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Listen to a Hacked Dot Matrix Printer Play the “Macarena”

The Creators Project Content Partner, Intel iQ

The infamously catchy one-hit-wonder, the “Macarena” by Los Del Rio, turns 20 this year. We expect to be invited to an onslaught of Latin dance-themed parties in the near future, but, until then, we’ve found the perfect thing to stem the tide of nostalgia fever — a cover of the “Macarena” hacked together with a  MIDI-compatible dot-matrix printer.

Hardware hacker MIDIDesaster has been putting together dot-matrix printer jams for over a year, but he just released a fresh batch including the “Macarena,” “Toccata and Fugue” by Bach and “Undisclosed Desires” by Muse.

“Toccata and Fugue” by J.S. Bach

The machine can broadcast up 21 different notes simultaneously, communicating to the printer with a custom circuitry array (detailed here). The sonic range achieved with the set-up is surprising, considering the device was invented in the ’70s, long before the “Macarena” was even a twinkle in Los Del Rio’s eyes.

“Undisclosed Desires” by Muse

This hacked version of the “Macarena” is reminiscent of the vintage computer symphony we’ve covered before, and the instrumental hard drives YouTuber Arganalth has been perfecting for months. What’s interesting about the printer version is that a single printer could have made all these songs if it were given the right commands. Whereas the old hard drives were hacked together to build a new instrument, the printer is being tweaked to sing the songs it was always capable of.

“Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor

We admit we’ve broken out the cowboy boots and danced the “Macarena” a few times since it stopped dominating the radio, but with this retrofitted printer laying down the beats, we might wear those soles out.

h/t r/videos 

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