Thoughts on Chipmusic

I was under the impression that Plogue’s hardware builds were test platforms they used to help develop the software. Are they going to make actual hardware products?

On KVR, David @ Plogue (don’t know his last name) said that they’re working on hardware devices too – see the thread starting here:


Ah, missed that. I find it hard to keep up at KvR sometimes.

This device should not go unmentioned here. I do not own this, but played it extensively at Schneider’s when I was in Berlin. Great feature set.

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Well, it has gone unmentioned by me, as it’s my main squeeze at the moment; but I did just realize that I hadn’t linked it in this thread, so thanks for that. :sweat_smile:

SID Guts Deluxe is the voice I use in videos found here:

I’ve also been keen to get my hands on one of these, particularly since I’m eager to try an FPGASID in it:

And they also came out with a smaller version, lately, though I don’t believe this one to use an actual chip.

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I dug up a 4track cassette of one of the songs I recorded for my Gameboy-centric album from 2013, Bolt Action, and took some minor creative liberties with its revision:

I’m on this album / cartridge / thing along with a load of other kick-ass chiptune musicians.


Such a great thread that completely went under my radar! I used to write some chiptune myself, I was even inspired to write music after seeing Bubblyfish live :slight_smile:

@Smapti David Viens is a friend of mine. I get to play with Plogue’s upcoming toys.


I’ve really been digging this pairing of the SID (well, SwinSID) with the the Mega Drive’s FM capabilities (well, OPN2C rather than OPN2), and if this workflow I’m developing works out, I’ll have some more extensive demonstrations of this pairing in short order:

Mostly on-topic - I just got confirmation from Analogue that their upcoming Pocket system will work with Nanoloop Mono. I love the sound of that thing but the noise is horrid on my DMG. I’m really eager to hear what it sounds like clean.


Good to know about the Mono. I don’t own a cart but was wondering about that, myself

I’m fairly excited also despite a modest treasure trove of original hardware. I never got a reply about whether their DAC will have any advantage over the Pocket’s headphone jack in terms of sound quality, though; I’d probably use the DAC anyway, particularly for recording, but it’d be nice to know.

The thing I’m really excited for, though, is that spare FPGA. I could imagine all sorts of interesting applications, and apart from obviously flashing it with other consoles, I’d bet there’s some interesting possibilities for music, as well (particularly considering that the Pocket’s hub has USB ports).


That is weird - they responded me pretty quickly, like less than a day. I have been assuming the audio quality will be top-notch, I guess because the rest of the design is strikingly no-compromise. I mean, that line of thinking worked out with Norns :slight_smile:

That said, I haven’t played on any of their other consoles so I can’t speak to experience. Also, the placements of what appear to be the start and select buttons are going to be problematic for e.g. LSDJ.

Yes, oh my. I’m not as familiar with what can be done with FPGAs - can you build, say, filters in them? At any rate there’s got to be some interesting possibilities with a MIDI controller.

I’m becoming a bit addicted to these weird little computers. The pocket / handheld / battery-powered music options are amazingly richer than they were just a couple years ago, and they weren’t too shabby then either.


I’d been meaning to acquire one of their consoles for a while now, but I’m kind of glad I held out since I’ll get far more use out of the Pocket than any of the previous ones.

Off the top of my head, I’d say yes based on the FPGA-SID retaining that capability from the original SID (an analog multimode filter was included in the original. SIDs), to include being able to pass an external analog signal through that same filter. On that last note, we know we have at least one mono analog input in the cartridge slot, so that could prove interesting (imagining custom carts with 3.5mm TS jacks, for instance, which should be plenty doable if the Mono and GB303 are any indication).

Yeah, I asked on twitter back in October when they first announced the inclusion of nanoloop. I should probably ask again elsewhere.

At least it’s possible to use a controller, but honestly, with six buttons I have to imagine it’s possible to remap start and select to one of the four spares.

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Broke out the Gameboy again for a bit of experimentation:

This was my first time using Orca’s Heart, implementing MIDI control of the Gameboy using VCV Rack and the USB Boy (a variation of the Arduinoboy), and using the Joranalogue RX2 to handle the whole business of cranking the Gameboy up to eurorack level. I used my new favorite series of mixing modules (GTG-Rack) to handle the mix, to include sending the DMG’s left and right channels separately (with each of the four channels panned to either side in mGB) to the Lyra8-FX.

I’m pretty happy with this manner of handling the gameboy as a synth voice, but I desperately need to get around to modding my DMGs (proaudio, but also backlights). I also need to get a Teensyboy Pro so that I can use the Nerdseq over MIDI DIN for sequencing.

This new Mega Drive synth is way out of my league, but a marvel, all the same:


Holy shit, this thing sounds so good! Wow. I mean, just incredible. I’ve got no more room or money for fear right now, but hot dang are those sound demos amazing.

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Wondering what your experience is like with pitch and the SwinSID? I noticed on my Sid Guts Deluxe that the pitch glides ever so slightly. Also, if I send a stream of gates to the Sid Guts, it will sometimes change pitch. I’m assuming it’s the chip… or maybe that’s just the module overall.

It’s hard to find definitive answers out there. Maybe you can help :slight_smile:

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I really love what Twisted Electrons are doing. Seem to be going “all in” with the chiptune hardware. AY3, Therapsid and therapKid sound great too (edit to add: their little PO style devices are cute too). But this is in a different league (imo).

If I had the means…


So I have had what I think might be at least a similar issue the SID Guts where, if I remember right, upon powering up (or maybe between applying or removing modulation at that patch point… I can’t remember, maybe both), the pitch or chord doesn’t match the knob position until toggled slightly. I believe this is owed to some quirk with the stepped nature of most parameters (which I believe applies to pitch but certainly applies to chord). I imagine there’s some sort of weird encoding business going on there, and to be frank, I actually wish parameters like chord had tactile positions for each setting (I don’t know the resolution of the pitch, if it is indeed digital, but that could probably do with tactile feedback for each step, as well).

Anyway, it could be the SwinSID, I guess (though the actual chip could be worse, in that regard), but it seems to me like it could be something more like normal analog instability being more pronounced because of stepped parameters. In any case, I would have to do some more testing, I rarely use the module in such a way that this apparent quirk would bother me much.