Video game inspired modules

Cwejman, Livewire, TipTop Audio, Doepfer etc... Get your euro on!

Moderators: Kent, Joe., luketeaford, lisa

Post Reply
NARC NOISE
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Video game inspired modules

Post by NARC NOISE » Fri Jan 24, 2020 10:47 am

So outside of Oscillographic Block and SID GUTS/SID GUTS DELUXE, what are some other lesser known oscillators that utilize chips from the good old days of NES and SEGA?

User avatar
starthief
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4813
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:39 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by starthief » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:36 am

In rough chronological order:

I don't think there are any TIA chip oscillators for Eurorack, but there's a Midibox TIA standalone.

Analog Bytes POKEY.synth uses a POKEY chip.

Twisted Electrons AY3 comes to mind. That chip was used in a lot of classic arcade games, plus the Intellivision, Atari ST and others.

SynthTech E950 has the original ROM data and algorithms from TI LPC speech synthesizers, though I suspect the implementation is modernized.

Going forward to the early 90s, Akemie's Castle uses Yamaha OPL3 chips (several Sound Blaster models).

Not specifically using old chips:

There are a few LFSR based modules which will give you the same sort of classic low-bit noise and square sounds. Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron, EMW Arcade Noise, The Harvestman Zorlon Cannon, probably others.

Mutable Instruments Edges is a discontinued 4-voice chiptune oscillator.

Soulsby Oscitron runs on an Arduino, but is still 8-bit resolution and very much sounds like it belongs in the chiptune space.

Beast-Tek does a lot of lo-fi VCOs.
Last edited by starthief on Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:42 am, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Zymos
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2757
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2015 1:14 pm
Location: ABQ,NM

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by Zymos » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:41 am

Pittsburgh Game System, though I can tell you are really talking about audio sources.

User avatar
lisa
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 5245
Joined: Fri Jun 02, 2017 7:00 am
Location: Sweden
Contact:

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by lisa » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:43 am

Not based on any chip but the Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron comes to mind. It is ”a linear feedback shift register oscillator similar to those used in the first generation of home video game consoles such as the Atari VCS as well as many other classic arcade games”.
An exclusive, all Alesis Ion track! The best synth ever made. :guinness:


NARC NOISE
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by NARC NOISE » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:46 am

starthief wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:36 am
In rough chronological order:

I don't think there are any TIA chip oscillators for Eurorack, but there's a Midibox TIA standalone.

Analog Bytes POKEY.synth uses a POKEY chip.

Twisted Electrons AY3 comes to mind. That chip was used in a lot of classic arcade games, plus the Intellivision, Atari ST and others.

SynthTech E950 has the original ROM data and algorithms from TI LPC speech synthesizers, though I suspect the implementation is modernized.

Going forward to the early 90s, Akemie's Castle uses Yamaha OPL3 chips (several Sound Blaster models).

Not specifically using old chips:

There are a few LFSR based modules which will give you the same sort of classic low-bit noise and square sounds. Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron, EMW Arcade Noise, The Harvestman Zorlon Cannon, probably others.

Mutable Instruments Edges is a discontinued 4-voice chiptune oscillator.

Soulsby Oscitron runs on an Arduino, but is still 8-bit resolution and very much sounds like it belongs in the chiptune space.

Beast-Tek does a lot of lo-fi VCOs.
Thank you sir! I have all of those LFSR modules you listed except the EMW, as well as a Rung Divisions (which is seriously fantastic), but I will look into the other synths/modules you listed. I love IME/The Harvestman stuff by the way, that Zorlon Cannon paired up with Tyme Sefari/SOT expander and the Bionic Lester MKIII is complete and utter auditory nonsense (in the good way....) I have the Beast-Tek Dirty Glitch, would like to snag some more modules from them.

NARC NOISE
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by NARC NOISE » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:48 am

lisa wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:43 am
Not based on any chip but the Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron comes to mind. It is ”a linear feedback shift register oscillator similar to those used in the first generation of home video game consoles such as the Atari VCS as well as many other classic arcade games”.
This one is in line for my next case....they had me at the descriptive quote of something along the lines of "making the fax machine jealous"

DSC
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2295
Joined: Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:54 pm

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by DSC » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:03 pm

...
Last edited by DSC on Thu Nov 26, 2020 6:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
starthief
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 4813
Joined: Tue Oct 04, 2016 10:39 am
Location: St Louis, MO
Contact:

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by starthief » Fri Jan 24, 2020 12:24 pm

EMW Arcade Noise was kind of fun, but you might be better off just sticking with the Zorlon. The main thing I remember about Arcade Noise is higher CV voltage = lower clock rate for some reason.

