Log InCreate An Account
  1. Plugins
  2. »
  3. Aly James Lab
  4. »
  6. »
  7. Reviews


FM Synthesizer Plugin by Aly James Lab
15.00 €

FMDRIVE has an average user rating of 5.00 from 2 reviews

Rate & Review FMDRIVE

User Reviews by KVR Members for FMDRIVE

Reviewed By neologix [read all by] on August 13th, 2013
Version reviewed: 1.2 on Windows.
Last edited by neologix on 13th August 2013.

Don't be put off by the "Made with SynthEdit" badge, as Aly James has gone above and beyond SynthEdit's base offerings to faithfully recreate the FM sound of the Yamaha YM2612 that can be found in the Sega Genesis (Mega Drive in some regions) of old.

Using the official documentation collected and translated by the folks at SpritesMind Forums and verified with hardware tests, the FMDRIVE is not only the most accurate sounding YM2612/YM3438 virtual instrument on the market today, it also has a very nifty looking interface that should properly evoke the nostalgia one would expect from seeing a Model 1 Sega Genesis. There are also some (literally) under-the-hood features for controlling the sound of the FMDRIVE, including choosing a "high-quality mode" that should work with any given sample rate in a DAW and some "circuit-bending" that applies some "interesting" effects that may or may not be possible on a real YM2612.

Aly James has also added the ability to import YM2612 presets dumped directly from game music to quickly recreate the classic sounds made legendary by the Sega Genesis such as Sonic's ring sound effect and the slappingest synth bass this side of a DX7, and has graciously provided for free download a collection of over 30,000 of them from various games! Even Yuzo Koshiro himself loves the FMDRIVE.

I'm a YM2612 fanatic and have been studying the chip since 2005. I also have a small bit of programming experience and have tried and so far failed at making a YM2612 virtual instrument that even comes close to the sound quality and user-friendliness that the FMDRIVE offers. Compare the sound of the FMDRIVE and an actual Genesis side by side (Aly also provides YouTube videos doing just that) and tell me if a virtual instrument comes closer to the sound of the original console than FMDRIVE. 10 Euros (I forget the actual conversion to USD, Paypal handled that) is a small price to pay for professional quality Sega Genesis sound excellence and I'm glad I paid.

Click here to read all 2 reviews

Comments & Discussion for Aly James Lab FMDRIVE

Discussion: Active
14 August 2013 at 2:07am

How is this compared to Plogue Chipsounds? I have not found anything better in chip emulation than Chipsounds, but I would be interested in this if the chip was a lot better.

19 August 2013 at 10:28pm

Plogue chipsounds, while its sound is varied and among the best of its class, does not perform the Yamaha-style digital FM synthesis (which is actually closer to PM synthesis than pure FM synthesis) found in the Genesis, Neo-Geo, and arcade machines of the time. I wouldn't be surprised, however, if somewhere down the line Plogue released something that does indeed perform Yamaha-like digital FM synthesis, and in the meantime we have FMDRIVE :).

17 September 2019 at 10:15pm

Plogue has a new Chipsynth, which might stir debate as to whether it sounds anything like a Genesis. Meanwhile, wonderful FMDRIVE costs only 1/5 as much.

16 November 2020 at 5:32pm

There is a free Genny VST. It supports all the features one can want to emulate the sound of Sega Mega Drive/Genesis in a modern DAW.

Please log in to join the discussion