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Atari Video Music cartridge for 2600?


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Has anyone tried making one? 

It would probably involve some kind of hardware interface to accept audio input (maybe the audio signal could be "translated" to paddle input?)

and there would need to be some way to emulate the knobs and buttons. Maybe something like:

PORT #1 = paddle controllers, where  

paddle #1 = audio signal input (would have to be mono)

paddle #2 = knob control, pressing the button changes which parameter the knob controls

PORT #2 = keyboard controller

(12 buttons available)



PORT #1 = paddle controllers, where

paddle #1 = left audio signal input (during play mode), input knob (during settings mode)

paddle #2 = right audio signal input (during play mode), input knob (during settings mode)


PORT #2 = keyboard controller

(12 buttons, one of them switches between play and settings mode)



The audio signal to paddle adapter would have to be a simple circuit that is easy for people to find parts for and build. 


Anyway, I just thought I would ask if anyone has done this and put the idea out there...


Seems like it would be fun. 


PS Here is what wikipedia says the controls were: 

The knob controls are as follows:[6]:66–67

  • Gain: Two knobs controlling the left and right audio input signals strength. These increase the size of the visual pattern.
  • Color: One knob controlling color. This increases the number of available colors from a solid color to a rainbow of colors.
  • Contour: Two knobs controlling the left and right audio input signals visual representations shapes from soft to geometric. These act to soften shapes or increase geometric complexity of the design.

The push button controls are as follows:[6]:67

  • Power: Turns unit on and off.
  • Shape (solid): Any Shape or Image that is displayed will be solid
  • Shape (hole): One stereo channel controls the outside with a hole in the center controlled by the other stereo channel.
  • Shape (ring): Both stereo channels will represent two outline shapes that retain their thickness with the pulse of the music
  • Shape (auto): The system automatically cycles at random between the different Shape settings as well as the next eight buttons:
  • Horizontal 1: Displays one generated image.
  • Horizontal 2: Displays two horizontal generated images
  • Horizontal 4: Displays four horizontal generated images
  • Horizontal 5: Displays five horizontal generated images
  • Vertical 1: Displays one generated image
  • Vertical 2: Displays two vertical generated images
  • Vertical 4: Displays four vertical generated images
  • Vertical 8: Displays eight vertical generated images


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Sorry, but this wouldn't work for a simple reason: time.

The AVM is purely analogue, feeding the audio input directly into video output. This happens every few lines.

Reading the paddle usually takes more than one frame.

So while you might be able to do some visualisation of paddle input, it would definitely look totally different. Or would be faking a lot.

What you could go for is a modified version of an Uno Cart 2600 and use one of the ADCs of that chip, handing the data down to a specific ROM address much like the Super Charger, only with a bitter resolution (8 bits instead of 1).

But that'll be quite some work both on the STM32 as well as the VCS. And on the long run, writing a pure emulation of AVM might be easier.

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