The guys at Haken Audio, the creators of the Continuum Keyboard, have published a video that showcases the awesome power of MIDI-controlled Tesla coils.
Here’s the story behind it:
Mark Smart performs live in Urbana, Illinois on March 7, 2008.
This outdoor concert was part of a student-run open house for the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois. Tesla coils were used to create musical pitches via a control system designed by university student Steve Ward. Two coils were used. The right coil is playing a prerecorded Midi track, acting as the bass, and the left one is performed live as a lead sound via the Continuum fingerboard. The Midi track as well as additional audio backing tracks were played via Cubase running on a Open Labs Neko workstation.
In spite of the frigid temperatures (4 degrees Fahrenheit, 26 mph winds), the concert was well attended and was voted the most popular event of the open house.
Based on the video, it’s clear that this would have been a tough act to compete with.
Mark Smart is an very talented multi-instrumentalist and a geek in the best sense. I always try to stop by and see him and Dr. Lippold Haken at the annual Winter NAMM Show, because they’re both really nice guys, and it’s amazing to see Mark play walking bass with one hand he solos on Continuum with the other.
More about Mark at his site.