15   The Single-Chip Space Invader Synth

The Single-Chip Space Invader Synth sounds a lot like the old-school console and arcade games that inspired its name because it relies on many of the same soundgeneration techniques. Early video games couldn’t play prerecorded sounds—not even brief, low-resolution samples. All of their sound effects had to be created by mixing tones generated by simple circuits like those found in this project. Did the results sound realistic? No! Every explosion is a simple burst of static, and the entire Space Invaders soundtrack is just four notes steadily looping at an ever-increasing tempo. These sounds are primitive, but like many primitive expressions, they’re also primal. The games themselves have faded—when was ...

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