Over at kickstarter.com, Jarek Lupinski has opened up a project he is working on to use a NES cartridge in a NES console with a midi in connector, the project is titled “Chip Maestro – An NES MIDI Synthesizer Cartridge” found at http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jarek/chip-maestro-an-nes-midi-synthesizer-cartridge, it has already reached its goal to raise $1000 to get started, but it’s still open, and i’m certainly tempted to be one of the first to get this as it sounds really cool. The midi connector into cartridge enables a midi keyboard to be plugged in or use a midi to usb converter to plug the computer into it, and it plays the NES sounds out of the tv out, which in the video supplied on the kickstarter is plugged into a small speaker. It sounds great, some classic zelda tunes were played in the video.
Kickstarter for those in the dark, is a platform to raise money for creative projects from things like a budget to create a documentary, or secure enough funds to mass produce a product such as this, generally those that pledge money get something in return when it is produced, in this case a pledge of $5 gets a ticket to pre order this sucka, whereas $50 will get you one of the first made with your initials (up to 3 letters) and the initials of other backers silkscreened on the back, at the time of writing there were 104 of 150 of these remaining, we here in the UK will also have to pay $8 shipping, not a biggy. There are more expensive options to back including one with the headers attached to do your own programming with it. But that’s $125, and TBH i think i’ll just like to play the classic 8-bit NES tunes, though as i can’t actually play piano or anything the gimmick of a live show with the NES is somewhat not gonna happen. But it is said that the arduino micro controllers can output midi so maybe there will be some fun to have there. 🙂