You’ve been watching those wild YouTube videos of people performing tunes with hacked floppy drives – most recently Star Wars and Nirvana. Now get those sounds in a sample library for nearly-free donationware.
The very-British “Spitfire Audio” have a series they called “labs,” where they build experimental libraries. As a self-professed weirdo, of course, this is immediately more interesting than even the very lovely usual content. Bonus: while the downloads aren’t free, they’re just 2 GBP, and those proceeds go to a charity of your choice.
This is amazing, too: they’ve raised a whopping £122,628.60.
Find this one (you’ll need a full copy of Native Instruments’ Kontakt):
And wow, there are a lot of interesting samples in this library – a huge collection:
A walkthrough on the Labs project:
And if you’re interested not just in grabbing these samples but trying some floppy mods yourself, you’ll want to read a bit of the behind-the-scenes info on how they did it:
n the video we’ve got four floppy disk drives hooked up to an Arduino and a ATX power supply.
The Arduino is hooked up to a laptop which is providing all of the pitch and timing information to the floppy disk drives.
I’ve re-arranged this theme so that one of the drives was playing the bass line in 8ths, two of the drives were playing the melody an octave apart and one drive was playing a counter melody.
The drives were arranged as so: Bass, Melody, Counter-Melody, Melody Octave.
The drives were clamped closed, which is what happens when a floppy disk is slotted in, which gives them more presence in their tone.
We’ve programmed a snare beat on the PO-12 Rhythm. To sync the two up, we simply left the Teenage Engineering PO-12 Rhythm running and timed the disk to start on the first beat of the pattern.
As for recording, we decided to just use the microphone on the camera. We felt it would give the video a genuine feel, similar to when a producer puts up a snapchat or vine of them working in the studio on their phone.
Apart from the fade in at the start and a bit of colour correction, there has been no post done to either the video or sound. Everything you are hearing and seeing has been captured by the camera in real time.