Tim Clark writes to point out the Magical 8bit Plugin from the awesome Japanese game console virtuosos YMCK is now Intel Mac-ready:

YMCK Plug-in Download Page

What wonders does YMCK offer?

  1. 5 waveforms (square, pulse (2 kinds), pseudo-triangle, low-resolution noise)
  2. ADSR envelope assignment for volume
  3. Supports pitch bending, bend range variable
  4. Frequency sweep function

Sure, it’s not a real NES, but I love plug-in emulations nonetheless: they open up additional performance options and insane configurations impossible with hardware. Now if only Chip32 were Intel-native. (As we discovered in comments, GarageBand weirdly refuses to run in Rosetta for PowerPC compatibility, something most music apps will do.)

8-bit Nintendo Sounds as a Free Windows/Mac Plug-in (Add an NES to GarageBand, Stompbox NES FX)

YMCK: Japanese 8-bit Virtuosos, Music Videos

  • Zach

    Any one else having trouble getting the plug-in to validate with Logic? I ran the AU manager and it was found, but it won't validate. I can show the error output from the AU manager, but it's long.

  • peter

    its actually a NES emulator

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  • Ya, I am having the exact same problem with Logic 7.2 here. The AU manager states that the plugin fails on load times and because publisher's name doesn't have any lower case characters in it :/ When I force logic to load the plugin it makes the entire system act crazy. Some time sound will be in only the left or right channel and I get random stuck notes that only go away by shutting down the system. Same weird behavior in Garageband as well.I really wish I could get this working, I should email YMCK and ask them what's going on with this.

  • Logic can cause some unique AU hosting problems; they may not have tested it. (Every developer I've talked to who works on plug-in testing has most of their problems in Logic; I think it's just an inflexible implementation of the spec.)

    I'm able to load it successfully into Ableton Live and Apple's own AU Lab. If you need a quick fix, the latter is installed with the 10.4 developer tools (well worth installing, and free, even if you're not a programmer). In the meantime, I'll keep a lookout for a bug fix.

  • octatone

    this will be fun to play with.

  • Tyler

    When you use it with garage band and try to make more than one 8-bit instrument it freaks out and starts squealing and wont stop till you exit the program. Anyone else experienced this?

  • Ya, I'm experiencing the same "freak out" thing here with Logic, Audio Lab and Garageband. Although the sound comes at what seems randomly. Sometimes when I create another instrument and sometimes when I add an effect.

  • It seems like I recall the band using Macs… hopefully they're aware of the issues. That or else I should work on building something myself in Pluggo. 😉

  • Tyler

    hopefully their aware. it wouldnt seem logical for you to not be able to have more than one 8-bit track at once, youd have to export one section then put it back into your program as a loop multiple times to make a song. Guess you cant really complain though because its free, but its a cool little VST. It's neat to make instruments in garageband and then drag in pre-made loops from GB and listen to them all 8-bitized.

  • Finally! I have been waiting months for this!!

  • anyone else having pitch problems? my version running as an instrument in DP 5 is between 1 and 2 semitones sharp off of the midi note i'm playing… it's weird. lemme try it in ableton and see if it works better there…

  • nope, it malfunctions in Live as well… hmm… if only it was exactly 1 or 2 semitones, it would be an easy workaround… looks like i'll have to do some careful calibration to make it work. any other ideas?

  • boya

    Its not working right for me in Ableton either–only comes through on one channel, and its strange because it changes…sometimes right sometimes left…quite annoying as I had big plans for it….

  • Barney

    Same boya, im using it in GarageBand and im only getting it through on the left.

  • A Different Scott

    My god it's finally here! Unfortunately for some reason the sweep switch just refuses to show up in the plug-in window…Anyone know what's up?

  • A Different Scott

    And yeah I'm only getting it through the left on Garageband as well…hmmm

  • A Different Scott

    …AND I just found out it did the scare-the-shit-out-of-you-freak-out-noise thing when you try to use the plugin for more than one tracks. God I waited forever for this thing and now it does this…maybe I should just get GarageBand 2…

  • Daniel

    This works perfect in Ableton Live 6. Multiple tracks with no problem.

