Twisted Electrons MEGAfm FM Synthesizer goes in the second round with the MKII version, now with YM3438 chips and an internal chip swapping option
The legendary Yamaha DX-7 still inspires many new FM Synthesizer creations (Korg opsix…). No wonder it’s the Synthesizer that made FM synthesis famous around the world. But there are exceptions like the Twisted Electrons MEGAfm. It is based on old FM chips (YM2612) that were built into gaming consoles. These give the relatively new synthesizer a very dirty, warm sound that is not otherwise known from classic FM synths
In addition, it offers a very hands-on and simple interface packed with sliders and knobs. A big interface improvement compared to the DX7, for example. Today Twisted Electrons heralded the second round of the MEGAfm Synthesizer with the new MKII version.
Twisted Electrons MEGAfm MKII
The MEGAfm MKII remains the same as the MKI version, both in terms of appearance and core functions. It has two chips that offer each 6 voices of crispy FM with 4 operators per voice and 8 algorithms. So you get 12 voices of dirty FM goodness spread across two outputs or summed to one. It also includes the 3 LFOs that can modulate any parameter, a 7-mode arpeggiator, an SH-style step sequencer, and 4 voicing modes, including Poly12, stereo/wide6, special CH3 mode, 12 voice unison with detune/fat knob.
But now, what’s new. MEGAfm MKII has a different chip pair. Here two Yamaha YM3438 chips are installed, which is a variant of the YM2612 installed in the MK1.
Twisted Electrons has also updated the circuit layout. The chips are now socked, which allows you to easily swap the chips thanks to a flap in the bottom of the case. If necessary, you can switch to the MK1 characteristics if you have the chips at hand or install others. More, this gives you the option to use not only alternative vintage FM chips but also modern alternatives or even custom sound chips. And you can mix the chips since both slots can be operated individually. That’s a clever addition.
According to the developers, the MEGAfm MKII features the same audio circuitry and warm distortion as the MKI version. So both chips in the MEGAfm sound very similar. Also, cool, the firmware works on both versions. Otherwise, everything stays the same.
- 12 Voice Polyphony
- 8 Algorithms
- 50 preset (saving to any slot) and easy upload/download of banks to and from the computer via SYSEX.
- Preset randomizer
- 4 Voicing modes (Poly12, stereo/wide6, special CH3 mode, 12 voice unison with detune/fat knob
- Stereo or Mono output (1 chip per channel or both chips summed)
- 32 Sliders for total control of all 4 operators
- 14 knobs
- 15 buttons
- 23 LEDs, LED numeric display.
- 3 LFOs to modulate any parameter
A sound demo of the new version is currently not available. However, Twisted Electrons says that both versions sound very similar.
A nice upgrade for the MEGAfm synthesizer. I would even have liked the option of changing the chips for the MKI because the function fits perfectly with the synth concept.
Twisted Electrons MEGAfm MKII will be available in mid of September for 564€. The MKI version is discontinued.
More information here: Twisted Electrons