YM2149 MIDI Synthesizer on ZPUino Soft Processor

The YM2149 MIDI Synthesizer on ZPUino Soft Processor


Quoting the author of this post on

By using the Open Source VHDL files for popular audio chips from places like and we could eliminate all the wires, soldering, and wasted GPIO pins. Integrating popular audio chips like the C64 SIDAtari POKEY, and YM2149 into the ZPUino would put them under control of Arduino sketches. Effectively opening up all the Arduino libraries to control the audio chips.

In layman’s terms… awesome.  Use Arduino to easily control vintage audio chips.

DIY Guitar Pickup Winder

Pete Mills just blew my mind. It looks like Pete’s a student in Ann Arbor Michigan studying what I can only guess is engineering based on his post about a DIY guitar pickup winder he’s built with, you know, some old stuff lying around the shop and a sewing machine.

Pete’s Blog: Guitar Pickup Winder.

Before proceeding I need to make a side-comment that I can relate to labeling everything in the workshop no matter how unnecessary.  I like the bin labeled “calculators”.

Moving on, Pete offers some images of the build process that are equally impressive as they are confusing…

but then he delivers the Fatality with casual comments like this:


I think it will be useful to know the relative Gauss strength of the pickup pole pieces and knowing the polarity, north or south, will be paramount to success. Many websites on pickup making suggest using a polarity tester for determining polarity but, using a continuous, ratiometric hall effect sensor I can measure the magnetic flux density of the pickup pole pieces at 1.3mV/G as well as the polarity. This is an uncalibrated value, but it is sufficient for my purposes. The sensor I used is an Allegro A1302 hall effect sensor. In the gaussmeter mode, peak gauss values are recorded and instantaneous values are reported.


Say what? Then I look at this picture and I’m completely lost….

And because that’s not quite awesome enough he throws in a stroboscopic tuner for fun…

f_in: A! Pete Mills my friend, you win. I personally want to see phase two of this project where you wind the first ever “Pentabucker” and rock that shit through your next assignment… the guitar amp from Back to the Future.

Lara Grant – 16th and Mission

In the world of hacked and modified sewing machines using arduino to control max msp and generate music Lara Grant owns it big time.

From her Flickr page:

Lara Grant, part of the circuit bending orchestra for Diana Eng’s Fairytale Fashion Show held at Eyebeam NYC. Through various hacks and circuit bending techniques, Lara’s sewing machine trigger signals that is then fed onto laptops running MAX/MSP to produce the final soundtrack for the runway. Other team members of the orchestra are Peter Kirn and Matt Ganucheau.

You can see the project blog here:

looks like it’s been zapped. too bad. it was exceptional.

Which has many more great closeups like this one…

16th and Mission - Lara Grant

and more of her and her sister’s work here: