If, when you first played Super Mario Bros. 3 or the original Metroid, you wanted to make music that rivalled Koji Kondo or Hirokazu Tanaka but also sounded just like it, well in 2022 you're finally in luck.
Available on itch.io and developed by user Avicr, SynthNes is a ROM that runs on an Everdrive N8 Pro flashcart. You can run this app on your PC to turn your little NES into a full-fledged MIDI music machine.
You can pay whatever you like to give SynthNes a go, and all you need to get started are a USB cable, a Nintendo Entertainment System, a PC (Windows only for now) and an Everdrive N8 Pro cartridge, which you can buy here. With all of these tools at your disposal, you can become a Nintendo maestro yourself! If you've held on to your childhood console, that is.
The app comes with a bunch of fun features that celebrate the glory days of '80s Nintendo gaming, and make creating music as simple as possible, which include:
- Control all five NES audio channels via MIDI or included virtual keyboard
- Expandable by connecting more NES's
- Easy to use PC interface
- PDF manual
- Polyphonic operation
- Unison mode
- Animated graphics
- Hidden surprises
You can find out how to get the app working on Avicr's itch.io page, and get even more detail by reading the PDF manual. The manual looks adorable and is just like an NES one, complete with pixel art and character descriptions.
There's only an NES app at the moment, but can you imagine if an SNES-equivalent is developed? Yasunori Mitsuda, à la Chrono Trigger, eat your heart out.
Have you tried out the SynthNes? Drop us a comment below to let us know, and maybe even share your project!
That's pretty cool. I won't be trying it out since I have absolutely no musical talent whatsoever, but it's cool that stuff like this is still being developed for these old systems.
EDIT: Also, welcome to Nintendolife Alana!
Love the article tagline! We Built This City is stuck in my head now.
Not super affordable for the casual composer, but a neat idea that simplifies making chiptunes! I need to fire up LSDJ again one of these days...
@KoiTenchi same 👂🐛
I play keyboards and have wanted to create chiptunes for years. As a chiptunes beginner, would LSDJ or SynthNES be my best option? Or is there another? I have a NES console from when I was a kid.
Unfortunately, you can't order any everdrive products currently since the business is in Ukraine. If you want one, you may be able to find one from a third party supplier while supplies last. I was on the fence about buying a Genesis everdrive, so I went ahead and bought one on eBay the day of the invasion while I still could. (Obviously the safety of the Ukrainian people is the biggest concern)
@Broosh if you're saying the everdrive isn't affordable, keep in mind, you can put any NES roms you want to play on it too. (I have every US NES game on mine)
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