Guitars, cellos, violins and pianos are old news, if you’re going to learn a new instrument it should be current and edgy and what’s edgier than a musical instrument that used to be a games console?
This is console modding to the extreme and now has its own name – “chiptunes” – I know what you’re thinking, it’s an awful title, but the results are amazing.
Chiptune artist cTrix is the latest musician to try his hand at the art, and has created his own instrument from an old Atari 2600, which he’s imaginatively called the gAtari 2600.
He’s programmed the console’s data boards to play pre-recorded sounds, which can then be plugged into the Atari 2600 just like a game would be. The Atari’s joystick can be used to change tracks, but he’s also added an equaliser, flanger and a couple of hold pedals to the device to give it ultimate usability.
The gAtari doesn’t create the prettiest of sounds, but is unique, both in appearance and performance. Fans of hard house and the rave scene will probably enjoy its musicality the most.
If the gAtari 2600 has you trembling with excitement, calm down. You can’t buy one, you can’t even preorder it, but if you’re lucky maybe Sony, Microsoft or Nintendo will see the idea and offer it as a controller for a new music game in the future.