Do you have a big hackathon coming up? Need to start a training montage like Rocky? We don’t think you can get any more awesome than this Dot Matrix Printer that can play music!
The hack makes use of an old 24-pin dot matrix printer, which is now a MIDI compatible sound generator. It uses an Atmega8 and an FPGA connected to different parts of the original printer’s circuit board. The Atmega8 takes the incoming MIDI data and communicates it to the FPGA while driving the stepper motors for both the paper feed and print head. The FPGA on the other hand is responsible for the PWM to drive the individual printer pins. This means the printer can play up to 21 notes simultaneously, and it’s capable of taking in up to 16 MIDI channels, all with individual volume, pitch, and key velocity!
[MIDIDesaster] has several other musical examples of their printer in action, including the Duke Nukem theme, Hysteria by Muse (one of our favorites), and even the Wallace and Gromit theme!
It’s a similar project to this printer synth we shared almost 9 years ago! Stick around to get pumped up with Eye of the Tiger! But if you’re wearing headphones… turn the volume down.
39 thoughts on “Eye Of The Tiger — As Played By A Dot Matrix Printer”
Is that a C64 serial port I spy on the back of that printer in video 2? ;)
I especially like the reverse boustrophedon movement. That’s somehow really elegant to me, like continuous bowing on a string instrument. Good job! Reminds me of the polyphonic hard disk speakers I used to hear about ten years ago.
I am hoping to get kids to do the same on my 3d printer.
That might very well be an IEC port.
Ir sure looks like a Commodore serial port DIN connector & probably is.
Ahem.. DIN connectors are used for MIDI (and a thousand of other things from the 80s)
not on printers, retard. din on printer = commodore IEC.
Points for knowledge, but… GONG!! BOING! BLATT! All points invalidated (for demeanor, attitude, and vocabulary.) Apt user name, though.
OMG I want more. My geek jumped up and started dancing.
The win is strong with this one…
He loses points for calling “Yakety Sax” by Spider Rich and Boots Randolph the “Benny Hill Theme.” Otherwise, nicely done.
Sometimes you just have to call things by their common names, though, because it’s what people associate certain things with.
‘common name’ indeed – I had no clue what to expect when the title said Benny Hill theme… if it had said Yakety Sax I would’ve recognized it.
Well, you didn’t refer to yourself as William either…
Maybe Will’s real name is Willdenberthapsenburger. In that case you owe him an appology.
Apologies for not spelling apology right.
But it’s pronounced “Throatwobbler Mangrove.”
I suppose you’re going to tell me that the Sanford and Son Theme is also known as The Streetbeater by Quincy Jones. On its LP release it was called both.
I wonder if it could produce speech? A talking printer!
Duke Nukem and Wallace & Grommit themes sound the best.
nothing like a singing hack to finish the evening with.
And then I cracked a huge grin. This is awesome.
It sounds way better than I expected!
Take that, Floppy music!
Actually, the polyphony and the distinct sound is quite insane! Love it!
SMILE – SMILE – SMILE – LAUGH!
This is simple amazing to hear – and I agree on the reverse direction printing – constant bowing – circular breathing technique of the good ol’ dot matrix. Bravo/
I’m sorry, I just have to leave another message~
It just cracks me up to be watching a dot matrix head slowly make it’s way across the page, and “singing” while it’s traveling! Ha ha ha! SO low key and understated…
No only that, but it’s bi-directional…
(I wonder what my Canon 85-BJC would sound like?)
Brilliant. I so wanted it to start spooling out paper in time to The Eye Of The Tiger guitar chords.
Wonder what Guile’s theme would sound like rendered on this thing.
I expect it would go well.
Now have a light sensor read the output of the dot matrix printer and translate it into MIDI – Full circle!
i would definitely go to that concert
Über sweet….. my whole office heard this and no one believed it was the printer producing the sounds.
i had to show them the floppy drives doing ghostbusters
Oh gods, a whole OFFICE full of people who’ve never seen a dot-matrix printer working… what’s the world coming to? At least tell me it’s some sort of remedial office for 5-year-olds.
I am an IT Administrator for a large college. no remedial office for 5 year old’s here. there are people here around my office who have not fathomed the idea that a printer would be able to imitate sounds composed together to sound like a song.
P.S. to Greenaum… the internet has enough trolls like you…piss off
EPIC. I love that one!
All printers should play happy tunes as they print, albeit short tunes nowadays.
I try to not say too much, but this is just BRILLIANT.
Reverse boustrophedon! But the notes aren’t backwards. :)
I’d like to see it done on a thermal printer. Imagine as your receipt is printed hearing Pink Floyd’s Money.
Big high 5 anyway ringtone potential.
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