DiscoDSP’s OPL synth plugin sounds like your PC from the ‘90s

Yamaha’s OPL sound chips found their way into numerous products back in the day - not least Creative Labs’ legendary Sound Blaster soundcards - and you can now relive their lo-fi take on digital synthesis with DiscoDSP’s OPL plugin.

Offering all the features of the OPL2, and some from the OPL3, this lets you work with pairs of two oscillators, which are combined using phase modulation, which is very similar to FM.

Each oscillator can produce one of eight waveforms (sine, half sine, absolute sine, quarter sine, alternating sine, camel sine, square and logarithmic sawtooth) and comes with an ADSR envelope.

OPL can even load files in Creative Labs’ SBI format, which was used in the Sound Blaster cards. These act as presets for the plugin, and can simply be dragged and dropped in. It also offers a percussion mode, which enables you to create kick, snare, tom cymbal and hi-hat sounds.

OPL is available for PC, Mac and Linux in VST/AU/AAX formats. It costs $29 and is available now on the DiscoDSP website.

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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