DJ Your Way Back to the 1980s With This Floppy Drive Orchestra

By Maddie Stone on at

Turning old hardware into musical instruments is a time-honoured tradition among nostalgic, tech savvy children of the ‘80s. But few have taken the idea as far as James Willis, whose floppy drive orchestra is so cleverly arranged I wouldn’t be surprised to see people DJing with these soon.

Sixteen drives, synchronised by a miRIO and wirelessly controlled with an iPad. For his five-song demo, Willis went the extra mile and hooked up a monitor loaded with visuals — because of course, the Imperial March wouldn’t be complete without footage of Red Leader peering into his 8-bit targeting computer to bust up the Death Star, now, would it?

But if 2D visuals aren’t your thing — if, say, the occasion calls for a Daft Punk power helmet — just rig up a second miRIO and go for it. Willis has all the details you need to start building your own floppy orchestra right here. [YouTube]