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[TCML] Muscial tesla coils a gimmick?

From: jimlux<jimlux@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>

On 2/4/19 9:14 AM, Steve White wrote:
I will probably get a lot of responses telling me that I am stepping on
> their main interest and to each his own but here goes anyway.
> Are there others besides myself that think that musical tesla coils
are a gimmick?It seems that Youtube is just flooded with these things.
I have got to thepoint where I skip over them.
Yes, indeed, I agree

I will admit that it was interesting to hear music played on a TC for a
few times, but after that it got old very quickly. In my opinion, using
these coils to play music subtracts from the inherent majesty of high
voltage generation and discharge. The observers are too busy listening
to the music instead of admiring the high voltage fury.

Well, I'm not quite of that opinion, but I also think that folks aren't
really exercising the flexibility or potential of the medium - after
all, how many times do we need to hear some single melody line played by
a pulse generator.  It's kind of like when you play with an audio
oscillator/function generator and a speaker - you spin the dials and
make cool sounds, and then, ok, what's next.

They might as well go home and listen to their stereo. Some might say
that the only practical use for tesla coils is entertainment, and I
would agree, so why not add music as another dimension of the
entertainment? I hear this argument but I just don't agree because music
is too distracting. When I have observers stop by during Halloween,
some of them ask if my coil can play music. I happily say no because
> it is a spark gap coil even though they probably don't know
what I am talking about.

Ah, but if you make your spark gap coil play music, what about that?
That's a technology achievement - anybody can pulse modulate a high
power H-bridge or VTTC - but getting a variable speed spark gap is a
completely different story.

Paul Butterfield, who I don't think is on this list, did develop an ultra-low inertia rotary gap for playing music. The thing was eerie to watch: The armature could change direction at 1500RPM and you would scarcely notice it. He called the setup the 'Thundermonica.'

Musical coils really are a completely separate pursuit. The coil itself is largely considered a component, and often purchased turnkey. The focus is on the composition, not on the machine physics.

Not being a musician myself, I agree that the actual machine physics [and the applied physics possibilities] are a lot more interesting.

It's true that most 'compositions' out there are just simple full-mod playbacks of MIDI, but there are a few composers who coax some very subtle effects out of a single resonator with custom gear. -Greg
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