The Sega Genesis, aka Mega Drive, was more than just a beloved game console. It was also a powerful FM synth – seriously. And now you get an accurate, powerful version as a plug-in, in chipsynth MD from Plogue.
If you’re a Sega fan, you know the sound of this instrument from the sunny, sparkling, high-energy game soundtracks of the era. So, for you, yes, there’s a bit-accurate emulation of the OPN2 YM2612 chip and SN76489-compatible square wave core (SPSG). There’s even a recreation of the crunchy lo-fi sample playback.
If you want to hear those vintage soundtracks the way they were intended to be heard, there’s even a VGM player. For Sega game fans, this is your new iTunes.
Whoa – if none of that meant anything to you, think of it this way: this is a polyphonic, multi-layered recreation of a 4-voice FM synth with a stupid amount of sound controls and grungy retro sample playback as a separate feature.
Listen to the new sounds you can get out of it:
But it doesn’t sample the Sega. It’s a loving recreation from the folks at Plogue, who have gotten deep into this sort of hardware recreation.
And how many layers / parts are we talking here? A whole lot. You get 6 parts polyphonic * 6 layers * 4OPs + 4 layers of PSG. Or to put it another way, each voice is ten layers of a single Sega Genesis.
It’s just a whole lot of Sega, basically.
Standalone, VST2 (Mac, Windows), VST3 (Mac, Windows), Mac AU, AAX, all 64-bit. NKS support, which means it’s all playable directly from Maschine and Kontrol S- Series keyboards.
It’s oddly entertaining just watching them work with their test rigs to make this happen:
And for a full tour, Cockoo takes the software for a test drive:
More at the product page:
This is the second of the chipsynth line, following a recreation of the lo-fi Yamaha PortaSound line. Put the two together, and you have two unique takes on FM.