I have to admit to loving these kinds of recreations of novel and unusual instruments from the past. The more retro the better. iOptigan is a recreation of the Optigan, short for Optical Organ, which was apparently a chord organ from the early 1970’s. The Optigan (Optical Organ) is remembered today for its unique system of sound reproduction using optical discs. These LP-sized film discs were optically encoded with 57 concentric tracks, which contained loops of musical combos playing chord patterns in different styles.
Each disc contained a specific style of music (Bossa Nova, Big Band etc) which the user could control by pressing the chord buttons. Changing the discs was as simple as putting a new record on your turntable. Think of it as the 1971 version of GarageBand.
I had never heard of the Optigan to be honest, but it sounds awesome in a very retro and not entirely useful way. Apparently, despite the Optigan’s novel technology, it’s scratchy sound left a lot to be desired. According to the iOptigan’s developer, they’ve aimed to “truthfully recreates that lo-fi sound”. Also, 25 of the original 40 Optigan discs are included with the app itself, if you’re a real fan then you can get the remaining 15 discs, which can be purchased individually or all together in the Complete Pak.
Make a robot friend with Adafruit’s CRICKIT – A Creative Robotics & Interactive Construction Kit. It’s an add-on to our popular Circuit Playground Express, FEATHER and other platforms to make and program robots with CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. Start controlling motors, servos, solenoids. You also get signal pins, capacitive touch sensors, a NeoPixel driver and amplified speaker output. It complements & extends your boards so you can still use all the goodies on the microcontroller, now you have a robotics playground as well.