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iron tesla
October 4, 2010 7:15 PM   Subscribe

Iron Man on electric guitar with tesla coils. [VIDEO]
posted by philip-random (46 comments total) 22 users marked this as a favorite

 
MOM I KNOW WHAT I WANT TO BE WHEN I GROW UP
posted by griphus at 7:21 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Having seen it live, it's better live.
posted by GuyZero at 7:22 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Do you still have your testicles, GuyZero? Were I to see that live I'd be tempted to sever and present them as tribute.
posted by griphus at 7:23 PM on October 4, 2010 [4 favorites]


WHAT IT SAYS ON THE TIN

It does it.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:25 PM on October 4, 2010


Yes, GuyZero, please give us more. Where? When? Why?
posted by philip-random at 7:25 PM on October 4, 2010


featuring Gimp On A Milkcrate!
posted by mannequito at 7:26 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


What the fuck is going on? Why isn't the guitar plugged in? Why does the arc sometimes go to the guitar and sometimes to the other dude? Where are the drums? This is bullshit.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 7:27 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


weren't there dudes on "Americas Got Talent" that did this, and then Sharon Osborne said " I may no a singer who would sing that with you the next time you guys play it" and the crowd laughed.
posted by djduckie at 7:34 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


know, not no...i suck.
posted by djduckie at 7:34 PM on October 4, 2010


Where are the drums?

The drums were actually a bunch of tank cannons and dynamite.

Also: Daft Punk got weird.
posted by fuq at 7:35 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


They call themselves "ArcAttack" and djduckle was right, they were on America's Got Talent.
posted by i less than three nsima at 7:41 PM on October 4, 2010


Love me some Arc Attack! They owned at the Hall of Science last week. Best venue ever.
posted by phooky at 7:42 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Part 1 of the above.
posted by phooky at 7:43 PM on October 4, 2010


Sure, it seems cool, but there's a whole cellar full of dead clones of that guy somewhere.
posted by The World Famous at 7:45 PM on October 4, 2010 [24 favorites]


Woke up, rolled out of bed, turned on the computer and this was the first thing I saw. It has effectively set the tone for my day - I will go out and kick ass...
posted by tbonicus at 7:50 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Were his boots made of lead?
posted by 445supermag at 7:55 PM on October 4, 2010 [5 favorites]


Needed a Marvel Iron Man costume for the guitarist and maybe Spider-Man for the other dude. Seriously.

Now, can you guys do the same thing with the OMD song "Tesla Girls"?
posted by oneswellfoop at 8:08 PM on October 4, 2010


I really wished the guitar sounded heavier. I mean for all of that cool shit going on, it sounded like it was being played on a Casio keyboard....
posted by horsemuth at 8:15 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Now, can you guys do the same thing with the OMD song "Tesla Girls"?

No, no, no.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:17 PM on October 4, 2010


It looks like he's wearing a bullet proof space suit. How does he manipulate the strings through welding gloves?
posted by dgaicun at 8:42 PM on October 4, 2010


Well, there was this 9 foot tall robot guitar welded out of rusted old iron. Later, Nash the Slash came on stage, and they jammed together on a cover of '20th Century Schizoid Man'. Not making this up.
posted by ovvl at 8:45 PM on October 4, 2010


As other have said, it's ArcAttack and they played Maker Faire in San Mateo this year. That's me woo-hoo-ing in the background of the video. And for you Dr Who fans out there. They let the crowd close enough to feel the vibrations of the sound but not so close that your hair stood on end or anything.
posted by GuyZero at 8:55 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


The guitar is done with optical pickups but for most of their songs it's just a dude dancing in a Faraday suit while a MIDI controller plays sound through speakers which just happen to be 15' tall Tesla coils. Honestly, the robot drummer is just as cool from a purely technical point of view.
posted by GuyZero at 8:56 PM on October 4, 2010


I wonder how many henchmen/grad students they burned through before figuring out how to do that safely....
posted by schmod at 9:01 PM on October 4, 2010 [1 favorite]


Still the best Faraday Cage video ever.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 9:06 PM on October 4, 2010 [2 favorites]


Bullet proof space suit = Faraday suit. OK.

Guy in Chain Mail Faraday Suit Takes Star Wars Tesla Coil Music To the Next Level
posted by dgaicun at 9:06 PM on October 4, 2010


You wish you were that metal.

