And now, Eye of the Tiger played on a dot matrix printer
It’s odd to think that there are entire generations that will grow up never knowing the joys and pains of the dot matrix printer. The weirdly shaped paper, the annoyingly precise guidelines that ripped easily, the slow printing… Modern printers can connect to your phone and print 3D designs that would seem like witchcraft a few hundred years ago, but even so, there’s something a little magical about dot matrix computers and the weird/obnoxious sound they make.
A guy going by the name MIDIDesaster found a new way to make the most out of an old 24-pin dot matrix printer. After a little work, he was able to add 16 MIDI channels with individual volume and key pitch, bringing the total number of sounds the printer can make to 21. That’s not a ton, but it is enough to recreate popular songs, including Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the Doctor Who theme (a personal favorite), and Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger,” which you can see below.
And it’s kind of awesome.
MIDIDesaster explains how he or she modified the printer in great detail. It gets fairly technical, but it’s also impressive.
“The original printing frequency was approx. 1kHz with a pulse width of 300µs. So every pin hit the paper at maximum 1000 times per second when printing stuff,” they wrote. “The MIDI electronics drives this from a few Hz up to 2kHz.”
You can get a lot out of that quote from the context alone, but if you fully understand it, bully for you.
Check it out below.