Know how to play video games? Like music? You’ll love the Lo-Fi SES (Sound Entertainment System). It’s an instrument that makes it easy to rock out as a chiptune artist.
The Lo-Fi SES is all fun with no practice. It may look like a game controller, but it’s actually a music controller. You might’ve never learned to play piano or guitar, but I’ll bet you rocked at more than a few video games. Lo-Fi SES lets you turn those hard fought skills into musical magic.
And, like any good guitar, the Lo-Fi SES has to look as good as it sounds. That’s why the Lo-Fi SES itself is a work of art. The fantastic Doctor Octoroc divined the graphics for this instrument and produced the animation in the video.
The Lo-Fi SES is designed around the Arduino platform with an Atmega processor. As a result, you can replace the samples with actual sounds from an NES or other console. You can remap the buttons, do sophisticated open-source signal processing and even use it as a… game controller. The team says that no coding experience is needed, but if you like hacking, “it’s the perfect platform for audio projects, budding bands or skilled instrumentalists.” Finally there’s a slot to add three cartridges: a second sound pack, a USB cartridge for custom tweaking and a “Smasher” cartridge that lets you dirty up the music.
The cover art for Electric Light Orchestra’s Out of the Blue is spacey and iconic and it got us thinking about how fun an ELO-themed shmup might have been back in the day… Well, here’s the next best thing: a chiptune tribute that could have worked as a soundtrack for such a game!
The eight artists here have used hardware and samples from various old video game consoles to pay tribute to some of Jeff Lynne’s most memorable songs, and it only seemed fitting to commission cover artwork that mimicked the crappy Atari box art of the same era when ELO rose to prominence. We hope you have as much fun listening as we did putting it together!
Saltline has released Drzewo Cedr – a free 2 oscillator subtractive synthesizer for Windows. with a 16-step pitch sequencer. Cedr was created with chip tunes in mind.
- The sequencer can also be fed to several other of the synthesizer’s controls.
- The pitch sequencer can be turned on or off for each oscillator allowing for greater flexibility in sound creation
- Bit crush and delay effects also add to the degraded yesteryear quality of Cedr.
- Other controls include a step sequencer ‘step envelope’ giving the user the ability to create a range of sounds from choppy arps to strange pads and textures.
- 5 modulation slots also allow midi control routing, such as, key follow, velocity and aftertouch.
Midi Error has announced Chipshop, a free sample pack featuring 844 samples.
A free sample pack crammed with over 800 individual samples and 70+ Loops. All recorded direct from C64, AtariSt and Nintendo Gameboy.
We are the music makers.
- Gameboy (Nanoloop, LSDJ): 91 bass, synth, lead, perc and sfx hits and 117 sampeld drum hits.
- SID (Cynthcart, Retroskoi): 61 bass, lead and sfx hits.
- YM2149 (Various): 36 bass hits, 48 custom fx, 124 drum hits, 145 multi-samples (5 instruments over 5 octaves), 29 white noise hits, 29 sampled hits, 110 sfx hits, 54 synth hits.
- 70 loops: 22 full loops and 48 drum/synth loops.
- 844 samples in total.
The pack is a free download at Midi Error’s SoundCloud page.
Checking out Twisted Electrons’ AY3 Chiptune Synth.
- 64 preset memory (8 banks x 8 presets)
- 5 pots and 1 endless encoder with push button
- 40 blue leds
- 16 step sequencer to sequence notes on/off, pitch and noise on/off
- 4 Pitch modulation modes (aka lfo)
- 4 arpeggiator modes
- ultra fat 6 voice unison mode with detune knob
- 6 chords to split the voices
- 6 voice polyphonic mode
- Glide mode
- Stereo sound (3 voice per channel/chip)
- intuitive 5×6 mode matrix to access and control:
- volume, pitch, noise volume, envelope assignments, arp modes, sequencer assignments etc
- control of all knobs and other features via midi CC
- backlit front panel
The AY3 Chiptune Synth is available via Twisted Electronics for €197.00.