User avatar
coolshirtdotjpg
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 1451
Joined: Wed May 06, 2015 4:13 pm
Location: Freedom, NH

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by coolshirtdotjpg » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:17 pm

The Special Stage Systems Oscillographic Block uses a sound generation chip from the sega master system.
New video on Prophet 12 Drone Patches:
Prophet 12 Drone Patches

cg_funk
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 494
Joined: Wed May 23, 2018 12:56 am

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by cg_funk » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:36 pm

Another vote for Noise Engineering. The Ataraxic modules sound very 8bit video game.

But also, don't forget the NerdSeq. I mean it's not an oscillator, but it actually LOOKs like a video game, and it's basically the perfect sequencer for making video game music.

User avatar
bemushroomed
Super Deluxe Wiggler
Posts: 2639
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2014 10:30 am
Location: Sweden

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by bemushroomed » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:44 pm

Since it wasn't mentioned, the most well known one is probably APC (atari punk console)..

you can get a long way with a bitreducer to make classic 8-bit sounds i think.. i had my braids in 8-bit mode for a long while, can get very C64'ish when modulated "correctly".

NARC NOISE
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by NARC NOISE » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:37 pm

cg_funk wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:36 pm
Another vote for Noise Engineering. The Ataraxic modules sound very 8bit video game.

But also, don't forget the NerdSeq. I mean it's not an oscillator, but it actually LOOKs like a video game, and it's basically the perfect sequencer for making video game music.
Oh, the NerdSeq is also in my next case, along with the MIDI/Sega controller Expander and the trigger expander, as well as a modern day MIDINES cartdridge (fammimidi or something close to that spelling....), and also an adapter that allows for the use of the sound chip in the Sega Genesis via sequencers.

Also, I really have no intrest in making video game music per se, I just really enjoy the lofi drum and oscillator sounds as a starting point for further wonkiness.

User avatar
megarat
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:09 pm
Location: Squirt Island, USA

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by megarat » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:40 pm

NARC NOISE wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:48 am
lisa wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:43 am
Not based on any chip but the Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron comes to mind. It is ”a linear feedback shift register oscillator similar to those used in the first generation of home video game consoles such as the Atari VCS as well as many other classic arcade games”.
This one is in line for my next case....they had me at the descriptive quote of something along the lines of "making the fax machine jealous"
The one you're referring to (about making the fax machine jealous) is the Ataraxic Iteritas, which is a 10hp digital noise workhorse. It's allegedly an extension of the Ataraxic Translatron, but I found that the AT is better at creating tones that are clearly retro-vid inspired. Specifically, the AT's tone "2" sounds like it's coming straight from an Atari VCS, and tone "C" is a great pitched noise. That said, the AI definitely has its place in this genre, and I have both of them racked in my retro-vid-inspired rig.

Thanks for starting this thread, it's right up my alley. I hadn't heard of the EMW Arcade Noise yet, and it's pretty affordable, so I might give it a whirl.

EDIT: another module in this vein is the VCNO by Hexinverter Électronique.
Last edited by megarat on Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

NARC NOISE
Common Wiggler
Posts: 141
Joined: Sat Aug 18, 2018 6:54 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by NARC NOISE » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:43 pm

megarat wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:40 pm
NARC NOISE wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:48 am
lisa wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:43 am
Not based on any chip but the Noise Engineering Ataraxic Translatron comes to mind. It is ”a linear feedback shift register oscillator similar to those used in the first generation of home video game consoles such as the Atari VCS as well as many other classic arcade games”.
This one is in line for my next case....they had me at the descriptive quote of something along the lines of "making the fax machine jealous"
The one you're referring to (about making the fax machine jealous) is the Ataraxic Iteritas, which is a 10hp digital noise workhorse. It's allegedly an extension of the Ataraxic Translatron, but I found that the AT is better at creating tones that are clearly retro-vid inspired. Specifically, the AT's tone "2" sounds like it's coming straight from an Atari VCS, and tone "C" is a great pitched noise. That said, the AI definitely has its place in this genre, and I have both of them racked in my retro-vid-inspired rig.

