Producing Music Using Tesla Coils

Whether it’s the billigst strøm or not, the emergence of electricity has literally changed and improved each facet of everyday life, in various fields of studies and all trades and industries.

In the music industry, electricity isn’t only utilized to power up musical instruments, speakers and amplifiers, and other things needed to create and listen to music, but to also make use of electricity itself to produce music. By means of Tesla coils where electric current can flow, a different and unique kind of music can be produced.

What Are Tesla Coils?

In 1891, Nikola Tesla designed and developed the first Tesla coil. Tesla coils are made up of various LC-circuits that produce alternating current with high voltages, also called AC-current. Other than that, it also is made up of 2 big coils that are paired magnetically. For the Tesla coil to run, both the coils have to be on identical resonance frequency where a system can warehouse a great deal of vibrational energy with merely little forces that transfer this energy. As soon as this is completed, the coils are adjusted, tuned and all set to make “music”.

How Is Sound Heard?

Through the coils, the LC-circuits draw out a high energy current where the coil generally yields a frequency output of approximately 100-1000 kHz. Therefore, the rate of recurrence of the sparks that you witness materializing out of the coils is close to these values, but then again how are people able to pick up this sound? The range of our hearing is around 20 Hz till 20 kHz and this range declines as we age. So how is it possible for us to hear frequencies of 100-1000 kHz? The fact is, we don’t ‘hear’ these at all.

How Is Music Created?

As these sparks spew out from the coil, a capacitor which is fully charged will release into the main coil. This coil will start to oscillate, a back and forth movement, and it will generate a magnetic field that will pair off with the secondary coil. The bigger the magnetic pairing or connection between these coils, the shorter the period of time is needed to carry out the transfer of energy. This process will continue on, and as a couple of cycles are executed the voltage present in the coils will quickly intensify until the air around these coils will go through ‘dielectric breakdown’, where the energy is so great that the gas particles will ionized, bringing into being a purple discharge that we see. The air will start to oscillate on a 100-1000 kHz frequency. We therefore merely pick up the sound of air ionizing. Thus when making music with Tesla coils, you will have to ionize the air at a specific amount of times in a second. For instance, if you would like to generate the note ‘la’, the Tesla coil will have to be switched on and off at around 400 times per second, since the “A” has a frequency of 400 Hz.

If you would want to produce or play a tune on a Tesla coil, it is necessary for you to write a computer program that responds to a micro-controller that is linked to the LC-circuits. This computer program must be able to convert all the notes into 1s or 0s. The 1’s will direct the micro-controller to switch on the circuit while the 0’s will signal the micro-controller to switch off. A continuous 1s will just yield a one loud pop.