  • miguel

    this stupid plugin sucks. acid pro 6.0 wont recognize it, ableton live 6.0.3 wont recognize it, the pc download is crap, dont even bother.

  • bazis

    i am running acid 6.0 with an axiom 25 midi controller keyboard. the problem is notes getting stuck all the time on my keyboard with softsynths..

    tryed adjusting the audio buffers and loads of other settings in acid. with no luck.

    i need som help here. what could it be?

    its also connected thru the usb 2.0 port on my laptop, thought maybe it could be my usb ports is not running as 2.0 but 1.0 instead.

    not sure. but its very irritating. help please…

  • Hi… apparently this has become a complaint department, but if it isn't can someone please post a link to the appropriate place (forum thread, etc.?)

    If it's ok to ask, I am having a problem with my speakers making very harsh, constant noise when I pull this plugin up in GarageBand, and the only way to kill it is to quit the program… goooooo

  • ^ which I guess isn't really a question, but my question would be am I doing something wrong/has anyone had the same problem?

  • I can't get it to work in Logic. Same as what everyone above said, fails validation crashes Logic 7. Only plays out LF side–drag this looked like such a cool plug–

    Bug fix for Logic ?


  • mike

    This didnt work for me. Well its works, but only on the left channel. When i load up more than one instance of the app, it crashes and produces mad noise. I emailed ymt on the site but they have not replied, so it looks like it will be a while before we get a fix.

  • Sam

    can this only be used on software tracks in garageband, as in can i record stuff and then change it to sound 8-bit using this?

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  • rust

    anyone know if the plugin's sound is restricted to non-profit personal use?

    I have used the plugin's sound for some of my own music and wish to sell the music. I wanted to know if I cant do that, or require obtaining rights from them to use it.

  • Carlos Gonzalez

    yep..only left in Garageband….:-{

  • Wes

    only left channel in ableton for me too, and also the non co-operation in logic 8 either?! what a bummer, hopefully they'll get this sorted out somehow.

    great plugin either way!

  • caleb

    are there any updates on the bugs? i would like to be able to use this, but since it only works in the left speaker, can't produce multiple tracks, and often completely crashes into a frenzy of ear-deafening noises, it seems kind of worthless at this point.

  • zahid

    validating Audio Unit Magical 8bit Plug by YMCK:

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

    AU Validation Tool

    Version: 1.2.0a11

    Copyright 2003-2007, Apple, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

    Specify -h (-help) for command options

    * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


    VALIDATING AUDIO UNIT: 'aumu' – 'synt' – 'ymck'


    ERROR: Manufacturer OSType should have at least one non-lower case character: 'ymck'

    Manufacturer String: YMCK

    AudioUnit name: Magical 8bit Plug

    Component Info: YMCK's 8bit Sound Generator

    Component Version: 1.0.2 (0x10002)

    * * FAIL




    Time to open AudioUnit: 0.699 ms


    Time to open AudioUnit: 0.012 ms


    Time for initialization: 0.005 ms

    * * PASS




    validation result: failed validation

    thats the message i get in logic 8. macbook pro running 10.4

  • Gose

    im havn the same problem with logic im getn the same validation problem as put above ^

    this sucks i was relly looking forward 2 using this

  • nicopolitan

    I'm getting the multiple instance freakout also. The best workaround, I'd say, is to bounce/export the MIDI track as audio and use that .WAV/.AIFF as a sample in an audio track.

    It's a pain, but at least we finally have a chiptune AU on OS X.

  • Andfour


    Wish I could do that, same problem.


  • Vahn Roi

    I'm having the same issue with it only coming through the left channel of my speakers/headphones. Strangely enough when effects like phasing or reverb are applied to it, the effects (but not the sound itself) will play through both channels. I really loved seeing this plug in used and I hope they fix this.

    BTW: I'm running on an intel Mac with Leopard and Ableton 7.

  • disgruntled

    they are never fixing it and they are never going to update us about this. pathetic.

  • francie

    i have garageband 3 on my macbook and every time i use this it either shuts off all the sound on my comp and makes little popping noises or makes the freakoutomgimhavingafuckingseizurescarethehellouttamycats


  • tyty

    does it work for anyone?

  • Vitt

    I did, but only after MAJOR random clicking around.

  • Works great in the latest Garageband! 😀