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Plogue releases Chipsounds

Plogue Chipsounds

Plogue has released Chipsounds, a virtual chipsounds synthesizer plug-in for Windows and Mac.

This new product allow any musician to faithfully reproduce the sound and style of vintage video game music and sound effects in a convenient plugin format, usable inside any sequencer or DAW, or as a standalone virtual instrument.

Powered by Plogue/Garritan’s ARIA virtual instrument engine, chipsounds reproduces the idiosyncrasies of the most sought-after classic sound chips, including their most well-known variations, as sonically accurate as possible without adding any non-authentic aliasing or DSP artifacts. Whether musicians are already versed into chiptune/chip music or just interested in those sounds, this is one unique instrument for them.

Research and analysis for this project has been made in house on Plogue’s large collection of cartridges, modified consoles and classic computers and also on the chips themselves using custom made circuit boards and low level 8 bit software code.

Chipsounds simulates the following chips

  • TIA used in the 2600 & 7800
    • Accurate Multipulse/Polynomial bit pattern waveforms for those unique combat, engine drones and powerful mix piercing “fake-saw” sound.
  • 2A03 and its portable variant, used in the Big N consoles
    • Accurate pulse width settings (1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4).
    • Drawable 4bit/32 step bandlimited Waveform.
    • Huge number custom and classic waveforms to choose from, including the unique triangle sound of the Big “N”.
    • Short (93/127bit) and Long (32767bit) noise patterns accurately modeled.
  • AY-3-8910 and its numerous clones 8912/8913/8914/2149F, used in Intv, ZX, ST, Arcades
    • Emulation of Sync Buzzer Envelope Looping tricks.
    • Accurate logarithmic 4Bit DAC.
  • POKEY used in 400/800 series computer and Arcades
    • Fat and accurate Multipulse/Polynomial bit pattern waveforms with clock desynchronization.
  • SN76489AN and its SN76496 SN94624N predecessor, used in the ColecoVision, SMS, BBC, TI99, PCjr, Tandy and Arcades
    • Basic and RAW, the purest chip there is.
    • Different NOISE patterns for all variants, all emulated.
  • UVI used in the Arcadia 2001
    • A rarity that can prove effective in the grinding department with its logical anding of pulse and noise patterns (As used in the Arcadia 2001 and MPT-03).
  • P824X used in the Odyssey 2
    • Obscure chip that oddly only plays the scale of E5 (slightly detuned).
    • And the subtle psychoacoustic sound of screaming at the start of its noise pattern.
  • SID including 6580 and 8580, used in the C64
    • The most important sound chip of the 80’s gaming era.
    • Variable Pulsewidth, SAW, Triangle, 8bit noise and even combined waveforms.
    • Most waveforms are actually SAMPLES of the real thing for 100% accuracy, especially for the combined waveforms.
  • VIC-I used in the VIC20
    • This chip is very underhestimated gem with tolally unique sounding waveforms.
    • Newly discovered “Robotic” waveforms are emulated.
    • Rough, nasty noise pattern too.

Chipsounds is available for PC and Mac (VST/AU/RTAS) for the introductory price of $75 USD until November 1, 2009.

More information: Plogue / Chipsounds

Short links for August 19th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Christopher Willits of XLR8R takes a look at some of the features of Max for Live (no it’s not out yet!).

Warning: there’s a pretty loud advert before the video actually starts so be sure to turn down the volume on your set before hitting the play button on the video below…

# MaoMakMaa Sample and DIY Blog – Lots of interesting sampled instruments, field recordings etc.

Anamanaguchi by Oliver Lopena

# The Art of Music with Chips: Behind the Scenes with 8-bit Band Anamanaguchi

Vijiht Assar talks to Pete Berkman of 8-bit band Anamanaguchi:

I recently had a chance to chat with Anamanaguchi, who would probably be the boy-band teen idols of the chiptune world if the scene were to tolerate such things.

