OPL2 FM Synth Module

The OPL2, aka the Yamaha YM3812, is a multi-voice FM synthesis sound chip. It was used in early PC sound cards such as the Adlib and a variety of other arcade machines and computers of the late 80s and early 90s. It operates completely digitally and produces sound via a specific DAC chip, the YM3014.

FM synthesis is an interesting way of producing sound and music but is particularly onerous to set up on a modular synth. These Yamaha chips (or clones thereof) are still easily and inexpensively available online. I decided a module showcasing the OPL2 would make a great addition to my modular.

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Planning the expansion of my modular synth

I have a very modest modular synth which I have been building for the past year. I recently watched the complete “Modular In A Week” (MIAW) series on YouTube and was inspired to follow its example of making solid incremental contributions to my rig.

The MIAW series follows a conceit of each “day” of the week being devoted to constructing a single type of synth module: VCOs, VCFs, LFOs, etc. In my adaptation of the plan, I will work “across” the week to make a “voice” comprised of the VCOs, VCFs, and other modules typically found in a monophonic synth.

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