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!
Amped up and Crystal Clear
The original Genesis headphone amplifier is objectively very bad. That’s why I’ve created a custom mixing and amplification circuit that lets the YM2612 and PSG chips truly shine. Every single note will come out loud and clear. You’ve never heard a YM2612 this pristine before.
With this sort of audio clarity, the nuances of each FM patch really come out to play. The grit of the YM2612’s signature DAC, proper ADSR cycles, as well as the cheery PSG square waves.
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.
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.
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm
associated with materials used in circuit boards and solder.