Commodore 64 keytar weilded by rollerskating hacker

Legendary hardware hacker Jeri Ellsworth (world's most awesome C64 hacker and all round happy mutant), entertained attendees at the Maker Faire with her brilliant Commodore 64 bass keytar, which she played while wearing rollerskates.

Ellsworth noted via Twitter that it uses the SID chip and is based on an FPGA - a re-implementation of the Commodore-64 computer using reconfigurable logic chips. See the video below for an overview of the instrument from Ellsworth.

What’s not obvious from the photo above is that Ellsworth wears a portable amp and rocks the C64 Bass Guitar on roller skates. <3

Jeri Ellsworth & Her Commodore 64 Bass Guitar Thing (via Waxy)


  1. So, so awesome. I thought it was just a bass and synth glued together but it actually converts the fretted notes as well. 

  2. I’m questioning the decision to  use the old brown C64 for the keys, its old membrane keyboard was unreliable as all get out.

    I personally went through 5 of these where keys would randomly and permanently fail to register before finally obtaining a C64-C with a far more reliable keyboard.

  3. I understood very little of the discussion beyond “It’s a keytar”.
    But I love her.

  4. Bass Guitar? Hopefully she tweaked the filters. The SID had a considerable bit of low-frequency rolloff, and the lack of a true sine waveform didn’t help. The 8580 in the c128 was a bit better than the 6581.

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