Cart 0
Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4

Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4


FREE shipping to the US and Canada!

Create your own Nintendo-style chiptune music with this MIDI synthesizer, or play the 8-bit video game music classics live.

(Only five R4 prototypes will be available for purchase. Due to the relatively high cost of production, there are no immediate plans for a production run of the R4.)

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4 is a music synthesizer that faithfully emulates the classic sound of the Nintendo Entertainment System’s audio hardware. Simply connect a MIDI controller to play the NES classics live, or create your own original chiptunes.

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4 is the successor to the Arcano MIDI NES Chiptune Synth R3 and features many improvements on its predecessor including:

  • more preset patch settings
  • greater volume-envelope bit depth
  • full 128 MIDI note range
  • additional audio waveform (8-bit sine)
  • 3 additional vibrato LFO waveforms (triangle, square, and sawtooth)
  • quantized note slide effect capability
  • additional pitch bend setting (+/- one octave)
  • ability to assign 4-bit triangle (NES bass waveform) to lower MIDI notes
  • rugged, die cast aluminum enclosure

Hardware Specifications:

  • standard MIDI DIN input
  • 1/4'' TS unbalanced mono jack audio output
  • USB type B connector (for power only)
  • simple two-potentiometer interface
  • embedded audio digital signal processor chip

Audio Specifications:

  • 4-note polyphony
  • 12.5%, 25%, and 50% duty-cycle pulse, 5-bit sawtooth, 4-bit triangle, and 8-bit sine waveforms
  • realtime waveform switching capability for NES pulse “pluck” effects
  • vibrato pre-delay, attack, and 4 vibrato low frequency oscillator waveforms for more expressive vibrato effects
  • 16 sound parameters that can be edited with MIDI CC messages
  • accurate, DDS-based NES audio waveform reconstruction
  • NES analog signal path recreation for authentic sound

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4, the latest iteration of the Arcano-series synthesizers, is based on a powerful audio digital-signal-processor chip which implements a unique, bandlimited synthesis algorithm for accurate NES sound emulation without the aliasing, noise, and poor audio signal quality associated with products that use inexpensive microcontrollers and crude PWM / RC-low-pass-filter-based DACs to generate chiptune sounds.

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4’s analog audio signal path has been designed to closely resemble that of the NES for an authentic chiptune sound that includes the subtle nuances of the original audio signal produced by the classic game console. The Synth also allows users to create a custom patch using MIDI CC messages to edit 16 sound parameters.

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4 is built to last. Unlike most synthesizers, the R4 was designed without cheap electrolytic capacitors, which degrade and fail over time. All of the R4’s audio-signal-path capacitors are high quality, audio grade film capacitors, and all of the non-signal-path capacitors are ceramic and are thus not susceptible to the degradation and failure that plagues their electrolytic counterparts. All of the exposed traces and soldering pads of the R4’s printed circuit board are gold plated to prevent corrosion. The R4 is also the first of the Arcano Synthesizers with a rugged die cast aluminum enclosure.

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4 is assembled in Florida, USA. The printed circuit board is fabricated in Washington. The electronic components are sourced from a global supply chain that includes 12 countries. The lead-free solder is made in Texas. The aluminum enclosure is made in Louisiana. All orders ship from Florida, USA.

(Does not include cables.)

The Arcano NES Chiptune Synth R4 may not work with some MIDI controllers. Please verify your MIDI controller has a standard MIDI DIN out and is able to output MIDI data on channel 1. The Synth's USB connector is for power only, not for MIDI-over-USB control. 

A note to customers outside the United States: 

The shipping fee does not cover customs fees, duties, or import taxes such as the VAT (value added tax.) Please consult with your country's customs office for information about customs, duties, import taxes, and other possible fees.