Playing Music on the PDP-10

In 1979, Laurie Barram built a MK10 "Music Kludge" device which allowed the PDP-10 to play music. The MK10 plugged into the console lamp drivers, so that instead of driving the display lamps, the signal went into a simple smoothing and level setting circuit. Up to six "voices" - each a modulated single bit - were used in this way, and mixed to a stereo signal. This was then fed into an amplifier and then to speakers.

Some music was provided from DECUS Tapes, other music was produced by Will Gout.

Laurie Barram plays DJ

Laurie adjusts the mixing on the MK10

The six voices are mixed into a stereo signal. Here, the balance is adjusted to give a satisfying result.

Sharon Oberhardt and Colin Lythall discuss technical matters

Wilber Williams and Laurie Barram

Recording equipment - KA10, MK10, and Aiwa AD-1250 Cassette Deck

Sharon and Laurie listen to the music

Laurie conducts as the KA plays

Sharon and Chris Lythall watch as Wilber sets up speakers

Laurie conducts whilst others watch

Laurie, Sharon, Chris, Colin, Wilber and possibly Bryan Claire

Checking the console lights

MK10 on the PDP-10 console

Wilber reports on progress to another crew member

Wilber checks levels and waveforms on the Tektronix 453

Intense concentration on the faces of Laurie & Sharon

Colin, Wilber & Sharon controlling the equipment

Sharon, Colin & Laurie monitoring a recoding

Wilber, Sharon, Laurie & Colin in action

Laurie, Colin & Wilber after a successful recording session

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