The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives

Slashdot.org has an article about a site that is hosting the sounds of thirty five different hard drives failing. Although the recording quality is generally poor there are some really interesting sounds including a Maxtor drive with a stuck spindle producing a “futuristic cell phone melody”. You can read the article and checkout the sounds here, although it might be a bit busy due to the site being slashdotted.

Also, click the image to see a video of a remix of Nude by Radiohead made entirely out of sounds captured from old computer peripherals including a dot matrix printer, scanner, cassette drive, hard drives, and so on. The remix and video was created by Glasgow based artist James Houston.

One thought on “The Sounds of Failing Hard Drives

  1. Thanks for posting the article link.
    These drive failure sounds are so loverly, I thus used them (exclusively) to create some musical patterns for a little tune:
    http://raschedv.net/dl/HarddriveFailureHiFi.mp3
    For the (first minute) intro part I mixed them in their original states. In the second (lyrical) part I had to pitch them to obtain decent material for constructing melodies and chords. Of course it would have been too much work to process and insert each single note manually by editing the waveforms. Instead I created my own soundfont, based on the particular noises. This way I could execute the composing in a MIDI editor and render the notes using the soundfont.
    The vocals were rendered online (TextToSpeech by AT&T Labs).

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