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64% Chip Champion

Vic Tracker


  1. Capabilities
  2. Quick set up
  3. Expert Tricks
  4. Keys
  5. See also
Vic Tracker is a music editor coded by Daniel Kahlin and runs natively on the Commodore VIC_20 released under the BSD-license.

From the website -- "VIC-TRACKER is a full-featured tracker-style music editor for the Commodore Vic-20. It includes a cross-compressor which produces compact assembly source code output suitable for inclusion in demos and games. As of version 2.0 VIC-TRACKER also supports Sync24/DIN-Sync making it easy to synchronize it to modern sequencers and electronic music hardware such as drum machines.

Note: To run VIC-TRACKER you need at least 16KB expansion memory, but compiled songs normally work on unexpanded machines."


Vic Tracker is an LSDJ style tracker that supports instruments, effects, and multiple songs per module.

Quick set up

Download here: Vic-Tracker 2.0

Windows Users: Use WinVICE
(xvic.exe). First set Settings->VIC Settings->Use Full Blocks. Then autostart binary file 'victracker.prg' which is available via 'Contents of the Vic-20 Disk as a zip' on the above linked page. You can simply drag and drop the .prg into WinVICE.

To save true binary output, go to the Peripheral Settings, under Drive 8, uncheck 'Write .p00'. Vic Tracker will then write pure .VT binary (Vic Tracker file format) for you. This can then be used to be compiled into a stand-alone player with 'vtcomp' and saved and loaded to and from Vic Tracker.

Note: As of yet, vtcomp only works and compiles on *nix platforms. This also excludes MinGW and works partially in a Cygwin environment. As a whole, DOES NOT AT ALL work for or with Windows. :(


When you first open Vic Tracker, you will be faced with the pattern list. Press enter to toggle between this list and into the patterns to enter note data. Your channels are, from left to right: low square wave, mid square wave, high square wave, noise, global volume, and pattern length(hex value). Note that patterns are global INCLUDING the global volume pattern that defaults at pattern number 01. Don't accidentally use that pattern for one of your note channels and mess everything up!

You enter notes via hex values with a range in your squarewave channels of 10-41. Values stop after twelve tones, IE: 10-1B, 20-2B, ect... for each of your available octaves. The noise channel uses every value and ranges from 01-7E (low to high pitch) before wrapping around at higher values.

Expert Tricks

*Be aware that each of the square wave channels are tuned differently. The "middle" square will produce a note one octave up from the "left" square when they play the same note data. The "right" square will be an octave up from the middle. Keep in mind the limited ranges, around three octaves, you have for each channel. Also, channels playing the same pattern will create a very thick and lightly phased sound.

*The sound output of the VIC chip becomes easily distorted at max volume giving it its trademark "grungy" sound. However, by lowering the volume, it can provide the much smoother sounding squarewaves that one might expect from chiptunes. Don't be afraid to explore alternating from an overdriven to a more clean tone.


*Note that the commodore key (C=) will be L Cntrl on your windows keyboard.

Load Module SHIFT-L
Save Module SHIFT-S
Directory SHIFT-D
Init Module SHIFT-I
Play Song M
Toggle Play Song P
Play from this Pattern F1
Set StartPos F3
Set RepeatPos F4
Set EndPos F5
Toggle RepeatFlags F6
Inc/Dec StartSpeed F7/F8
Voice 1-4 Mute Toggle C= Q,W,E,R
Inc/Dec Current Song C= A,S
Inc/Dec Number of Songs C= D,F
Change PlayMode Up/Down C= G,H

Change AdvanceMode F2
Enter data 0-F
Enter --/00 SPACE
Enter ++/80 (only in note column) SHIFT-SPACE
Move around CRSR keys
Go to top HOME
Editstep CTRL-1 - CTRL-0
Go to position SHIFT-1 - SHIFT-9

Inc/Dec pattlist row C= N, C= M
Inc/Dec current pattern C= J, C= K
Up/Down transpose pattern C= T, C= Y
Find the first unused pattern LEFT-ARROW
Begin C= B
Copy C= C
Cut C= X
Paste C= V
Delete INS/DEL (*)
Insert SHIFT-INS/DEL (*)
Clear Pattern SHIFT-CLR/HOME
Go to ArpEdit R
Go to SoundEdit S
Exit from PatternEdit RETURN

Find the first unused pattern LEFT-ARROW
Begin C= B (*)
Copy C= C (*)
Cut C= X (*)
Paste C= V (*)
Delete INS/DEL
Clear Voice SHIFT-CLR/HOME (*)
Go to ArpEdit R
Go to SoundEdit S
Edit Patterns under cursor RETURN

Go to SoundEdit S
Go to previous Edit RETURN

Go to ArpEdit R
Go to previous Edit RETURN

See also

- vic20 (format)
- Tracker