The Complete Lo-fi Planets

About the project

A lo-fi presentation of all seven movements of Holst's Planets Suite using 8-bit microcontrollers.

Project info

Items used in this project

Hardware components

Arduino Uno - R3 Arduino Uno - R3 x 6
Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5v/16mhz Arduino Pro Mini 328 - 5v/16mhz x 1
Adafruit Feather 32u4 Basic Proto Adafruit Feather 32u4 Basic Proto x 1
Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Raspberry Pi 3 Model B x 1


The original Lo-Fi Orchestra project started off as an attempt to bring a range of my "Simple DIY Electronic Music Projects" together to "perform" a single piece.  After a number of initial performances, I decided to take the score from Gustav Holst's Planets Suite and see how Mars would work on my growing Arduino orchestra.

This was back in December 2020. Over the next nine months, there have been numerous additional performances of the Lo-Fi Orchestra, including further movements from the Planets.  The final piece - Neptune - was completed in September 2021.

This project does not describe a recipe to allow you to recreate this work, but all the elements of this project are described on my website -  I could have built up "better" versions for the Lo-Fi Orchestra, but one of my design goals was to attempt to keep the "home made" possibility for each individual component.  You will hear additional clicks and pops due to poor grounding, 8-bit clipping, MIDI overloading, unshielded mixing of digital MIDI signals and audio output, and so on in many of these performances.  But if you want a hi-fi studio version you should play a MIDI file through a modern synthesizer or better yet go and hear a real orchestra perform.  There is really nothing quite like it.

But if you want to put together a performance in your kitchen, with cheap or low-cost components, and learn about the basics of sound synthesis at the same time, without worrying too much about the sound quality, then all details are available here:

And finally, the full performance can be found in this YouTube playlist:



SDEMP GitHub Repository

All the code from the projects used to create the Lo-Fi Planets is available on GitHub.


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