tinyTesla Tesla Coil Kit Lets You Shoot Lightning, Make Sweet MIDI-Controlled Music


oneTesla let us know about tinyTesla, a new Kickstarter project to fund a little MIDI Tesla coil kit that’s designed to be easy to build.

tinyTesla is a desktop MIDI Tesla coil kit designed to be suitable for beginners or veterans in electronics. The project has blown past its $20,000 fundraising goal, with more than 10 times that amount already pledged. Backers can get a kit to build a MIDI tesla coil for about $150.

The Tesla coil’s lightning heats up air and creates pressure waves that are audible as sound. The more times per second the lightning fires, the higher the pitch created.

Here’s the official video intro: Continue reading

The Awesome Power Of Musical Tesla Coils


Saturday Synth Porn: When it comes to strange and sexy electronic music instruments, few can top the theremin.

But when it comes to raw power, musical tesla coils are hard to beat. Above, a pair of musical tesla coils in action on the Engineering Quad, University of Illinois, as part of the Engineering Open House. Continue reading

Build A DIY MIDI Singing Tesla Coil – oneTesla



MIT students Bayley Wang, Heidi Baumgartner and Daniel Kramnik have developed the oneTesla – a DIY kit for a solid-state MIDI Tesla coil that plays music, shoots 2-foot-long sparks, and teaches you about electronics.

Continue reading

More Tesla Coil Music

Excerpt from Bach’s Toccata and Fugue in Dm

I’ve been getting some criticism lately for calling things stupidtacular.

Some things, like programming Chuck E Cheese robots to sing Miss New Booty, or a $1,000 iPod dock, are just awesomely stupid.

Tesla coil music may fall into the same category.

Joe DiPrima and Oliver Greaves of ArcAttack use “a unique DJ set up of their own creation (an HVDJ set up) to generate an ‘electrifying’ audio visual performance. The HVDJ pumps music through a PA System while two specially designed DRSSTC’s (Dual-Resonant Solid State Tesla Coils) act as separate synchronized instruments.”

These high tech machines produce an electrical arc similar to a continuous lightning bolt which puts out a crisply distorted square wave sound reminiscent of the early days of synthesizers.

Singing Tesla Coil – Bach’s Invention No. 6

Spectacular? Stupid? Or stupidtacular?

Let me know what you think!

Incredible MIDI-Controlled Tesla Coils

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.

via Livepa