Impressive EDM Drum Machine Made From An Old 1920's Typewriter

April 27, 2020

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This is a short video of musician William Sun Petrus performing a tasty lil' banger on the 1920's Remington Portable typewriter he modded into a drum machine. Some more info about what exactly is going on while I just pound the keys on my laptop as fast as I can so my mom thinks the online typing lessons she bought me for Christmas were put to good use and didn't just expire unused:

This is a remington portable typewriter, made in the 1920's. I've attached a lot of wires, an arduino and plugged it in. It now makes cool noises.


For real though, whenever a hammer contacts with the "live plate", it will send a signal to the arduino. The arduino recognises which hammer has been pressed and fires a signal into my PC via the cable, and into Ableton. Ableton sees some MIDI information and understands that it needs to trigger that specific sound. This song is composed of 17 difference sounds, played live for you, right here, right now. This typewriter is actually just a small part of a much bigger project, so there's still a lot more to come!

That's cool, man. You know I type on a typewriter myself occasionally. "Erotic fan fiction?" Ransom notes. "Wait what?" I also cut letters out of my mom's Better Homes And Gardens magazines.

Keep going for a video demo of the machine being played, an unedited version with the song barely audible over the sound of the typewriter, and a video detailing how the machine is played.

Thanks to hairless, who agrees music is everywhere, except at my buddy Dave's experimental music shows, that is just noise.

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