The Commodordion Turns Two C64s Into A Single Instrument
A single of the primary good reasons the Commodore 64 grew to become an icon of the 1980s was its MOS 6581 “SID” sound chip that gave it audio abilities very well outside of people of other microcomputers of the 8-little bit era. The SID grew to become some thing of a legend by alone between chiptune lovers, and several electronic devices have been created that deliver their seem via a SID chip. Not numerous of those appear anything at all like traditional musical instruments nevertheless, so we’re delighted to see [Linus Åkesson]’s new challenge: two Commodore 64s joined back-to-back again employing a bellows to form a superb new instrument called the Commodordion. It can be performed in a equivalent way one particular performs a classic accordion: melodies are played with the proper hand, chords with the left, and quantity is adjusted by varying the stress in the bellows.
The two desktops are basically unmodified, and boot Commodore Simple like they normally would. A custom made circuit board emulates a cassette player and gives the software to be loaded into memory. Both equally computers run the very same application and can be switched concerning the suitable-hand and left-hand job by urgent a certain crucial mix. The software package in dilemma is called Qwertuoso, and generally maps notes and several features of the SID chip to keys on the Commodore’s keyboard.
Of system, it is the bellows that tends to make this instrument a genuine member of the accordion family. Made from 5.25″ floppy disks and sticky tape, it types a extra-or-much less air-tight procedure linking the two desktops. The airflow in the bellows is calculated through a microphone placed next to the air ingestion: the amount of money of noise produced is around proportional to the amount of air being expelled or inhaled. This information and facts is then utilized to modulate the quantity generated by the two SID chips.
By [Linus]’s own admission it’s not the most ergonomic of devices, so we’re doubly impressed by the total of talent he demonstrates while taking part in it in the movie embedded beneath. It is not the very first time both that he has turned a Commodore 64 into a musical instrument: he earlier crafted a church organ and a theremin. While the Commodordion may seem difficult, it is really a great deal easier in building than a mechanical accordion.