Silent, an electronics hobbyist in Poland, hacked a couple floppy drives to play The Imperial March, as seen in the first video after the jump. Although this isn’t the first time this has been done (see: all the other videos after the jump), it is the best floppy drive version of The Imperial March I’ve heard. He plans on making an orchestra with some old 5.25″ and 8″ drives next.
Here’s how it’s done:
Floppy drives have a stepper motor. Stepped rotation causes vibration, which is audible. By controlling how many steps are taken per second, you can control how many sound waves per second are generated. A microcontroller can speak to the floppy drive in order to do this if you flash it with a program. You feed note pitches and durations into this microcontroller, perhaps by converting a MIDI file. [Reddit]
Oh, so that’s how that works. One time I put a floppy disk with a Limp Bizkit song on it into my computer’s floppy drive, and I could have sworn the stepper motor said, “Oh f–k you.” But now I know that was just a coincidence. Right?
[Sources: Nerdcore, Reddit, TheDailyWhat]
For a few more Imperial March videos, check out Nerdcore.