Getting Started in Arduino and Audio

I’ve put together some videos on using microcontrollers (like Arduino) for music and sound applications.

In these first few videos I go over how to do some simple synthesis with an Arduino, controlling pitch and timbre with potentiometers and light-dependent resistors (LDRs)–essentially putting together some Arduino chiptunes!

I originally made these instructional videos for my class, but I’m hoping to continue to build on this playlist if there’s interest.

“Technological Disobedience”: Coloring Outside the Lines

What does it mean to “disobey” technology? Expanding on Ernesto Oroza‘s term “technological disobedience”, let’s think about how we can “think beyond the normal capacities of an object, and try to surpass the limitations that it imposes on itself”, working toward a more personal expression through technology using circuit-bending, hacking, creative coding, 3D printing, and glitch art.

Motherboard interview with Ernesto Oroza:

More circuit-bending:

Circuit-Bending Speech with the Intellivoice

I’ve finally got my workbench set back up following the move out to Connecticut for my new gig at the University of New Haven, and I’ve started to get back to some tinkering.

I had been poking around on eBay for a little while, trying to find an Intellivoice module to build my collection of vintage consumer audio chips. The Intellivoice was an add-on for Mattel’s Intellivion Game Console that strapped on to the side and added a couple of chips allowed a few games to have computerized speech output.


It sounds a little something like this:

Anyway, I found and Intellivoice for about $10 (plus shipping).

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The seller, however, neglected to mention that it seems like he had been storing it in a bath of saltwater. I had to drill out a couple of the screws to get it open, as they had rusted beyond recognizability as screws.

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After I got the RF shield off, however, it all looked relatively clean. The whole piece isn’t particularly attractive as a collector’s item, but the chips seem to be in good shape.

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So, let’s make this thing talk. With a little Arduino magic, I got some words out (see below), and, with a little more tinkering, I should be able to make a MIDI-controlled Intellitalker instrument.


Watch this space.

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