VST plug-in for authentic Atari ST chipsounds
Emulates the built in YM2149 sound chip with a decent plugin user-interface on your PC

The current ymVST version is v1.0... download here (670k)
MIDI Information

You can click here for cool YM chip music

ymVST was created by Atari chip music freak Gareth Morris aka gwEm.... Send him an e-mail, visit his homepage.


What is STj?
This question was just a cheap way for me to hype my Atari ST DJ software STj ;)

Why was ymVST created?
I got a tracker program called 'Sk@le' which has great stylez and accepts VST plugin synths. I wanted to use chip sound in my tracks, so I made this. Ironically Sk@le does not yet support this VSTi, so I can't even use my own work... However if you use a VST compatible host maybe you can!

Which Atari program did you rip the interface from?
MusicMon2 by Frank Lautenbach, with beautiful interface GFX from Sven Bauer. Get it from Dead Hackers Society, a great Atari scene homepage.

Will a Mac version become available?
The program I used to make it 'synthedit' is only available for PC at the moment.... If a Mac version comes out I would of course make a Mac port of the plugin, but I don't think the guy will do it anytime soon.

Why doesn't ymVST have any fake_style knobs and sliders?
Because they're fake ;->

But the envelope control is faders in disguise?
Yes, but I quantised them to 16 levels like the real thing.

Don't dont you think the whole philosophy of this project is fucked up? Isn't VST against the chip music ideal?
I agree it seems a bit weird. But actually I disagree. I made the plugin to avoid all the usual VST shit, ie no knobs etc etc, so the interface is still real. Of course a 500Euro PC is more expensive than a 10Euro Atari.... But lets be realistic, everyone has at least access to a PC these days and can use this straightaway. If your favourite music program supports VSTs (as mine does) then why learn something else? The plug-in is especially useful if you want to add a chip flavour to your work easily, without sampling or messing around. You can also use MIDI controllers etc etc. But if you are serious you should go to ebay and buy the real thing - it is better than this plugin, and the software is for free..................... But if you wanna go portable Atari laptops are pretty rare, and you can get a PC one very easily.

What does ymVST offer over QuadraSID from reFX?
Atari and not C64 sound. Its free. It has a more authentic interface.

How accurate is the ymVST to a real Atari ST?
Pretty close. "Angel sync-buzzer" effects are emulated the worst. For the emulation I assumed an infinite frequency resolution. In reality this is not the case and only certain frequencies are possible. There is slight audible aliasing on the square waveform. The hardwaveforms have been quantised linearly and not non-linearly. The noise volume is constant with frequency, in reality it reduces with increasing frequency. Noise frequencies are also only 85% accurate to the real YM2149.

Isn't a 10 step envelope pretty shit? Give me more resolution!
To be honest I like it, and it never cause me a problem.

What sounds can I make with ymVST?

and also some "fucked up sounds" and "weird acid shit" by playing with it enough.

What are the liscensing conditions for ymVST?
Use it in your own music as much as you like. Give it to all your friends. If you put it on your own website you absolutely have to link to this page. You aren't allowed to hack the plugin in anyway. You aren't allowed to sell the plugin.

Will there be new versions of ymVST?
Probably not... Unless you give me a very good reason.

What do all the knobs and controls do?
You should work it out for yourself - its more fun that way.

Is there a master volume control
Yes, but its hidden. You need to use a MIDI controller. ymVST is also sensitive to velocity... You could also turn the synth down in your editor.

Now I have ymVST is there any point in me buying a real Atari ST?
Yes, you should definately buy a real Atari ST. ymVST is close to the real thing, but it will never be 100%.

Does ymVST have any bugs?
There is one known bug concerning the Arpeggio and Envelope. The first step is always 1/2 the length it should be. I do not plan to fix this unless there is enough demand.

Is there anything special with the portamento?
Yes, if the setting is 1 or greater then the note is not retriggered. The note is only retriggered when the setting is on 0.

How can I use ymVST authentically?

Why does the hardwaveform stop increasing above a certain frequency?
Thats how it is with a real YM2149... There is a maximum frequency limit for hardwaveforms.

Why does the square wave stop decreasing below a certain frequency?
See above, there is a minimum frequency limit for the square wave.

Why doesn't the envelope work when the hardwaveform is activated?
Its to be exact to the original hardware... The YM2149 soundchip allows manual envelopes or hardwaves and not both.

Are MIDI controllers implemented?
They should be on all the controls, but I never tested it.

Any other big-ups?

Also VST is a trademark of Steinberg because they invented it.... I never used any of their software though, so its not really a big up, more an acknowledgement.

preromanbritian (c)2003