Chapter 25 Transform Things into Sounds with the PunkPAC

Since Punk Science is the theme of the issue of Make in which this column originally appeared, let’s explore a new twist on electronic tone generators like the popular Atari Punk Console (APC). Why not hack the APC so that its tones can be controlled by light?

We’ll do this by interfacing an optical fiber to a basic light-sensitive oscillator and an APC to create a Pixel-to-Audio Converter (PAC), which you could also call a Photon- or Photo-to-Audio Converter.

I call the resulting circuit a PunkPAC. It can be used to transform optical patterns formed by photos, fabrics, and even tree rings into variable-frequency tones for making music (or noise). It could easily be used for interactive ...

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