The name might sound complicated enough, but the project is actually a fun to use synthesizer –sequencer which also has an added ability to sample and compose. This project was built by two people as their final year project for Cornell University. As far as the hardware part is concerned, they use an Altera DE2 FPGA board for processing the data and a popular software by Mathworks named MATLAB as a user interface since it has an ability to create interactive GUI without much input.
The synthesizer uses a combination of sampled and additively synthesized sounds to produce various instruments. The FPGA based sequencer takes input from a MATLAB GUI and sequences each instrument separately, allowing the user to make compositions in real-time. Moreover, an automatic gain control algorithm was designed and implemented to ensure that overflow would not result in distorted output. The design starts with user input to a screen of buttons on a MATLAB GUI. These sequences are periodically pushed out through a National Instruments Analog-Digital Converter into the GPIO port of the Altera DE2 board which is read by the Altera board and is processed according to the sample received.
The students at the Cornell University have developed something interesting that might excite all of you. We all have seen a vast number of virtual piano but this is something special. It’s a virtual piano which the user can play on the screen, even if the screen is not a touch screen. Amazed, well that’s the beauty of the project. Instead of using a costly touch-screen based monitor, they simply hook up a camera, and with some amount of small calibration, your monitor could easily turn into a touchscreen
The Karplus-Strong string synthesis Algorithm is widely used to simulate the real instrument sound produced by strings. One major trade off the project is that, instead of storing the image to display in SRAM, they have just make a virtual buffer for VGA. It’s a module that takes the VGA address as input and calculates the corresponding colour and sends out the result. They have assigned each key a label, so later on when we compare the input image colour with the stored colour, we can know which key is pressed. A timer is also used to control the tempo which is measured in bps (beats per second)
Yaaay! Another FPGA project from Cornell guys! These guys used the DE2 FPGA board to pursue solving the problem of generating color NTSC signals and wanted to show that the VGA DAC (Digital to Analog Converter) is able to handle it.
Sounds simple? How about if I tell you that the DE2 FPGA Boards don’t have NTSC ports built into them? NTSC output without NTSC ports – our friends from Cornell got us covered, get the freakin VGA port spit out NTSC signals and not just one but two!
General Purpose color NTSC generators were used, NTSC signals are pushed out the VGA pins at full frame rate in 315×242 pixel resolution. Thats the video part so who takes care of the battleship game logic – A NIOS II system runs the battleship code and takes care of the input coming from the two players, the score keeping and feeding location to the NTSC signal generators.
Well, I am very sure that all of you must have played the very popular game by Atari which was named as Asteroids. If you haven’t played one in an arcade you owe it to yourself to do it, because they look like nothing else. The phosphor artefacts are trippy and beautiful. The only problem with these was they used to get driven like a analog oscilloscope which deflects the electron gun to a certain spot on the screen at a very fast rate so that the output seems continuous.
They used a Xilinx Spartan-3E FPGA on a Nexys2 dev board which was programmed to be the vector generator, and a DAC/Amplifier board was designed to sling the beam around at 20 MHz and 12-bit resolution. First thing they did was get a cube to display on the scope. After tweaking around they managed to wrote a rasterizer and to display patron saint of Bed Stuy on the screen.