Chipsynth PortaFM is the first member of the chipsynth synthesizer line, a bit-accurate reproduction of a vintage low-cost 2 operator FM chip (OPLL) inside a new synthesizer design. PortaFM is a unique two operator FM synth with a very quirky feature set. The late 80’s ‘PSS’ series was cheesy and made of plastic but had a very unique sound which was lost to time. Some of the most well known examples of synthesizers in this series include the PSS-140, PSS-270 mini keyboards and the SHS-10 keytar. Not willing to just copy the past, Plogue designed a new synthesizer that features the same sound generation found in these synthesizers, but this time with much more processing power to control and modulate its features, all in a convenient virtual instrument form. PortaFM uses a pair of cycle-accurately emulated OPLL (YM2413) FM chip cores for its main synth engine, and another core dedicated to the the drum sounds, all of which can be layered creatively.
The unique ‘lofi’ quality of the OPLL was never recreated this accurately before. Plogue’s experience of more than 15 years studying vintage digital sound generators was pushed to its limit. Brand new mathematical models were built using our custom Hardware-assisted systematic testing procedures by Plogue’s in house reverse engineering team in Montreal. Of course, it does not use any samples.