digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:


Applied sciences






















ArcAttack's singing Tesla coil at SXSW, March 14, 2007
Background information
Origin Austin, Texas, United States
Genres Rock, Electronic rock
Years active 2005–present

ArcAttack is a performance art group that specializes in playing music through a combination of homemade, high-tech instruments, and more traditional instruments such as guitar and bass.[1][2][3][4]


The main attraction of their performance is the use of two custom built singing Tesla coils, which have been modified to play musical notes by modulating their spark output. The group also uses a robot drum kit, which is computer controlled via a custom micro controller, that has been programmed to interpret MIDI data and mechanically actuate its drum sticks accordingly.[5][6]

Aside from the automated musical machines and live performers, ArcAttack also incorporates a stunt man, who MCs the show, and engages the Tesla Coils by walking through the electricity wearing a relatively thin chain mail Faraday suit.[7][8]

ArcAttack is also featured in the massively multiplayer online role-playing game AdventureQuest Worlds as a band in the game's story "Doomwood Saga". [9]


In Austin, Texas, late 2005, Joe DiPrima began developing the first generation of singing Tesla Coils with the help of Steve Ward, a veteran Tesla Coiler from Illinois. The design developed quickly, and after several iterations the instrument reached its present form.[10] In 2007, Craig Newswanger of Resonance Studios provided the performance with another high tech gadget, a robotic drum kit.[11] All the while, friends around the country were helping generate musical content for the new technology to play. In 2007, John DiPrima, the main contributor of original Tesla coil music, moved down from Chicago to help the process evolve further. In January 2008, ArcAttack was finally named. Tony Smith, an old friend of the DiPrima's and a guitarist who had been assisting the group since mid-2006, began helping write music. Later, the group would meet Patrick 'Parsec' Brown, their MC and Faraday Suit stunt man. Another songwriter and old friend, Andrew Mansberger, moved from Seattle to contribute with guitar and keyboards, completing the crew.

America's Got Talent[edit]

ArcAttack auditioned for the fifth season of America's Got Talent in Dallas, Texas, Sharon Osbourne buzzed them in the audition because she felt the act was too technical, but they were advanced to the second round Vegas Week. The group featured often in the brief pre-episode "Flashes" that showed some of the acts from that season. On August 3, 2010 ArcAttack performed in the top 48 where they performed the Black Sabbath song, "Iron Man". Osbourne quipped at the time, "The next time you do Iron Man, I know somebody [i.e, her husband] who can sing it for you." The next day it was announced that ArcAttack had come either 4th or 5th in the voting and judges Howie Mandel and Sharon Osbourne sent them through to the semi-finals. Their semifinal performance was highly praised by the three judges, but they acknowledged that viewers at home may not fully appreciate all that is seen on the live stage. Subsequently, ArcAttack was eliminated along with the other three contestants, Kristina Young, Dan Sperry, and Future Funk.

Electrified: One Million Volts Always On[edit]

ArcAttack designed the Tesla coils that were used in David Blaine's stunt, which occurred on Pier 54 in New York City during October 2012. ArcAttack was tasked with building an array of 7 Tesla coils, which operated continuously over the course of three days.[12][13] David stood between them on a pedestal, wearing a Faraday suit, without food or sleep. At the conclusion of the event, David claimed that this will be the last endurance stunt that he is to perform.[14]


  1. ^ 9/25/09 2:20pm 9/25/09 2:20pm. "ArcAttack: Lightning-Proof Musicians Share Their Tesla Coil Secrets". Gizmodo.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  2. ^ Cory Doctorow at 7:27 am Fri, Feb 20, 2009 (2009-02-20). "Tesla coils sing the Doctor Who theme in orgy of electric awesomesauce". Boing Boing. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  3. ^ "Feature: Audio Modulated Thunder Music Pleases Thor | Geeks are Sexy Technology News". Geeksaresexy.net. 2009-02-17. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  4. ^ Olsen, Anton (2013-03-28). "An Electrifying Performance by ArcAttack | GeekDad". Wired.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  5. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2008-04-17). "ArcAttack brings singing Tesla coils to the masses | Geek Gestalt - CNET News". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  6. ^ [1][dead link]
  7. ^ http://www.thenational.ae/arts-culture/arcattacks-summer-in-abu-dhabi
  8. ^ "This new-fangled electric music". Theridiculant.metro.co.uk. 2009-11-19. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  9. ^ "ArcAttack Event is LIVE!". Aq.com. 2011-07-22. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  10. ^ Terdiman, Daniel (2007-03-10). "The singing tesla coils | Crave - CNET". News.cnet.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  11. ^ "Back Again! « Resonance Studio Workshop". Resonancestudio.com. 2009-12-08. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  12. ^ JULIE REPPERT (jreppert@sungazette.com) (2012-10-25). "‘ArcAttack’ to electrify - SunGazette.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Community Information - Williamsport-Sun Gazette". SunGazette.com. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  13. ^ "David Blaine — Performance Artist or Poseur?". Hyperallergic.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 
  14. ^ "David Blaine Completes 'Last Endurance Stunt'". News.sky.com. 2012-10-09. Retrieved 2013-11-01. 