Lead songwriter Pete Berkman opened up about his creative process and the digital speed bumps he hits along the way, and guitarist Ary Warnaar is on another planet when it comes to working with Game Boy synths like LSDJ and Nanoloop, but the most freakish technical bits came from bassist James DeVito. He wrote later to describe in detail the customized hardware he’s cobbling together for use on tour, which so far has involved modding the Nintendo for multiple outputs, each with a bolted-on 1/4″ jack and volume knob, and integrating a tiny high-res screen lifted from a PlayStation. He’s even considering a built-in controller for the next version.

# nanoKONTROL Myr for Ableton Live: Free, Powerful Control for Live – Custom python script for the nanoKontrol by James Waterworth aka Myralfur. Includes interactive scene triggers.

Short links for August 18th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Radiohead - These Are My Twisted Words

# These Are My Twisted Words – Free Radiohead song

Johnny writes:

So here's a new song, called 'These Are My Twisted Words'. We've been recording for a while, and this was one of the first we finished. We're pretty proud of it.

There's other stuff in various states of completion, but this is one we've been practicing, and which we'll probably play at this summer's concerts. Hope you like it.

The download includes a 320kbps mp3, some artwork and additional info.

# kSynth – Mike Hodnick's kSynth is a visual audio synthesizer in Silverlight.

Tool Chest

# H. O. Studley Masonic Tool Chest

If the workmanship in a tool chest is any indication of the maker's talent, then the craftsmanship of Master carpenter and stonemason H. O. Studley must have been awe-inspiring. Brother Henry O. Studley (1838-1925) built this magnificent wall-hung chest while employed by the Poole Piano Company of Quincy, Massachusetts. In an oak clamshell box adorned with rosewood, ebony, pearl and ivory, Studley kept both tools he made and a collection of the finest hand tools made prior to 1900, including a complete set of woodworking tools as well as machinist and stonemasonry tools. To pack the 300-plus tools into a case only 19 1/2 inches wide, 39 inches long and 9 1/2 inches deep, Studley devised a jigsaw puzzle arrangement of flip-up trays, fold-out layers and hidden compartments.

# Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis’ Kind of Blue

Right now, access to the album is limited exclusively to people who funded it on Kickstarter. But don't fret! Digital downloads of Kind of Bloop will be for sale for $5 to the general public on Thursday, August 20 at noon PST. Come back then!

Previously posted here.

# RjDuino (YouTube)

Using a custom RjDj patch to control an Arduino. Made possible via the "netsend" and "netreceive" objects in PD, which are also usable in RjDj. The interface with the Arduino is made through the Firmata firmware in combination with the PDuino library.

Short links for August 10th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently, and not so recently (since it’s been a while since I posted short links).

Guitare à crayon

# Guitare à crayon

The idea behind “la Guitare à crayon” is to be able to paint and play music with the same instrument (crayon mean pencil in english). It’s a custom usb guitar with open source software: namely, pure data (for sound) and gimp, blender, flash (for visual).

Guitare à crayon

  • Hardware features:
    • Accelerometer X-Axis (for example controlling the octave)
    • Accelerometer Y-Axis (for example controlling an effect)
    • 6 analog strings giving around 10 bits of resolution
    • External input: 1 analog, 1 digital
    • 4 positions switch
    • 8 buttons
    • 4 pots
    • 1 piezo with velocity filter (for example trigging any sound)
    • 1 ir distance sensor (+-6cm – +-20cm)
    • 1 unuseful led (for tapping the bpm)
    • Pressure-sensitive tablet
    • Foot controller (using a led & a photoresistor)
    • Foot switch (looper, change sound, …)
  • Software features:
    • No driver (firmware & bootloader)
    • Linux, Windows, Mac
    • Pure Data poweful DSP (sample, soundfont, fx rack, multiple looper)
    • Gimp for 2d (drawing, painting, photo, …)
    • Gesture tracking on the tablet (linux only)

# Beem – The Future – Lego synth models, inspired by danmcp's paper models. Artwork to the album – Beem "The Future" at www.beem.se

XenonJohn 8 Track Walkman-Pod thing

# 8 Track Walkman-Pod thing (Retro-tech)

Instructables user XenonJohn writes:

This is an admittedly mad project to see what might have happened if Sony had invented the Walkman earlier than they did – and made it so it took 8 track tape cartridges (which came before cassette tapes were invented).

In other words, can I make a personal 8 track player with just headphones in the style of a Walkman?

