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Arcano Systems' chiptune synth offers 80s video game nostalgia

Recreate Nintendo NES, Famicom and Commodore 64 sounds with this $80 gadget.
Billy Steele
08.11.16 in AV

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Here at Engadget, we have quite an affinity for all things that remind us of what it was like to play video games in the 80s. That includes musical instruments and gear that are capable of reproducing those iconic chiptune sounds we all know and love. Arcano Systems is no stranger to those tones and the company has taken to Kickstarter to fund yet another of its creations. The company has a knack for creating the 8-bit chiptune synths, including last year's NES Chiptune Synthesizer. This time around, it created the Obscura 8-bit Chiptune Synth 2: a MIDI synthesizer that emulates the sounds of games from Nintendo NES, Famicom and Commodore 64.

For this new version, Arcano Systems gave the monophonic synthesizer more waveforms, more patches, an improved volume envelope system, increased vibrato depth and faster arpeggio frequency. There are two versions of the gadget with one being surface-mounted (SMD) like the original while the other has a through-hole construction. The latter option is smaller, more like the NES chiptune synth that was released last year. You'll need a MIDI controller to get these up and running, but once you have that, these devices don't require any other programming or additional software to start the 8-bit sounds.

Still unsure about committing funds? Take a look at some demo footage below. The company already has a handful of devices ready for early backers and plans to ship to its other supporters in October.

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