Microwaves raided to create insane Jacob's Ladder synth drum
Last year, crazy noodler Victor Kucher grabbed our attention with a completely bonkers electric guitar made from a real microwave. Now he's got some company in the shape of Synth Bike creator Sam Battle. He's been having some spark-filled fun after smashing up a couple of microwave ovens and using the transformers to power a two-voice Jacob's Ladder drum machine.
Each Jacob's Ladder sports two copper pipes, up which the spark climbs before bursting at the top. Solonoid motors pump a wooden block toward the pipe to create a controlled beat, and also short the circuit to start the spark's ascent.
"The two transformers run two Jacob's Ladders each, meaning it has two voice polyphony if you will, which is nice because when a new Jacob's Ladder starts the other one will stop, in pairs, like a open hi-hat and a closed hi-hat on a drum machine," Battle told us.
The solenoids are connected via a Tip120 MOSFET chip that feeds into an Arturia BeatStep Pro. This controller is used to sequence both the catchily-named "It'll Kill You 5000" and the monster modular synth behind it.
As well as providing some rhythm, the device can also toast bread, as you can see in the demo video below. Probably goes without saying, but don't try this at home.
Source: Sam Battle