Floppy Organ

Presenting the Floppotron, a music organ composed of an array of floppy drives, hard drives, and a couple of flatbed scanners.

The scanners are controlled by off-the-shelf Arduino boards and the hard drives have ATMega16s with H-bridge drivers.

The floppies are divided into single-voice blocks of eight controlled by an ATMega16, with dynamic volume envelopes made possible by the number of simultaneously running drives, so the sounds can fade in and out like “natural” musical instruments.

The hard drives and scanners are run against their mechanical stops, providing percussion. All the boards are daisychained via SPI to an Arduino that acts as a PC interface, and the PC schedules the performance with a Python script.

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