DIY Musical Floppy Drives


Inspired by videos such as “Undertale – Megalovania {8 FDD, 2 SM}” by MrSolidSnake745 on YouTube, I decided in May of 2015 to try and make musical floppy drives of my own just so I can see what I could do with them. What quickly followed was me staying up until probably 1:30 in the morning figuring out how to make it work with the two drives that I had. I’ll write up what it took to get there once I’m finished making the final work, but here’s the video from that first prototype:

Initial Construction

Needless to say I was able to get them working with two drives. My high school ended up being a good source for more drives, and after seeing what I built, they gave me enough drives for me to complete my setup. Turns out they had a bunch of old computers laying in warehouse with absolutely no purpose other than being there. With a busy summer and first semester at George Mason University, I had to wait till winter break to continue work on them. Here’s the drives now with a wiring harness build so that only one set of cabling needs to be used to control the entire system. There are still a couple of problems with a couple drives, but they sound great!

Further Plans

In the end, what I am planning on having is a setup where I can not only play songs into the floppy drives from MIDI files that have already been made, but I would like them to be controlled live via a MIDI keyboard. I haven’t played much with it but I think the feature is already in the software running on my laptop but I’d like it to be standalone, needing only power and a direct connection between the MIDI keys and the Arduino. It still remains to be seen how that will work but I have to get all the drives responding properly and in a nice looking enclosure first!