Thomas McDonald, “Engineer Dog Dad Musician” or “DevOps Engineer At NASA's Kennedy Space Center,” depending on which site you consult, has released code for his “Ohsillyscope,” an open-source oscilloscope for Raspberry Pi. Originally created a while ago, the project has generated significant interest, and now the software is available on GitHub for everyone to try. McDonald goes by notaturkey on GitHub.

Raspberry Pi Ohsillyscope: 64x64 LED matrix demonstrates oscilloscope patterns from audio
The Ohsillyscope: Source: @thomas_is_lame on Instagram.

The Ohsillyscope is built around the Raspberry Pi 4 with an Adafruit RGB Matrix Hat. It works by grabbing live audio and displaying it as a waveform on a 64×64-LED matrix display (we love these!). 

Pictures don’t do it justice, so you have to see it in action:

It’s not a scientific instrument exactly, but it sure livens up a room when McDonald is performing music. Plus, it turns audio into visible waveforms, so it still counts as an oscilloscope!

The project reads from Linux's ALSA sources for audio, and the code is now available on GitHub for free under an open-source license (GNU General Public License 3.0). The documentation for the code is admittedly vague, but it looks as if the code is pretty much self-documenting.

He’s excited to share the Ohsillyscope with the world and see what people will do with it. He’s not alone in that — it will inspire others to experiment with Raspberry Pi and create new projects, and we’re all about that!

If you're interested in trying out the Ohsillyscope, you can download the code from McDonald's GitHub repo for the project. With some tinkering, you could create your own musical performance setup or use it for other audio applications!