‘Guaranteed to Blow Your Mind’: Watch These Floppy Disks Play Queen’s ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ Like A Pro
Didn’t think it could be done? Floppy drives can indeed be used to create music. While anyone might be surprised, YouTube user Pawel Zadrozniak hasn’t been. He has created this new form of music by covering songs across the galaxy, from “Bohemian Rhapsody” to the “Imperial March.” With over 280,000 subscribers, he’s created a following around his Floppotron.
Floppotron, A Computer Hardware Orchestra
If you don’t remember: floppy disks always made a lot of noise. They came with home computers and they made buzzing and chattering noises as they were booting up. Instead of just hearing noise, Zadrozniak has turned the sound into a miniature orchestra.
Zadrozniak is a Polish engineer built Floppotron 2.0 using 64 floppy drives, eight hard drives, and a pair of flatbed scanners. The software used to run Floppotron he created during his time in college which translates MIDI files into a series of discrete commands telling the hardware what sounds to make and when.
How It Works
Floppotron uses floppy disks in banks of eight. One playing alone is quiet and eight playing together creates more sound. Using the group, it can play up to eight notes at one time and each one can have its own volume. Within the pieces of hardware are stepper motors, which allows the floppy disks and scanners to create different pitches. The additional scanners, with covers removed, act as solo instruments.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” isn’t the first, or the last, song that Zadrozniak has generated using the Floppotron.
Zadrozniak’s creation has covered songs including, “Video Killed The Radio Star,” “Take On Me,” and “Teen Spirit.” The latest song choice was likely motivated by the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody” to movie theaters. The movie did very well, it grossed $597 million worldwide on a production budget of $50 million.
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