One Hacker Band is the brainchild of a serious technician who modified a guitar, bass and drum kit with programmed robotic components that then play songs by iconic artists such as Nirvana and Metallica. But these robots still don’t have a picking technique quite as tight as James Hetfield and his dominant right hand.
The good news is that the threat of machines overtaking humans, at least for now (and when it comes to playing classical songs on traditional instruments) remains somewhat of a distant threat. While AI-generated music is rapidly improvingonly flesh and blood is truly capable of delivering this music in the right format – live and in person.
But let’s not take too much away from One Hacker Band because the reality is that this is an incredibly impressive piece of engineering. As you can see in the handful of video clips below (including a robotic bass that responds to voice commands to play), not all bands are equipped with a robotic attachment, meaning unique adjustments are required to meet the setup’s limited capabilities.
In the “Enter Sandman” clip, the technician acknowledges that he tweaked the palm dampening techniques and that the overall results are “sloppy, but getting better.” He also explains that the “fifth string is tuned to a B to make power chords possible with a barre.”
We’d also like to shout out Nintendo video game icon Kirby, who appears as a plush toy that replaces the usual old pillow stuffed into the kick drum. On a!
And if you’d rather see Hetfield and the rest of Metallica play “Enter Sandman,” you can probably catch it at least once on Metallica’s upcoming tour, with two-night performances at each venue with no set list repeats. If you don’t have tickets yet, get them here.