Algorithm – Synthesizer Changes

Given, on our planet text articles are the preferred form of brain dumping, and that we’ve got some time since we’re chillin in hyperspace, how about… another blog?

Everyone, it’s been a while since, we, posted about synthesizers. Are you ready? We’ve made modifications to our ship, terminal, and we’d like to spend our morning talking to you about that fact. Spaceship modifications require a lot of focus, effort, sleep, blood, glitter, and other elements of “all that”; it would be a shame not to use all this free time to reflect on technology and hyperspace travel.

The Nature of Change

When one fuels a hyperspace ship with electronic beats, the space ship has a lot to do with, well, the beats. Kinda like, if Bob Ross had never ever seen a mountain or a paint brush, he prolly woulda painted different images. The spaceships is like the paint, brushes, canvas, brush cleaner, room, windows, and memories that went into a Bob Ross.

After every art an artists arts, “all that” changes even if ever so slightly. Sometimes changes are happy accidents but not always.

Also, we can categorize these changes, at least for hyperspace travel devices. Changes are:

  • Hardware (physical, in your reality)
  • Configuration (how the wires touch other wires, etc)

Today we’re going to talk about the very specifically synthesizer aspect of hardware. These are players in the orchestra, personalities; ego & id.


A completely new synth to the lineup is the hapiNes. A synth specifically designed to replicate those beautiful sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System, as you can imagine we were very fucking excited at the thought of bringing this one into the fold.

While I don’t want to get into a full on review of the hapiNes, I did want to say it’s got a nice build though a unique interface (as is common with synths from Twisted Electrons, a french synth designer).

Now you may know that we already have an NES synth, so why would we want another or different one? Simple, they sound very different and have different features:

  • hapiNES can play 4 NES instruments at once, 4 voices simultaneously (just like the real NES). Circle, two saws, and a noisy drum track over midi channels 1 to 4.
  • These sounds are authentic and noisy. There’s nothing clean about these sounds, but I find they layer in beautiful. Authentic lo-fi with no way around it. The synth even has it’s fair share of glitches which are equally musical.
  • Some sound shaping knobs, like pulsewidth and decay.

So, multitimbral tiny little box of love. Quite a bit different from our Arcano R2. The hapiNES is definitely an enhancement to hyperspace travel. Though, its worth noting, this little synth has tons of personality and you’ve just gotta sorta work with it. True Story.


What, another NES synth? Really? Yes… oh yes…

Remember how we just mentioned the Arcano R2? This is a very relevant synth to the terminal, very specifically this synth powers the time couplers. Anyways, the R2 had an R3 a while ago, but we didn’t love it quite right so we sticked with the R2. Then I wrote Mr. Chiptune with some feedback and bugs… this then lead us to the fantastic nesMONO aka… R4.

Compared to the R2, well, it can’t play the chords anymore… the nesMONO is single voiced (well, sorta not quite, one second please) in that it plays 1 note at a tie when you push the keyboard. However, it’s actually dual voiced — it’s just that to use the second voice it has to be layered with the first voice (no chords). There’s a dual voice preset or two per waveform of which there are 8, and these are really beautiful sounding.

The nesMONO is beautiful sounding. In contrast to the hapiNES, this synth is fucking clean. The cleanest NES synth we’ve ever heard, cleaner than an actual NES or Gameboy for sure.

Now, this synth is replacing the R2 but it’s different from the R2. The nesMONO changes the beats quite a bit; the sound is now different. That said, this sound is very good and it makes hyperspace travel groovy.

Nord Lead 4

Things aren’t all 8 bit… nor are they all analog. Sometimes a synth sits in the middle. In previous iterations of the terminal, that middle was the fantastic Nord Lead 2x that we bought off a synth guy at a bus stop many years ago just after we first landed on Earth. An interesting, sharp and sort of brassy sounding synth, we wondered so much about its bretheren. Would they sound more… mature? Could they do things that we cannot currently do?

Nord produced a 3, a 4, and even one that starts with an A. They were all very different synths, though the closest to what we had in our spaceship (but with improvements) was the 4. The Nord Lead 4 is a much richer synth not only with a deeper more robust palette of sounds than the 2x, but also all those useful modern synth features that weren’t quite available during the 2x’s tenure.

This one’s been pretty fun. And it’s red, which brings some nice earth tones into our spaceship.

But… what does it all mean?

Well, it just means the sound is changing. This is Bit Rot which makes use of all changes in this article, then a few more, and a borrowed SidStation while my Therapsid is in France for repairs.

And now we must return to hyperspace which is apparently deeply impacted by snow. Does this mean more articles? You fucking bet your ass it does.