Pianocade: An arcade stick chiptunes synthesizer and MIDI controller

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[Credit: Portmanteau Devices]

Portmanteau Devices just crossed the streams of things that all geeks love by combining chiptunes, arcade cabinets, and retro gaming into one awesome piece of DJ equipment.

The Pianocade, as spotted by Engadget, is a combination chiptunes synthesizer and MIDI controller that's packaged inside of a bonafide arcade stick controller. It doesn't just look like a piece of retro gaming hardware, though—you can actually play all the classic retro gaming chimes and 8-bit electronic notes with it.

The Pianocade has a built-in synthesizer that's based on the sound hardware of the original NES and GameBoy, which makes it perfect for recreating 8-bit tracks like the Mega Man theme. It also has five MIDI ports that you can use to link up with other instruments.

Instead of pulling off a hadouken with those arcade buttons, you’ll be playing some retro game music. Like any good arcade stick, this thing is fully hackable: You can reprogram its open-source software with your own custom soundboard, or rewrite the whole thing down to its firmware.

If you like the sound of owning a Pianocade, you can preorder the two-octave, keytar-able version for $325, or the one-octave arcade stick version for $200. DIYers can also opt to buy the $100 electronics pack that you can stuff into your own custom arcade stick controller. Portmanteau Devices expects to begin shipping out orders within within 8-12 weeks after its preorder period ends on September 14th.

This story, "Pianocade: An arcade stick chiptunes synthesizer and MIDI controller " was originally published by TechHive.

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