Today at long last, Plogue’s chipsynth SFC has been released. This means that, together with VCV Host, it’s now possible to have bit-accurate Super Nintendo audio emulation inside of VCV Rack.
SNES audio is sample-based, and with this VST you can play the songs from SNES games using the actual audio data extracted from SNES game cartridges. You can also “grab” any currently playing sample from one of the SNES’s 8 channels in order to be played via MIDI (or voltage in this case).
That’s not necessary though because it ships with dozens of really great presets, many of which sound uncannily like those from classic games. You can guess the inspiration with titles like “Mushroom Bass”, “Tunic Forest”, “Time Romp Clock”, and “Squareway Piano”.
Personally, as someone who spent countless hours as a kid playing SNES games and falling in love with their soundtracks, the sound of that hardware is near and dear to my heart and played a formative role in the development of my passions for music and synthesis. This VST is so very exciting to me not only as a musical instrument but also as a boon for the historical preservation of the aging hardware.
In this video Plogue’s David Viens goes in-depth on their work to study the SNES’s audio hardware with the help of custom hardware and software, and thereby craft a more faithful recreation than has ever been done before: