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Real-Time Embedded Cellular Automata Audio Synthesis

Viznut made one-line C programs on his laptop that generate entire 8-bit musical works:

The proposed project intends to generalize this work, making one-line (low instruction count) cellular automata with direct pipe to an audio codec on a low-cost device such as an Arduino.

The algorithms are very efficient and will run in real-time on the Arduino (using the PWM output pins to simulate a DAC). This yields embedded CA audio synthesis, essentially a low cost audio synthesis engine ⇐$25.

The base real-time synthesis Arduino code is here (pin 11 is the signal, connect this to one terminal on a speaker, and the other terminal to common ground).

For an additional $19 the output can be made high quality 16-bit stereo audio. See


Total cost for 44.1kHz stereo audio synthesis ⇐$44 US.

Mike C. (

onelinechiptune.txt · Last modified: 2013/09/28 07:57 by mcasey