Classical’s greatest hits on hardware’s greatest flops

We get a lot of tips about old hardware playing recognizable tunes. But once in a while one of these projects goes above and beyond the others and this is a shining example of great hardware music. [FunToTheHead] put together a music video (embedded after the break) that shows his custom MIDI device playing Bach’s Toccata in d minor. He left some comments that clue us into the way he did it. Most obviously, he’s using the stepper motors from four floppy drives to create precisely pitched sounds. Internally, a PIC 18F14K50 acts as a MIDI-over-USB device, taking commands for all 128 MIDI notes as well as the pitch bends associated with them. The first four channels are played directly on each drive and the other twelve are triaged among the hardware by the microprocessor. But for the results heard in the video you’ll need to code your MIDI files by hand.

Bonus points to the video editor for the Phantom’s floppy-laden appearance in the video… it’s good to laugh!

[Thanks

19 thoughts on “Classical’s greatest hits on hardware’s greatest flops

  1. Saw this one on geeksaresexy.net last week. Love it though.. :p I remember stressing about it being toccata and fugue in D minor by back and not Phantom of the Opera. But apparently it’s in the comment box now.

    anyways, who has some old drives lying around to donate? :p

  2. man, computers used to be loud. i can’t do this without floppy disks, can i? i always either unplug or remove a floppy drive when i see it, or disable in BIOS. i don’t see why we can’t use floppy shaped flash memory.. even if it’s just a floppy disk with a microsd slot. the other way would be way too breakable.

  3. Hi,
    i like those hacks of old hardware, good job.
    could you please show the sourcecode, or some links where i could learn about midi over usb???

  4. Awesome! Would be even more perfect if the front panel would say “d-” (D Minor, get it) instead of “d0″.

    LOL at the phantom and the error message :-)

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