# 8-bit noise synth

vtol's 8-bit noise synth project:

8-bit noise synth is my latest project based on HT-8950 voice changer chip. Like my Lo-Fizer and Noise guitar it can produce noises by itself or process sounds like a lo-fi ring modulator, 8-bit pitch shifter and simple guitar synth/digital fuzz. I've also added two body contacts that change pitch or trigger sounds – in particular mode they work like theremin sensors. Check also 8-bit noise synth ver.2 , ver.3 and Star Noise synth.

# CASSETTE IS NOT DEAD – A lamp made of cassette tapes by ooomydesign.com

ooomydesign.com cassette tapes lamp
You can replace the cassette tapes with your own as well

Available in transparent and colored cassette tapes, 20x13x12cm, price 35 EUR.

# NESynth – Retro game sounds piano for iPhone. NESynth is a virtual synthesizer that simulated 8 bit sound of video games in the 80's.

# Palalab’s Free Music Loops, Samples in ACID™ .WAV format

Palalab is offering free multi-instrumental sample loops in a variety of styles designed to be different, inspire your songwriting and fill out your mix. All loops can be used royalty-free, are properly ACID™ized for quality pitch and tempo transposition, and loop seamlessly.

Every week Palalab posts a new sample pack consisting of 5 loops. Each pack stays up for 4 weeks only, so be sure to bookmark this page and check back regularly.

Korg nanoPAD / nanoKONTROL (image by Jay Vidheecharoen)

# Download Free Korg nanoPAD, nanoKONTROL Scripts for Ableton Live

Peter Kirn writes:

The KORG nanoSERIES has a rabid following among many Ableton Live users, and with good reason. The nanoPAD and nanoKONTROL street for about US$60, provide basic knobs + faders + transport (KONTROL) and pads and X/Y control (PAD), plus a fully-featured, cross-platform editor, but still fit in a backpack. They’re small enough to use in coach on an airplane.

Having to open Live templates, however, just to get the mappings you want is a big pain. So, instead I’ve created a basic set of MIDI Remote Scripts and Kontrol Editor templates for Mac and Windows, Live 6.x and later, and wanted to share them with you.

# Gijs Gieskes WalkSX – The Walkman has a audio recording of some sort, on one side.. (L) And a audio signal that is used to trigger the arduino sequencer on the other side (R), that sequences the Gakken SX-150.

# Techniques for dealing with Phase

Audio Geek Zine - Phase

Jon @ Audio Geek Zine takes a look at what phase is and how to avoid problems with it in your productions.

Phase is a constant concern for recording and mixing engineers. Problems with phase can ruin your music, they can be easily avoided or corrected, but first you need understand how these problems occur.

This guide will attempt to explain almost everything there is to know about phase, what it is, how it happens, what it can sound like and some techniques to deal with it.

# Samples | synthesizers.se – Bunch of free samples including some REX'es of the Yamaha MP-1 and a ReFill featuring Mario Paint sounds.

Kind of Bloop: An 8-Bit Tribute to Miles Davis

Related: , , , , , Posted in random posts on May 13, 2009 - comment 1 comment

Andy Baio of Waxy.org has launched a Kickstarter project for Kind of Bloop, an 8-bit tribute to Miles Davis.

Kind of Bloop

Andy writes:

I’ve always wondered what chiptune jazz covers would sound like. What would the jazz masters sound like on a Nintendo Entertainment System? Coltrane on a C-64? Mingus on Amiga?

I’ve researched the topic quite a bit, and was only able to find four jazz covers ever released — ast0r’s version of Coltrane’s Giant Steps and Charlie Parker’s Confirmation, Sergeeo’s own Giant Steps cover, and Bun’s version of Coltrane’s My Favorite Things. (If you know more, please let me know!)

So I asked ast0r and sergeeo, along with three incredible chiptune artists (Virt, Shnabubula, and Disasterpeace), to collaborate on a track-by-track remake of the album. I’m raising the money to legally release the album, pay the royalties1, print a very limited run of CDs for Kickstarter backers only, and pay the artists for their hard work on these very challenging songs.

Check Waxy.org for more information.

