Radiograffiti - Music / Record Label based in Milwaukee, WI
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Milwaukee, WI 53203

Plogue R&D – LIVENES 2A03 Register Editor

Plogue - UNROM NES Devcart

Need a quick and fun way to create lo-fi/mechanical sounding synth loops? Look no further. From Plogue, the makers of Chipsounds and Chipcrusher…

During the last five years, Canada’s Plogue quickly became the go-to standard for authentic lo-fi/8-bit sound emulation. Their Chipsounds software “turns your VST, AU or RTAS host into a classic video game console, vintage 8-bit home computer and even an 80′s arcade” allowing you to faithfully emulate fifteen 8-bit era sound chips; while their Chipcrusher software simulates the old speakers on which the originals were usually played. These two choices have become not-so-secret weapons for those who desire that distinctive 80’s lo-fi sound without the potential time-sink of using the antiquated machines they emulate. Add to this an upcoming Chipspeech emulation of “all major classic speech synthesis chips of the early 1980′s” and you have yourself a nice suite of software which satiates even the most hardcore hardware purist.

But let’s say you’re stuck in the past and want to use real hardware. Sure, you currently have a small handful of music utilities for any number of 8-bit systems to choose from, but you want something you can use without thinking too much. It’s 3am on Wednesday and you’re drunk. You’re inspired but you know that brief moment of inspiration is fleeting. Plug and play. Press and hear. Sample.

Somewhere in that small space between trailing-edge and cyberpunk recently arose Plogue’s LIVENES, “a Nintendo Entertainment System “homebrew” application developed in order to improve the emulation of the RP2A03 for Chipsounds 2.0, which is currently in development”.

A further improved Chipsounds 2.0? A new NES ROM?

“It allows you to change the values of the APU’s memory mapped registers ($4000 to $4017) using nothing but the Nintendo d-pad. A side effect is that it can also be used to generate live minimalistic ‘music’ on a NES by manually toggling a bit at a time, which is of course completely unintuitive!”

If that doesn’t make any sense to you, good. That means you’re well-adjusted. Now check out this exercise in God-level tier social isolation:


So who is this meant for exactly? Anyone who makes questionably repetitive 8-bit techno would be our guess, but look a little deeper and you’ll see an amazing atonal lo-fi loop maker fit for pretty much anyone looking to stand out. As far as getting this to run on your actual NES console, you have a few options:

Hard Mode: Hack an original NES cart by ripping out the ROM and burning/replacing a new one. Info here, here and here.

Easy Mode: Using a card reader such as the Powerpak or Everdrive N8.

Tiesto Mode: Emulate it using any number of NES emulators on your PC. FCEUX is a good place to start.

Download the ROM here:

Post your NES ROM questions, comments or links to music made with LIVENES below.

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