Skip to main content

An innovative app developer recently managed to unlock some hidden value in the Nintendo Entertainment System, a console discontinued decades ago. 

For those who've managed to hold onto their consoles, or buy a reissued version, Avicr has a new app that empowers players to turn their classic systems into a functioning synthesizer. Titled SynthNes, the app effectively allows users to control the system's five dedicated audio channels NES's with a MIDI instrument of your choosing.

The reason why this works on the old-school Nintendo specifically is because the NES was part of an era in videogame history where consoles were sold containing dedicated sound chips. In the 1980s, CPU and storage technology was in its most primitive form, and the way music was produced in videogames at the time was to effectively encode a set of digital instructions (think computerized sheet music) for the sound chip to play.

Scroll to Continue

Recommended Articles

Screen Shot 2022-06-28 at 9.37.20 AM

Watch the Aftermovie of DJ Snake's Historic Parc des Prince Show, His Biggest Headlining Performance Yet

Over 60,000 people attended the momentous hometown show at Parc des Prince, the longtime home of the Paris Saint-Germain F.C. football club.

Neversea 2019

4 Artists You Need to See at Neversea Festival 2022

As the Romanian festival approaches, the stage-by-stage lineups have now been revealed.


Monstercat Is Hosting a Virtual Game Show to Celebrate the Label's 11th Anniversary

"Monstercat Presents 1-For-1" challenges include Best Artist Cosplay, Guess The Song and Demonstrate Your Photoshop Skills.

Given the close association between the sound chip driven music with the 8-bit videogame graphics prevalent at the time, this illuminates the origins of where popular music descriptors originated including the niche electronic genre, chiptune.

Outside of needing an NES to start, turning your vintage system into an electronic music instrument will simply require an Everdrive N8 Pro cartridge and a PC to run the SynthNes application. 

For more information, head on over to Avicr and name your own price in order to secure the download link for SynthNes.


nintendo_switch_akai_pro_mpc_1 (1)

Design Studio Unveils Concept to Turn the Nintendo Switch Into a Music Production Instrument

The Nintendo MPC thoughtfully incorporates all the must-have features of leading DJ controllers.


This Chiptune Synthesizer Lets Producers Emulate Sounds of the Nintendo Entertainment System

Back the project on Kickstarter to get your hands on the innovative NES Poly.


New Skin-Reactive Analog Synthesizer Taps Into Users' "Inner Energy"

The ENNER synthesizer's pads are deeply sensitive to human touch, with different pressures, speeds and angles creating variations of sounds.

Remute R64 Prototype

Remute Is Releasing the First-Ever Album As a Nintendo 64 Cartridge

There's no need to blow the dust out of this cartridge.

Nintendo Switch Korg

Korg is Developing a Nintendo Switch Powered Synth

What's your favorite nintendo-inspired EDM track?

maxresdefault (1)

Artist Plugs Mushrooms Into a Synthesizer and Makes Blissful Electronic Music

Tarun Nayar has also written music with watermelon, cacao, mango and cactus.

Roland AIRA Compact

Roland's AIRA Compact Synthesizers Are Pocket-Sized, Powerful Hardware for Beginners

Roland's innovation and affordable access to music hardware for beginners opens a new world for those wanting to dabble in music production and sound design.

Interac Canada Spending

This Finance Company Turns Your Spending Habits Into Electronic Music

If you spend more, the notes are higher. So, spend more... for the music.