There is … a house … in New Orleans … bleep, bloop, bloopity, bloop.
Confession time: That lede was terrible. The actual cover of “House Of The Rising Sun” performed by this collection of repurposed printers and computer bits is actually strikingly accurate. It lacks a bit of the original song’s ominous timbre, but considering the band consists of automated scrap, it’s pretty impressive.
You dare doubt me? Watch that video at top-right. While I feel pretty confident in guessing that the vast, vast majority of our readers missed the song’s original 1964 debut, we’ve all heard this tune at some point, and I dare you to fault the mechanical band’s efforts.
But how exactly did YouTube user bd594 accomplish all of this? There has to be a trick, right? Dark magic, maybe? Hilton Valentine hiding the background, snickering and keeping time with a keytar? Nope, just incredibly well coordinated techno junk.
His video description explains:
For this video i recorded each instrument separately with a decent stereo mic and i also used a mixer to adjust the audio levels. i would like to point out that absolutely no sampling or audio effects were used.
a. HP Scanjet 3P, Adaptec SCSI card and a computer powered by Ubuntu v9.10 OS as the Vocals. (hey, the scanner is old)
b. Atari 800XL with an EiCO Oscilloscope as the Organ
c. Texas instrument Ti-99/4A with a Tektronix Oscilloscope as the Guitar
d. Hard-drive powered by a PiC16F84A microcontroller as the bass drum and cymbal
i was very pleased how the hard-drive drums turned out and they sound great.
It should also be pointed out that bd594 (if that IS his real name) isn’t some lowly amateur at this sort of thing. Well, actually, he is a lowly amateur, but he’s also responsible for this similarly technofetishistic cover of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He’s got chops, is what I’m saying. Dude knows his way around a PiC16F84A microcontroller — whatever that is.