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This Should be Played at High Voltage
July 15, 2007 4:25 AM   Subscribe


 
Mario Forever!
posted by ItsaMario at 4:45 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's no Ella Fitzgerald, is it?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 4:52 AM on July 15, 2007


Wow.
posted by odinsdream at 5:33 AM on July 15, 2007


Hey! It's Euro-disco that speeds up and slows down! And it looks like lightning!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:39 AM on July 15, 2007


I thought this was a follow-up to the covers post the other day; but I expected Signs, not the Super Mario Brothers theme.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:04 AM on July 15, 2007


Very cool, nthdegx. I wonder how loud those giant tesla coils in Russia would be.
posted by figment of my conation at 9:04 AM on July 15, 2007


More Tesla.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 9:20 AM on July 15, 2007


Here's a 75-foot-tall Tesla coil, fortunately not being used to trigger a cheesy synth, but simply emitting the awe-inspiring sound of a massive amount of electricity: BIGGG TESLA COIL OF OKLAHOMA. You really don't wanna stand too close to this thing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:31 AM on July 15, 2007


Uh, sorry, that's 15 feet... Still incredible, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:36 AM on July 15, 2007


"Here's a 75-foot-tall Tesla coil, fortunately not being used to trigger a cheesy synth"

That isn't accurate. "yes, it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics."
posted by nthdegx at 10:00 AM on July 15, 2007


Needs to play "Better Harder Faster Stronger", not Freebird!
posted by anthill at 10:48 AM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


flapjax-- you missed the point. The Tesla coil is -singing-, not 'triggering a cheesy synth'. A couple of years ago, a friend of ours noticed that different sized sparks made different tones. Steve took it a step further and figured out how to make a Coil sing. They've done the big Tesla coils already -- Steve and a friend of his both have bigger Tesla coils (and smaller ones to play with inside), but sometimes size isn't everything.
posted by jlkr at 10:56 AM on July 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Lots more info at Steve's web page, including how the coil is modulated to produce music.
posted by pombe at 12:12 PM on July 15, 2007


musician's tesla coil
posted by es_de_bah at 12:14 PM on July 15, 2007


That is way too awesome. It might even be worth making a small coil just for this.
posted by spiderskull at 12:30 PM on July 15, 2007


This is really amazing. I'd always known that tesla coils make a lot of noise, but I had no idea that it could be modulated into music. I want to see one of these used onstage at a rock concert.
posted by MythMaker at 1:26 PM on July 15, 2007


Pretty cool, but extremely vulnerable to an Allied attack helicopter.
posted by brain_drain at 3:26 PM on July 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


11-minute long, very technical explanation of how this works.

Now, off to find where the next Teslathon is ...
posted by intermod at 3:35 PM on July 15, 2007


I was wondering when this would make it here.

The noise is generated by the arc. It is hard to explain just how *loud* this was. You get a sense of it by listening to the crowd noise, and how quickly it was swamped by the coil output.

By being solid state -- hard to do until recently, because of the amount of power you're dealing with -- you can switch the coil at a high enough frequency that you can generate audible tones. Modulating that signal (in this case, it's simplistic -- just switch on and off -- hope you like square waves.) and this is what you get.

The reason for the cheesy synth tones. The builder is an ee-prototype, not a musician. He's working on a midi controller, but for this demo, he had a simple box that would run through sequences. The tempo change is a knob on the controller that makes the switching sequence play faster or slower.

It was a very, very cool thing. It wasn't quite running at full potential. We could only get a 20A power feed from the hotel, and both of the coils there could handle more. (Yes, I was there. No, I don't know Steve, but I do know the guy who built the other large coil (not solid state, but wow, wicked power levels -- he's using a pole pig as the input transformer....))
posted by eriko at 4:02 PM on July 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Sweet! Where can I get one?
posted by malocchio at 5:57 PM on July 15, 2007


That isn't accurate.

flapjax-- you missed the point.


Gentlemen, I stand corrected. But still somewhat vindicated by eriko's comment re: cheesy synth tones and the sequence (Like I said, reminiscent of Euro-disco).

but sometimes size isn't everything

So I've heard...

And sorry to come off kinda negative before. In fact I'm all in favor of experimentation with crazy electrical devices and their potential for creating music. It's just that I found this one, musically at least, a little underwhelming. But carry on, fellows, and keep those big sparks a'flying!
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:08 PM on July 15, 2007


Eriko, is Duckon GT's home con? Seems like the GTers are primarily concentrated in Chicago.
posted by jiawen at 7:28 PM on July 15, 2007


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