MIDI Controlled Floppy Drive Organ

- by - in Music

We’ve seen a load of floppy disk drive music over the years, from the James Bond theme, to the Mario theme. All these projects usually have a limited amount of drives, usually no more than 10, and they all use pre-programmed notation to play the song. Wouldn’t it be great if we could step it up a notch, and increase the number of drives 5-fold to create a hard drive orchestra? How about we make it playable?

A German youth club has stepped up to the challenge, and implemented a playable organ of an amazing 49 floppy drives! The 40 members of the technologically-focused youth club have collaborated to create the “Floppy Orgel“, which translates to the slightly risqué sounding “Floppy Organ”.

Closeup of the mounting brackets
Closeup of the mounting brackets

The organ consists of 49 floppy disk drives, mounted to a large board, along with 84 3D printed parts. It took 30 hours of 3D printer time to create the parts needed for the supports, and 3 months to complete the whole project. Apart from the beautifully crafted frame, the most amazing part of this project is the fact that it can not only be played from standard MIDI files, but it can be played from a MIDI keyboard as well.

As you can imagine with such an outdated technology, it proved a little difficult to track down the 49 drives. What started out as a 4 drive project soon ended up with a scavenger hunt, looking everywhere for old drives after deciding to super size the project.

The organ is finished, and can be transported to different locations to showcase it, but the the team plan to continually add to the project, adding features such as LED lights to make it look amazing in the dark.

You can download the 3D print files from the Thingiverse website, and it uses the Moppy program for Arduino.

Adam RogersAdam RogersI am the the founder and editor of Codeduino. I'm a developer by trade, and a maker by night. I've been 'making' ever since being introduced to Arduino at university - my final year project was an Ableton Live controller based on Arduino.


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