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From SCLUB to GB Studio

Posted 01-06-2021 at 03:59 PM by TheOuterLinux
Updated 01-06-2021 at 04:27 PM by TheOuterLinux

Cross-posted from:
RSS for website version:

SCLUB is a really easy to use alternative to traditional music tracker software for DOS (and a W95/98 version) but "flows" more like a modern digital audio workstation. It also can be used to convert MIDI to MOD, to which most of what little converters that I have been able to find that will run on GNU/Linux, even if Python or web-based, do not even come close to SCLUB. However, this only works on the DOS version, you cannot import too large of a MIDI file (limit your instrument count too), and you are limited to 480K of RAM to work with regardless of how much you actually have. If you do not know how to run DOS software on your system, look into installing DOSBox.

GB Studio is software made to make it very easy to create GameBoy games. However, music creation still depends on the old MOD music format, which many do not have the patience to learn how to use beyond minor editing. Hopefully, this will help someone with this.

Maybe we need to pressure LMMS to support MIDI <--> MOD? And, GB Studio only requires a handful of instruments, so maybe a "GB Studio" tick box when exporting to MOD? Hmmm... that would be cool. Anyway...

  _____                      ____   ____ _    _   _ ____    _
 |  ___| __ ___  _ __ ___   / ___| / ___| |  | | | | __ )  | |_ ___
 | |_ | '__/ _ \| '_ ` _ \  \___ \| |   | |  | | | |  _ \  | __/ _ \
 |  _|| | | (_) | | | | | |  ___) | |___| |__| |_| | |_) | | || (_) |
 |_|  |_|  \___/|_| |_| |_| |____/ \____|_____\___/|____/   \__\___/
   ____ ____    ____  _             _ _
  / ___| __ )  / ___|| |_ _   _  __| (_) ___
 | |  _|  _ \  \___ \| __| | | |/ _` | |/ _ \
 | |_| | |_) |  ___) | |_| |_| | (_| | | (_) | [From SCLUB to GB Studio]
  \____|____/  |____/ \__|\__,_|\__,_|_|\___/
          SCLUB for DOS --> MilkyTracker --> GB Studio v1.2.1

          by TheOuterLinux (

This file was last updated: 2020/11/03

Discussion URL:

Quick disclaimer: I am not an expert at tracker software at all, including
                  SCLUB. The following is just a quick and dirty guide
                  after finally figuring some things out so I can use
                  SCLUB as my primary means of creating music for use
                  with GB Studio, even if that means a little editing in
                  MilkyTracker. If something needs to be corrected or
                  added, let me know.
SCLUB for Windows:
SCLUB project file:
SCLUB project file (as a MOD):

(Special thanks to "Goodnight Girl (DeerTears)" for the initial MOD file
containing all of the instruments as being used in order to make this work.)

Part 01 - SCLUB for DOS

1. Open the 'GBSTUDIO.SN' project file with SCLUB for DOS. You can get a
   hold of this program from:
   I am using DOSBox ( with Gravis Ultrasound
   installed from However, it will 
   run just fine with another emulator called DOSEMU (
   I know it's a bit archaic, but the user interface is the closest to
   a modern DAW (Digital Audio Workstation) that also exports to MOD 
   that I have been able to find.
   This is also a Windows version of SCLUB that you can get from the same
   website, but as a GNU/Linux user, I would rather not have to install
   WINE if I do not need to, which is why I use SCLUB for DOS instead.
   When you do open the GBSTUDIO.SN file, you should notice a single
   black square at the very beginning at the c1 mark. I place a single
   quarter-note of each instrument at this spot. This is because when
   you export your MOD when finished, you need to have every instrument
   stored inside of it whether you use them all or not. Any instrument 
   that is not used does not get saved to SCLUB's project file format or
   a MOD. You can mute or remove that first annoying note of everything
   in MilkyTracker later.

4. Add a 4-count at the beginning using one of the White Noise
   instruments; I use "4 - White Noise3" since it sounds fairly close
   to a snare drum. If you see a keyboard at the bottom, you will need
   to hide it to select instruments; you can do this by toggling it off
   with View --> Keyboard.
5. Select instruments, place notes, etc. and you can either text notes
   by using the virtual keyboard or by clicking one of the note indicators
   on the far-left side.
Note: When placing notes for your song, the c1 mark on SCLUB is C4 in
      MilkyTracker, aka "Middle C."

Part 02 - MilkyTracker

1. Import the MOD file created with SCLUB for DOS.

2. IMMEDIATELY!!! "Disk Op." and save as an XM file. Think of 
   this as your "project file." If you make edits but need to continue
   later, this is the file you use while in MilkyTracker. You only
   use "Disk Op." and save as MOD when wanting to test in GB Studio.
3. Figure out where your Period and Noise-related instruments were
   placed. Copy and paste all of them to Channel 4. Essentially, what
   you will be doing is moving the instruments around into the channels
   their names suggest. For example, "CH 1&2 25% Pul" would go in either
   Channel 1 or Channel 2. So on and so forth.
4. Now the tricky part. For instruments in Channels 1,2,3, and 4, you
   must do something like the following:
   |  |    1     |     2    |     3    |     4    |
   |  |----------+----------+----------+----------|

   Channel 1 and 2
   Notice how the instrument in Channel 2 has "C40" at each instance of
   a note. These are volume-related and C40 is the highest with C00 as
   the lowest (none) and increase by tens such as C00, C10, C20, C30,
   and C40. Also in this example, you may have noticed that CH1 is blank;
   it does not have to be but most only contain instruments meant for 
   Channel 1 or Channel 2; both channels follow the same rules.
   Channel 3
   In Channel 3, notice how each note has a "C40" and is immediately
   followed by a "C00". You must do this for every note in Channel 3 and
   the "C00" to "C40" volume rules are the same as for Channels 1 and 2.
   Channel 4
   The easiest way to explain Channel 4's "EC2" versus "EC1" is to use
   "EC1" for snare sounds and "EC2" for kick drums and to not worry 
   about using "C00" or "C40" type stuff at all unless you really know
   what you are doing. You will probably have to remove several unnecessary
   C00's right after importing SCLUB's MOD file.
5. You can get rid of the 4/4 beat and instrument bundle that was placed
   at the beginning of when we were in SCLUB. This was just to make
   absolutely sure the exported MOD contained each instrument, otherwise
   SCLUB would have not in order to save space as DOS computers did not
   have large hard drives back in the day.
6. Now you can export your XM "project file" as a MOD file using the
   "Disk Op." button and then under "Song" column pick "mod" and then
   "Save As."
Part 03 - GB Studio
If everything was done correctly without any weird "hiccups" with
software, you should be able to add music to GB Studio like normal and
preview it before building. When in doubt, the easiest thing to do is
just to use the included example project and switch out its music track
with the one you created. You should also be able to just leave GB Studio
open and make edits with MilkyTracker, but remember to make those edits
to an XM file and then export to a MOD file. Music should be placed 
inside of "/path/to/GB Studio Project/assest/music/yoursong.mod".
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