AudioKit’s Saga Synth is inspired by a classic 16-bit games console, and you can probably guess which

AudioKit Saga Synth
(Image credit: AudioKit Pro)

Given its name and logo - not to mention a woodland animal mascot who bears more than a passing resemblance to a certain blue hedgehog - it won’t surprise you to learn that AudioKit Pro’s new Saga Synth is inspired by the classic sounds of the Sega Mega Drive (or the Genesis if you live in North America).

Featuring samples from no less than five Yamaha YM2616 soundchips - the one that was used in the Mega Drive - plus the first-edition version of the MEGAfm synth, Saga Synth is an unashamed 16-bit nostalgia fest. It comes with more than 300 presets - many of which have game-specific names that give you a good idea of what you’ll be getting - and includes Brian Funk’s 16-bit soundpacks, which were previously exclusive to Ableton Live.

Saga Synth is the first instrument to be built using AudioKit’s new, more stable code. Sounds are created using two layers, there’s a free-running step sequencer, and the preset library includes synth, drum and FX patches. There are some suitably chiptuney effects, too, including the appropriately named Sonic Blast overdrive.

You can use Saga Synth either standalone (a built-in audio recorder enables you to capture your retro musings) or as an AUv3 plugin. Ableton Link is supported, too.

Find out more on the AudioKit Pro website. Saga Synth is available now for the intro price of $2.99, rising to $14.99 next month.

Ben Rogerson

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it. 

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