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Singing Tesla Coil Instrument

You know of the Tesla coil but have you seen it used as an instrument?

Its a rather new concept and still not widely used. Probably cause most people think they will fry themselves if they get to close to it… probably true. Bjork’s Biophilia album was the first time I saw/heard the Tesla utilised as an instrument and it was impressive to say the least. The sound and visual impact was huge. If you haven’t heard one the best way to describe it is it sounds like a huge electrified saw tooth oscillator and its really in your face.

At the time I thought I could only dream of owning something like that. Well not long after I stumbled over a DIY singing Tesla coil with MIDI made by One Tesla that anyone could buy.

One Tesla is a company started by two MIT students, Bayley Wang and Heidi Baumgartner, who share a passion for high voltage and a love of DIY electronics. They made their Tesla DIY kit and launched a Kickstarter campaign in January 2013 to help fund the project and sell the kits. It was a success and they raised over $169,000 – a lot more than they expected.

Here is the One Tesla with either some verb on it or a lot of room sound. Sounds great dont you think?

I was too late and missed the original run but the interest to own one of these unique instruments has been re sparked so now is the time to finally buy one – It also helps that kits are available 🙂 The kits go for US $329 and includes all the parts needed to build the instrument. You will need a soldering iron and experience as this is not a beginners kit. If you want one and have zero experience with DIY kits best ask your buddy to put it together for you… or just pay someone.

When its built the next challenge will be to work out how to record the audio. I imagine you cant stick a microphone right next to it. The sparks would fry the mic? I just don’t know, there is nothing on this in the Mixing Engineer’s Handbook – c’mon Bobby!

Either way expect to see videos soon of the Tesla and modular battling it out

One Tesla coil DIY singing

What your One Tesla will look like.

A live recording of Bjork and band performing Thunderbolt. Utilising the Singing Tesla to produce the main bassline of the song. Just listening to the song you would expect it was a synth and not a massive Tesla coil.

So satisfying….

Maybe need two?

Never thought Id see the Ride the Lightning album cover come to life like this. So metal!

Here is the One Tesla playing a classic.

And a little bit of Disney’s The Sorcerer’s Apprentice to finish this off.

More info: onetesla.com

Feature Photo: tesladownunder.com

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