Background video description:
A music I’ve made for a video game. I try to do sort of “8 bit music” only with my Volca Beats, Keys and my Microbrute.
Hope you’ll like it
©Arthur Eloy 2014
GaMBi is an iOS app for chiptune fans, performers, DJs, and remix artists, allowing deep customization of classic video game sound and connection with other music-making apps via channel control, AudioCopy and Audiobus.
Shown in the trailer is footage of the Audiobus-compatible app, Loopy. Learn more about Loopy here: http://loopyapp.com/
Chip64 brings the sound chips from vintage computers and video game consoles to the Reason rack.
Music by Tune Cooks.
Ochen K has released Chip64, described as a new synth Rack Extension that’s an emulation of audio chips from vintage computer and video game consoles.
A spokesperson told us, “Chip64 brings the sound chips from vintage computers and video game consoles to the Reason rack. Chip64 includes mathematical modeling of 5 chips: the TIA used in the Atari 2600, the SID chip used in the Commodore 64, the TA0x series used in the NES and Gameboy, the Vic-I used in the Vic 20, and the SN76489 chip used in the ColecoVision and Sega consoles. With an on-board sequencer, as well as a multi-mode filter, LFO, modulation envelope, and more, Chip64 brings true chip emulation to your rack.”
Pricing and Availability:
Available at the Propellerhead shop.
The AY3 features two 8912 chips, boasting 6 voice polyphony. You can apply sequences, arpeggiators, noise, envelopes and pitch modulation to each voice with a click of a button.
-64 preset memory (8 banks x 8 presets)
-5 pots and 1 endless encoder with push button
-40 blue leds
-16 step sequencer to sequence notes on/off, pitch and noise on/off
-4 Pitch modulation modes (aka lfo)
-4 arpeggiator modes
-ultra fat 6 voice unison mode with detune knob
-6 chords to split the voices
-6 voice polyphonic mode
-Stereo sound (3 voice per channel/chip)
-intuitive 5×6 mode matrix to access and control:
volume, pitch, noise volume, envelope assignments, arp modes, sequencer assignments etc
-control of all knobs and other features via midi CC
-backlit front panel
Odo Synths has announced the release of version 3.0 of Dream 64, the free Chip Synth VST instrument plug-in for Windows.
Dream 64 is not an SID emulator, but it’s a plug-in that can recreate sounds that are used in chip-music. It’s inspired by the SID chip from the old but good Commodore c64 but with some extra features for fun.
- All sequencers have a start and end loop but start always at step one.
- Start-step never can be higher than the end.
- Every sequencer has its own BPM rate or all have one manual rate.
- 8 step Wavetable sequencer with audio on/off (gate effect).
- 8 step Arp sequencer notes from c to c3 and one c4 note.
- 8 step Ring modulation sequencer notes from c to c3 and one c4 note.
- A Bitcrusher only for the ringmod. This is nice if you use the Wavetable.
- 16 step easy to edit filter-sequencer. Can be used for nice bass sounds because it has an end step (will sustain).
- Waveforms for the oscillator are saw, triangle, pulse, noise, ringmod mode. The noise is very special – it can be pitched by key or fixed.
- Oscillator octaves from -3 to 2.
- Ring modulation oscillator notes from c to c3 and one c4 note and a bitcrusher (this is nice for the wavetable sequencer).
- 2 LFOs with 21 waveforms BPM rates and manual with inverter.
- The LFOs can start (key sync) (host sync) and (free run).
- Destinations of the LFOs are pitch/pulse/ring osc and Filter.
- 2 modulation envelopes with inverter and BPM retrigger.
- Destinations Pitch/pulse/ring modulation.
- Filter Envelope can be switched to the filter sequencer.
- filters lowpass/hipass/bandpass/low and hipass/band and hipass/band and lowpass.
- Random for most of the controls.
- Reset most of the controls.
- Double click is reset for most of the controls.
- Bitcrusher before and after filter.
Dream 64 is a free download at http://chips.site90.com