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Watch this: the $25 Raspberry Pi turns into a synth

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Raspberry Pi Synth
Raspberry Pi Synth

There seems to be no shortage of uses for the credit card-sized Raspberry Pi, whether it's running Android, being hooked up to your DSLR, or stuffed inside its spiritual forebear, the Commodore 64. Now one hardware project is looking to add "synth" to the customizable $25 microcomputer's rapidly-expanding repertoire.

The Raspberry Pi synth, called "Piana," seems to signal that wonderful things are in store for musically-inclined owners of the hard-to-get machine, similar to what we've already seen from the Pi's pricier microcontroller cousin, the Arduino. The project's blog demonstrates some rich polyphonic sounds and an impressive assortment of patch controls for shaping waveforms at your whim. The software is still in its early stages, however, and its creator advises you "don't hold your breath" for an impending release.

It's a fairly obvious but welcome function for the ultra low-cost machine. Especially if, like me, you enjoy the prospect of performing music on a computer that you can't also simultaneously check your email on — and that more importantly doesn't cost thousands, or even hundreds, of dollars.