Me too.
posted by cmfletcher at 9:08 PM on October 4, 2010


This is a pretty awesome video I found ages ago of a singing Tesla coil. No guitar-playing Iron Man, but pretty decent fidelity.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 9:54 PM on October 4, 2010


That video was coil made by Steve Ward who worked with the Arc Attack guys. I think there's a pretty small group of people doing this kinda stuff.
posted by GuyZero at 10:00 PM on October 4, 2010


I like this one too
posted by codacorolla at 10:49 PM on October 4, 2010


What the fuck is going on?

They're playing music. Using Tesla coils as speakers...

Why isn't the guitar plugged in?

It is, with a white MIDI cable rather than a black audio cable. Look more closely.

Why does the arc sometimes go to the guitar and sometimes to the other dude?

Electricity... Shortest path. Pretty unpredictable. You know - physics!

Where are the drums?

Off-screen. Magic, eh?

This is bullshit.

No, no it isn't. Your comment, on the other hand...
posted by benzo8 at 10:54 PM on October 4, 2010 [6 favorites]


Well, shit. Now I have to see my doctor about heavy metal poisoning. Again. Thanks.
posted by Marla Singer at 1:06 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


From Fantastic Fest here in Austin last week, Elijah Wood in the cage with Arc Attack (part 2).
posted by jbelshaw at 4:42 AM on October 5, 2010


Agreed that this is music you have to see in person. Live it's amazing. On YouTube, it's an extremely elaborate way to replicate the sound of an 80s computer audio chip.
posted by jhc at 6:58 AM on October 5, 2010


That is some serious circuitry modulating the power to the Tesla coils. Here's ArcAttack's home page.

I loved my Tesla coil. It was loud, but not this loud.

Biggest Tesla coil ever. LOD's server is down or I'd take you there.
posted by warbaby at 7:04 AM on October 5, 2010


Needed a Marvel Iron Man costume for the guitarist

*deflates* Well, at least I wasn't going to spend all day expecting it.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 7:30 AM on October 5, 2010


\m/     \m/
posted by newton at 8:11 AM on October 5, 2010


That is some serious circuitry modulating the power to the Tesla coils. Here's ArcAttack's home page.

I suppose at some point or other I should mention: "Don't try this at home."
posted by philip-random at 8:30 AM on October 5, 2010


This was an awesome way to start my day. Thanks.
posted by Fleebnork at 8:38 AM on October 5, 2010


very cool visuals, crappy, crappy tone
posted by pyramid termite at 9:22 AM on October 5, 2010 [1 favorite]


That is some serious circuitry modulating the power to the Tesla coils.

Nah. Tesla Coils are simple circuits -- the modulation part is easy, too -- the hard part is rigging a controller that won't kill you and won't fry instantly.

Basically, all the singing coils use IGBTs or similar, rather than a spark gap, to switch the current on and off in the primary. Since the switching time on an IGBT is now similar to MOSFET, and (unlike most transistors) the peak pluse ratings are very high, you can drive the coil at a high rate -- 40-80kHz -- and just feed in an audio signal at the gate.

The output is going to be a square wave -- the IGBT is either conducting or not, so you need to switch it fast. Bass response is very poor, because the amount of air being moved by the streamer is very small, but you can make a very precise tweeter this way -- it's fundamentally a Plasma Speaker, and because of the very low mass of the plasma, it can reproduce high frequencies very accurately.

The trick is isolating whatever's driving the gate of the IGBT, and, in the case of the guitar, making sure anything that hits the guitar isn't fed back into the system. In either case, this is easy -- all of these signals are low voltage and low current, and Optoisolators are well proven devices for isolation in this realm.
posted by eriko at 9:55 AM on October 5, 2010 [2 favorites]


That's nothing, these guys used electro-magnets to play, amplify, and record the song with vocals and everything and in France using 1970 technoliogy at that!
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:16 AM on October 5, 2010


Technology.
posted by The 10th Regiment of Foot at 10:17 AM on October 5, 2010


Biggest Tesla coil ever.

What were the dimensions of the whopper that Tesla himself built in Telluride?
posted by StickyCarpet at 12:14 PM on October 5, 2010


holy shit these two people are the most metal humans in existance ever, i mean, seriously, metal is over, it is not humanly possible to be more metal than this.
posted by egypturnash at 6:26 PM on October 5, 2010


Paging hotelechozulu, who was in the cage at Flipside this year... badass.
posted by fiercecupcake at 7:44 AM on October 7, 2010


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