External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ArcAttack — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
78051 videos foundNext > 

ArcAttack! - Singing Tesla Coils - Final Countdown

This was a request. We were running out of ideas for this video, so we added some tacky LED lighting. There we go, that should do it. Check out www.arcattack...

America's Got Talent - ''ArcAttack'' w/ judges comments

Having fun with Tesla coils.

Adam Savage & ArcAttack - Back In Black

Adam Savage rocks out inside a Faraday Cage being shocked by massive Tesla coils, as ArcAttack covers AC/DC's "Back in Black."

Tesla Coils - Arc Attack - Doctor Who Theme Song - Makers Faire 2010 - San Mateo - No. 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aJyYhcZwb7E ArcAttack auditioned for America's Got Talent. ArcAttack employs a unique DJ set up of their own creation to gener...

Star Wars & Dr. Who- ArcAttack

These guys were awesome!

America's Got Talent - ArcAttack Semi-final performance 8-24-2010

More electricity from ArcAttack!

America's Got Talent - ''ArcAttack quarter-final performace''

AGT performance on 8/3/2010.

America's Got Talent 2010 Audition 2 ArcAttack

Amercias got talent.

How Giant Tesla Coils Work (with ArcAttack)

We visit the workshops of ArcAttack, a group of makers that not only builds their own massive Tesla coils, but uses them as musical instruments for live perf...

ArcAttack - Singing Tesla Coils - Pacific Rim Main Theme

Fan suggested video. Check out www.arcattack.com for more videos and info!

78051 videos foundNext > 

496 news items

Orlando Sentinel

Orlando Sentinel
Sat, 17 Jan 2015 12:36:38 -0800

Music comes in all forms and styles, and for ages, musicians have found ways to push the boundaries of delivering the arrangements of pitches and tones into musical expressions. For ArcAtttack, a Texas based musical group demonstrating at Otronicon ...
Thu, 22 Jan 2015 00:02:55 -0800

The Missouri University of Science and Technology's Family Series presents “ArcAttack!” at 7 p.m. Feb. 13 at Leach Theatre. This unique music and light show consists of a six-man crew and two custom-engineered Tesla coils that throw out electrical arcs ...
Orlando Sentinel
Fri, 16 Jan 2015 12:37:50 -0800

ArcAttack explains how they create music using nearly 300,000 volts of electricity. See more videos. But nonetheless, there was Borden's creation on display at Otronicon. In Damsel in Distress, the player takes control of a knight feverishly trying to ...

News 13 Orlando

News 13 Orlando
Fri, 16 Jan 2015 14:52:30 -0800

As seen on "America's Got Talent," you can get smack dab in the middle of the most shocking rock band ever. ArcAttack plays music out of a combo of high-tech instruments. It's part rock show, part science experiment. They do ask for volunteers to get ...


Wed, 02 Jul 2014 12:53:32 -0700

NEW YORK, July 1 2014 — ArcAttack, a “band” from Austin, Texas, performance at Proctor's Theatre in Schenectady, NY on February 28, 2014 was nothing short of electrifying. Instead of speakers to transform ArcAttack's music into sound waves, they use ...
Inside the Magic
Fri, 16 Jan 2015 07:56:15 -0800

The dark side of the Force appears to be strong with the performances by ArcAttack, wielding custom built Tesla coils that play music by the sounds of their massive electric bolts. The Emperor would be most impressed, especially as they rang out to the ...
Orlando Sentinel
Sun, 11 Jan 2015 10:11:15 -0800

•Live performance by rock group ArcAttack, which uses Tesla coils timed to music. Admission: $19 for adults, $13 for children 3 to 11; free to Science Center members. Brit Week organizer honored. Orlando entrepreneur Justine Assal, organizer of the ...
Orlando Sentinel
Thu, 08 Jan 2015 08:01:26 -0800

--Live performance by rock group ArcAttack, which uses Tesla coils timed to the music. --A talk by futurist and nationally renowned speaker Jim Brazell, regarding the future of tech startups and STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) ...

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!

Searchlight Group

Digplanet also receives support from Searchlight Group. Visit Searchlight