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The form perfectly follows the super retro function of this arcade-tastic chiptunes syntesizer from Portmanteau Devices, the Pianocade. A monophonic square-wave synth deserves to be played with arcade buttons!

The Pianocade’s built-in synthesizer is based on the sound hardware of the Nintendo NES and Game Boy (specifically, one of the square wave channels: it’s a monophonic square-wave synthesis engine with a 4-bit digital-to-analogue converter). Because it’s monophonic, it does what many early games did in lieu of chords: it cycles through the notes of the chord rapidly (arpeggiation).

It’s open source, and will come in both pre-built and kit form. Pre-orders are open at Pianocade.

via Engadget

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He works in CG animation at DisneyToon Studios and writes for Make, Boing Boing, and other places online and in print. You can find him at and twitter @johnedgarpark — if you like that sort of thing.