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I've developed a special Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge that turns your NES into a true 8-bit MIDI synthesizer.
I've developed a special Nintendo Entertainment System cartridge that turns your NES into a true 8-bit MIDI synthesizer.
260 backers pledged $15,045 to help bring this project to life.

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    1. SkinnyV on June 4, 2014

      Should we stop expecting a manual to be released? It is a bit frustrating that it is still not available after all this time.

    2. Bobby Arlauskas on March 12, 2014

      I also have the popping issue and would love to hear any tips for reducing/eliminating it if anyone figures it out. I'm using Ableton.

    3. SkinnyV on September 7, 2013

      The kickstarter is ending but where is the manual?

    4. Jarek Lupinski Creator on August 8, 2013

      You would have to tell me :) I'm most familiar with Ableton, and unfortunately haven't been able to test with Logic.

    5. Missing avatar

      batmundo on August 8, 2013

      I still seem to have trouble getting the popping to stop. :( I don't think my keyboard is able to switch the way it silences notes, and my knowledge of MIDI messages is somewhat limited - would a transformer in Logic's environment be able to change it to the other way at all?

    6. Remute on July 29, 2013

      the chip maestro is just fantastic!
      already used it in my new tune. : )

    7. Jarek Lupinski Creator on July 25, 2013

      hey batmundo, glad you're having fun :D

      The pop/click, I found during testing, comes up only in certain environments, depending on how your hardware turns a note off. There are some controllers which turn off a note by sending a volume of zero for a previously played note to silence it, and others send a specific note off message. The Chip Maestro does its best to handle both cases, but can be a bit overzealous. Try to find in your controller's documentation if there is a way to switch between the two methods of silencing a note, and find the one that works best for your setup :)

    8. Missing avatar

      batmundo on July 25, 2013

      So far it's been a lot of fun messing with the Chip Maestro!

      Question: I seem to get a digital pop/clip when I release a key - is anyone else experiencing this? Is there a way to stop that?

    9. James Morrison on July 12, 2013

      Anyone having luck using the rockband 3 midi "keytar" with the chip maestro?

    10. Max Raymond on July 4, 2013

      I was wondering if there was a way to modify the triangle wave duty cycle. Thanks!

    11. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 24, 2013

      Thanks Robert! The note tables were derived from The note tables used in the Chip Maestro were derived from this note table: . I just triple-checked and C-4 does correspond to the given frequency. There may be a conflict when playing certain notes on the waves simultaneously, as these sounds are mixed into a mono sound using some analog circuitry.

    12. Robert Kreese on June 24, 2013

      Hello everyone! Now I have tried my Chip Maestro. I got it to work quite well using Fruity Loops and a Evolution MK-449C keyboard connected to my computer.

      I was just wondering about the note C-4? Is it really tuned the right way? Sound terrible when playing C-3 and C-4 together.…

      Anyway! I am really really happy to finally have got this piece of hardware. Thanks alot Jarek. I understand how much time you have put in for this project!!

    13. SkinnyV on June 15, 2013

      Oh well, what's important is how it play I suppose. We'll get to that very soon but I'm glad it is finaly out though. I would have gotten it without box or anything a year and an half ago and I bet I wouldn't have whined but all those update about box and manuals delay kinda got inside my head I guess and was expecting the new nes game feel lol

    14. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 14, 2013

      Hi SkinnyV, I'm sorry you feel that way, but I pulled all stops in making sure you get a good product at an affordable price. I promise you that no corners were cut in making a reliable instrument, from the gold plating on the fingers to increasing the thickness of the circuit board by .02" for a more reliable fit during rocking gigs.

      Also, as I mentioned in the update, the initials are on the back of the circuit board, not the case :)

    15. SkinnyV on June 14, 2013

      Also, I was supposed to have a 3 letter initial silk-screened on the back and nothing is there.

    16. SkinnyV on June 14, 2013

      I just got my Chip Maestro and I have yet to really try it properly. But no offense but I'm a bit disappointed as it look a bit amateurish though. No manual. The label quality is not really that good, doesn't fit the whole space where label are on NES cart. The color are not really popping and look dull and the Chip Maestro line that should be at the top of the cart is not centered properly and as a result goes a bit around the corner. The box look like it was printed with a consumer printer and the back is really not well designed. Also, the hole for the midi cable was not really well drilled and the plastic stretched a bit so it turned from red to whitish. I also would have preferred solid color as 2 different color look weird. Anyway, sorry if it sound whiny but I feel that after 2 years of waiting, backer have the right to have higher expectation. I also wish there would be at least something displayed on the TV to show it's on. While a nice menu would be awesome, I understand having too much video could cause lag and problem in the music, but having a simple line of text or something would at least show people it is on. A blue screen is kind of weird since many people have disabled the NES lockout chip and basically get a blue screen when the cart is dirty or not inserted properly.

    17. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 13, 2013

      Hi Chuck, no video generation with the Chip Maestro, it's audio only :) Try playing some notes on channels 1-4 using your DAW. More FAQs and tech docs tonight!

    18. chuck bird on June 13, 2013

      Jarek, I too got my Chip Maestro. I bought a USB to MIDI adapter so I could tinker with it, however when I power on the console with the cart inside, nothing happens. The TV displays blue as if the NES was sending nothing. I have other carts and they power on just fine. This is a classic toaster NES also, what should be happening when I power it on? Will anything be displayed on the screen?

    19. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 13, 2013

      It might be one of the one's I put together during a particularly sleepy moment; I have an extra label I can ship you :)

    20. Hinchy on June 13, 2013

      addendum: don't have time to test it out as I don't have a MIDI cable and I'm leaving on a trip tomorrow and will be gone for a month and won't have my keyboard with me.

      anyway, though...

