Sam Battle, a London-based musician, programmer and owner of Look Mum No Computer YouTube channel, where he showcases various complex electronic instruments, like the organ made of 44 Furby toys, dedicated a large sum of his time building an entire ensemble out of musical instruments and LEGO Star Wars droids just by using BOOST 57253 Droid Commander.
The Star Wars droid orchestra consists of 42 musical instruments and 95 LEGO droids, all of which play at a certain time, composing John Williams’ Star Wars main theme song. (Image Credit: LEGO)
The Star Wars LEGO orchestra took Battle 3,148 hours to completely assemble and create custom interfaces, which is composed of 95 LEGO droids, including 46 LEGO R2-D2 droids, 26 Mouse Droids, 23 Gonk droids, all of which also include 42 musical instruments. Featuring 10 xylophones, 10 violins, 8 electronic keyboards, 4 cellos, a pair of cymbals, 2 floor drums, and it even has 6 electric drums, 2 gongs and 2 sets of chimes, the composition gives it the impact of a fully-composed orchestra that gives a fine performance on John Williams’ Star Wars main title theme song.
Each droid was paired up with an iPad individually, except for a few static droids Battle hard-wired. The entire orchestra begins playing with the touch of a button found on the iPad, with each instrument being played by a LEGO Star Wars droid.
To understand how all the instruments move, Battle explains, “The synths were MS10s and MS20s, I had most of them already, I borrowed a couple, and they just look nice in a row. All of them monophonic, but between each synth was a tiny bit of overlap, the levers were pivoted in such a way the keys were quite light to push for the Gonks. This was a very solid setup that worked without fail every time,”
He continues “The R2-D2s on the xylophones tended to drift so before each attempt all of their heads needed to be reset to a center point so the beaters would hit in time. I ended up doubling up the R2-D2s so their out of time nature wouldn’t be as noticeable (two droids on each note means more of a chance it is in time). The violins needed re-setting each time, luckily the song only needed three different notes from the violins, so four violins per note (and two for the least used note).”
You likely won’t hear the orchestra being played in the opening credits of the upcoming Star Wars film, The Rise of Skywalker in December, but it’s certainly a composition that could attract Star Wars fans.
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