Famirom Puts The Sound Of A NES Sound Chip In Your DAW


SampleScience has released Famirom, a virtual plugin emulation of the NES sound chip, for Mac & Windows.

Famirom is a virtual instrument emulation of the NES (Famicom in Japan) sound chip. It’s ROM based, which means that the instrument plays actual sound recordings of the NES sound chip, which gives it an authentic sound.


  • 30 NES sound chip tones to choose from.
  • 4 8-bit fixed effects: distortion, resonance, reverb, Larsen and cassette.
  • LFO, Amp Range and Pitch controls.
  • ADSR controls to shape your tones.

Here are the official audio demos:

Famirom is available for US $12 as a Windows 32 bit and 64 bit VST plugin, as well as a Universal Mac OS X VST & AU.

via Pierre Parenteau

20 thoughts on “Famirom Puts The Sound Of A NES Sound Chip In Your DAW

  1. Nice sound but very far from an actual famicom.
    Imitating the sound of such a chip is not just about sampling a few waveforms, many retro vst developers skip the fact that pitch/gain envelopes or LFOs need to be heavily aliased as well for instance.

    1. Quantized is the word. It’s that stepping from the low bitrate that gives the unique tone to the LFOs ENVs and of course the waveform. Interesting enough, the NES doesn’t alias at all, it’s running it’s sample rate at several megahertz.

      Anyways this program, cheap so that’s nice but the demos at least do not sound much like a NES. Plogue’s Chipsounds running at 96khz is much closer. I wish someone would just make a hardware synth with individual outputs for all the voices of the NES chip already. Twisted Electrons maybe?

      1. I have heard rumors. The trick is finding a source for the real chips. I hope Twisted Electrons can pull something like that off. I would buy it in an instant! I have an AY3 and TherapSID and I love them.

  2. I have to agree so far the demos don’t sound like a real NES. The Balloon Fight theme and Kid Icarus theme, go listen to the original. They don’t sound too similar. The interface looks cool and I’ll give it a try anyways because it still sounds good and looks fun to play with!

    I’m gonna guess that the demo tracks don’t try so much to nail the same synthesized sounds, but use old NES tunes to show off some of the sounds of the plugin to stick with the theme.

    I won’t judge this thing properly until I’ve used it myself and I’m always happy to see free synth plugins that sound cool! (And it does sound cool, regardless of how closely it resembles a famicon).

    Big thanks to the developers, i’m excited to try it 🙂

    1. Whoa just realized it’s $12…well, I think I’m gonna pass on this one for now and try other emulations of the NES. The article got me interested in the sounds again though so thanks!

  3. If you like this I have also created a “Nintendo inspired” plugin called the P/Nes 8-Bit Lo-Fi Monster (yes, it is a very juvenile name). It is available for free. Look it up and have fun 🙂

      1. Oh you OSX people complaining about free stuff 😉 … This one looks much more potent IMHO and I kinda like the GUI and its not too big for my monitor. What res are you using? 1024 x 768? I will give it a try.

      2. No its not available for OSX, and yes the GUI is oversized because I wanted to have every functions on the same screen, and it fits most configurations well except on low resolution monitors (its about the same size as U-He Diva).

  4. It might well be based on waveform recordings, but the tasty qualities of the DAC change when chords are played. I reckon the lack of proper DAC emulation is what’s missing.

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