Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 26, 2010

Multichord – Hard Drive Musical Instrument

at 3:44 pm. Filed under Computer Hacks, DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Here is another project idea for one of those old hard drives you have laying around. The Multichord turns your hard drive and some other miscellaneous items into a musical instrument.

“The Multichord musical instrument is an acoustic stringed instrument with a single string, constructed from wood, a hard drive, 20-lb monofilament, and assorted electronic components. It was the culmination of a project to build an acoustic instrument capable of playing multiple notes without fretting or manual, time-consuming retuning. The Multichord achieves this by attaching a hard drive read/write head assembly between the resonant string and a tensioning spring to adjust the tension of the instrument’s string. Careful adjustment was made to the tension of both the string and the spring with the hard drive head in a neutral, unpowered position to ensure a bipolar application of voltage within the safety ratings of the hard drive’s coil could cause the string to cover a full musical octave. In the end, the Multichord was tuned to a C-major scale (no flats or sharps) running from A at 220Hz through (but not including) A at 440Hz.”


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3 Responses to “Multichord – Hard Drive Musical Instrument”

  1. HDD actuated acoustical instrument - Hack a Day Says:

    […] [via Hacked Gadgets] […]

  2. NatureTM Says:

    I really like the concept and I think it could be expanded upon a great deal. It might be beyond the scope of what you were trying to accomplish but if it could pluck and mute itself it could easily be connected to a midi controller. I also imagine it could produce some unique portamento effects if you could move smoothly between notes. I really want to try something like this. Very nice!

  3. anon Says:

    The instrument is tuned to C for sure but it isn’t 220 to 440hz. 220-440 hz is A, not C.

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