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27.02.04 Dot Matrix Synth, a dot matrix synthesizer.
Firmware hacking is a sophisticated practice which gives pretty good results to the courageous ones who do EPROM reprogramming, with the help of enough knowledge and luck. The act of changing a machine, distorting the original intentions of its builder, becomes then possible, and the result are new functionalities which transform its identity. Dot Matrix Synth is an idea conceived and put into practice by Paul Slocum, who reprogrammed the firmware of an Epson LQ-500 dot matrix printed, made in 1985, to turn it into a musical instrument. Starting from the idea to build a lo-fi mellowtron, the author was possessed by the holy fire of discovery and succeeded in exploiting not only the printer head movements, but also those of the paper feeder and the beeps of the control panel. The latest version of his work, version 3.0, features a simple keyboard where each key corresponds to a musical piece which, while played, produces an image controlled by the rhythm of the music.