If titles like Altered Beast, Alex Kidd, Streets of Rage and Golden Axe smack you right in the nostalgia gland and make you say silly things like ‘those were simpler times,’ or ‘they don’t make games like they used to,’ then maybe Inphonik’s new RYM 2612 synthesiser plugin may be of interest. Based on the Yamaha YM2612 FM synthesis sound chip found in the Sega Mega Drive console , RYM 2612 gives you cycle-accurate reproductions of every possibility of that late 1980s sound chip — with a few extras thrown in for good measure.
The Yammy YM2612 was a fully integrated 6-voice/6 channel FM chip with a difference –it’s 6th channel could be utilised as a basic 8-bit sample playback engine, and it had a built-in 9-bit digital to analogue converter with a very peculiar distortion (known as the ladder effect) due to poor dynamic range.
The RYM has pushed those six voices out to 16-voices so you have a more modern polyphony count, and you can opt in or out of the distinctive DAC crunch. Aside from mimicking Sega sounds, RYM2612 looks to be a very capable FM synth, featuring 4 operators with all controls on-screen in nicely designed layout that’s ideal for navigating the often puzzling world of frequency modulation synthesis.
If you’re a retro gaming music enthusiast, then you’d better go the whole mile and take a look at GEMS as well (Genesis Editor for Music and Sound effects) – the composition tool used to create the soundtrack to hundreds of games in the late ’80s to mid 90s. It’s a pretty nifty system that communicates with the game engine for contextual music and effects. Check it out and download it here.
Inphonik also have an introductory sale running, RYM 2612 is yours for €25 (limited time offer) here.
Check out their demo below: