Bohemian Rhapsody On Old Hardware


Here’s another junk music performance to add to the list. [bd594] put together this rendition of Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody on assorted computing equipment. The lead piano sound is from an Atari 800XL. Lead guitar is a Texas Instruments TI-99/4a. An 8inch floppy plays bass while a HP ScanJet 3C covers the vocals. He had to dub the scanner four times to get all of the vocal parts. He wanted to use four independent scanners but the prices on eBay were forbidding. The use of oscilloscopes to show the wave forms in the video is a nice touch. Check out our post about Radiohead’s Nude for more examples of this.

[via adafruit]

24 thoughts on “Bohemian Rhapsody On Old Hardware

  1. At least they picked something more original to play. Everybody plays Still Alive and the Super Mario World 1-1 theme on their old hardware, not everyone picks Bohemian Rhapsody.

    Now to wait for the PC speaker / hard drive / dot-matrix rendition of Gimme All Your Lovin’ by ZZ Top.

  2. definitely a more difficult song to reproduce (I mean Mario was midi based originally) but it’s just not as cleanly done as the other ones, it’s a bit out of sync and out of pitch. I do like that they tried to mix various hardware together though… _A_ for effort

  3. >>aghgh the poor rhythm is killing me!

    I’m glad to see that I am not alone.
    Not a terrible attempt, but the tone is off and the textures of key portions are missed… making me cry inside.

  4. Don’t forget about treewave. They had an EP that was pretty excellent. He used an FM synth, dot matrix printer, and an old atari of some sort to do the music while a young gal did spacey vocals. Give them a listen if you want a more full-baked implementation of hardware music.

  5. >>if not perhaps the point has been missed entirely

    i think the point here is to create an interesting musical presentation, and if you’re going to cover a really well known song it’s going to stick out if the rhythms are kind of off.
    regardless of that the technologic components are well done and the o-scopes are a great touch.

  6. This is fantastic but a fake… As you can see the oscilloscope is one of the main instruments used. This tool precisely matches the audio with visual wavelengths during the entirety of the song. Us professionals use Oscilloscopes similar to this one (the age of an oscilloscope does not matter since it is just portraying a visual of an analog signal) to tune amplifiers to their speaker setup. while tuning we connect the O-scope to the speaker leads of the amplifier. the song will ‘vibrate’ the line to the music. whoever made this simply played the song directly into the o-scope to get the visual. as for the audio… all sounds that matched the o-scopes visual were simple 8 or 16 bit reproductions of the song. As for the printers and whatnot: yea old printers do sound like that, but at that precision and speed…. doubt it. you have all been scammed by trick photography and fancy editing. But props to the mad editing skills nonetheless

  7. regarding Geek Squad’s comment

    The oscilloscope was connected directly to the output of the old computers. how else can you show that the 8 bit computers are playing. It is not difficult to program these old machines in basic to play a sequence of notes. Simply use a for next loop reading data satements which contain the note frequency and duration (DUH) As for the scanner google scanjet music nimrods. It’s not rocket science guys any one can do this. As for the floppy i used a PWM circuit to drive the stepper motor. Oh yah I can’t beleive you guys are still around because any two year old can setup a PC.


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