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THE SOUND OF 35 POCKET CALCULATORS:
A MUSICAL ADVENTURE
I’ve always been fascinated by chiptunes which is the video game music of the first home computers and gaming consoles. When it was time to begin a new piece I was wondering: What would it be like to create a piece with this very special sound of the chiptunes but without having to deal with the limitations that the composers back then were facing. In other words, what would happen if I would do a full music production, with all the bells and whistles using this sound? What would that sound like? Is it possible? Or would it still simply remain a curiousity?
But what has all of this have to do with pocket calculators? The actual chiptune sounds of the piece were generated by a certain software that tries to mimic the original sound of the C64 very closely. If I wanted to use original hardware I would have needed seven C64 computers. Combined, these would have had the processing power of about 35 pocket calculators. As a comparison my laptop alone has the processing power of 15,000 pocket calculators.