Sunday, November 18, 2012

Synthesis on the Parallax Propeller

Have been experimenting with audio synthesis on the Parallax Propeller chip. The Propeller is a 8 core multiprocessor chip that can be purchased for $7. It is remarkably capable...the processors share the I/O bus on a time slice basis, so each processor knows when it has access to the I/O bus. Anyway... There is discussion on the forums about a SID Synth project. It runs an emulation of the Commodore 64 SID chip in 4 of the 8 cogs (processors). The processor accepts MIDI input and passes the note commands to the various cogs. Here is a link to the forum discussion : Even more interesting, the circuit is capable of digital audio output via a simple RCA connector, using the S/PDIF protocol. I am using it with a $20 S/PDIF to Analog audio converter. I have the digital audio working, unfortunately not yet with the SID emulation. WIll be working on this. While this is nothing like having real SID chips, it is pretty impressive for what it can do.