Plogue’s new soft-synthesizer turns your VST, AU, or RTAS host into a classic video game console, vintage 8-bit home computer and even an 80’s arcade. Plogue chipsounds authentically emulates more than eight vintage 8-bit-era sound chips (on top of their variants), down to their smallest idiosyncrasies.

chipsounds 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 2 decades, have pushed beyond the boundaries of the original chip designs.

Sound chips from vintage computers, arcades and game consoles had unique sonic qualities 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 are a few example techniques used by classic chip music authors that have 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.

The Mac version of chipsounds requires a G5 PowerPC or any Intel Mac with OS X 10.4 or higher, 1GB of RAM or more, and around 100 MB of disk space.

Discuss chipsounds in our Instruments forum.