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electric music
October 21, 2006 12:08 PM   Subscribe

Tesla coil music system (YouTube alert) and five other musical gadgets you didn't know about.
posted by madamjujujive (24 comments total) 28 users marked this as a favorite

 
OMFG! Unf. Unf. Unf. Fresh underpants now please.
posted by loquacious at 12:25 PM on October 21, 2006


Holy shit! That's so cool... I love the guy in the tesla coil synth video, he is so obviously proud of himself.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 12:38 PM on October 21, 2006


Here's Scopeboy's site. Here's the art group site, with better videos.

Can I favorite this post twice?
posted by loquacious at 12:44 PM on October 21, 2006


Note that the discharge is coming from a point, not the torus of the coil. Perhaps that's why the sound is able to be less noisy.
posted by Tube at 12:51 PM on October 21, 2006


Thanks loq, the videos on that second link are indeed a lot better... especially when the dude covers Zeppelin.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 12:55 PM on October 21, 2006


Many thanks for digging those great links up, loquacious - makes it a much better post - I love it when mefi works that way!
posted by madamjujujive at 1:03 PM on October 21, 2006


You just go on and favorite your own bad self for me. No matter how much I click it only lets me do it twice.
posted by loquacious at 1:10 PM on October 21, 2006


Err, once.
posted by loquacious at 1:18 PM on October 21, 2006


So damn cool. Favorited.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 1:22 PM on October 21, 2006


That would be the ultimate rave synth. And it already has a great noisy, distorted sound. Just as good as a 303..
posted by empath at 1:23 PM on October 21, 2006


That is fantastic. I like how the neon sign partially lights up as he plays (a lot of home-brew Tesla coils are made using the transformers from neon signs.)

I want someone to make one of these using a whole bunch of different coils tuned to each note, like a pipe-organ.

It would give me a perfect place to deliver my monologue to the hero about how the world has become a flawed place, and it needs to be cleaned of the filth that is humans so my genetically engineered hedgehogs can finally take their place at the top of the evolutionary ladder.

Of course, I will be playing Toccata and Fugue in D minor at the time.
posted by quin at 1:23 PM on October 21, 2006


I give you organ music
posted by empath at 1:31 PM on October 21, 2006


WHAT IS BEHIND THAT DOOR?!?
posted by crunchland at 1:33 PM on October 21, 2006


What the hell was that guy saying?
posted by papakwanz at 1:46 PM on October 21, 2006


Eat your fucking hearts out, electric guitar players of the eighties and nineties who wanted so bad to make lightning crash whenever you struck a power chord! Eat your fucking hearts out with this guy's jacked and genius teeth, you losers!
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 1:50 PM on October 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jack shows Meg his Tesla coil (u-tube)
posted by the painkiller at 2:38 PM on October 21, 2006


pff, this violin thing is weak. They actually just hook a speaker system directly to the violin strings. The bow, as far as I can tell, is just for show.

In other words, it's just a speaker.
posted by delmoi at 4:30 PM on October 21, 2006


That was brilliant, also insane.
posted by elephantday at 5:46 PM on October 21, 2006


This reminds me of the guy that made an instrument out of the print head of an old dot matrix printer, by resonating it at different frequencies. It's been done with floppy drive stepper motors too.
posted by Rhomboid at 9:39 PM on October 21, 2006


There is not enough rock in the universe to describe the amount of rock here.

Of course, the low frequenecy response is pretty poor. He'll need bigger coils for bass. Bwhahahahaha.
posted by eriko at 4:57 AM on October 22, 2006


Looking at it a bit, it seems to be a fairly basic trick -- they're using the discharge of the tesla coil as a plasma speaker. Tesla coils are high frequency resonant coils, so imposing a signal on them is pretty trivial.

Hmm -- maybe they're using a BCB or HAM transmitter and hoping that the amazingly bad antenna (in terms of propogating an RF signal) to pump the coil's primary. I'd still want to keep it off any bands that people really care about, so 520-1800 and 1800-2000KHz are right out. Around 2500 is air band (HF comms used for interncontinal flights) but during the day, they use higher frequencies, and propogation at 2500 is bad. Combine that with an antenna that's trying to soak the carrier, rather than broadcast it, and I don't *think* you'd splatter to badly, but I'd want to check.

I'm thinking that the air terminal -- the pointy rod on top of the coil -- is acting as a detector. It rectifies the output, and the signal imposed on the carrier gets through. That point would effectivly be a diode at that frequency and voltage.

Plasma speakers never won efficency awards, and this takes inefficent to a whole new level, but it is so very cool.

The problem is frequency response -- to get a lower frequency, you need a bigger "point" -- but then you need much higher voltage to get the demodulation you need. For audio high frequencies, they can be very accurate, but you dump lots of power into them for just a little output.

But what cool output!
posted by eriko at 5:16 AM on October 22, 2006


eriko: they're not using that kind of RF to transmit the signal data nor to energize the primary - they're using a fiber optic data link because they couldn't sheild any RF/electrical links well enough.

Check out the forum links above and Scopeboy's main site, the tech details are there.
posted by loquacious at 7:11 AM on October 22, 2006


I find it hard to believe that I watched the whole link the painkiller provided to The White Stripes talking about Jack's Tesla coil. And yet it happened. And now I'M CAPS LOCKING IT ON METAFILTER.
posted by cgc373 at 5:34 PM on October 22, 2006


The fibre isn't to shield from RF -- I was sure they'd being using some sort of opto-isolation, because the back EMF when the IGBT or Spark Gap opens would be murder on anything like a MIDI port.

What I didn't grasp was they're using IGBTs to trigger the pulses to the primary, modulating that is simple.
posted by eriko at 5:35 PM on October 22, 2006


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