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Thread: Steampunk

  1. #16
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    Alan Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentleman is pretty steampunk (and brilliant).

    Also, anyone remember Chaos Engine on the Amiga?

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slothrop View Post
    I've been trying to figure out how you'd capture a steampunk vibe through the medium of electronic music, but I'm basically drawing a blank atm.
    I wouldn't assume a steampunk band is primarily electronic.

    I would hope for (and think appropriate) accordions/bandoneons, hand-cranked victrolas (or some contraption visibly powering the crank), musical saw, theremin, glass harmonica, steel cello,

    harry partch's instruments seem kinda steampunkish

    although sampling of said sounds could go a long way, I think exposed machinery/gears/pulleys is a key aesthetic element

    ooh that said, on the electronic side, I'd love to see one of those things that sparks across two prongs and makes a nice zzzzapping sound.. what are they called?

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny B View Post
    Also, anyone remember Chaos Engine on the Amiga?
    Ah yes. A steampunk game for a steam powered computer!

  4. #19
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    Yes, theremins would be absolutely steampunk! I think you could have anything that was electric, but not electronic - so while you wouldn't use an electronic synthesiser (either analogue or digital), you could use a pipe organ powered by an electric fan, or even a Hammond organ, as these work on an electro-mechanical principle. A quick google tells me they were invented in 1934, is this too late to fall under 'steampunk'?

    Also I love the idea of a musical instrument based on some crazy Frankenstein-cum-Tesla-inspired megavoltage spark machine.
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

  5. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post
    I wouldn't assume a steampunk band is primarily electronic.
    I wouldn't assume so, it's just that for practical reasons primarily electronic is about what I've got...

    I would hope for (and think appropriate) accordions/bandoneons, hand-cranked victrolas (or some contraption visibly powering the crank), musical saw, theremin, glass harmonica, steel cello,
    Ooh yes. Reminds me of that line in Mason and Dixon about "a strange device of Jesuitical design," for some reason. Also of bits of Bellowhead, although they border on Sailpunk. But unfortunately I don't have a glass harmonica to hand.

    although sampling of said sounds could go a long way, I think exposed machinery/gears/pulleys is a key aesthetic element
    Yes, although you can get at the atmosphere without neccessarily using the equipment.

    ooh that said, on the electronic side, I'd love to see one of those things that sparks across two prongs and makes a nice zzzzapping sound.. what are they called?
    I think general 'electricity' noises are probably part of it, actually. Zaps, crackles, mains hum.

  6. #21
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    Yes, also the sound of decayed record grooves - hiss crackle pop.

    and the musical saw, of course. the poor man's theremin?

  7. #22
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    Ooops sorry, missed this.

    Ripley is right - they use a saw (and an electric guitar). He was going to carve "this saw kills fascists" on it.

    http://www.myspace.com/blamedfornothing

    I've not seen them yet but apparently they have numbers about steam trains, inventors, etc.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by ripley View Post

    ooh that said, on the electronic side, I'd love to see one of those things that sparks across two prongs and makes a nice zzzzapping sound.. what are they called?
    You mean a Van de Graaf generator? Or possibly a tesla coil? There are actually musical tesla coils - I have a feeling this has probably been posted already on dissensus but it's so good it deserves another - seems pretty steampunk to me, along the lines of the tesla coils in The Prestige



    EDIT: Gah! How do you embed youtube clips?

    The accompanying text explains:

    This is a solid-state Tesla coil. The primary runs at its resonant frequency in the 41 KHz range, and is modulated from the control unit in order to generate the tones you hear.

    So just to explain a little further, yes, it is the actual high voltage sparks that are making the noise. Every cycle of the music is a burst of sparks at 41 KHz, triggered by digital circuitry at the end of a "long" piece of fiber optics.

    What's not immediately obvious in this video is how loud this is. Many people were covering their ears, dogs were barking. In the sections where the crowd is cheering and the coils is starting and stopping, you can hear the the crowd is drowned out by the coil when it's firing.

    This Tesla coil was built and is owned by Steve Ward. Steve is a EE student at U of I Urbana-Champaign. He and Jeff have been going to Teslathons, which is where they met.

    It's been suggested that a good name for this coil would be the "Zeusaphone". "Thoremin" has also been mentioned, though personally I think we need Theramin type inputs for that.

    To answer a few questions I've received, YES, someone did yell "Play Freebird!" after the first round of music.
    Last edited by tryptych; 19-11-2008 at 01:37 PM.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by tryptych View Post
    You mean a Van de Graaf generator? Or possibly a tesla coil? There are actually musical tesla coils - I have a feeling this has probably been posted already on dissensus but it's so good it deserves another - seems pretty steampunk to me, along the lines of the tesla coils in The Prestige



    EDIT: Gah! How do you embed youtube clips?

    The accompanying text explains:
    Oh Right! I think that's what I was thinking of. wheee!

  10. #25
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    I've just started reading a book called Glass Dreams of The Dream Eaters which seems kinda steampunkish - at least it's set in an alternative victorian type (or probably a little earlier) reality and features masque balls and machines that make people act weird (it seems) as well as the usual parade of prostitutes, assassins and mysterious army regiments. I'm only a hundred pages in (out of about eight hundred) but it's definitely a page turner.

    http://www.glassbooks.co.uk/launch.html?

  11. #26
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    Modular synthesiser. This pic is massive but what the hey.



    Wow.

    Via here: http://www.sequencer.de/blog/?p=5993

  12. #27

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    Hi! First post!

    In Fritz Lang's Metropolis, the bowels of the city are steam driven (by the looks of things). Not strictly Victorian though I suppose....

    More modern examples might include Otomo's Steamboy, and the Steampunk comic (released on Wildstorm's Cliffhanger sub-label), beautifully drawn by Chris Bachalo:



    Did a quick google and found the pedant's view on the inclusion of 'punk' in 'steampunk':

    "No Retro-Future!"



    Really like the idea of an Airkraken though!



    This amazing too:

    Last edited by reverendmedia; 03-07-2009 at 12:41 PM.

  13. #28
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    ^^ That video of the musical tesla coil above is fuckin incredible.

  14. #29
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  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by john eden View Post
    That's your mate on the left there, isn't it? The guy who's been on the front of The Chap and was at your birthday bash last year? They look well .
    Doin' the Lambeth Warp New: DISSENSUS - THE NOVEL - PM me your email address and I'll add you

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