Pretty cool video for the weekend, here: this system automatically plays the audio from Nintendo gameplay through an acoustic piano and robotically controlled drums.
In short, you get both the in-game music and effects, trigged by, for instance, Mario grabbing a coin. Some more details, from the user behind the video, “for those interested in the technical details, both the piano and the percussion use solenoids to drive their player mechanisms. The piano uses Yamaha’s Disklavier system to strike keys, and the percussion uses a custom solution to strike the drum sticks. Both the piano and percussion are each controlled by Raspberry Pis which have custom software to control each instrument.
“The software is responsible for translating the gameplay audio to instructions which ultimately define which solenoid should be actuated. In full disclosure, there is normally a half-second audio delay that was removed in editing, but it’s still very playable live. The piano is controlled through the Disklavier’s MIDI interface, while the percussion’s solenoids are directly controlled through the Pi’s GPIO interface.”
But let’s face it, for most people (us included), it’s just a chance to geek out to Mario 3 live on piano. Watch the system run through Mario 1, 2 & 3 and Zelda above.
Last year, FACT ran a feature on popular musicians, including Trent Reznor, John Foxx and Ken Ishii, soundtracking video games – you can read that here.