I've got an old SCHP-700 PS1 in my garage that I haven't used since 2005. One of the things I remember most fondly about the PS1 as a teen was using it to play CDs and watching the cool audio visualizations in that classic PS1 style.
I had an idea for a mod that would allow the PS1 to accept audio input from an external source and use that audio signal to generate visualizations within the SoundScope visualizer without having to read audio from a CD. As a musician, I think it would be a really neat gimmick to have my 90s synth accompanied by a 90s audio visualizer for live performances. While I could go with a much more versatile PC software based visualizer like MilkDrop, I don't like bringing laptops to gigs. Turning your old PS1 into a standalone hardware audio visualizer could be a pretty neat hack that several people might be interested in, especially given how cheap the 700/900 model PS1s are these days.
I'd imagine that there is some connection between the disc drive (or the onboard sound card) and the rest of the PS1 where the audio output is transferred to the CPU and then converted into visualizations. This mod could be as easy as mounting some RCA audio jacks on the back panel and soldering the jacks to wherever this disc drive audio out connection interacts with the CPU (probably with some capacitors in the mix to adjust the level, but I don't know). If I knew how the SoundScope visualizer actually worked I could figure out how an analog signal from an external source could be translated into a digital signal that could mimic whatever values the CD drive is sending to the component that handles the visualization.
Obviously this would make the console basically worthless for playing games on account of a lack of audio, but given that I have a PS2 and rarely use the 'ol PS1 for much of anything, I doubt it will be too much lost potential. It's not even a 100 model, so even if I wanted to use it as a CD player it wouldn't be any better than my current sound system.
I will make a project thread for this in the appropriate forum, but before I start organizing that I have a few questions.
- How does the disc drive/sound card transmit audio from CDs to the component that handles visualization?
- How can I convert an analog signal from an external source into a signal that can be interpreted by the SoundScope visualizer as if it is receiving data from the optical drive?
- What capacitors/other audio components will I need to use to ensure that the audio coming from the external source matches the signal strength/level that the disc drive sound card transmits to the component that handles visualization?
- Can the visualizer be enabled without a disc spinning in the player, or will I still have to insert a CD to start the visualizer using the Select button?