Floppy Music 3
Triggered by a remix contest from the band Radiohead, UK-based artist James Houston wired this retro orchestra in 2008 to create a mezmerizing and beautiful project and video work. It combines different retro computing devices such as:
- Sinclair ZX Spectrum – Guitars (rhythm & lead)
- Epson LX-81 Dot Matrix Printer – Drums
- HP Scanjet 3c – Bass Guitar
- Hard Drive array – Vocals & FX
They play the song “nude” from radiohead in a very musical way. The video is heavily colorgraded to give it that retro look, which fits well to the overall idea.
Based on the lyric (and alternate title) “Big Ideas: Don’t get any” I grouped together a collection of old redundant hardware, and placed them in a situation where they’re trying their best to do something that they’re not exactly designed to do, and not quite getting there.
It doesn’t sound great, as it’s not supposed to.”
The Floppotron by polish hacker SlieNT is a hugh array of 64 floppy drives, 8 hard disks and two scanners.
It uses the controls as we have seen have it before but the project shines with its mass and build-quality. Also it implements volume control which gives it much more musical possibilities than similar hacks. Percussion-like sounds are realized with salvaged hard drives which are run against the casing to make the percussion “plopp”. Electronically, everything is realized with arduinos, which are wired as one big SPI-Chain to be finally controlled from a desktop computer.
User [BD594] is famous for releasing his “Old School Computer Remixes”. The remixes commonly feature a printer re-using the noises made by the step motors, some solenoid driven instruments and one or more oscilloscopes to visualize the sound of the stepper motors.