Hardware, as well as software music tech companies, make a real battle over who gets the best sound, in terms of quality, brilliance etc. In such worlds, it is hard to believe that many people like the sound of old and modern chipsynths too. We are talking about 8-bit or 16-bit sounds that came from earlier game consoles. In the end, it remains timbres that sound different but also have their place in today’s music.
Anyone who has already dealt with such chip sounds will certainly know the developer Plogue from Canada, who already has numerous chip synthesizer products on the market. In his last releases under the name Chipsynth, he picked out very specific vintage devices and emulated them very accurately. PortaFM the sound & engine of the Yamaha Portasound PSS-140 keyboard or in the MD, the Sega Meagdrive sound. With Chipsynth SFC, he brings back the iconic sound of the Nintendo SNES (Super Nintendo Entertainment System)/Super Famicom.
The sound engine is unique compared to other gaming consoles. Instead of using fixed waveforms and noise like in the NES or FM synthesis in the MegaDrive, Nintendo relied on a sample architecture similar to what Commodore did with the Amiga. Emulating sounds using samples in exactly the same way is not an easy matter. This is because they have their very own character through the resolution, the data compression, and the converters used in the consoles. Nintendo used the SHVC-Sound module that makes it possible to process samples with features such as an envelope, modulation, FM, or an FIR filter. Basically, Nintendo has installed in this gaming console a small but powerful sample player for these days.
According to the developer, they have specially created an entire emulation of the SHVC-SOUND module just for the chipsynth SFC, covering both the digital and analog domains. They are so convinced that the plugin can also be seen as a Nintendo SNES plugin, but without the gaming option. It is important to know that this plugin is not a rompler packed with sampled content from the Nintendo SNES. No, with this plugin, you can play your own samples as if they came from a Super NES in 8-voice multi-layering. Plus, you can edit them with the functions of the original chip. The developer also includes a complete sample library that covers every common instrument from the console as a little bonus.
Again a very special plugin from Plogue that fans of chip synthesizers will be happy about. It’s not only made for chip fans. It’s also highly interesting for musicians and sound designers who are looking for other sounds that the basic clean samples you can find in samples library or traditional synths.
Plogue chipsynth SFC is available now for around 40€ and runs in VST, VST3, AU, & AAX on macOS and Windows computers.
More information here: Plogue