    21. Hinchy on June 13, 2013

      Got my Chip Maestro! Don't have time to test it out as I don't have a MIDI cable. The cartridge has no label, was that supposed to happen?

    22. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 11, 2013

      messaged, let's troubleshoot this :)

    23. Mikal kHill on June 11, 2013

      Yeah, I am using a M-Audio Keystation 61es, the same one I have used at more than 50 shows with an MIDI NES. I'm getting nothing, even after resetting to defaults.

    24. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 11, 2013

      The screen wouldn't show anything, the Chip Maestro doesn't output video :)

      Plug in a MIDI piano and try to rock some jams! If you're still having trouble, try resetting to factory defaults as outlined in the draft of the manual in the latest update.

    25. Mikal kHill on June 11, 2013

      Got mine, just tried it for the first time, and it would appear that it does not work. Original NES with a brand new 72 pin connector (literally put in today), plays all games fine. When I put the chip maestro in I get a grey screen and some buzz, and that's it.

    26. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 10, 2013

      The manual will be coming out as a digital download, in the NES format, as soon as I get the last of the packages out :)

      The silkscreened initials are on the back of the circuit board, and will be on the back of each one made :)

    27. Gameingbros on June 10, 2013

      I got mine Saturday and I'm very happy with it. I am so glad after 2 years to finely see what my money went toward and I'm satisfied to an extant. I noticed there wasn't a manual but I figured that wasn't to important and we would all just be able to receive a digital copy later. However I wonder about the initials that I payed for? did I just miss an update that said they weren't going to happen?

    28. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 9, 2013

      I'm so flattered, thank you!

      Bad luck with a printer made me not able to get the manual printed in time, but I'll post the design files for the manual with the source code and schematics as soon as I ship the PAL and Gold units monday :)

    29. William Chrapcynski on June 9, 2013

      I did a quick unboxing video after getting my Chip Maestro yesterday. I noticed that mine didn't come with a manual. Should there be one? If not, can I get a PDF of it? Anyway, here's my short video:…

    30. Missing avatar

      batmundo on June 9, 2013

      Got mine in the mail yesterday. Time to crank out the tunes! Woohoo!

    31. Jarek Lupinski Creator on June 8, 2013

      Awesome! I forgot Saturday mail still counts for Priority Shipping! I think I got the final customs form signed, so I'll be shipping out the International ones Monday :)

    32. Chris Sanyk on June 8, 2013

      My Chip Maestro arrived today!

    33. Jarek Lupinski Creator on March 22, 2013

      Hey Manny!
      The production samples came in, and I'll be testing them Sunday night. As soon as I give the production company the greenlight on them (which is when I'll post the next update), I'll have a firm ship date based on their delivery time to me :)

    34. Manny S on March 22, 2013

      Hey Chip Maestros ! Eagerly awaiting this baby. Jarek any idea as far as when we can expect shipment ? Great work so far, keep it up !

    35. Jarek Lupinski Creator on March 9, 2013

      Hi Robert! If you got your hands on a dev kit, you should already be showing it off :D I have a sample I got from one of my dev kit backers that I'll be including in the next update.

      If not, I'll try my best to ship it to you by then! As the Chip Maestros are currently In Production by my assembler, it's largely out of my hands. I've folded all the boxes and got the testers ready to begin going through the batch, and I'll post a more meaningful update once I have something substantial :)

    36. Robert Kreese on March 9, 2013

      Will I be able to let the visitors of "Retrospelsmässan" try it? This Retro Game Convention (I am one of the arranger) will be held in Sweden 11 of May. I think it could be cool for the 2000+ visitors to try it!

    37. Jarek Lupinski Creator on March 8, 2013

      You'll be playing your Chip Maestro, because you will have it by then :D

    38. Aaron Coughlin on March 8, 2013

      So...does anyone have any big plans for our upcoming Two-Years-Since-Payment Anniversary?

    39. Jarek Lupinski Creator on January 31, 2013

      If you need to update your address, send me an email to and I'll change your address before it's shipped :)

    40. Aapo Saaristo on January 31, 2013

      I hope there's a way to update my address once the CMs actually begin shipping, I've already moved twice since the survey was sent 1.5 years ago and will be moving again within the month, so if the package is shipped to my 2011 address there basically isn't even a theoretical possibility of me ever receiving it...

    41. Missing avatar

      Michael Kempton on December 17, 2012

      is there a way to update a shipping address??

    42. Jarek Lupinski Creator on October 10, 2012

      Big update tomorrow :)

    43. Jarek Lupinski Creator on September 17, 2012

      SkinnyV: I'll answer the dev forum question in tonight's update in just a few minutes, as soon as I get this fresh batch of boards from the hot hot!

    44. SkinnyV on September 17, 2012

      Why is there never any answer to the question of having read only access to the dev forum? I hate to say this as I really like the project but I feel that the kickstarter was started way too early in the development cycle. And after over a year, backer should have something to look at (dev foru maccess or something like it). We were told about access to build log and stuff like that and I do not really recall having that many build or prototyping detail. Also, if the board are ready, maybe some people wouldn't mind not having a box or manual, I know I do not care much about them.

    45. Remute on August 16, 2012

      cool! looking sooooooo forward!
      don't let some negative comments here sadden you, jarek!
      in germany we say :
      'gut ding braucht weile' : )
      (good things need time)

    46. Jarek Lupinski Creator on August 16, 2012

      I gave a talk about the Chip Maestro at New York Tech Meetup, and I wanted to wait until the video was finished so I can post the update with a video of it, but it seems their livestream had issues or something, so I'll have to post the update without the video :/

    47. Aaron Coughlin on August 16, 2012

      Any updates since the last one in June?

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