8-bit soft synth

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!

Why all this hype about 8-bit sounds?

Sound chips from vintage computers, arcades and game consoles had unique sonic signatures that have been shadowed by recent and “better” technologies.

Their limitations in polyphony and timbre have forced musicians of the time to come up with a series of techniques which pushed the boundaries of what they originally offered.

Those special techniques, combined with each type of chip’s “imperfections” gave true personality to the music and sound effects of the 80’s.

Here is a few example techniques used by classic chip music authors that has been precisely reproduced in chipsounds:

  • Fast one-shot arpeggios with pulse width modulation and amplitude modulation.
  • Rapid waveform changes (also known as wavetables) for “drum-like” sounds and guitar-like leads.
  • Resynchronizing of envelopes and waveforms, through interrupt-based timers in order to create new evolving waveforms and odd ring modulations.
  • Fast sweeping glides of discreet pitch values.
  • Creation of a ‘poor man’s’ 4bit sampler using rapidly changing volume function of the chips.

Chip music artists were the first to give those sounds all the fame they deserved. But today, musicians of all genres praise the unique musical behaviors of these chips.

Try itBuy nowSystem compatibility

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.

  • - 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.

“Verdict: Chipsounds’ superb emulation of nine vintage sound chips makes it a unique soft synth and a must for 8-bit-lovers. ****”
“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.”
“Quite simply put, it beats the s*** out of any other single chip emulation VST currently available.”
“The first time a whole set of chips has been emulated by a team of “sound maniacs.”
“Bottom line is, if you’re going to cheat, you shouldn’t do it with anything else than Plogue chipsounds =P”

System Compatibility

chipsounds can run either as:
Win32
Win64
OSX32
OSX64
Standalone application
VST® Plug-In
Audio Units™ Plug-In
NO
NO
ProTools RTAS® Plug-In
NO
NO
ProTools AAX® Plug-In
NO
NO

Requirements

  • PC: Windows 7® or higher
  • Mac®: OS X 10.8 or higher
  • CPU: Intel®/AMD® dual core or more
  • RAM: 1GB or more
  • Disk space: 100 MB

All available products