One tool gives you 8-bit retro digital sound effects (“bitcrush”/decimator) with loads of extras, for kind of every platform you can imagine – and it’s free.

Inphonik writes to let us know about their PCM2612 Retro Decimator Unit. It’s basically one component from their very, very deep RYM2612 FM synthesizer, which in turn fully emulates the classic Yamaha YM2612 sound chip as part of a complete modern instrument.

That Yamaha chip has a storied past, most notably as the heart of the Sega Genesis / Megadrive platform. (Also, it was apparently in something called the FM Towns PC from Fujitsu.)

The sound gives you some immediate retro sheen, with 32-step scalable 8-bit decimation – it both reduces bit depth and sample rate, with the latter giving you those ringing artifacts. There’s a legacy output filter, modeled after the original Segas Genesis’ output circuitry, and a pure-digital setting called “Crystal Clear.”

And wow does this support everything – native on Linux, and with Apple Silicon support. There’s also VST, AU, AAX, Rack Extension for Reason, and AUv3/IAA for iPad and iPhone.


And here’s their full (paid, $49) FM synth, which I assume will soon get Apple Silicon support soon, too. (Almost feels like the freebie was a little cross-compilation exercise, huh?)