” The most authentic emulation of C64, Nes, Vic20, Gameboy, and Atari 2600 sound chips I’ve ever heard!” – 8 Bit Weapon
” I very much appreciate the openness of the chipsounds plug-in and the attention paid to the authentic “chiplike” features without letting that authenticity get in the way of practical production concerns. I’m definitely a Plogue fan, thanks for the awesome instruments!” - Mike Morasky, VALVe Software
This software synth turns your VST, AU, RTAS or AAX host into a classic video game console, vintage 8-bit home computer and even an 80′s arcade.
Plogue chipsounds authentically emulates 15 vintage 8-bit era sound chips (on top of their variants), down to their smallest idiosyncrasies.
But more interestingly, it also faithfully allows you to dynamically reproduce the accidentally discovered sounds effect tricks and abusive musical techniques that were made famous by innovative chip music composers and classic video game sound designers, which for the good part of the last 3 decades, have pushed beyond the boundaries of the original chip designs.
In short, whether you are already versed into chiptune/chip music or just interested in those sounds, this is one unique instrument for you!
This ‘soundchip’ is not very well known, apart from the suspicion that it is in fact a microprocessor (NEC 4bit MCU) with embedded code on it. Since it runs a custom program that we don’t have access to (until this chip gets de-capped), we can only approximate what it generates using empirical tests.
A very interesting chip specimen which appeared in a few obscure arcade games (Splendor Blast) and some synthesizers. It generates tones by means of additive squarewave synthesis. Just like an organ, but using square pulses instead of tone wheels. (think 60′s Combo Organs). The chip also permanently outputs a constant frequency LFSR-based noise waveform.
“When we’re at the point in a track where we think “what sound can we use that will give us an edge” we always turn to Chipsounds. Quirky, fresh, initiative and always brilliantly usable. we can’t recommend them enough.” - Rob Cass / Abbey Road Studios
” Bottom line is, if you’re going to cheat, you shouldn’t do it with anything else than Plogue chipsounds =P “ - XC3N, Toy Company
chipsounds vs. hardware
We love the original hardware, take our word for it. If we didn’t, we wouldn’t have started this crazy endeavor. However making music with the original consoles is not for everyone.
chipsounds vs. hardware:
- You can actually use a standard MIDI controller to start composing chip music.
- You DON’T need to deal with a small and hard to read interface.
- You DON’T need to learn assembly language, or hexadecimal.
- You DON’T have to use a tracker, although it works fine with them as well.
- You can CHOOSE to be limited in terms of pitch and polyphony OR NOT.
- You DON’T need to spend years hunting garage sales, flea markets or online auctions to gather a collection such as this one. We have done it for you :)
Consoles are not eternal, they were mass manufactured consumer goods and are bound to fail sooner or later. However there’s NO risk of having a software have its capacitors dried up, its PCB rusted, and power supply catching fire.
If you are a seasoned chiptuner, don’t limit yourself to only one console’s sound, here’s your chance to creatively discover all the others!
chipsounds vs. other emulators
Many chip emulators came out to please the growing demand for vintage sounds. But with Plogue’s chipsounds, we reached a totally new summit of authenticity and playability.
4 years of intense research led to this one-of-a-kind software synthesizer. This level of fidelity to the originals combined with modern flexibility has never been done before.
Say finally goodbye to all those badly aliased square waves, and welcome purity.
We have all those chips and have painstakingly sampled and analyzed them ourselves.
We’ve revisited all known documentation of each chip and verified any technical allegations using our own custom tests on them. You can even pay a visit to our research blog for some unique published discoveries… and believe us the research goes ON. This is the sort of stuff that wake us up and makes us put our pants in the early morning.
The product is a self contained hybrid synth/sampling synthesizer based on our OWN flexible virtual instrument engine (ARIA Engine).
Synthesis gives you more modulation accuracy and freedom, while sampling allows to emulate the nearly unemulatable features of some classic sound chip like for instance, the combined waveforms of the SID.
In order to be most faithful to the each sound, we went with what was best for each type of chipsound.
chipsounds :: 8-bit soft synth was last modified: October 27th, 2015 by Plogue
Listen to the HQ audio version:
Mike Morasky Interview
The video game Portal 2 by Valve won the 2012 Outstanding Achievement in Original Music Composition by the Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences as well as Best Game Music of 2011 by Kotaku.
Mike Morasky kindly took the time to answer a few of our questions regarding the role that chipsounds played in Portal 2. Read More