NOISE ENGINEERING Ataraxic Translatron
The Ataraxic Translatron is a linear feedback shift register oscillator similar to those used in the first generation of home video game consoles such as the Atari VCS as well as many other classic arcade games.
Linear feedback shift registers are an ingenious way to produce a variety of sounds with an extremely small amount of hardware. The Atari VCS used only around 35 logic gates to produce all of its sounds. The complexity of tone for relatively minimal hardware made this synthesis technique common for sound in the first generation of video games where hardware costs were the primary development constraint. As video games entered popular culture these sounds became iconic but have seldom made it out of the video game world except when sampled from the games themselves or as their own genre of music “chiptunes”. The Ataraxic Translatron gives you classic arcade sounds in Eurorack format to be used just like any other VCO.
13 patches vary from a simple square wave to white noise with your favorite arcade sounds in between. All tones are available in 6 octaves range. A standard 1 volt per octave pitch control and CV control of the current patch are squeezed into a compact 4HP. An external clock mode that allows an external clock to drive the shift register allows for additional tone generation and modulation.
Please note that Noise Engineering has no affiliation with Atari and the use of the word Atari is as an example of a classic product that uses a similar sound generation algorithm.