Thanks for starting this thread, it's right up my alley. I hadn't heard of the EMW Arcade Noise yet, and it's pretty affordable, so I might give it a whirl.
Yes, the AI is in my next case, I think the AT is discontinued??? (it's a 4hp module if I'm thinking of the right one)....probably could snag a used one somewhere.

User avatar
megarat
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:09 pm
Location: Squirt Island, USA

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by megarat » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:03 pm

NARC NOISE wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:43 pm
Yes, the AI is in my next case, I think the AT is discontinued??? (it's a 4hp module if I'm thinking of the right one)....probably could snag a used one somewhere.
NE is still making the AT (yes, their primordial 4hp module), so you don't need to worry about availability for now.

User avatar
megarat
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 393
Joined: Fri Sep 20, 2019 4:09 pm
Location: Squirt Island, USA

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by megarat » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:14 pm

While we're on the topic, is anyone here using the Zorlon Cannon Mk2 for chiptune-inspired work? If so, how are you using it?

When I originally researched the ZC2, it didn't seem like a straightforward VCO, per se, but rather resembled an LFSR-based Turing Machine. Any illumination would be appreciated.

User avatar
SphericalSound
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 367
Joined: Thu Feb 01, 2018 9:23 am
Location: Spain

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by SphericalSound » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:23 pm

Not a module but a standalone, using the genesis/megadrive chips:


User avatar
MindMachine
weekend warrior
Posts: 7094
Joined: Sun Aug 02, 2009 1:45 am
Location: Santa Susana Field Lab

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by MindMachine » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:13 am

I have two of the EMW Arcade Noise modules. The reverse pitch control is... lame, but the module for the money is really incredible. LFO mode is really inspiring too. Trippy module for little dough if you have some space.

In use with my 2HP Freeze module I can get some decent glitchy stuff.
FS: Pedals and Euro modules, Delta Labs, dotcom Q128 for 37.00
viewtopic.php?f=74&t=233636&p=3287718&h ... e#p3287718

User avatar
intuitionnyc
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 542
Joined: Tue Mar 03, 2009 4:45 pm
Location: NY

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by intuitionnyc » Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:26 am

I don’t know if Harvestman’s Piston Honda has tech in it deriving from video games, but the name is inspired from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on NES. :)

User avatar
target_destroyed
Wiggling with Experience
Posts: 363
Joined: Wed Feb 16, 2011 6:20 pm
Location: Illinoise

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by target_destroyed » Sun Jan 26, 2020 9:50 am

intuitionnyc wrote:
Sun Jan 26, 2020 12:26 am
I don’t know if Harvestman’s Piston Honda has tech in it deriving from video games, but the name is inspired from Mike Tyson’s Punch Out on NES. :)
Several of his modules have video game inspired names.

"Double Andore" is from Final Fight
"Zorlon Cannon" is from Yar's Revenge
"King Slender" is from Pro Wrestling
"Bionic Lester" is from Skate or Die

Not a module, but Twisted Electrons is coming out with the MegaFM in a few months, which has two Yamaha YM2612/OPN2 chips from the Mega Drive/Genesis and loads of controls. Should be awesome.

https://twisted-electrons.com/product/megafm/

They also have the HapiNES, which, as the name implies, is NES inspired.

https://twisted-electrons.com/product/hapines-l/

BlinkyLights
Veteran Wiggler
Posts: 565
Joined: Wed Feb 13, 2019 12:16 am

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by BlinkyLights » Mon Apr 27, 2020 12:29 am

Some fantastic replies. Thank you all.

User avatar
mckenic
pew!pew!pew!kthnxbye!
Posts: 6450
Joined: Fri Aug 06, 2010 8:05 pm
Location: Limerick, Ireland

Re: Video game inspired modules

Post by mckenic » Mon Apr 27, 2020 1:07 am

SN Voice

(still have to put my diy kit together!)

Edit - and not a module but the MegaMidi 5!

Post Reply

Return to “Eurorack Modules”