The Pianocade Is An Open Source Chiptunes Synthesizer Arcade Keytar Thing!

PIanocade Chiptunes Synthesizer

If you took all the stuff we like – synthesizers, video games, open source software, etc – and combined them, you might get something like the Pianocade chiptunes style synthesizer & MIDI controller.

The Pianocade Synthesizer

The Pianocade is a synthesizer designed to sound, look, and feel like vintage arcade games.

The Pianocade’s built-in synthesizer is based on the sound hardware of the Nintendo NES and Game Boy (specifically, one of the square wave channels: it’s a monophonic square-wave synthesis engine with a 4-bit digital-to-analogue converter). Because it’s monophonic, it does what many early games did in lieu of chords: it cycles through the notes of the chord rapidly (arpeggiation).

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Pretty Eight Machine – 8-Bit NIN!

Pretty Eight Machine is NIN’s Pretty Hate Machine, re-imagined in its entirety by Inverse Phase on eight different 8-bit systems.

Sound configurations include: SID/6581 (Commodore 64), POKEY (Atari 800), straight 2A03 (NES), AY/SCC+ (MSX+Metal Gear 2 or Snatcher cartridge), SN76489 (Sega Master System), 2A03+VRC6 (Famicom+Castlevania 3 cartridge), LR35902 (Game Boy), and OPLL (MSX-MUSIC or Japanese Sega Master System).

Pretty Eight Machine is available at the Inverse Phase Bandcamp page.

Download The 8-bit Tribute To The Music Of John Carpenter

The soundtrack music of John Carpenter has received the 8-bit treatment in a new tribute album.

“I remember you featured us when we released our Dark Side of the Moon 8-bit tribute,” writes reader Joe. “Pterodactyl Squad is back with an 8-bit tribute to John Carpenter.”

It’s All In The Reflexes is a John Carpenter tribute album, featuring the music of 8-bit artists, including R-Sunset, Comptroller, seal of quality, Videogame Orchestra, EvilWezil, Videovalvontaa, Lorenzo Music, OxygenStar, SLAW, arcadecoma. and Shrimps.

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GenMDM Turns Sega Genesis/Megadrive Into A MIDI-Controlled Synth

Sebastian Tomczak (Little Scale) has introduced GenMDM – a music interface for your vintage SEGA Genesis or Mega Drive console.

You can use GenMDM to make chiptunes using your favorite MIDI sequencing software or hardware.

GenMDM will appear as a MIDI output device on your Windows, Mac or Linux-based computer. GenMDM will respond to MIDI notes and MIDI CC data, and will give you a high degree of real time control over the sound chips inside of the SEGA console.

GenMDM is available for preorder for 85 AUD (~ 87 USD/67 EUR). First units are scheduled to be shipped in mid-May 2012.

Free Commodore 64 Drum Pack For Ableton Live

free Commodore 64 Live RackThis week, AfroDJMac sent word of a free Commodore 64 Drum Rack for Ableton Live users:

I writing with word of my 51st free weekly Ableton Live AfroDJPack, a set of Commodore 64 drums.

The samples were provided by and have been racked up in drum racks that allow for some wild and crazy mangling. Awesome 8-bit SID action!

You can preview the free Commodore 64 Drum Rack below.

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Free Chiptunes Synth For Windows, Bleep’

ToneBytes Bleep

ToneBytes has released Bleep’, a free VSTi synthesizer plug-in for Windows, inspired by the sound of MOS Technology SID.


  • 3 oscillators with four waveforms: sawtooth, triangle, pulse (with PW) and noise
  • Each oscillator has own detuner, ADSR envelope and multimode LP/BP/HP filter
  • Multimode LFO synced with BPM
  • Modulator Envelope Generator
  • Pseudo arpeggiator
  • Overall multimode filter
  • Built-in preset manager with ability to patch name editing
  • In addition, VST automation and full MIDI Learning are supported.

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