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Twisted Electrons' MEGAfm is Getting Better!

If you don't know what it is, it's two Sega Genesis (Mega Drive) sound chips (Yamaha 2612 in V1, and uhh, some other number in V2) in a small aluminium box with a boatload of faders to control every aspect of each operator, some LFOs to modulate them, and an arpeggiator/sequencer (I never use).

You might think it sounds like a Sega Genesis game all the time, but it does not. The LFOs really open up the 2612. It does some amazing performance tricks you certainly don't hear in Sonic the Hedgehog. But, it does those, too. Channel your inner Yuzo Koshiro, then make it sound like something entirely else.

A while back, Twisted Electrons saw fit to make the firmware open source, and it's wonderful how much functionality they've added. Looping envelopes that can loop from different points in the six-stage envelopes, new voicing options, a MIDI tool to change settings from your PC, heck, a couple weeks ago they added the ability to change the scaling of the envelopes. It came out four years ago, and the updates keep on coming.

Just so I don't sound too much like a fanboy, I will qualify that it is a bit of a janky box. Voice stealing is weird sometimes, and these chips are noisy and scummy sounding. It's probably the most analog sounding digital thing I've ever heard. I guess there are still a few minor bugs with the firmware, but none that I personally notice.

Still, it's only 450 Euros and eminently worth it.