Make Music With Floppy Disks

YES, WHAT YOU JUST SAW IS REAL. IF YOU WERE EVER to find transport with which to travel in a space-time continuum, the engine would (fingers crossed) sound like what is blatantly the disk drive equivalent of the Midmer Losh Pipe Organ. SolidSnake745 – gonna guess it’s a metal gear ref, guys – is the YouTuber behind this total pop cult phenom, having exploded form relative cult to global popularity.

Speechmarks was lucky enough to talk to the chap behind the vintage geekery.

Q: What first inspired you to use floppy disk drives to create tunes?

A: I had watched a video earlier this year where another person had managed to get two floppy drives to play the Imperial March. I wanted to do that. My original goal was only to get about that much done. I never planned on expanding past three drives, much less having more than a thousand views total.

It’s important to note that I did not develop the core of the software I’m using now by the way. While I coded something primitive and somewhat functional, I had stumbled across Sammy1Am’s code and found it to be far better than what I had made. While I have made my own changes to it, it still came from him. He also has a YouTube channel and I’ve mentioned him several times in comments and my FAQ.

His channel:

never forget

Q: Why did you choose YouTube as your platform?

A: I honestly didn’t think of any other platform when it comes to hosting a slew of your own personal videos. YouTube is pretty well known for allowing anybody and everybody to share their videos. It was an extremely easy and convenient option.

Q: Did you mean for the video to go completely viral?

A: As I said before, not really. I just wanted to do what someone else had done. Then I decided since I had already spent the time setting it up, might as well do a few more of my favorites. One thing led to another, I ended up doing “requests” and trying to improve the quality of my videos, and somehow ended up where I am now. Looking back I think I was also a bit jealous of Sammy1Am and how much more successful he was. I guess that also motivated me to try and do better. I really respect what he’s done and how helpful he’s been.

Q: What future projects do you have planned? Video, audio, both? Any more covers?

A: Of course I will be continuing to make floppy drive based covers. I’m not sure if I will ever stop until the drives finally seize up and die on me. I think there are still a lot of elements that can be improved on/added to my videos right now. I still have ideas and settings I want to play with to produce better videos. So I want to focus on that first. If I run out of ideas, I’ll start thinking about something new to do.

Q: OK, now introduce yourself! What do you do when you’re not making floppy disk drive music?

A: Well, my real name is Anand Jain. I’m 23 and pursuing a bachelor’s in computer engineering. Besides that I’ve worked as an intern at Citrix and am currently working for a company where I do tech support, QA testing, and a ton of other random things. In my spare time, I enjoy playing various video games, contemplating projects I want to do, building/fixing random things around my house, playing piano, and hanging out with my handful of close friends.

Art by Nick Gentry
Art by Nick Gentry

One response to “Make Music With Floppy Disks”

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