shackspace’s own @dop3j0e, known for the many hacks he did at the space, just raised the bar. A while ago he implemented an algorithmic piece of mus^W noise as a C-one-liner inside an ATtiny9 all fitted inside an RCA plug. That little thing was dubbed the „Noiseplug“ and was a great^W annoying addition to liven up the shackspace lounge during those long nightly hack sessions.
The challenging part of the whole ordeal was the – quite literally – tiny spec of the ATtiny9 chip: 1kB flash memory, 32 bytes of RAM, 4 I/O pins.
However, leet assembler skillz (first time w/ AVR assembler) to the rescue and a last minute competition day hack sprint of 7 hours resulted in a polyphonic chiptune made up of a phat bassline (two oscillators), catchy lead synth (three sawtooth oscillators), and arpeggio background synth (one square wave oscillator). It was very well received by the audience and ended up making 3rd place in the Wild / Alternative Platforms Competition.
Of course dojoe wouldn’t be living up to the hacker spirit if he didn’t share the source, so go ahead and fork it on GitHub!
- Noiseplug/shack on pouet.net
- Presentation video on Vimeo
- Source code on GitHub
- Live footage of the presentation at Evoke 2012
- Update: Audio recording of the plug’s sound output (mp3)
An Atmel ATtiny9 playing chiptunes — 1KB of flash, 32 bytes of RAM and a 16 byte register file is all I have.