Noticing that some broken hard drives I have make some interesting sounds when plugged in, I decided to see what sounds could be generated by using a contact mic on them.
The setup in this case was very simple, with a contact mic attached to either the bottom or the top of the hard drive, with the hard drive plugged in via USB to a computer. The USB has a switch on it, meaning the hard drive could be turned on an off. The contact mic was routed through a dynamics / filtering FX unit, which was experimented with throughout.
There were some ver interesting sounds produced by the hard drives. The first one made a beeping sound, that varied in pitch occasionally, which with an expander and some noise from the cabling, created a very intriguing sound. The first hard drive would also random start spinning, which resulted in some drone-like sounds. The second hard drive also span, but more reliably - creating similar but slightly timbrally different sounds to the first hard drive. This hard drive also produced some clicking sounds when turned on, which could be used for some sort of percussive sound.
The last hard drive didn't spin at all, however it did produce an amazing percussive sound, simply a rhythmic click. I played around with some filtering and dynamic processing to manipulate the timbre.
I would like to potentially try and 'tune' the revs to create specific frequency tones in future.