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Mega MIDI 5

$159.99 $139.99

A MIDI-compatible Sega Genesis/Megadrive Synthesizer with REAL sound chips. Play any Genesis game’s soundtrack instruments instantly!

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Instruction Manual

VST/Plugin Downloads

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Description


Introducing: The Mega MIDI

Any fan of classic video games from the early 90’s surely remembers the iconic soundtracks produced throughout the era. In my personal opinion, the home console with the best soundtracks was always the Sega Genesis, or Megadrive if you’re outside of the US.
Subjective as that opinion may be, you can’t deny that the Genesis had a supremely iconic sound. Gritty guitars, headphone-rumbling bass, and smooth pads to die for. This was the sound of the Yamaha YM2612 – the core FM (frequency modulation) synthesizer chip behind the Genesis’ unique audio profile.
But what if you could take any instrument patch you wanted, out of any Genesis game, and play it for yourself on a keyboard? Now you can with the Mega MIDI.

Authentic Genesis FM

The Mega MIDI is not an emulator. This is the real deal.
Both the genuine YM2612 and the SN76489 PSG sound chips are on-board. Further still, the patches are not recreated “sound-alikes” either. They are one-for-one instruments with identical settings to those found within their parent games. You are playing the actual patches on authentic hardware.
Those in “the-know” understand that emulated or recreated YM2612’s often sound terrible. You’d be hard-pressed to find an emulator with the YM2612’s signature sound perfectly recreated. Most of them don’t even come close, even in officially licensed products!

YM2612 or YM3438

The Mega MIDI 5’s circuitry brings in support for the YM3438, the worthiest of successors to the original YM2612. The YM3438 is the CMOS version of the YM2612 and features a much lower noise floor and overall cleaner sounding audio. If you’re looking for the original grit of the model 1 Sega Genesis, go with the original YM2612. If you’re looking for the cleaner sound of the model 2/3 Genesis, go with the YM3438.

Either way you go, the Mega MIDI still sounds great! Make sure to chose which IC you’d like before checkout.

Here is a sample of both the YM2612 and the YM3438. In each sample, there is 10 seconds of just DAC noise, then 15 seconds of C4 and C3 on one of the Time Trax patches.

YM2612

YM3438

Note: Due to the way that the YM2612/YM3438 multiplex their channels, there will always be DAC noise. Genuine chips means genuine audio and the DAC is a big part of that.

A Brand New Power Delivery Circuit

Ditch the 12V adapter. This new design only requires a single USB connection. The Mega MIDI 5’s new and improved power supply circuit eventually leads to dual linear regulators for both digital and analog circuitry to provide noise-reduced power. While the new power delivery circuit reduces noise substantially, if you feel that you may have a particularity noisy USB connection, you may have actually formed a ground loop. Simply use a cheap ground loop isolator to remove any and all remaining USB noise. I like this one!

Please note that the DAC on the YM2612/YM3438 is fairly sensitive to power supply noise. Users with units connected to computers with lots of fans or hard drives may notice a bit of noise on the output. You can mitigate most of this noise this by using a dedicated 5V power supply (like a phone charger) and a standard DIN MIDI connection. No chips will ever be completely noise free – remember, these are budget sound chips from over 30 years ago, that’s part of their charm!

Amped up and Crystal Clear

Now featuring a customized version of The Mega Amp Mod! Perfectly clear audio straight from the ICs.

Extremely Easy to Use

FM synthesis is very complicated. With the Mega MIDI, I’ve taken care of the hard part for you.
Pop-in an SD card with your patch files, pick your voice, and play. That’s it. 
Included with every Mega MIDI is a tool to create your own patch files from video game music files as well as a massive repository of pre-made patch files.
Want to delve into the nitty-gritty and hand-craft your patches? Go for it! The Mega MIDI is compatible with VOPM .opm patch files. Create your patches using the VOPM virtual synth, then export your custom patches to the Mega MIDI’s SD card.

Plug-and-play USB MIDI and Classic DIN-5 MIDI Support

No serial-bridge software or needless add-ons required here. Plug it in and play, literally.
The Mega MIDI is a native USB MIDI device and will show up in DAWs like Ableton and FL Studio. This means that you can not only directly control the Mega MIDI through a DAW’s MIDI pass-thru, but you can also compose sequenced music in these tools and use the MIDI connection to automatically play your precomposed music.
Have a MIDI controller with a classic five-pin MIDI connector? Getting started is even easier. Plug in your MIDI cable and you’re good to go!

Save Your Favorite Patches for Hot-Swapping on the Fly

You can add as many patch files as you want to the Mega MIDI’s SD card, but if you ever find any specific voice that you just love and want easy access to, simply press and hold one of the seven “favorite” buttons on the face of the Mega MIDI. Your favorite patch will be saved to internal memory. Simply press the favorite button again to instantly swap to your saved patch.

Mega MIDI Control – Directly control the YM2612 through a DAW-Compatible plugin

Mega MIDI Control is a software control panel that can directly control nearly every parameter of the YM2612/YM3438 in real time. Mega MIDI control is cross-compatible with every operating system and can even be installed as a DAW plugin (AKA, VST). You can even open and modify OPM patch files! Mega MIDI Control requires firmware version 1.3 or higher, which all new Mega MIDI’s ship with standard.

You can learn more about Mega MIDI Control in this video: https://youtu.be/qn1XVItjNrM

Download Mega MIDI Control for free here. 

Open-Sourced Hardware and Software

The Mega MIDI is licensed under the AGPL-3.0 and every source file you can think of is available for free on Github.
This sale page is an opportunity for me to produce physical units for anybody that is interested in supporting my work. The main goal of this project is to serve as an educational resource for others looking to experiment with old school FM sound chips. 
If you decide to create your own boards, I would really appreciate a contribution from you, though one is not required of course. I’d also be very interested in seeing any modifications you make should you decide to do so!
I am humbly asking for your support so that I may continue providing the community with these custom instruments and video game music players. Thank you very much.

 

California Residents:
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
associated with materials used in circuit boards and solder.
http://www.P65Warnings.ca.gov

Additional information

Weight 9 oz
Includes

1x Assembled Mega MIDI Module & 1x Plastic Backplate

FM Sound Source

Yamaha YM2612 (OPN2), Yamaha YM3438 (OPN2c)

Programmable Sound Generator

Texas Instruments SN76489

I/O

MicroSD
Full USB type B
3.5mm Audio Output Jack
Traditional 5-pin MIDI DIN

File Format

FAT32 formatted SD Card
VOPM "opm" file format

Disclaimer

Please note: All devices are made by hand. If you order a product that is out-of-stock, you will be placed in a manufacturing queue. Orders can not be canceled after they have been put into production. If the product you have purchased was in stock, it will ship within two business days. Made-to-order products will take longer.