspberry Pi 2 for making great chiptune music.

The Raspberry Pi 2 doesn’t have a DAC (digital-to-analog converter), so up to 26 channels had to be recorded from the processor itself. That’s a Broadcom BCM2836, which keeps the audio constrained to 11-bit and 40 MHz. Luckily, limitations are the key to the unique sound of chiptunes, and if you give RPI Zwei a listen, you’ll hear just how well it works.