Relive the San Andreas glory days with this Grand Theft Auto radio built by Raphaël Yancey.
With the "tuned" status LED. pic.twitter.com/PuIi6sY78V
— Raphaël Yancey (@raphaelyancey) June 27, 2018
…and now I have Barracuda stuck in my head.
The music of GTA
Anyone who has played Grand Theft Auto knows that one of the best parts of the series is the radio stations: a mix of classic tunes and often comical DJ interludes make driving haphazardly through the streets of San Andreas a joy.
And much like fans of the Fallout series, many of us GTA players are guilty of listening to the in-game music outside of gaming sessions.
Hacking a radio
Maker Raphaël Yancey loves the San Andreas tunes so much, he decided to build his own Grand Theft Auto radio, complete with the MP3s available from Rockstar, the game’s creators.
Raphaël used a 1970s Optalix TO100 portable radio for this project, along with a Raspberry Pi 3. While this would be enough to create a music player, he also added two potentiometers for volume control and frequency tuning, as shown in the video above.
Python code allows the potentiometers to move within a virtual frequency range of 88.7Mhz to 108.0Mhz, with five stations to find along the way. A status LED lights up whenever you tune into a station, and the Pi lets you listen to it. Raphaël explains:
The software I wrote can handle as many stations as the hardware can! Also, the stations all play simultaneously, not only when you tune in, for that real, sweet radio vibe.
You can find Raphaël’s complete tutorial for building your own GTA radio here. We’re keen to see what other game-based music projects our community will come up with. Here at Pi Towers, we have a spare Fallout Pip-Boy that’s aching to play the sweet sounds of the post-apocalyptic Commonwealth…
Raspberry Pi and music
The integration of Raspberry Pi within music projects is a theme we’re very fond of. From rejuvenated jukeboxes such as Tijuana Rick’s 1960’s Wurlitzer, to The Nest, a USB music download system built into Table Mountain, we’ve seen a host of imaginative projects and are always eager to discover more.
So if you’ve used a Raspberry Pi in your music project, whether it be a jukebox, a guitar pedal, or an instrument, be sure to share it with us.