Back to the Future theme tune, played by disk drives

YouTuber Arganalth has an interesting hobby: music production using disk drives. His channel contains a whole host of musical masterpieces conducted using an array of various disk drives, programmed to make the arms in the drives retract in very specific ways to generate the right sound. Until now he’s been using a PC which sends the data to an Arduino Uno.

For some time he’s wanted to use a Raspberry Pi to replace the need for the PC and power supply unit – and now he’s back with a new setup. He’s put together a musical octet of disk drives, and chosen the theme tune from the 1985 SciFi comedy classic Back To The Future for his opening Pi performance:

Arganalth has adapted the setup shown in Sammy1Am’s YouTube tutorial; he’s used a mixture of floppy drives and and hard disk drives, it’s battery-powered and the latest iteration of the ensemble is housed in a suitcase, so he can always carry the party with him wherever he goes! Some other songs performed, in the pre-Pi days include Daft Punk’s Get Lucky, the Portal song Still Alive and the Zelda theme. We look forward to more Pi powered musical treats.

This is a really nicely realised project: it just goes to show that if you put your mind to it, you can accomplish anything. The project also highlights how a Raspberry Pi can take the place of a desktop PC, providing as much flexibility but with the portability and low power of a microprocessor.