I still remember my first Apple computer. It was an Apple ][ with a whopping 16k of RAM and it didn’t even have a floppy drive. So the sounds that come to mind when I think of my old ][ are the squeals of program data loading from cassette tape. But the later models in the Apple II line actually could make their own music too. Now, thanks to the work of a couple of enterprising chiptune musicians, there’s a brand new synthesizer app that you can run on the Apple II series.
Created by M.J. Mahon and 8-bit Weapon, the Digital Music Synthesizer (D.M.S.) is the only wavetable synth for the Apple 8-bit machines that I’ve heard of. While it won’t run on the original ][ or ][+, it works great on Apple //e, IIc, and IIc+ models.
D.M.S. can crank out up to 8 voices, which you can play from the keyboard. The app includes a variety of retro-modern sounds including acoustic piano, vibraphone, acoustic guitar, electric bass, trumpet, clarinet, square wave, sawtooth wave, sine wave, and of course, banjo!
Crank up your volume and click here to enjoy a short sample of sound from D.M.S.
You don’t even need a monitor hooked up to use this synth. Just put in the floppy, wait for it to finish loading, and start mashing on keys for some 8-bit audio delights.
Got an old Apple II lying around? You can get your hands on DMS over at 8-bit Weapon for $19.95 (USD). Naturally, it ships on a 5-1/4″ floppy. Woot!