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Recycled 8-Bit Instruments

Benjamin Gaulon Transforms Nintendo Controllers Into MIDI Inputs

— May 8, 2011 — Eco
In what I personally consider the awesomest form of recycling, Benjamin Gaulon’s Recycled Entertainment System, or RES for short, uses old Nintendo Entertainment System controllers as input devices for creating MIDI-based music. This is what the video game Rock Band would have looked like in the 8-bit era.

Gaulon’s device connects six NES controllers to a centralized hub, which then relays information to a computer running software that triggers preselected MIDI samples. Each of the six controllers corresponds with a different instrument, and each controller button corresponds to the different parts of those instruments. Among the many instruments available for play on the Recycled Entertainment System are bass, drums, percussion instruments, synthesizers, music loops, scratch and even vocals.

There’s nothing left to do now but to grab five friends and have the ultimate 8-bit MIDI jam session.
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