Roni Bandini : Atari 2600 Chiptune Synth
Atari 2600 Chiptune Synth [ ★ ]
I’ve found my old Atari 2600 Paddle Joysticks but no signs of the console, so I’ve decided to make a small chiptune instrument.
This Atari 2600 Chiptune Synth is ready to jam
Buenos Aires, Argentina
I’ve used an Atari Paddle Joystick, an Arduino Nano clone, a 7 segment display and Mozzi library. Joystick pot is read using analog input and mapped to an array of pentatonic frequencies in E. To know where the knob is, segments in the display are changed according to wheel position. Sound is generated right in the Arduino, no Midi involved.
Side Story
At the same time I’ve received an offer to write a book about music projects for Arduino I’ve found my Atari 2600 Paddle joystick, so this project is more a consequence of those unrelated circumstances than anything else. I’ve programmed the code to read Atari's Joysticks potentiometer and button values and then produce some kind of interesting chiptune sound from a cheap Arduino clone with the help of Mozzi library.

With visual aid from a 7 segment display, an Oscil sine wave is generated according to a fixed pentatonic scale mapping.

Atari Chiptune Synth is fun to jam and there is a little something about the hardware appeal that makes a world of difference.
Awards
★ Dan Wempa : Honorable Mention
Frequently Asked Questions
What inspired you to do this?
An offer to write a book and then finding this piece of vintage hardware.
How long did it take to make it?
2 or 3 days
How long have you been doing things like this?
5 years with electronic art projects
How much did this cost to do?
u$4
Have you done other things like this?
An Arduino Drum Machine and a Power Theremin.
What did you wish you knew before you started this?
N/A
Are there plans available to make this? Do you sell this?
Nope
What’s next?
Who knows
Resoures?
https://sensorium.github.io/Mozzi/
Roni Bandini : Electronic artist
The maker Roni Bandini
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Writer, musician and electronic artist. Recorded Room 641, a song played with all Arduino made instruments.
Connect with Roni Bandini
How I can help you:
Counter culture inventions and poetics of existential nihilism