We’re huge fans of the retro gaming revival and anything which can fuse the two worlds of electronic music and 16-Bit games is a big win! The DAFM Synth – Arcade YM2151 – DIY Kit is a tabletop FM synth which houses the legendary YM2151 chip, found in the early arcade game systems, as well as the Yamaha DX series of keyboards – including the DX100, DX7 and DX21.
The DAFM has been redesigned to be a user-friendly DIY Kit with full build instructions on their Hackaday page. Once the unit is complete, you’ll have access to a full range of FM synth controls from the front panel and via MIDI over USB or 5-Pin Din connection. It’ll take an SD card allowing you to store up to 128 presets in each bank and you’ll find tonnes of OPM files from original games available online.
The YM2151 has eight channels of audio with four operators per channel for an ultra expansive and rich soundset. There are 4 OLED screens to oversee the parameters, as well as two rotary encoders to make changes and a 3.5mm stereo output to connect to headphones or external devices.