Behold The Mighty Floppotron 3.0

If everyone has been having difficulties to get hold of a 3.5″ floppy push recently, we believe we have acquired a clue as to why — behold, the mighty floppotron 3. by [Paweł Zadrożniak.] With an utterly bonkers 512 floppy drives, 4 flatbed scanners and sixteen really hard disks of many sizes, the floppotron 3. MIDI synthesiser is quite possibly the biggest these kinds of retro components synthesiser so much. Considering the fact that every single aspect of the procedure is motor-centered, no person is going to be astonished that to electric power the show is fairly an undertaking, with virtually twenty switched-manner PSU modules desired to continue to keep up with the demand, averaging 300W but rated at 1.2kW peak!

A comprehensive custom MIDI-to-RS485 gateway primarily based about the nRF52xx collection MCU promotions with the interaction to the assortment of instrument controllers. These controllers are generic plenty of to just take RS485 input and control a committed driver for possibly an array of floppy drives (up to 192), an array of tricky drives or the handful of scanners. The way the floppy drives are grouped is very neat. Rather than using just about every travel to deliver a unique tone, the computer software makes use of the total column for every single be aware. By varying the amount of drives moving simultaneously more than time, the sound volume may differ, simulating the notice envelope and providing a richer audio. Numerous columns driving in parallel give the technique a 16-be aware polyphony. The floppies go over the lower notes, with the four flatbed scanners masking the larger notes. MIDI drum seems are mapped to the hard disks, working in a, perfectly, percussive way, with various situation styles providing exceptional appears. Even the firmware can be up to date about MIDI! So, checkout the demo video clip right after the break for a sweet rendition of the extremely common “Entry of the gladiators” by Czech composer Julius Fučík.

If you imagine this seems to be common, you’re not mistaken, we’ve covered an previously floppotron in advance of, but we reckon no person has tried to do it with ye olde eight-inch drives however!

Thanks [electronoob] and [Ruhan van der Berg] for the tip!

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