Pure Data - genMDM controller

The Sega Genesis (known as the Mega Drive in Europe and Japan) was a popular 16-bit gaming console released in the late 1980s. It was known for its distinctive sound, which was produced by two sound chips: the YM2612 FM chip and the SN76489 PSG chip. These sound chips can be controlled via MIDI using the genMDM MIDI interface. In this article, we will explore how to use Pure Data (Pd) to control the Sega Genesis sound chips via the genMDM MIDI interface.


Getting Started

To get started, you will need a few things: a Sega Genesis console, the genMDM MIDI interface, a MIDI cable, and Pure Data software. You can download Pure Data for free from its website.

Once you have all the necessary hardware and software, connect the genMDM MIDI interface to your Sega Genesis console using the included MIDI-TRS adapter. Then, connect the genMDM MIDI interface to your computer using a MIDI cable.


With everything properly connected, it's time to explore the capabilities of our Pure Data library. Launch the GENMD-controller.pd patch and start experimenting. For those interested in playing rhythmic patterns, a user-friendly sequencer is also included in the library.



In this article, we have explored how to use Pure Data and the genMDM MIDI interface to control the sound chips in the Sega Genesis console. By using Pd to send MIDI control messages, we can control the individual oscillators and set the FM algorithm used by the YM2612 FM chip. With these tools, we can create our own unique sounds and music using the iconic sound chips of the Sega Genesis.