If there’s one thing nerds on the Internet are really, really amazing at — you know, other than science and inventing and math and learning useless facts about science fiction franchises — it’s using technology and creativity to reinterpret their favorite things. Ever wonder who was the first guy to figure out how to play music using the tones on a Touch-Tone phone? It was probably a nerd! And technology buffs all over the globe have only expanded their efforts in synchronizing music and machines since then. Have a listen to some of these incredibly done covers and let us know what you think!
Haddaway’s “What Is Love” performed on floppy disk drives
Remember floppy disk drives? No? That’s okay, you don’t really need to remember them to be totally into this floppy disk cover of the song Saturday Night Live once made famous. This YouTube user, MrSolidSnake745, is an amazing floppy musician, so be sure to check out some of the other covers on his channel.
Super Mario Bros. theme, performed on laser cutter
A laser cutter is an industrial tool used to finely slice through metals and other materials that require precision. This guy used a laser cutter to play the theme song of a video game he probably loved as a kid. Genius at work, people.
“He’s a Pirate,” performed on stepper motors
Students at the Poznań University of Technology in Poland configured a bunch of stepper motors, which are used in small functions like operating automatic doors and car mirrors, to play a series of MIDI files. This one plays the theme tune from Pirates of the Caribbean, but there’s also a lot more on their channel!
Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody,” performed on a collection of old computer parts
This ingenious individual took a whole bunch of floppy drives, HP scanners, and an old-timey oscilloscope to make a completely amazing-sounding (albeit a little rhythmically wonky) 8-bit rendition of Queen’s operatic hit. Best message in the comments? “My friend stood here in awe for several long moments… and then said, ‘You know what, we should be on the fucking moon right now.'” Truer words were never spoken.
Metallica’s “One,” performed on a CNC machine
CNC (Computer Numerical Control) machines are used by manufacturing companies to drill holes in things. They’re also programmable, which means they can be taught to appreciate the work of Lars Ulrich. How’s that for some heavy metal music?
Tetris theme, performed on a home-built laser harp
Yes, you read that right. Laser harp. Enough said.
Star Wars‘ “The Imperial March,” performed with a Tesla coil
The guys of Arcattack, an Austin-based performance group who once made it big on America’s Got Talent, use electrical resonant transformer circuits called Tesla coils and chainmail-style conductive suits called “Faraday suits.” In this video they are testing a new suit design with the song that got them their television spot, and it’s easy to see why the judges were impressed. By the beard of Zeus, those are some awesome sounds!