More musical Tesla coils (And a musical saw)

June 24th, 2007

Since my last post, I’ve discovered that itseems like there quite a few musical Tesla coil videos on youtube. This is probably due to the eeeeeevil works of The Geek Group.
I’ve picked three of my favourite videos.

This one is a comprehensive explanation to the inner workings of a musical Tesla coil. As it seems their version takes an audio signal, reduces it to one bit in depth and sends it as a modulated carrier signal to the coil.
Well, I’d like to see some other signal formats to see if it can change the audio quality. I can think of at least two ways:

  1. You could send the signal as a PCM at the coils resonating frequency. (Same frequency, different pulse width)
  2. You could create a PCM at a lower frequency than the resonating frequency and then modulate the resonating frequency by that PCM
  3. Another idea that I personally find compelling is that you could ring modulate the carrier by the input signal and power the coil with the result. That would be interesting!

(Three items? I told you I could think of at least two ways)

I like the tune he’s playing in this one, and also the snap that every new note makes, gives the sound a sense of dynamics.

Another one from The Geek Group, the Tetris theme again, this time polyphonically played by two coils.

From one rare sound source to another: I recently found a digitalization of a rare vinyl recording from 1963, given out as an encouragement to the salespeople of Sandvik. Apart from a short speech in both Swedish and English to the salespeople, there are threee songs by Moses Josiah, played on a musical saw. Which is simply a saw held like a violin and played. It’s not a hard metallic sound, but rather a soft resonant sound, which reminds of that of a theremin. (Which is of course part of the reason I decided to blog about it)

Watch out for the next post, having fun with search engines.

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