Last week I went to Handmade Music, an event put together by Create Digital Music’s Peter Kirn. It was super fun. Sebastian Tomczak who has a blog I really enjoy called Little scale, was there playing some sweet chip tunes while we were hacking away and socializing. During the evening a group of us got to build a one-bit synth.
The one-bit synth is as simple and basic as it gets. It uses the ATtiny85 chip, a 3V battery, a headphone input jack and two buttons. The chip already had some code on it (they had prepped them beforehand), which controls the sequence. It’s kind of like an Arduino, you write some code and put it on the chip.
From what I understand, the chip is in either an “on” or “off” state, and it does that very quickly so you can control the pitch. The faster it switches between on and off, the higher the pitch. I think the two buttons switch between programmed sequences.