Algorithmic symphonies

Inspired by countercomplex: Algorithmic symphonies from one line of code -- how and why? I decided, hey my Arduino can do that. I have been playing with syntheses on the Arduino for a few months it looked like the perfect little project for a Saturday morning.

I decided easiest is best. Use Fast PWM and throw a lowpass filter on the PWM output to produce the sound. That way I don’t have to deal with DACs or R2R ladders and all those pesky little wires. I have used the PWM/lowpass approach for sound generation with a great deal of success in the past.

I sourced the design for the low pass filter from I did not have the exact values for the inductors but that does not appear to make much of a difference. You could also use a simple RC filter to filter and smooth out the output. RC filters are slightly simpler and if you don’t have a couple inductors lying around will produce similar results.

So with out further bloviation here is the source code.

static char out = 255;
static int t = 255;
static int i = 0;
int count = 0;

  //The timer overflows at 62.5 KHz. 
  //Algorithmic symphonies calls for 8khz
  // Throw a counter in there to slow things down. 
  // It is also fun to play with the counter :-)
  if(count < 7){
    count = 0;

  /** The best so far */
  out = (char)(((t>>6|t|t>>(t>>3))*10+((t>>11)&7))|(t)*(t>>14)|(t)*(t>>9))
              ^(63*(t/16) |(t%13) | (t%15))
  OCR1A = out;

// Configures TIMER1 to fast PWM non inverted mode.
// Prescaler set to 1, which means that timer overflows
// every 16MHz/256 = 62.5KHz
void initPWM(void)

pinMode(9, OUTPUT);
// 8-bit Fast PWM - non inverted PWM
TCCR1A= _BV(COM1A1) | _BV(WGM10);

// Start timer without prescaler
TCCR1B = _BV(CS10) | _BV(WGM12);

// Enable overflow interrupt for OCR1A


void setup(void){

void loop(){
//Nothing to see here

I have attached a sound sample produced by the source code and a low pass filter schematic taken from the above mentioned URL.

I hope you find this as inspiring as I did.


BitBashing.mp3 (801 KB)