The Basics – How it works

The basic idea is to use a floppy drive to record analog audio. To do this, I used an arduino to turn the drive off and on, and control whether or not we were reading from or writing to the disk.

It is fairly easy to write music to old floppy diskettes because they are made from the same material as audio cassette tape, and the same methods can be used. In addition, an arduino or other microcontroller is not necessary, the same thing can be accomplished using only switches and manual connections.

Why would we want to do this?

1. Because we can!

2. Because the effect on the audio is actually quite nice, like a cross between tape delay/reverb (see the videos section).

3. Because tape delay machines are difficult to obtain and service while floppy drives are virtually free.

4. Because it allows us to control the devices with a computer, creating robotic musical effects and instruments.

If you have different thoughts about why this project engages you, let me know, I will add them to the list!