Inspired by classic 80s hardware synths, Japanese musician Katsuhiro Chiba used Max for Live to build three synthesizers that capture the iconic sound of the era.

Long renowned in the Max community for creating top-notch plug-ins, Katsuhiro Chiba has a passion for creating his own instruments. As an Ableton Live user, he’s happy that Max for Live has now allowed him to combine Max/MSP with his favorite audio production environment. Using Max for Live, Katsuhiro Chiba has developed three synthesizers that are inspired by classic synth sounds of the 1980s.

The TX81Z is a four-oscillator synth that was part of Yamaha’s second generation of popular FM synthesizers. Since the oscillators were capable of producing eight different waveforms (rather than just sine waves), the TX81Z was capable of a wide variety of timbres, from “classic” FM bells and electric pianos to rich basses and leads. The TX81Z became particularly famous for the “LatelyBass” preset – a staple sound on numerous early house and Detroit techno records.

Opfour is offered as a free download from Ableton. Definitely head over and take a listen to the demo (which is quite impressive!) and for a look at some of Katsuhiro’s other synths. Please note this requires Max for Live.