When you think of all the great versions of the Christmas classic “Little Drummer Boy,” what comes to mind? Bing Crosby and David Bowie? Bob Seger? What would you say if I told you one of the best versions to date doesn’t even involve humans?
While using computer hardware and/or accessories to make music is not a new concept, this might be the first well-known Christmas song that I’ve seen recreated with such an “instrument.”
YouTube user bd594 (the guy who brought us the wonderful tech-cover of Bohemian Rhapsody) has done it again. This new viral Christmas vid shows a duo of a robot snare drummer and an HP scanner playing the classic tune.
Check it out below:
Here’s what the creator has to say about the project:
This project was really difficult, it was 70% timing and 30% execution. There are alot of YouTube videos with floppies and stepper motors playing songs. These motors have a quick response time because they are not under a heavy load. The problem with a flatbed scanner is moving the large carriage head. It was not designed to move quickly and when it is playing music you will notice the head changes directions. This is to prevent the carriage from smashing into the chassis.
As the notes are playing the carriage head has to periodically change direction and this can add many seconds to a 3 or 4 minute song. This takes extra programming to compensate for these delays. As for the drums they are just a couple of solenoids connected to a pulley system in order to ampilfy the movement. The solenoids are used and have very slow response time, you may notice a few beats are missed during the drum rolls. Believe me when I say I have a new respect for drummers.
I’m patiently awaiting “Carol of the Bells” on 80’s IBM printer.