The GATARI “2600” Musical Instrument


So do you have an Atari 2600 laying around collecting dust? Perhaps you’d like to have a musical instrument to take up the time that you would spend playing video games if you had a modern console. Well, look no further than the GATARI 2600!

[cTrix] made this device with a custom EPROM chip plugged in as a cartridge. Although details of the build are somewhat vague, this custom chip allows music to be written for the device. Everything is controlled with a joystick that tells the GATARI to generate the desired track. From this basic track, the sound is modified using three pedals including an equalizer, a flange pedal, and a hold pedal.

Check out the video after the break for a brief explanation of how it was built. Skip to 1:05 if you’d rather just see it in action at [Blipfest] in Japan!

If you’d rather listen to music rather than playing it, why not build your own snap together boombox instead!



14 thoughts on “The GATARI “2600” Musical Instrument

  1. great job on that, not bad sound for 8 bit, but I wonder, with only 2 controls and 5 switches per control, how did you add all the extra bits, the eq and such, was that part of the gatari or did it go in after?

    this is what i imagine circuit bending should be.

    1. A few things here. First off, the Atari is actually a “4-bit” machine… its super primitive. Secondly, the audio is nothing more than the audio signal of the Atari (possibly split from the output antenna signal) into the guitar pedals. The pedals appear to be stock, so it’s nothing more than unbalanced 1/4″ in/out all the way through all the pedals, and onto an guitar amplifier.

  2. guaranteed to repel any and all females within a 5 mile radius.

    altho to be fair, this guy doesn’t look like being swamped with women was much of a problem for him in the first place.

    also, vonskippy: LMFAO

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