Thriller (feat. Michael Jackson) [8-bit chiptune/bitpop cover]

Sidenote first
I can’t believe I’m actually posting this with a slight tear in my eye! I HAVE put my heart and soul into this rendition of one of the defining songs of the 80’s. If you’re going to do a song of the legendary Micheal Jackson then YOU BETTER DO IT RIGHT!!!

I’ve given this track “ALL that I have got” as a hobby musician and it has TOTALLY depleted me in the best way possible. I’ve made this track really punchy so do yourself a favour and play it loud on big speakers or at very least in good headphones; none of that smartphone speaker stuff 'cuz it just don’t cut it! :slight_smile:

I’m so proud to announce & share my first song of Bitpop 2 - Old & New.
Thriller (feat. Michael Jackson)

You can keep your Plants vs. Zombies. This song and its original mini-movie video (“clip”) jack-knifed the contemporary music landscape when it was released in 1983. It created a different level of fusion of musical craftsmanship with visual arts that even today when replicated, aren’t as groundbreaking as “Thriller”.

I’ve done about ten songs now and released seven of Bitpop 1 but I haven’t given too much technical detail in how I am creating these pieces with only a sound chip from a 35yo computer.

Technical approach
While I’m not using physical C64 hardware, what I do have is a large archive of samples that have been taken in efforts to preserve archive the pure waveforms generated by the 6581 chip. I use these and manipulate them in Renoise with further effects.

For other very specific waveforms and sounds that I need generated I use my own C64 Sound Driver that I wrote in 6502 assembly about five years back (and available on my website) and output to and record from ReSID, new samples that I then use in my Digital Audio Workstation of choice, Renoise.

The sounds are all genuine SID chip samples or emulated and I wrote the score and do all the heavy lifting in Renoise.

I try to abide one rule that I think defines my balance of SID sound authenticity and a richness or fullness as a modern musical piece - I always try to use the bare minimum of simultaneous sounds as the original 6581 has three sound channels but maybe one or two sample channels in its latter years of exploitation. I define the minimum to be the required quantity required so not to compromise on its sound as modern and contemporary music to some varying* degree. (*Cop-out exit clause - Lol!)

Production of my material is entire done using Ubuntu Gnome 17.04 (Zesty) with a combination of proprietary and open-source software as follows: Renoise 3.1, Harrison Mixbus 4, Audacity 4, ReSID & my own zBlexv6 C64 Sound Driver (

Thriller was quite a challenging piece as in the sounds and effects that I had to develop meant that I had really stretch beyond my current skill level as a musician, sound engineer and a programmer.

Lastly and truly, I gave it all I got. I hope it was worth it.

Made with love,

Commodore Scene Database (CSdb):
Amiga Music Preservation:

Creeper Youtube Video

Buy Bitpop and support me please. Other free to listen on Youtube with videos.



hi gavin, its a great track youve done - nice work

if you ever need chiptune samples, check out my free sample pack CHIP SHOP!

you have a tough act to follow with chiptune versions of thriller …