The First Concert With Only 3D-Printed Instruments Doesn't Sound Too Bad

This is footage from the what was apparently the first live concert played completely with 3D-printed instruments. From the little bit we can hear, it doesn't sound as bad as you might expect!

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The show, played by students from Sweeden's Lund University Malmö Academy of Music, featured a band with two electric guitars, a drum set, and a keyboard. They were printed by Olaf Diegel, a Lund University professor, and seasoned 3D printing pro. He's been fiddling around with 3D printing since the 90s, and has focused on instruments quite a bit, most recently completing a 3D-printed saxophone.

In this clip of the concert, the instruments don't exactly have the full assault of the sound of regularly-crafted guitars and drum sets, but it doesn't sound terrible. Of course it's worth noting that electric guitars and basses get almost none of their quality from their bodies. And while the band is made up of all 3D-printed instruments, not all of each instrument is 3D-printed. No plastic strings or pickups here.

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The attendance was pretty sparse, but by George, even the Rolling Stones had to start small. And maybe someday you'll be able to print up a bands' worht of instruments in your own garage. [3D Print via DamnGeeky]

Illustration for article titled The First Concert With Only 3D-Printed Instruments Doesnt Sound Too Bad
Illustration for article titled The First Concert With Only 3D-Printed Instruments Doesnt Sound Too Bad
Illustration for article titled The First Concert With Only 3D-Printed Instruments Doesnt Sound Too Bad
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DISCUSSION

Those drums sound exactly like they have perforated shells: flat and dull. No resonance at all. Ludwig made transparent acrylic drums back in the 1970's, called "Vistalites", and they sounded pretty bad compared to wood drums. They're enjoying a comeback now because of hipsters.

I think we see here the "because I can" look of 3D printed stuff done by people with no taste or judgment. Crazy pointless detail executed to show off rather than because it makes it work better or look good. It's like lens flare in old PSX games or reverb in pop music, back when they were both new and exciting. Hideously overdone at first, simply because it could be done, and eventually they settled down to a level where they belonged.

It will take a long long time, but the "detail infatuation" will fade away, and 3D printing will find it's proper niche.

I kind of think acoustic instruments shouldn't be plastic. The bass,guitar, and keyboard are all electronic. It matters less what they're made of. But, man, those drums sound and look like shit.