Sony Creative Software releases 8 Bit Weapon: A Chiptune Odyssey

Sony Creative Software 8 Bit Weapon: A Chiptune Oddysey

Sony Creative Software has released 8 Bit Weapon: A Chiptune Odyssey, a massive collection of chiptune style loops and samples created using vintage computers and video game consoles.

The library covers Apple II, Commodore 64, NES, Gameboy, and the Atari 2600. Each system library has everything from drums, bass and synth to special effects. Both 8 Bit Weapon and ComputeHer have featured demos built into the collection.

The library features 462 (537 MB) original, royalty-free WAV files.

8 Bit Weapon: A Chiptune Oddysey is available for download now for 29.95 EUR ex VAT.

Visit Sony Creative Software for more information and demo sounds.

Dusted William Sounds releases the Dirty Dose

Dusted William Sounds

Dusted William Sounds has released the Dirty Dose, a sample set made up of over 500 one shot hits from an Atari 2600, a Commodore 64, and a vintage analog Tama Techstar electronic drum set, all recorded onto 2 inch master tape.

Do you have 8 bit fever? Is your life too perfect? Do you feel like your lo-fi desires just aren’t being met? You probably have lofi deficiency syndrome, or LFDS

Dr. Williams recommends the Dirty Dose!

Dirty Dose features

  • 500+ one shot samples in .wav format, split up in various categories (kick, snare, clap, hats, etc.)
  • 100+ MIDI files for a sudden rush of euphoria. Later you can make your own beats if you’re up to it.
  • 20+ kits in Guru, NI Battery 3.0 and Ableton Live drum racks formats.

Dirty Dose is available for the introductory price of $21.99 USD until June 1st, 2009 (regular price is $29 USD).

Visit Dusted William Sounds for more information and audio demos.

Short links for March 26th, 2009

Some interesting things I found recently:

Mike Cook Arduinocaster

# Arduinocaster shreds in MIDI

Mike Cook takes the keytar to the next level.

Arduinocaster is a an Arduino based MIDI instrument modelled on a guitar sometimes called a keytar. It uses switches and LEDs to control six "strings" which are held down in guitar like chords. Triggering the strings is through an opto reflective switch for a continuous repeating strum and four touch sensitive switches for a one off sequence. There are three banks of four picking / strumming / arpeggio styles and a three octave capo. Voice change information can also be sent.

# glitchNES – NO CARRIER/Don Miller’s glitchNES is an open source software project for the Nintendo Entertainment System. This software causes graphical glitches similar to hardware circuit-bending. The current version is 0.1 (initial release).
Link via CDM

Clubhouse Strummer

# Dinosaurs and Robots: The Clubhouse Strummer

Mark Frauenfelder writes:

My goal was to make an electric string instrument that uses drone tuning. I don't know anything about music theory, but drone tuning is a way to tune an instrument that makes it sound good no matter what you do with your fret fingers. Sitars, some dulcimers, and bagpipes use drone tuning. The clubhouse strummer uses GDG tuning (the Gs are one octave apart). I copied the fret layout from a strumstick, but I could have used this handy mountain dulcimer fret calculator to figure out the fret spacing.

# gotoandlearn.com – Flash Player 10 Beta: Dynamic Sound
Learn how to dynamically create sounds using the new features in Astro.

# Synth1 random preset generator
Christophe Roussy created a utility to generate random presets for Synth 1.

Synth1 is my favorite free software synthesizer to this date. There are a lot of preset banks available on the web. I had a look at the preset format and thought it would be easy to generate random presets if I could figure out how the values are stored. I decided to write a small Java application that can generate random presets.

# Free Korg MS-20 Patches
Waveformless offers some free patches for Korg's MS-20 synth plug-in.

8bitcollective drum machine compilation

# little-scale: Drum Machine Compilation

Kezziebeat writes:

"Due to a song I created just a couple of days ago, I became inspired to start this compo. I want to make a compilation of songs using only kick drums and noise. Yes, only drums. No leads, no melodies, no arps (even slutty ones). I want to see what people can create when they only have a beat to work with.

# Zoom H4n review – Brad Linder takes a look at the latest Zoom H4 field recorder.