I was browsing Slashdot earlier today when I came across a really cool article showing how Toolbox Bodensee e.V. took a bunch of old floppy drives, added a controller with a piano interface, mounted the lot on a board with 3D printed hardware, and turned their strange marriage of parts into an entirely new kind of instrument.
Here we go …
… and it only gets weirder from here.
This appears relatively new, at least insofar as it uses manual input from a human-playable keyboard. I was able to find older concepts of the floppy drive music box that took a more automated, PC-driven approach, first demonstrated in this Nyan Cat remix by YouTube user Gigawipf:
… this version of “Never Gonna Give You Up” by PyroSurge:
… and this Imperial March by MrSolidSnake745:
But the fun doesn’t end there, not by a long shot! By hacking positioning coils on a hard disk drive, it’s possible to make it vibrate at user selectable frequencies and behave as a speaker.
Add several of these modified hard disks to your floppy orchestra, and you’ve instantly got a smoother, broader tonal range, as you’ll hear in this rendition of Depeche Mode’s “Master and Servant” by Iron LongJohn:
All right, let’s take a break from the drive music for a moment.
Actually, let’s take the idea of repurposed hardware in a totally different direction. Have you ever seen someone turn pure electricity into a speaker?
What about seeing someone use electricity as a speaker, and watching them do it in style?
Here’s Arc Attack with a couple of songs, the first one performed live at Maker Faire and the second performed without an audience during a studio session:
The Tesla coil is noteworthy because it’s one of the originals in the tech graveyard, having preceded the launch of the World Wide Web by a cool 100 years and having been reused from generation to generation in various projects ever since. On behalf of experimenters and mad scientists everywhere, I think it’s safe to say these guys are doing it right.
Last but not least, let’s finish today’s post with a press interview explaining how Arc Attack’s equipment works, and what it took to connect one of these gigantic coils to a guitar: