History repeats itself as Twisted Electrons’ MEGAfm MKII synth delivers the sound of second-gen Sega Mega Drive

Twisted Electrons MEGAfm MKII
(Image credit: Twisted Electrons)

Launched in 2020, Twisted Electrons’ MEGAfm was designed to put the FM sounds of the Sega Mega Drive (or Genesis, if you lived in the US) in an accessible hardware synth.

That’s not quite game over, though, because we’ve now got word that a new version is on the way, and it’s based - appropriately enough - on the Mega Drive II.

This was a feature-tweaked, more compact version of the Mega Drive that was notable for using a slightly different iteration of the YM2612 sound chip - the YM3438. And, wouldn’t you know it, Twisted Electrons is following suit and putting a pair of YM3438s in the MEGAfm MKII, too.

There’s also a new circuit layout which means that users can now access the sound chips simply by removing the bottom panel. In fact, you can even install alternative FM chips if you wish, such as the original YM2612, or custom variants. These can be mixed and matched.

Otherwise, the MEGAfm MKII is very similar to its predecessor, offering the same controls, audio circuitry and analogue distortion. The firmware is interchangeable, too.

The MEGAfm MKII will be shipping next month priced at €564. Find out more on the Twisted Electrons 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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