Rapture Records

Watch: Here's How You Use Lasers to REALLY Get a Tortilla to Play Music

Olé!

FIONA MACDONALD
10 JUL 2015
 

A few months ago, this joke video of someone playing a tortilla like a record went viral. The punch line being that the tortilla doesn't do anything but spin around, while the YouTuber plays the Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatío) in the background. But now a very cool tech lover has actually made a working version of the tortilla record by etching the flat bread using lasers. And we are ridiculously impressed.

 

As you can see in the video, the record tortilla created by YouTuber Rapture Records even plays the Mexican Hat Dance (although the sound quality isn't quite up to the standard of a regular record). Even better, you can make your own tortilla record following the instructions here.

So how does this work? It all comes down to physics. A record player works by taking vibrations produced by the tiny grooves in a record and converting them into sound waves.

This requires an incredibly hard needle, or stylus, to trace the grooves of a record as it spins around. As the needle moves up and down over the record's grooves, these vibrations travel along the arm holding the needle in place, and down to wires in a cartridge at the end of the arm.

"A coil in a magnetic field turns the vibrations into electrical signals, which are carried along wires to the amplifier. These boosted signals are finally turned back into sound through the speakers, producing the sounds and music recorded on vinyl records," LiveScience explains.

So to get a tortilla to do the same thing, you simply need to work out the very specific pattern of grooves that will translate into the sound waves for the Mexican Hat Dance (or any other less culturally stereotypical song of your choosing).

It's more complicated than it sounds, but the kind soul behind Raptor Records has shared the programs and details on Instructables that can help you convert a music file into cutting instructions. Once you have those instructions, you just need to plug them into a laser cutter, and get it etching onto your tortilla.

Grooves

Of course, that also requires a pretty lengthy trial and error process of finding the best tortilla consistency to write your song onto (hint: you don't want it too floury). And Raptor Records has done the leg-work on that for you too. The end result?

Tortilla2

Check out his Instructables page for the full, detailed instructions, and then watch the video above to enjoy the end result - a delicious food staple that produces beautiful music. If you still want some more inspiration, watch what happens when you try to play tree rings.

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