The story

When I was 9, my father bought me my first computer, a TRS-80 Color Computer (affectionately known to its owners as the “Coco”). Home computers were a rare novelty at the time. But he somehow recognized this could be a useful interest of mine to encourage. I have fond memories of learning BASIC, typing in long program listings from my uncle’s computer magazines, turning my own ideas into reality, and sharing experiences with friends.

The Coco had a powerful sound capability for the time. BASIC commands allowed you to enter strings of musical notes for it to play as part of programs. Assembly language gave you more control over the sound output. But the Coco was limited in how many sounds could be produced at a time. In BASIC, just one. In assembly language, the more voices you added, the more static noise would get produced.

Recently I wondered what it would sound like if there were no limit to its polyphony. Could harmonies, multiple instruments, and even percussion be produced solely from the Coco to create music? The result is this sound library. It is rough, bare-bones, and no-frills. But it is an honest capture of the feel of this old but influential piece of technology. I hope you enjoy using it to add a touch of retro to your creations.

Making Coco Retro:

Sample song:


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