Building the Ocarina of Time with an FPGA

[Joe] and [Evan] wanted to have some fun with their FPGA course at Cornell. When faced with what to do at the beginning of the semester, they figured additive synthesis was a worthy pursuit. They ended up building the Ocarina of Time for their final project.

The guys started by recording a real ocarina and figuring out the relative power levels of each harmonic. Because any sound can be synthesized from a bunch of sine waves, having their Altera FPGA board replicate those frequencies produces a nice ocarina sound

[Joe] and [Evan]‘s ocarina has a ‘mouthpiece’ that is just a small microphone. This mic is hooked up to the FPGA board and controls the volume. Sadly, the guys didn’t have time to take apart an N64 controller so 6 red buttons serve as the finger holes.

From the video after the break, [Joe] and [Evan] really pulled together something that sounds like Link’s Ocarina. Great work, guys.

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reactable: visual, interactive synth


[imajes] brought this sweet project to my attention. The table is reactive thanks to the combination of a projector and a video camera below the surface. The position and unique pattern of each block on the table is used to manipulate the operations of the synth. The software is open source – so you can build your own. (And it’ll run on linux, mac and windows) Check out the videos for a good demonstration. I’m thinking that one of these could be built on a budget using lumenlab/overhead LCD technology.